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Scheuch-Schlepper
Tow and Recovery Vehicle
for Me 163 B Komet

GasPatch Models, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Description and Item No.:

GasPatch Models Kit No. 20-48238 - Scheuch-Schlepper Tow and Recovery Vehicle for Me 163 B

Contents and Media:

Around 75 parts in grey coloured 3D printed resin; two parts in black 3D printed resin; small printed acetate sheet; self adhesive die-cut painting mask; colour illustrated instructions.

Price:

€38.00 plus shipping available online from GasPatch Models' website

Scale:

1/48

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Remarkable fine detail; flawless 3D printing; use of assembly jigs to ensure correct alignment; many useful options and different different configurations; clever design and engineering including two-piece track runs per side; driver included; custom foam packing protects the delicate printed parts; well illustrated and logically laid out instruction booklet.

Disadvantages:

Some delicate parts will demand careful handling during cleanup and assembly.

Recommendation:

This one has been a while coming but, oh my, it was worth the wait! GasPatch Models' 1/48 scale Scheuch-Schlepper is a gorgeous little jewel of a kit in its own right or when combined with last year's Me 163 Komet kit and accessory set.

Reviewed by Brett Green

Background

 

Germany produced a great number of designs that were stranger than fiction. A handful of these even made it into production.

The Messerschmitt Me 163 was a rocket powered interceptor that saw nearly a year of operational service before the end of the Second World War.

Designed by aerodynamics pioneer Alexander Lippisch and based around the Walter rocket motor, the Me 163 was a stocky little aircraft with swept wings and no horizontal tail planes. The Walter HWK 509 rocket motor weighed only 100 kg but generated 1,700 kg of thrust, resulting in staggering climb performance and a high top speed. 

The downside was that the C-Stoff and T-Stoff rocket fuel combination was highly explosive and corrosive, and the range of the little interceptor was short. 

Even so, the Messerschmitt Me 163 B entered Luftwaffe service with a dedicated rocket unit, JG 400, in May 1944, three years after the first flight of the prototype. 

 

 

Despite its inherent risks and limited endurance, the Me 163 was thrilling to fly thanks to its high speed, remarkable rate of climb and positive controls. Between 9 and 16 aerial victories were claimed for the loss of 10 Komets, but the aircraft’s short range and rocket fuel shortages limited its impact on the outcome of the war.

Around 370 Messerschmitt Me 163s were built in total.

A very special aircraft required a very special vehicle to perform towing and recovery duties. Starting out life as a three-wheeled agricultural vehicle, the Schlepper was developed into the singular vehicle that we see here.

The Scheuch-Schlepper was used in the V-1 program too.

 

 

FirstLook

 

GasPatch Models released a gorgeous 1/48 scale kit of the Messerschmitt Me 163 in the first half of 2021.

 

 

Now they have added the ground handling Scheuch-Schlepper to their range.

 

 

Packaging is quite luxurious with each part packed into a custom-cut foam rectangle.

 

 

Two layers of foam packing are included.

 

 

GasPatch Models' 1/48 scale Scheuch-Schlepper Tow and Recovery Vehicle for Me 163 B comprises around 75 parts in grey coloured 3D printed resin, two parts in black 3D printed resin, a small printed acetate sheet, a self adhesive die-cut painting mask and colour illustrated instructions.

 

 

The kit comes with alternative parts to permit several different configurations:

  • with or without the rear wheel assembly

  • recovery vehicle option with dual track runs

  • tow bar option including Me 163 attachment point

 

 

The 3D printed parts are attached via multiple fine support strips. These should be fast and easy to clean up with a new hobby blade and a sanding stick.

There are no striations or other printing artifacts at all on the 3D resin parts - perfect.

 

 

Detail is just gorgeous throughout, both tiny delicate parts as well as the main body and arm assemblies.

 

 

The tracks and running gear are particularly clever. The track runs themselves are presented in only two parts per side. The drive sprockets and wheels are separate parts.

 

 

The main tyres are black 3D printed resin - no paint required perhaps? The third rear wheel is grey.

 

 

A pair of jigs are used during assembly to assure alignment of the lifting arms.

A small die-cut self-adhesive painting mask is supplied with the digits 1 - 4. These may be used to paint identification numbers on your Schlepper.

 

 

Instructions are laid out over 13 steps in a 12 page booklet, which also includes four-view full-colour illustrations of the six marking options.

The instructions are clearly drawn and logically laid out. I particularly like the full colour illustrations of painted sub-assemblies, painting direction and the clear explanation of the different configurations.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This one has been a while coming but, oh my, it was worth the wait!

GasPatch Models' 1/48 scale Scheuch-Schlepper is a gorgeous little jewel of a kit in its own right or when combined with last year's Me 163 Komet kit and accessory set

Thanks to GasPatch Models for the samples.


Review Text and Images Copyright 2022 by Brett Green
Page Created 20 June, 2022
Last updated 21 June, 2022

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