Another in the series of Wehrmacht '46 subjects from Modelcollect, this time a V1, plus launch platform on the super heavy E100 chassis. This one stretches credibility a bit, because it would require the V1 to deploy from a zero length launch platform, whereas V1s were actually ground launched using a steam catapult within a ramp getting on for 40m in length. Zero length launches of large airframes are perfectly feasible, but invariably rocket boosted. I could go for this V1 setup if it had a booster and the thing I have in mind would the the four booster setup that was used in conjunction with the Bachem Ba 349 for vertical launches, two boosters on each side of the fuselage. So when I get around to building this little beastie I'll be on the lookout for some Ba 349 boosters from either the Heller or Brengun kits.
Modelcollect kits are impeccably packaged in stout boxes with a glossy finish, good looking graphics and very nicely done box art. This one is no exception.
As with the other kits in this series, the box is stuffed full of plastic, with a surprise bonus (more anon).
Beginning with the V1, the mouldings are derived from the V1's plus launch ramps set, so you are left over with launch ramp pier frameworks and pads, plus a catapult dolly. The mouldings are very nicely done and clean looking, although the nose shape of the V1 is a bit dubious, from the references I have it's blunt looking and doesn't have any concave curvature at the tip. Easy enough to fix if you feel so inclined, but then again it's a 'whif' and you could argue it's a later production variant or suchlike. I'll take a little issue with the engraved panel lines, they're a little over-cooked for my taste, but there's ways and means of dealing with them. The wings also have panel lines and raised rivets that are completely un-prototypical seeing as the V1 wings were covered in ply and were completely blank in appearance in real life. The wing tips are squared off and could really do with a swipe of a file to give them a bit of shape as per actual V1s.
Unsurprisingly the Rheintochter launch platform is appropriated from the other Modelcollect Rheintochter kits. This gives us the surprise bonus in the shape of a complete Rheintochter missile, plus the quad ground rig to set up the platform for ground launching. Obviously you have no means of displaying the Rheintochter if you assemble it, although there are possibilities for using it as a spare with one of the Rheintochter dedicated kits in a diorama context. The launch platform parts are nicely moulded and if I felt keen enough I might check their shapes against references, but they look good enough to me compared with photos that I have seen of them - and of course it's a 'whif' (see above!).
Amongst the E100 bits you get a frame from one of the kits with a redundant hull deck, side plates and the large, curvaceous schurzen. The schurzen are not illustrated on the box art, but the instructions show them fitted. The chassis looks very businesslike without them, but personally I would fit them. All these parts are well moulded.
This frame has the hull bottom, engine compartment insert and rear plate, plus an MG for the spares box. The vents are really well done and you might be tempted to leave off the PE grilles that pretty much render them invisible. My MG will need a repair before I can use it on another model!
There is a frame containing bulkheads for the engine compartment, plus engine details. You could leave out the latter, but the former will be required. Actually, the fact that you have engine components does raise the possibility of leaving a panel or two open (or in a state of disarray). One of the fan housings exhibits some flash, this is the only noticeable piece that I have seen so affected in the kit.
There are two identical frames of wheels/running gear and the wheels, idlers and sprockets are really superbly done. You end up with quite a few left over parts, because the instructions indicate use of the one-piece spring sets (which will be illustrated later). I would think these frames are common to the E50/75/100 tank kits, with one of them depicting torsion bar rather than coil springs.
The final frame is the hull deck required for fitting the missile launcher and the aforementioned spring sets. The springs are nicely done but will be pretty much invisible behind the wheels.
Tracks are Dragon type moulded. The detail is good but unfortunately they are not especially straight sided, which is a bit of a let down. I have tried some not so gentle manipulation with noticeable improvement, I think if they were given some gentle heat treatment this might also assist in getting them into some semblance of a straight line.
You get the bog standard decal sheet and PE fret that comes seemingly as standard with any of these E50/75/100 derived kits. I've already mentioned about the PE grilles, you might want to leave them off to show off the moulded vents, but the PE is very nicely done. There are also various grab handles and other bits, but they are not all shown in the instructions, possibly because they're actually intended for turrets?
The instructions are similar in format to the other kits, the line drawings show clearly where everything fits, the colour illustrations are by default conjectural but superbly done and paint callouts are matched to Mig colours. The schemes illustrated are perfectly credible, but you might wish to liven things up by showing an under-prepared vehicle in a primer or metal scheme, the box art in itself is a source of inspiration in this respect. The instructions are printed on good quality glossy paper that should be heavy enough to withstand the rigours of the workbench and possible even the odd spillage.
To summarise, this is a really neat parts bin exercise by Modellcollect to create a new product utilising parts they already have in their catalogue of other kits. I don't think there's anything in this kit that is unique to it, everything is borrowed from other kits. That is in no way meant to be a criticism, it's great subject matter that has been very well executed and for anybody looking for something that isn't run of the mill, or as a stress buster, go get one. I'm looking forward to getting my bench cleared so that I can actually start building these kits, looking at the pile, there's four of them already!