MPM's Fieseler Fi 103 

1/48 scale

by Marcelo Scaminaci Russo



Development from the Fieseler Fi 103 flaying - bomb, better known as the V-1 reprisal weapon, is well remembered in aviation history. A small, fixed wing, pilotless aircraft, was powered by a pulsejet engine mounted above the rear fuselage.

Late in 1943, German officials were considering the use of piloted missiles to make precision attacks on high priority targets, a policy that developed quite independently of the Japanese "kamikaze" attacks. With a deteriorating situation, Adof Hitler gave the go-ahead of such a project in March 1944, and the Fi 103 was adopted for this program, which was designated Fi 103 R ( for " Reichemberg" ).

Four versions were  initially planned, but the Fi 103 R-IV was the production one, with a single cockpit just ahead of the pulse jet. This small aircraft had simple flight instruments in the cockpit, and the canopy had guidelines for calculating the correct dive angles for attacks.

It was projected so that, after being launched from a mother plane, the pilot would aim his R-IV ( and his warhead of high explosive ) to the target and then bale out, descending by parachute; really, his chances to escape were very few. About 175 of these weapons were produced and given to be used for the 5./KG 200, " Leonidas Staffel ", but due to the low visibility that the pilot had the whole project was abandoned in October 1944.



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The Kit

This new injection molded plastic kit from MPM is the first in 1:48 th scale. It features well cast injection parts with recessed panel lines and good details. The canopy is moulded in clear plastic, ( not vac-formed, usual in this manufacturer ).

The decals supplied in the kit are produced by MPM and they are of a very high quality. Each image is well printed with little carrier film, they are very thin, and I would advise you to transfer them carefully from backing paper onto your model. The box includes a double side instruction sheet and a painting guide separately.

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The construction of this kit is easy, as it is made up of only a few parts. The parts of the interior may be painted in RLM 66 ( dark grey ) first, and once dried, dry brushed to highlight some details. The cockpit interior is really simple and comprises instruments panel, control column and seat, but you could add seat belts, a new seat, rudder pedals and a head rest ( only some of the last production batch had this ).

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You may well wish to place the canopy open: it's hinged to the starboard, like in Me 163 Komet. In general speaking the fit is very good, except in the joint of the wings with the fuselage ( a minimum of putty is needed ).

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Three colors options are available from MPM, but I decided to apply another camouflage scheme, representing a Fi 103 captured by the Allies in May 1945: a late war green scheme of RLM 83 over RLM 76 light grey, with spots of RLM 74 grey in the back of Argus pulse jet engine.

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What a sexy little machine! The end results are very  pleasing and the kit certainly makes a nice addition to my Luftwaffe collection.


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