Czech Model 1/48 Blohm & Voss Bv 40
reviewed by Mike Horchler
The Bv40 was another desperate attempt
by the Luftwaffe to stem the onslaught of the 8th Air Force daylight bombing
campaign. Blohm & Voss technical director Richard Vogt reasoned that to
increase a fighters chances of survival against a wall of fire from America
bomber formations, was to reduce the frontal area of the attacking aircraft.
To reduce the frontal area, and make the aircraft less vulnerable, he suggested
removing the engine. Using an assault glider would also allow for simpler and
While the overall airframe was designed for cheap construction using mostly wood components, the cockpit was an all-metal affair with armor and thick glass designed to afford good protection to the pilot. The cockpit made up more than 1/4th of the overall weight of the aircraft.
Vogt wanted to arm the aircraft with a single 30mm cannon and trail a string of explosives behind the tail as a secondary attack measure, but in trials it was determined that two 30mm cannons in the nose would be most effective in delivering devastating firepower in a quick head-on attack.
The entire program was abandoned in the fall of 1944 after the flight testing had been completed with 6 of 19 prototypes built.
Span of 25'11", Length of 18'8", Height of 5'4", Weight of 1844 to 2094 lbs. Anticipated Dive Speed in free flight of 560mph. Armament: 2x 30mm Mk.108 each with 35 rounds. First flight in late May 1944.
The kit box has a statement on the side: "Detailed scale model for adult collectors. Not suitable for children under 14 years." I think this pretty much gives you an idea of what this kit is all about. The back of the box has a color guide and basic statistics about the aircraft.
This kit is a limited-run injection molded kit from the Czech Republic with resin cast detail parts from True Details and two vacuum formed canopies (one extra in case you have problems). The canopies are not bagged and are therefore susceptible to scratching. The plastic in the canopies could be a little thinner and clearer, but it's adequate considering the tiny windows. The detail parts are cast in resin by True Details and replace a number of the injection molded parts. Included are details such as the wheels, control stick and cockpit tub. The resin parts are bagged for protection. The decals appear very thin, and perfectly in register, but are not bagged.
All of the injection molded parts are cast on a single sprue. The parts are quite nice with understated recessed panel lines, some, but not too much flash and decent sprue attachment points. In fact, it looks like Czech Model tried very hard to make the sprue attachment points quite thin. The injection molded sprue is also bagged separately for protection.
This kit is tiny! It's less than 5 inches in length and just about 6.5 inches in span. Given my crude measuring tools, and basic math skills, it scales pretty close to the dimensions given above.
The instructions are printed on 4 letter size pages, and include a brief history of the plane, a photo of the real thing, a parts map indicating which parts are replaced with resin pieces, some safety tips, a paint guide and two pages worth of actual assembly steps. The assembly steps are clearly drawn and concise, something you don't always find in these multimedia kits. The painting guide even includes a discussion on "Scale Color".
There are only 32 injection parts and 11 resin, and some pieces are duplicated between the two, so this kit would make a great weekend project. At only $15, I consider this a bargain and recommend it to anyone looking to expand their Luftwaffe collection or get started on limited-run injection molded kits.
Thanks to Roll Models for this kit.
The white parts do not show
on this scan, but are there!
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