Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Messerschmitt Me 163B

by Peter Kormos


Messerschmitt Me 163B


 available online from Squadron.com




Here is my 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Me163B-1a kit from Revell. Most of the detailing was done with copper wires, copper film and hypodermic needles. I didn't use any resin or PE update sets ... except for the seat belts which came from my Eduard Me 262 PE set.






I started construction with the wings. I glued the halves together and after the glue was dry, I cut in the ailerons with a little saw. Then I sanded the wings' trailing edges because they looked a little bit thick to me. Later, when I glued the wings to the fuselage, I noted, that each wing was about 1 mm thicker than the wing root's joint on the fuselage. I sanded down the surplus both on the top and bottom of the wings and rescribed the lost panel lines. Some of the rivets were lost during sanding, so I had to replace them with a needle.



Removing the long pitot tube from the sprue is a tough job and I didn't bother. Instead, I scratch built one from two hypodermic needles in different diameter. Hypodermic needles do not bend or crack that easily, and there's even that little hole at the tip...just perfert.



Next came the cockpit. Along with my resources, I managed to download some super pictures from the Net. These were on my PC and I made some sketches on A4 papers to help me when detailing the cockpit.

I replaced the tube of oxygen regulator with one made from copper wire, and added some other cables to the cockpit's starboard side. I sanded the sides of the seat a little, because they were a bit thick. Then came the instrument panel. First I sprayed a coat of white, then RLM66 and painted the instruments houses in black. Then I carefully washed back the white to show the little details of the instruments and each little instrument received it's drop of clear varinsh to make the impression of glass in the instrument.

There was quite a big opening at the front of cockpit, where the rudder pedals go. I decided to scratch build this area from flattened sprue because this area is barely but visible on the finished kit. I also worked on the gun sight, but after examining my VF-241 pics I noted that it was removed, so I didn't build it in. Next to the control stick, there's a little pump, what I've scratch built from sprue and copper wires in different diameter. In front of the cockpit, before the wide glass plate there was a "little bump" which supposed to be some sort of support for the gun sight. I sanded this area down and added some detail with copper film and hypo needle.

The overall cockpit color is RLM 66. After spraying the base color, I sprayed a mist of slightly whitened RLM 66 (post-shading) and a wash of well thinned black color was used at the corners.The headrest was painted in leather and the instruments, levers and other gadgets were highlighted in red, yellow and blue as apprpriate. After I glued in the little levers and handles with super glue, the whole cockpit was secured into the upper fuselage half.

The windshield had some scars and bumps which were sanded with #500, #1000 and #2000 sanding papers and then polished with Tamiya polishing compound. I cut a thin stripe from copper film, then a little CA to glue it in place and there was a little handle for the canopy.


Landing Skid

Next I started to work on the landing-ski and the ski-bay.

On the sidewalls of the bay, there were some holes but they looked a bit small to me, so I widened them a little bit with a drill. Then I thinned down the sidewalls where the holes were to make them look a bit more real ... although not much can be seen from this area on the finished kit... The ski itself comes from two parts, which fit together badly, so plenty of putty was used there. Then I glued the landing-ski and actuators together, and added little copper wires where the hydraulic lines run. Then the ski-bay, landing-ski and actuators were painted in Testors polished aluminium. Lower half of the actuators and the ski was then roughly sprayed in RLM76, leaving the aluminium finish on the upper half.



On the bottom of the fuselage, there are little drain pipes for dumping C and T stoff. These were replaced with thin hypo needles (same one was used at the pitot tube). Behind the cockpit, there are two triangular shape windows. These come in one, clear, U shape part. Because there was quite a big gap between this part and the fuselage, I fought with the elements for some time util I managed to glue it in place. In the little tail gear bay, there were two ejector pin marks, what I had to seal and then sand.



I glued together the tail section. In the tail gear bay, there was a big opening to the vertical fin what I've sealed with the help of my old credit card. I cut down the actuator from the tail gear, and carved two holes into the strut, where it connects to the fuselage. Then, I've made a little hydraulic bin with the pipe for the gear bay and glued it in place. Along with the landing-ski, the tail gear was glued in place after painting the kit, too.



Painting and Markings


The question now was: how could I make this little kit a little bit more attractive?

I found the answer when I saw a photo of VF-241 in my Me163 book. I knew I had to build this version. It still wears the original German camo and stencils but with the extra of RAF touch ups.

The fuselage and the lower surfaces - where stencils go - were painted in RLM76. Then came the RLM74 mottle which took me 2 hours to complete. Next came the yellow for the lower surfaces and for the ski (by now, the ski was in aluminium, RLM76 and yellow). Upper wing surfaces were painted in RLM 81/82 and then a light coat of pale RLM81/82 came (post-shading). Wing roots and the vetical fin were painted in RAF dark green. For masking, I used Tamiya masking tape and Humbrol masking liquid.


For the camo colors, I used Gunze acrylics: H417, H69, H421, H422 and H73 and Gunze H413 for the yellow.

The finishing clear and flat coats were Gunze H30 and H20. "VF 241" letters came from a Carpena decal sheet, and the kit's original stencils were also used. National insignia, markings and touch-ups were sprayed on with home made masks. For the roundels I used the following paints:

  • yellow - Gunze H413

  • white - Gunze H11

  • blue - by now an unknown mixture of Humbrol 189, 157 and Tamiya XF-50. red - Tamiya XF-7

Panel lines were flown in with a thinned mixture of Tamiya X-18 and XF-49.





One of my long time dreams came true when I got my hands on this Komet kit.

At first I thought it was going to be an easy ride to finish this little bird - no main gear bay or piston engine to fiddle with, nice little shapes, etc. First, I planned to build the kit straight from the box, but I wound up adding some little details here and there and it took a little longer to finish this little model than I had  planned.





Thanks to Internet, I could complete the kit with the help of some fellow modellers, like David Fleming, Frank Pipek, Mikael Dahlström, Mark Mills and special thanks to the help of my great mentor, István Vadász.

Thanks guys for the support!



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2002 by Peter Kormos
Page Created 05 May, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Features Index