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Wasserfall W1

by William Moore


Wasserfall W1


Planet Models' 1/72 scale Wasserfall is available online from Squadron.com




Planet Models' 1/72 scale Wasserfall W1 kit comes in their standard box with a black and white drawing on the cover.

Most of the resin pieces come with moulding plugs . The panel lines in some parts are a little faint and require work but overall it is another good kit from Planet .

What surprised me about this kit is the inclusion of a base and trolley to mount the rocket on unlike the other two kits of the Wasserfall that have been issued.

 Yes, this is the third kit in as many years of this late WW2 German antiaircraft rocket , that was never used in anger. The doubling up by manufacturers of the same plane etc doesn't just apply to Spitfires and Fw 190's .




The instructions are the usual double sided A4 sheet.



On the front is a brief history and technical specifications as well as three suggested paint schemes with Humbrol colours called out although this is not mentioned specifically. The other side contains a parts breakdown as well as clear assembly diagrams with extra details explained where needed.




Construction started with trimming away all moulding plugs and sanding the parts before attacking the base and it was here I got a little carried away . Instead of mounting the very good base on a plinth it was mounted inside 2 photo frames . This gave the launch base a larger area , otherwise the instructions were followed exactly .

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Next to be added were the rails for the launch trolley and here I did run into a problem . Every time I tried to separate the rails from their moulding plug they broke no matter how careful I was . As they were fairly twisted anyway they were replaced . A length of 1/32 inch T beam from Plastruct or Evergreen does nicely and at a pound they are cheap. The launch blast tube hole was severely weathered and the pylons and ropes added . The four ropes were brushed in Model Master Exhaust and then lightly rubbed with a Prismacolour silver pencil . Despite consulting an expert the exact use of these ropes is unclear . Finally the etched brass grate is added over the blast tube which fitted perfectly.


The launch trolley is very simple with the main body in resin. Etched brass is used for the rocket support and this requires a little fiddling . Whilst the brass is square the base is slightly rectangular . By attaching two opposite sides at the top and the other two midway down on the inside the correct effect is obtained. Lastly add the four tiny wheels after filling their airbubbles , being careful to test fit the completed trolley against the rails.

Wasserfall Kit  Data

Kit No:
Panel Lines:


Decal Options:
Obtain in UK via:
New Tooling
Czech Republic
Resin and Etched Brass
Resin 28 Cream, Brass 6
Planet Models

Now weather like crazy . A rocket test launch area like this would build up a lot of muck and dirt and the exhaust gases from many launches would have stained the trolley and base . Remember to decrease the effect the further away from the rocket you get . I used a combination of paint ( mostly Model Master metallics - despite the labels they can be handbrushed in small areas ) and pastel chalks for most of it though do not forget the rail tops and trolley wheels will be shiny where they meet .

After all that fun it was hard to get back to serious modelling. This probably explains the stuffup I made. The rocket comes as two parts which need a little sanding and filling before joining. The example I received had the top half slightly out of shape and needed a little work to get back into a circular planform. At this stage it is necessary to line the two halves up so that the fins on the top half will be in line with those on the bottom half . These are clearly indicated on the kit with a raised line for each fin but somehow I forgot . Fortunately superglue has poor shear strength and I got it apart .

The top and bottom fins were now added after straightening two in hot water - this is not unusual in resin . Care is needed here to ensure good alignment . A little white glue was used to blend these into the main body . The only parts left to add were the control vanes from etched brass. There are eight of these and they must be folded , split then glued below the engine . This is fiddly and hopefully you'll retain more than the six I did though as long as you have at least four it isn't noticeable.




The dimensions supplied agree with the Putman German aircraft book but the height is a bit low , to the tune of a 1/4 inch in scale which seems a lot. The rest of the dimensions agree.


Colour Options

Three options are supplied , two for test vehicles and an operational scheme . The latter is slightly unlikely because by war's end the Germans were up to version W10 of this missile and had still not used it in anger.

Having said that it is the easiest option being Matt Desert Yellow overall except for the lower rudders in Matt Dark Grey . I chose the second option which is white overall with a Signal Red nose and two black stripes further down ( I used black decals for this ) . The last option is for the very keen with lots of masking involved .


Conclusions and Recommendations

The use of a launching base and trolley makes this kit stand out from it's opposition .

The work involved is not beyond the average modeller and any resin junkies will welcome the ease of assembly for a great looking model. The small niggles are those common to most resin kits and provided you're not expecting a Tamiya kit then you will be rewarded with the ancestor of the American anti aircraft rockets of the 50's and 60's. This is a nice fun kit that restored my jaded palate.

My thanks to Planet Models for the review sample as well as Dan Johnson of www.luft46.com for assorted advice and details.

Photos by Liz Moore

Model and Article Copyright 2002 by William Moore
Images Copyright 2002 by Liz Moore
Page Created 19 January 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

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