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Fieseler Fi 103 – Vergeltungswaffe 1 “V-1 Flying Bomb”

Fieseler Fi 103 – Vergeltungswaffe 1 “V-1 Flying Bomb”

v1_front_right_flyingWhen you think of the 1:18 scale hobby, names like 21st Century Toys and Blue Box Toys come to mind. Most have never heard of a small company called Pegasus Hobbies. The simple design of the V-1 was a unique choice for Pegasus Hobbies to make an interesting contribution to a market over saturated with “notable aircraft” such as the P-51D.header_historyv1(from Wikipedia)

The Fieseler Fi 103, better known as Vergeltungswaffe (German for “vengeance weapon”), or V-1, was an early cruise missile used during World War II. The V-1 was developed at Peenemünde by the German Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Between 13 June 1944 and 29 March 1945, it was fired at population centers such as London and Antwerp. V-1s were launched from “ski” launch sites along the French (Pas-de-Calais) and Dutch coasts until the sites were overrun by Allied forces. The underground V-1 storage depots at Saint-Leu-d’Esserent, Nucourt and Rilly-la-Montagne, as well as the launch sites, were bombed during Operation Crossbow.

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About Paul Pratt

Father, Husband, Writer, Sarcastic Ass.

3 comments

  1. Agreed on all points, it seems you hit the majority of the details of what i briefly went over in the review. I toyed with a D rating at first, but honestly i felt bad because knowing who Pegasus is. Given the background, I was impressed they even showed up to make an effort, so i gave them an extra letter grade. If i didn’t apply the tilt it would be our lowest rated model.
    Thanks again for the details. This is exactly why we have a comments section to let the people who know about the details come in and comment. It sparks discussion and that is what this is all about. Information for the hobbyist.

  2. Some additional comment on the model:

    If you examine wartime-vintage photos of the real vehicle, you’ll note that the shape of the model is off in several key aspects. (You have to be careful of post-war photos and current airframes, however, as V-1s were assembled incorrectly, with missing or surrogate parts in place of the warhead or other sections.)

    o The contour of the nose is quite a bit off. On the original, the taper from the propeller aft through the compass area and into the warhead was very smoothly blended; the contours of the first 3/4″ of the model nose really do not look anything like the real article.

    o The fuel tank section on the real V-1 was constant diameter, per the dimensions in Dieter Holsken’s book, “V-Missiles of the Third Reich” and corroborating photographs. On the Pegasus model, there is no constant diameter “tube” and the fuselage begins to taper near the middle of the wing, such that the diameter of the fuel section is noticeably smaller at the aft end than at the front.

    o This premature taper affects the shape of the aft fuselage significantly, causing it to be too slender all the way to the aft-most point. As a result, the front engine support pylon and vertical tail/rudder appear too tall.

    o The engine itself has an incorrect taper between the thicker, combustion chamber section and the tailpipe. It should be essentially a linear cone, but on the model it has some longitudinal curvature.

    o The 1:1 vehicle was built very simply, in cyclindrical sections that bolted together end-to-end. There were a few rivets around access panels but, in general, the skins were rolled into shape and butt-welded together. As a result, the longitudinal seams should have been convex and weld-like rather than cleanly scribed into the moldline as on the model.

    o The details generally leave something to be desired. The rectangular blob on the bottom mentioned in the article should have been a slot for the launch shuttle. The real vehicle had an external dorsal lanyard that ran from the compass at the front to the guidance and steering section at the rear. On the model, the raised ridge representing the lanyard starts aft of the warhead, instead of at the aft end of the compass housing.

    o Something not specifically mentioned in the article but evident in the photos is the low quality of the applied markings. For the most part, the larger model manufacturers have used a pad-printing process to apply detailed markings such as stenciling. By using what appear to be waterslide decals for markings, the Pegasus model has shiny patches around the stenciled letters. I found this to be very distracting. A clear dull-coat spray might fix this, if that is the only thing that really bothers you.

    Overall, these characteristics make the model appear very toy-like. I don’t think Pegasus Hobbies did much research when preparing this model. In fact, for most intents and purposes, the Pegasus model looks like a scaled-up version of the 1/48th scale Tamiya kit, the inaccuracies of which have been commented on rather extensively in modeling forums.

    I’d say Paul’s assessment of an overall C is pretty much on the mark; I might even suggest a C- when compared to the average of what else is out there in this scale. The most comparable model of other 1:18 scale offerings would be the first-generation 21st Century P-51. I’d really hoped when I saw this model being released that it would be of comparable quality to the other large-scale models at the time, which had advanced significantly. At ~$30, it’s a nice enough “toy” to have, but with its flaws it doesn’t even represent something that could be readily customized into a true scale model of the unmanned Fi-103, or the manned Fi-103R. You might be better off scratch-building something, if that’s your goal.

    I applaud Pegasus Hobbies for getting into the 1:18 scale line of models. Their first offerings have represented interesting vehicles and, with a little more attention to accuracy, I think they could have been right up there competing with “the big boys.” It’s hard to predict whether or not Pegasus is still considering future aircraft, but their continued presence would be welcomed.

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