Review: Tamiya 1/48 V-1 (Fieseler Fi103)

The V-1 was the first cruise missile, with a range of 250 km. The Germans fired almost 10.000 V-1s from the Dutch and French coasts until these launch sites were overrun. And it was it was the first production aircraft to be powered by a pulse jet engine. This engine made a rather unique sound, that’s why people nicknamed it the buzz bomb or Doodlebug. The Germans had similar nicknames for it, like the Maykäfer (Maybug).

The kit

Tamiya has put some nice artwork on the box for this kit, a V-1 being pursued by a RAF Gloster Meteor (Tamiya also makes a Gloster Meteor kit that includes a V-1). This is a small kit: only 17 parts and the instructions were printed on the back of the box. And you wouldn’t really need an instruction sheet for this little kit anyway. Just by looking at the boxart you will know how to assemble the V-1. The included dolly is a nice addition: it helped greatly during assembly, painting and decalling. So make sure you build this first. The V-1 is nicely detailed, with a little propeller at the front and some nice detail on the visible engine part at the intake. There are some flow marks on the stubby wings, but nothing major. And the parts all fit wonderfully.

Decals and color scheme

The Germans didn’t really care about precision when building the V-1, it was expendable, so no national insignia were ever painted on the V-1, so there are no Balkenkreuzen or Swastikas in this kit. The kit does come with a nicely printed decal sheet with some warnings and other labels.  Color options are rather limited: German Grey for the dolly and the standard Luftwaffe colors of RLM71 over RLM76. But your imagination can run wild on this one.

Conclusion

This is just a lovely little kit in 1/48 scale. Perfect for a ‘in-between’ build. Or to try out new paint schemes or techniques. The included dolly doesn’t look all that realistic, but it helped me (when I eventually built it) in placing the decals.

Score

9/10

Info

Vehicle: V-1 Fieseler Fi103
Manufacturer: Tamiya
Scale: 1/48
Kit#: 61052
Number of parts: 17
Number of sprues: 1
Length: 169 mm
Wingspan 112 mm
Released: 1997

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