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MPM Production 1/48 scale Heinkel He 177A-5 Greif

Kit: No. 48058
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: MPM Production, from Squadron Mail Order, 877-414-0434,
Price: $95
Comments: Injection-molded, 353 parts (6 resin), decals
Pros: Excellent cockpit interior, good external detail, excellent decals, good clear parts
Cons: Fit problems, misaligned horizontal stabilizers, no external pylons
The He 177 was the only aircraft built in large numbers as a heavy bomber for the Luftwaffe. Though it looked like a twin-engine design, it featured four engines - two for each propeller.

MPM seems to have the corner on the He 177 in 1/48 scale, first with its limited-issue resin kit and now with this new, more builder-friendly plastic version. The kit parts are crisply molded with neat recessed panel lines. The surface is a bit rough on some parts, but this is to be expected on a limited-run kit. There is an extensive amount of interior detail, particularly for the cockpit area. Resin parts are limited to the two 20mm cannon and the air-intake trunks. Although shown on the box-top illustration, no external bomb racks are provided.

I started construction with the cockpit. It took me a bit of time to address all the detail packed into this area. You'll find full seating on the upper deck, along with control consoles, instruments, a bombsight, and numerous control levers - all individual items.

Other interior areas included the top-turret remote gun control, midship top-turret position, and the tail gunner's compartment. After installing these subassemblies and some additional bulkheads, I closed the fuselage. The halves fit OK, but instead of a flat plane, the area along the seams dipped slightly. I had to spread a bead of gap-filling super glue about an 1/8" wide along the fuselage seams, then sand it flat.

The kit provides boxed-in wheel wells. Be careful installing the back wall of each well as improper alignment will affect the installation of the landing-gear struts.

Those big wings went together with some filling and sanding at the seams. All the control surfaces are separate parts.

After I had installed the completed tail planes, I was puzzled that they canted back at different angles. I found the locations of the attachment holes in the fuselage differed from one side to the other!

The clear parts are well molded - good thing with that large fishbowl canopy.

The landing gear was trouble - there were no positive locators for the four-part assemblies. I advise fitting the main struts into the lower-wing attachment points before attaching the wheel attachment struts (J12/26). This will prevent these parts from being misaligned and causing the wheels to toe in or out.

I painted my He 177 in the standard bomber scheme of RLM 70 (black green), 71(dark green) and 65 (light blue) using Polly Scale's Luftwaffe colors. Decals for two aircraft are provided. They're nicely printed and went on perfectly.

The completed model compares well with photos and published dimensions. I completed my Heinkel in 33 hours, and it's big and impressive. Considering the challenges in construction, I recommend you have some experience before coming to Greif.

- Jim Zeske


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