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Takom V-2 Meillerwagen and Hanomag SS100

FineScale Modeler reviews the easy-to-assemble 1/72 scale rocket and truck kit
German V-2 rockets at their launch sites are among the iconic images of World War II. The popularity among modelers of this first long-range missile has led Takom to scale its 1/35 scale kit to 1/72.

This small-scale kit comprises 261 parts molded in light gray plastic with the windows molded clear; I found the styrene to be brittle. Just picking up parts trees caused many delicate parts to break. An example: I fixed the width indicators multiple times and finally gave up on them during final assembly.  

Photo-etched (PE) metal provides the ladders/steps on the Meillerwagen and the tires are molded in vinyl. 

Know too that even in 1/72 scale this is a large model, measuring eight inches long by nine inches tall with the missile erect. 

Like other Takom kits, you get the directions in a familiar 8½- by 5½-inch format with color profiles from Ammo by Mig Jimenez. The Hanomag features four marking choices with five views of each. These seem to be the same markings as the 1/35 scale Hanomag.

For the V-2 you get four one-sided views and for the Meillerwagen just two color choices with one view each. However, there are no decals included so plates and tactical markings will have to be found elsewhere. 

Overall fits were excellent. I only needed filler to repair construction errors. Likewise, knockout marks are minimal and in hard-to-see places. 

Construction starts with the Hanomag and it’s not too difficult. But there are many small and delicate parts that are easily broken or lost. I speak from experience.

The upper body and frame/fenders are one piece units. I filled two small holes on the bottom of the passenger side running board with scrap styrene. 

The tires are vinyl with good tread pattern, but there is no sidewall detail and there was flash on the inside of the tires. I also had trouble getting the small wheel rim (C2) to glue solidly to the larger rims. No matter what glue I used the vinyl tires seemed to push the parts apart. 

However, the truck is easily built in subassemblies, making painting easier. The rearview mirrors, front lights, and width indicators were left off and painted separately.

In Step 7 the directions have you glue the windshield into the frame and then glue it into place on the body. I chose to glue the window frame to the body and install the front window after the model was painted. Note that you will have to glue the windshield in place before gluing the side windows or they will get in the way.   

Construction of the Meillerwagon is next and it’s the most complex portion. You’ll need a plan of attack.

The center post (B70) on my kit was warped and I did my best to straighten it, but it still had a slight curve. It was easiest to assemble by first cleaning all of the parts on one side of the center post. I then glued the outer side of the trailer (B72 or B73) to the narrow end of the center post. Once dry I worked my way down the frame gluing cross members into place. Once finished, move to the other side. This will ensure the frame is square.

When building the trailer’s wheel assembly in Step 23, I left part B50 off. This was glued in place with the tires after the trailer was painted. 

Luckily the kit allows you to pose the missile erector being towed and there are optional parts for either. I posed the rocket in the process of being erected so used parts from both options.

Part 59 is a box with a hollow underside so I filled it with scrap styrene. The PE included is for the stairs along the side of the trailer’s erector section. This seemed a bit intimidating, but everything went smoothly. Just make sure you do it in the proper order with each step having specific placement. However, directions are vague about the placement of parts B31 and B51 on the trailer’s front. On the 1:1 trailer, part B51 is used to lock onto the trailer tongue (D42) to keep the front unit from rotating.

Assembly of the missile and launch pad finish construction. The missile is made of four pieces separated along panel lines. This helps with cleanup. I left the upper and lower halves of the missile separate because it made painting easier. I left the fins separate for the same reason. 

Most reference photos show the trailer and Hanomag painted a single color. But I painted the Hanomag with Tamiya German gray and the launch pad Tamiya dark sea gray.

I also found color pictures of the Meillerwagon in camouflage, so took creative license and painted it German three-tone camouflage. The trailer was painted in Tamiya XF 60 dark yellow with various amounts of Tamiya XF 57 buff added to the dark yellow for highlights. The camouflage colors are Vallejo Model Air Tank brown 71.041 and Panzer olive green 71.096. 

Filters, washes, and dry brushing finished the weathering. Operational missiles were painted in various camouflage schemes while test rockets were painted black and white. I painted the missile in the Fall 1943 to Spring 1944 scheme. Tamiya olive green was used for the top of the missile and Tamiya white for the tail.

This model looks complicated but should be within the skills of anyone with some modeling experience. This is not a weekend build, however — took me 37 hours. 

A new book, V-2 — The A4 Rocket From Peenemunde to Redstone, by Murray R. Barber (ISBN 978-1-906537-53-1) has everything you need if you are interested in the V-2, including many pictures of the rocket and its support vehicle. 

Note: A version of this review appeared in the November 2018 issue.


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