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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Huma Messerschmitt P-1106

As some of you may know, I have always been a big fan of Huma kits. Although they are out of production now, for their time they were the epitome of short run engineering. So much so, in fact, that even now, most of them look and fit better than some modern short run kits. They pioneered the super tiny plastic detail sprue, which provided the modeller with pieces that seemed more like a gluable form of photoetch. And their choices were adventurous: prototypes, civil, general aviation, Luft 46, all with a distinctly German flavor. I have completed probably 80% of the entire range, and will be working to finish them all within the next couple of years. Next up is the Ju-287.

But today's completion is one of their Luftwaffe 1946 prototypes. It is the Messerschmitt P-1106, a development of the 1101 experimental fighter. I also have a DML kit of the 1101 in the upstairs construction queue waiting for my current fascination with Airfix kits to moderate. The 1106's primary new design element, along with changing the tail configuration, was moving the cockpit far to the rear of the airframe, almost in amongst the twin tails. That must have made the view forward pretty minimal during takeoff and landing. The designers couldn't project any performance improvements from the P-1101 design, so the work was suspended in the final days of the war.

The kit is typical Huma, with some test fitting necessary, and fairly little gluing surface for some bits (like landing gear doors). The main gear doors made a break for it at least once during the building process and still don't look quite as solid as I would like. Plus some of the glue fumes appear to have clouded the front edges of the canopy. And if you add the landing gear early, be prepared from them to try and escape periodically too. A few things to be careful of if you decide to add this one to your collection.

Decals were from an Aeromaster Bf-109 desert set. I had seen a sideview of the P-1106 in desert markings and knew that is what I wanted to do on my example. I think I have tracked down the original drawing to a French fellow named Vincent Bourguinon, who hosts a site called Military Drawings. Spend an hour or two cruising through his artwork sometime.

This is completed aircraft #445 (#9 for the year), finished in February of 2016.

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