Fieseler Fi-156 Storch Cockpit Accessories (Academy Kit)

Published: July 11th, 2018     
Product Image
package label
Reviewed by: 
Brian Baker, IPMS# 43146
Scale: 1/72
Company: Brengun
Price: $9.33
Product / Stock #: BRL 72129

History

The Fieseler Fi-156 "Storch" was one of the first STOL aircraft developed for military use. Appearing first in 1935, it went into Luftwaffe service in 1937, and served throughout World War II, both in the Luftwaffe, and in the armed forces of Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Hungary, Rumania, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. In addition, they were also manufactured in Czechoslovakia and France, where production continued after the war. Many postwar models had different engines, and some wartime models are still flying. Some Fi-156's were captured by the Allies, and were used by the Americans, British, and French.

The main advantage of the Storch was its STOL capability, being able to take off and land in 200 ft. or less, depending upon wind. It could get in and out of some pretty small places, and one was used to rescue the Italian Dictator Mussolini when he was being held by Italian rebels after his regime was overthrown in 1943. The model represents the airplane used by Otto Skorzney for this event.

References

There is a lot of material available on the Storch. Profile Publications did an issue on the aircraft, as did Squadron-Signal's In-Action series. Numerous other reference books on Luftwaffe aircraft include detailed articles on the type, so there is no excuse for not finding information on the type.

The Kit and Instructions

There are three readily available 1/72 scale kits of the Storch, Airfix, Heller, and Academy. Less well known are kits by Dujin and Pantera. I have built the first three, and they are all buildable kits with adequate detail, although the Airfix kit is showing its age. This accessory kit would probably work with either of the three major kits, although I did mine with the Academy kit, following instructions as closely as possible.

The Academy kit is nicely molded with very little flash. The instructions are basically good, although there are a few issues with the elevator assembly process.

Accessory Instructions

The Brengun instructions for the photoetch unit appear to be complete, but there are some basic problems. There is no indication on the Brengun instructions as to which parts are to be replaced. The section dealing with the installation of the cockpit assembly is incorrect in its illustration of the Academy kit fuselage detail, and it is impossible to remove the parts they say to remove.

Assembly

Kit assembly is rather straightforward, and even the wing to fuselage attachment is easy, as you can just attach the wings and set the whole airplane upside down, as the wings have zero dihedral. The biggest problem is assembling the cockpit parts. They are made of some very fine wire/struts, and care must be taken during assembly to not bend them. The whole unit can be cut out and bent into proper shape. The pilot's seat is simple to fold up and install, and the seat belts go on easily. There are some small parts, notably the machine gun magazines, which should be mounted on the little brackets provided. The brackets are made up of four very small components, and there are four magazines to be built, so this part can be very tedious. I didn't install mine, as the aircraft I was modeling probably didn't carry them.

Once the cockpit unit was installed, I attached the top braces, which didn't completely fit. I had to trim one back so it would fit inside the cockpit. In addition, the whole unit was too long, so I trimmed back the rear section so it would fit.

Painting and Finishing

After assembling the cockpit interior, I sprayed is a coat of RLM 66 over the entire assembly, as this was the general interior color for Luftwaffe aircraft. I attached the kit control stick and the Brengun instrument panel, with its film instruments. I then attached the clear plastic windows and masked them off. A set of masks would have helped this product, as cutting and masking the windows is a very time consuming process.

The only problem is that with all of the detail, it is very difficult to see much of it through the windows.

Recommendations

This product is relatively inexpensive, and if you are thinking of superdetailing a Storch, this would be a good way to do it. The PE sheet is well done, although the instructions are a little confusing, and sometimes inaccurate. I appreciate the opportunity to do this one, but I don't think I'd do another. Thanks to Brengun and IPMS for the review sample.

  • PE sheet
    PE sheet
  • Instructions 2
    Instructions 2
  • Instructions 1
    Instructions 1
  • Assembly 1
    Assembly 1
  • Assembly & Fuselage
    Assembly & Fuselage
  • Interior installed
    Interior installed
  • Completed model
    Completed model

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