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New Review: Zoukei-Mura 1/144 Horten 229 (Partial review of a combo kit)

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Review Author: 
John Noack
Zoukei-Mura

(Note:  This is a split review of a combination package, I took the 1/144 version and another reviewer is doing the 1/72 kit).

While one can argue whether this aircraft would have truly been a stealthy fighter, the fact remains that it is one of the most intriguing possibilities to come out of the minds of the Horten brothers.  Much has been written about their innovative designs, their clashes with Luftwaffe leaders, and the remaining Ho229 at NASM - I encourage the reader to dive into the plethora of research and opinions.  But for now, let's dive into the kit build.

17 light gray parts and one clear sprue make for a quick build - you could literally finish this little jewel in one setting unless you're a slowpoke like me.  The cockpit is basic but in 1/144 with a small canopy, you're not going to see much of it anyway.

I cut off the molded-in machine guns and pitot tube knowing that I would break them off anyway during assembly.  Z-M's moldings are crisp and petite; much of the landing gear assembly could be press-fit into position and I used a small brush loaded with Tamiya extra thin cement wicked into the attachment points for a permanent bond.  The canopy was masked (after I got a replacement from our Z-M friends; I'll find the original again one day) and press fit into place with a dab of Pledge MSF to hold it in place.

Painting was accomplished with acrylics, RLM 65 Hellblau on the underside, and a combination of RLM 81 Braunviolett and RLM  82 Hellgrun on the top surfaces.  I masked the two exhaust troughs and painted them with my dwindling stash of Model Master Titanium.  Wheel wells and interiors of gear doors got a coat of RLM 02 Grau.

A quick shot of Pledge Multi Surface was allowed to dry and I added kit decals (there are some really tiny ones in there), the RV band, and Yellow 7 markings. I mixed a slurry of acrylic Raw Umber and Black with retarder and a drop of dish detergent and filled all the panel lines. This was gently swabbed with a damp paper towel and cotton swabs, 

I thinned out the DF loop antenna, added a whip antenna from stretched sprue on the belly of the beast, used Plastruct rod to replicate the gun barrels, and shot a final coat of Testor's Acrylic semi-gloss clear.  The finished model is only a few inches wide but certainly stands out in my display case.

Thanks go to our friends at Zoukei Mura for their strong and ongoing support to us here at IPMS/USA, and to Phil Peterson for the review opportunity.

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