One of the next-generation fighters on Kurt Tank’s drawing board was the Ta 183 which employed guns and air-to-air guided missiles against its targets. Fate would intercede and draw the war to an end before the Ta 183 would fly, but much of the engineering in this aircraft as well as those from Messerschmitt, Junkers, Arado, etc., would allow the victors to make major strides in the development of their own jet aircraft. One good example is the data captured from the Messerschmitt plants was given to North American for evaluation, and the data would transform the straight-wing FJ Fury into the swept-wing FJ-2/3/4 and it’s Air Force counterpart, the F-86 Sabre.
The Soviet Union did not leave Germany empty-handed either. A complete set of plans for the Ta 183 (and others) was reportedly found in the Air Ministry after the Soviets captured Berlin, and these plans were whisked away to Moscow. Shortly thereafter, Kurt Tank was offered an opportunity to build the Ta 183 for the Soviet Union, but he would decline and flee to Argentina where he did build a variant of the Ta 183 for the Argentine Air Force.
Academy has released this Ta 183 kit in 1/48 scale, and if you’re having a deja vu moment, you’re right. This is a reboxing of AMTech’s first kit from 2005, and later released by Tamiya in 2008 packaged with their Kettenkrad. Academy’s release doesn’t include Tamiya’s Kettenkrad, but it does provide photo-etched pilot restrains, canopy masks, and a number of new Luft ’46 subjects. Among the features and options in this kit:
Nice ejection seat with photo-etched pilot restraints
Optional boarding steps
Canopy molded closed
Positionable landing gear
Choice of closed centerline bay or open with external tank and mounts
Choice of Jumo or Heinkel engine exhausts
Optional air-to-air missiles (4)
The kit provides markings for the following subjects:
Ta 183, Commander JV 44, 1946, as flown by General Adolf Galland
Ta 183, Red 13, JV 44, 1946, as flown by Oberst Heinz Baer
Ta 183, White 3, unknown unit, 1946
Ta 183, Red 1, JG 1, 1946
Ta 183, Stab/JG 7, 1946
Ta 183, Bort 2, Soviet test aircraft
When this kit was first released, the plastic and even the packaging looked like Accurate Miniatures, and given that the tooling lives on shows that the molds have been cared for over time
While the canopy is molded closed, you can remove the windscreen from the canopy with some careful surgery, or look for a vacuformed option that may still be available from the earlier releases
When this kit was first released, Luft ’46 was not as popular as it has grown now. There were few kits and none as well-engineered as this in the mainstream market.