From prototypes build and never flown to plans that never were approved, all is good to produce a "what if" kit! Usually, the main Luft'46 scale is 1/72 (Planet Models for example), but you can also find some kits in 1/48, even produced by mainstream manufacturers (Revell's Lippish, Dragon's Horten, AMTech's Huckebein etc...) There are some resin kit manufacturers as well and you can find some original 1/48 subjects at Fliegerhorst, one beeing the Gotha P60C Nightfighter.
The Gotha P60C was the contribution of the Gotha freight car factory for the planning of an all weather and night fighter. It was demanded by the Luftwaffe in March 1945 under the pressure of the allied heavy bomber raids.
The P60C was to be built as a hybrid design (tubular steel construction with wood and plywood) in which Heinkel He S011 turbines, radar as well as heaviest weapons would be added. The kit's version represents the two seater version (pilot and radar operator) with four MK 108 aiming forward and two MK 108 as sloping weapons (Schräge Musik).
The kit comes in Fliegerhorst's usual grey cardboard box with a B&W drawing on the top (picture 1). The main parts are protected in plastic bubble-wrap.
Unfortunately, one part was damaged during the transport (picture 2). The smaller ones are packed in three plastic bags.
In total, you have 35 pale yellow resin parts and two vacuformed canopies (one spare). The instructions are basic, as there is only one drawing! But this should not cause you too much concern, as the part breakdown isn't that complicated. One thing to be noticed is the fact that the kit's parts don't match those of the instructions!? An additional note by Herr Kappner explains why: the original master as been modified, probably to make the moulding process easier.
As I opened the box the first time, I was surprised by the size of the plane. I quickly assembled Dragon's Horten so you can get an idea for yourself (picture 3). Once built, both planes will look cool side by side on a shelf!
The overall moulding quality of the parts is good, but I think the engraved panels line could have been deeper. I personally like them to be deep on kits (It must be a reminiscence of the Matchbox models I build in my youth) but this is only a matter of taste. I noticed no warping on the two main parts, and that's a good thing! These parts represent the overall shape of the plane - thus it's quite important they are well moulded!
Now to the detail parts (picture 4). The two seats are very good! They look more modern than average WW2 seats but remember this is a "what if" kit. You also have two instrument panels: one for the pilot and a radar console for the operator. Two rudders and two joysticks are also provided. All these parts fit in the cockpit (picture 5) which has no sidewall details. There is room for improvement here!
The landing gear is also well detailed and moulded with metal parts to prevent them from breaking. Once finished, the plane model should be quite heavy, so this is a nice feature! On the negative side, the addition of metal parts has made the moulding process more complicated and you will have to clean, fill and maybe redo some of the details!
The two engine nacelles (body, intake and exhaust) are made of one part each! (picture 6) So there is no way to add some details here without a lot of surgery! But on the other hand, gluing them on the airframe will be far more easier!
The canopy is vacuformed and you have a spare one, which is always good! Fliegerhorst also provide a resin dummy of the canopy, probably to facilitate the cutting and the painting (picture 7). With modifications, you could also use it to make a single seat P60 if you want to be even more original!
No decals are provided in the kit so you will have to use your spare ones and your creativity!
This is a kit for specialists! Modelling skills are required and this isn't a kit for beginners. But with some experience in short run and resin detail set, this is the ideal kit for a first all resin attempt. The subject is somewhat obscure but, after all, it's Luft '46! You will have some work to do, but this is the price to pay for originality! And think of all the paint schemes you can imagine for such an aircraft! The only limits are those of your imagination!
Thanks to Fliegerhorst for their support and for providing information.