1/48 AMtech Ta-183 Huckebein – “The Troublesome Raven”
A lot of us styrene addicts have purchased models with the intention of building them right away that end up sitting on the stash shelf for years – even decades. That’s been my relationship with AMtech’s Ta-183 Huckebein, the one and only kit this defunct company ever produced totally from scratch. The kit’s bright blue box has been staring at me from its lofty perch, begging for attention ever since I bought it circa 2001 when it was initially released. Lately, it seemed like this Luft ’46 “what if…” fighter jet was purposely inching forward, ready to slide off the shelf and bonk me on the head whenever I looked up at it. A couple of weeks ago and halfway thru the new Eduard P-51 build, I could take it no more. After almost 18 years of eyeballing this box and the parts inside, plus reading the instructions over and over for cheap entertainment, I caved in and went for it.
Much has been documented here on iModeler and elsewhere about this Luftwaffe proposed replacement for the Me 262. In reality, the FW Ta-183 never made it past a supposed complete set of plans that the Russians apparently absconded with at the end of the war and the jet’s designer, Kurt Tank, re-worked after he fled to Argentina. Turns out the word “Huckebein” is the name of an old German folklore critter known as “The Troublesome Raven”. It’s all there on Wikipedia and Luft46.com.
The fit of the parts and ease of construction of AMtech’s Ta-183 is excellent. No wonder Tamiya picked it up and re-popped the kit in late 2002, using AMtech’s vast stock of Korean bagged sprues with a bonus Tamiya Kettenkraftrad tractor. Recently, Academy seems to have acquired the molds with their current boxing of this Luft ’46 featuring all new “what if…”color schemes, kabuki tape masks and PE seatbelts but no tractor.
I swapped out the AMtech intake nose for the far better looking Quickboost resin replacement with attached detailed front wheel well. However the Quickboost cowling is too short vertically, so much filler and sanding is required to get it to look right. It’s worth the effort. I also used a more accurate looking Quickboost Luftwaffe seat with molded belts. I decided to put a little weight up front just in case this jet might be a tail sitter but that turned out to be unnecessary. Be aware that the main landing gear is rather flimsy and has a tendency to spread-eagle a bit. I somehow cracked the canopy (and so have many others from what I’ve read) and replaced it with a vacuum form from Squadron. I added a sewing needle pitot tube and antennas from the spare parts box and EZ Line. The kit’s original decals are rather fussy so I used a bunch from the decal dungeon. The imaginary paint job is courtesy of Tamiya and ModelMaster acrylics.
I had a real blast putting AMtech’s Ta-183 “Huckebein” together. I highly recommend it.
This is my final build of 2019…Happy New Year to all!
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.