Randy Asplund Gotha Go 229 A-1 / Horten IX 1/72 Scale Model
Gotha Go 229 A-1 / Horten IX
Randy Asplund

PM Model Kit 1/72 Scale

 This is the design of the Horten brothers carried into a theoretical future known as "Luft '46"

     In the image above, you are looking at my 1/72 scale model digitally edited into a photo of England that I shot from my window on a flight over there. Take a look at my painting of this aircraft entitled:
Wings Of Future's Past

     Luft '46 is a term used to describe aircraft that the German aviation industry was working on at the end of the second World War. In this case, prototype aircraft were built and flown, but the Go 229 never saw production. Examples were captured by the Allies near the end of the war. My interest comes in from a love of both aviation and Science Fiction. Just one look at this aircraft is enough to see how science fiction of the past was just as amazing as it is today. Only just how fictional is an airplane that was far enough along to be flight tested? Imagine a few more months down the road when these flying wings would have been hunting B-29 bombers in the skies over the Reich. These people were half way to stealth technology back in 1945. We have only put flying wings into regular military use in the past decades.

Gotha Go 229 A-1 / Horten IX

     The model is not exactly a stellar bit of accuracy or completeness. There are parts that don't fit, and a lot of details are either missing or just plain wrong. Nevertheless, if you download enough reference from the net and are willing to carve, shape, and putty, you can come up with something that will definitely pass the 10 foot rule! The paint job is based on the conjectural illustration in William Green's Warplanes of the Third Reich, and I used a color scheme of RLM 81 Braunviolett, 82 Hellgrun, and 76 Lichtblau, with primarily RLM 66 Dark Gray for the interiors, all matched to the color chips found in Michael Ullmann's Luftwaffe Colours 1935-1945. I use artists' standard acrylics for more flexibility in mixing and application. Of course they are very fragile on plastic, so I use a generous amount of spray lacquer.

Gotha Go 229 A-1 / Horten IX

     Well, the loop antenna had to be moved from the top to the bottom, which meant cutting off the mount and reattaching it. I also added a mast underneath and pitot tube, none of which were in the kit. They also indicated the control surfaces with a very low relief raised line, so that had to get scribed in deep. I carved down to give the appearance of a separate moving piece. Then I shaded the lines in black to bring out the detail.

Gotha Go 229 A-1 / Horten IX

     I had to add the pilot, stick, control panel, and a piece of armored glass in front. The canopy is just so open that it would have looked too bland without these details. Another place that was disappointing was the intakes. They are shaped wrong, being way too much like the ends of a can than the swept down original. If that wasn't bad enough, the inside back wall of the intakes isn't fooling anybody, especially when you carve away so much of the front of the intake, so I cut some paper disks, scored them to make the compressor fans, then coated them in glue and painted them with silver and black. The guns were also wrong. This aircraft was supposed to get four, not two, so I had to fill the shell casing ejection holes and cut new ones. I had to make new gun barrel holes and add a couple of the guns that are visible. The fuselage behind the canopy was entirely wrong, so that got a major putty and carving job done to it. I puttied up the base around the canopy as well in order to flare it out more like the reference. The last real problem I dealt with was making the tubes of the inside of the engine exhausts. Just leaving a hole there looked so cheesy. It really needed to be round inside. The plane needed a number, so I grabbed one from an old Me-163 kit. I also put translucent plastic in for the navigation lights. The nav. lights were not even thought of on this kit.