The one of the next-generation fighters on the drawing board of Kurt Tank was the Ta183, which employed guns and air-to-air guided missiles against its targets. History would intercede and draw the war to an end before the Ta183 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-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 Ta183 (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 Ta183 for the Soviet Union, but he would decline and flee to Argentina where he did build a variant of the Ta183 for the Argentine Air Force.
There is a new sheriff in town, and his name is AMTech. This new company fills the void of entrepreneurship and modeling left by the fall of Accurate Miniatures.
The first kit out of the chute is a completely new subject, which is quite refreshing after the flood of Mustangs, Spitfires and Bf109s. For you Luft '46 fans, this is a kit that you never thought you would see in injection-molded plastic, let alone in 1/48 scale. A Focke Wulf Ta183 Huckbein!
As soon as the kit hit store shelves, the first thought was that Accurate Miniatures is back. The packaging is from the same company that supported Accurate, and upon opening the box, the kit is every bit as sharp and detailed as an Accurate kit. Nevertheless, the packaging was coincidental and the detailing is what you'll be seeing in future AMTech offerings.
What you find inside are six parts trees very nicely protected, but what you see is an easy building kit. You can review the build from John Lester's preview build-up that we ran last September. The parts are flash-free, have no visible ejector pin marks in visible places, and all of the detailing is finely scribed. The kit looks as good (or better) than most of the kits coming from Japan!
The kit offers your choice of Jumo or Heinkel jet engine exhaust nozzles, optional external fuel tank, and four air-to-air missiles. The only down side that I can find in this kit is the one-piece canopy, which prevents you from showing off the nicely detailed cockpit. (NOTE: Squadron has recently released a vacuformed replacement canopy for this kit to solve the problem.)
The decal sheet is also beautifully done, but then it was printed by Three Guys, so you can't expect any less. Markings are provided for six notional aircraft, so you can build several of these and not get bored!
I know there are many folks that don't care for notional 'what might have been' subjects like this, but this is another aspect that makes the hobby fun. Besides, there aren't many contest judges that could argue about the validity of your markings or camouflage.
For what its worth, I ran out and pre-ordered two of these kits after reading John Lester's review. Now that I have them, I am even more impressed with this kit! Now I'll have to dust off my 1/48 (sorta) P.1101 kit that has been sitting on my shelf, also known as the Revell Bell X-5. Just a little work and I'll have a companion aircraft for the Ta183!
By the way, look for some other interesting kits from AMTech. In the near term, AMTech will be releasing a 1/48 Curtiss P-40E kit, which will be followed by an adaptation of the AMT/ERTL 1/72 C-135 series - the NKC-135 Aria telemetry aircraft. Also on the horizon are two versions of the Junkers Ju88 in 1/72.