Condor 1/72 A4, No. V-4: World's First Extra Terrestrial Vehicle
By Jim Schubert
From about 1930 through 1934 the German Society for Spaceship Flight (VfR) began experimenting with rocket engines at their Raketenflugplatz (Rocket Flying Place) near Tegel a bit northwest of Berlin in an, essentially, abandoned, since 1875, German Army artillery firing range and storage facility. This group of underfunded, dedicated amateurs was subsumed in 1934 by the German Army's Ordnance Branch under the command of Captain Walter Dornberger with the charge of, inter alia, developing a very long range artillery rocket missile that could reach London from German soil. As the test engines grew in size the Raketenflugplatz became too small for safe test firings and the whole operation was moved to Kummersdorf, south of Berlin. The Aggregat rockets A1 through A4 were developed here.
After the halves of the body had been joined I cut the nose off at a point where the diameter matched a sewing needle that I had at hand. I drilled a hole of the diameter of the needle in the, now flat, nose. The needle was glued into this hole at the proper depth and faired into the body with putty. The styrene antennae were similarly replaced with lengths of sewing needles to make them thin and sharp. The rest of the work was in the painting. Dave Miller, co-webmeister of the Wings of Peace web site gave me a link showing the specific markings of V-4 and a pre-launch photo. I used these as my guide to the masking, a real bear of a job, and the painting, a breeze, of this beastie.
The model was an easy build as noted with few changes made. The research was a lot more fun and interesting than the building, which was occasioned by the NorthWest Scale Modelers (NWSM) agreeing to mount a special model display in the lobby of The Museum of Flight (TMOF) honoring the 50th anniversary of manned spaceflight. Many members of IPMS-Seattle also contributed to this special display. Most of the builders of static scale models in the Puget Sound area are members of both groups.
1. http://www.v2rocket.com/ noted above.
2. V2 (Bantam war book series), Ballantine, by Walter Dornberger
3. Scale Models magazine, February 1978, article by P. Jenkins
4. Various other web sites found via Google