The BV 142 was
basically a land-based version of the BV 139, the long-range float
seaplane that first flew in 1936. The success of the 139 prompted the
company to evolve it into a land-based version using as many components
of the float plane as possible. The intended role for the 142 was long
range mailplane capable of operating over distances of up to 2,735
miles. The first prototype flew on October of 1938. A second prototype
followed several weeks later. An addition two prototypes joined the
test program in the Spring and Summer of 1939. It was intended that the
four aircraft would be operated on transatlantic mail carrying flights
by Lufthansa. However after a few exploratory flights Lufthansa
returned the first prototype and plans for commercial operations was
Shortly before the outbreak of the war the second prototype was chosen
to be modified for use as a long range maritime and strategic
reconnaissance aircraft. Since it would be operating outside the range
of fighter escort, emphasis was placed on defensive armament. The nose
was elongated and glazed for the bombardier with a mounting for a
7.9-mm MG15 machine gun. An electrically operated dorsal turret also
mounting an MG15 was installed aft of the wing trailing edge. A ventral
gondola from an He 111 was fitted housing a similar weapon. Ports were
added in the waist area for two more MG15's. The mail compartment aft
of the main spar became the Bomb bay. The rear portion of the fuselage
had no access to the flight deck so a hatch in the added in the
fuselage decking. The bomb load could consist of eight 110 lb. or four
bombs. Extensive radio and navigation equipment was installed and the
crew was upped from four to six, consisting of a pilot, co-pilot,
navigator/ bombardier, radio operator and two gunners. The conversion
was completed in the Spring of 1940. The first prototype was also to be
similarly modified as were the other two prototypes. However the need
for transports during the invasion of Norway resulted in the last two
prototypes being used in that capacity. Their ultimate fate is unknown.
The usage of the two modified aircraft was limited by their vulnerability as
their performance when carrying a full war load was below what was
originally anticipated and by 1942 they had been withdrawn from service.
Mach 2 kit comes in a box with a sturdy corrugated bottom half and a
rather flimsy thin cardboard top. The contents is contained within a
single plastic bag. This kit has one of the better box top art
renditions of all the kits in this series. This kit, like all
Mach 2 kits I have seen, suffers from heavily flashed small parts, poor
clear parts, rough surface finish with occasional globs of trash, sink
marks an nasty ejector pin stubs that occasionally cause blemishes in
the outer surface of the kit. The panel lines are recessed and a
reasonable size and uniform. The sprue attachment points are heavy and
will require care when removing parts from them. Like most short run
kits it has no
alignment pins and fit issues can be expected. On a positive note this
kit has some of the best rendered
engines of any of the Mach 2 kits I have seen. They do have a bit
of flash that needs removed but they should look nice when painted up.
One of the prop blades on mine was broken at the hub but didn't look
like it would be all that hard to fix. The kit has rather limited
interior detail consisting of a couple floor pieces and bulkheads, a
pilots seat and control column and instrument panel. There are pieces
to box in the wheel wells with some structural detail inside. The
supplied are shown below. Total number of green parts is 81.
The clear parts, an oxymoron in this case, are typical Mach 2,
thick and hardly clear and no amount of future will do them much good
as can be seen below. Total number of clear parts is 23.
A couple examples of the issues found on Mach 2 kits are
illustrated below. On the fuselage a strange ridge line runs down the
side of the rear fuselage and a couple similar lines were found on the
wings as well.
On both the photo above and photo below some deformation of the window openings can be seen.
The decals provide markings for the V2 aircraft, the first one
modified to the military configuration. These appear thin and well
registered and include the basic markings and Swastikas. I have no
experience with these so can't comment on how well they will work.
The instructions are on one side of an A4 size page and only
includes sketches of how most of the small parts go together. A
rudimentary painting diagram is shown for the camouflage which calls out
the correct maritime colors of RLM 72 / 73 on top and RLM 65 underneath. The instructions are shown below.
The kit will, like all Mach 2 kits, will require a great deal of time
cleaning flash, trial fitting, filling, sanding and no doubt use of
foul language but if you wish to build a BV 142 this is the only game
in town. Recommended for modelers with experience building short run
Links to kit builds or reviews
An in box review can be found here, either this guy got an earlier shot than I did or his concept of flash is different than mine !
"Warplanes of the Third Reich" by William Green
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