KARO-AS Modellbau BV -141

I acquired this kit through ebay and it did not come with its original packaging so I have no idea what it looked like or whether it was a boxed or bagged kit. The kit, I believe, was released in the early 70's but there was no dates on any of the paperwork supplied with the kit. The kit is a multimedia kit with the main airframe parts supplied as vacuformed parts and the balance of the parts being resin and cast metal. The only other 1/48 scale kit of this aircraft is the HiPM injection molded kit which I tried in vain to get but settled instead for this kit which cost me considerably less than the collector value of the HiPM kit. The vacuformed parts are on three sheets that are about .050" thick. These parts are nice and stout which should aid in assembling the kit. The panel lines are recessed and quite well done for this media. The kit was cavity molded and as a result has some surface marks where the vacuum holes in the mold were but these should clean up OK, other than those the surface has a few other irregularities that will need work but nothing all that serious. A few of the panel lines will need to be re scribed to make them uniform. Some of the vacuformed parts may be a challenge to sand down, in particular the upper wing center section as it has a dihedral molded in. The wing itself may prove to be interesting to assemble as it consists of eight separate pieces. A resin cast piece is provided as a combination wheel well and outer wing spar that should help set the dihedral but I suspect additional styrene will be added to give the wing structure more strength and help tie it all together. Altogether once everthing is cut out and cut up there will be 17 vacuformed pieces.

In resin, which is cast in both a light tan and dark brown colors, there are the landing gear and wheels, tail wheel, interior parts, guns, prop, spinner, engine fan and engine mount, main gear doors and the aforementioned wheel well / wing spar pieces. The resin parts are not particularly good, certainly not up to current standards. All of the parts have both pin holes and bubbles on the surface which will add a great deal of time to the clean up process. There are no pour stubs to cut off. The gear doors are very thin and mine were warped which should be easy enough to remedy and the interior detail is nice but shows pin holes as well. The interior detail is pretty lackluster, the pilots seat has nice padding detail but no harness or belts, most of the cockpit walls and floors are featureless except for the pads used by the crew members, ribs and console for the pilots position. Separate rudder pedals are provided but would hardly be worth the effort to clean up, best replaced by some photoetch parts. The instrument panel detail is soft and will require extra effort to make it look respectable. The propeller blades will require a lot of clean up and the engine fan is not worth the effort. The wheels are molded in halves and have nice tread detail but the hubs are soft on detail and marred with pinholes and bubbles. The ammo canisters are not well detailed being mostly just shapes. The wheel wells have some mechanical details as well as lots of pinholes and bubbles. Altogether there are 42 resin parts.

Apparently at some point it must have been decided that the resin struts would not last long under the weight of the model and the kit comes with cast metal struts. torque scissors parts, tail wheel and guns. The main struts are at least as good as the resin versions but the torque scissors are too heavy and lack detail, the tail wheel is probably better than the resin part. The guns are a toss up although they will no doubt hold up better than the the resin parts. Also supplied are a set of cast metal ammo canisters which looks like they came out of the same mold as the resin versions. Altogether there are 12 cast metal parts.

The clear parts are vacuformed and are reasonably clear. They are from thicker stock than what one usually sees and that's probably a good thing considering they make up a goodly portion of the crew nacelle. The frame lines are a little on the light side but workable and the kit provided a double set in case you screw something up. Altogether there are 12 clear parts including duplicates for a grand total of 83 parts. See photos below.

The decals provide marking for two aircraft, the V9 and the V12. They appear reasonably thin, in register and opaque and the swastikas are assemble them yourself variety. I have severe doubts that after thirty years that they will be usable and I will most likely end up replacing them. See below.

The instructions are a single 11" x 17" page folded in half and printed on both sides. One side has painting and marking instructions for the main camouflage only and some poorly reproduced photos of the interior and exterior parts of the aircraft, the other side has parts maps and two very basic drawings showing where all the parts go. A separate 8 1/2" x 11" page includes the history and specifications in German and English and has a poorly reproduced forward cockpit and instrument detail drawings. 


This kit will most likely be a challenge, not so much because it's a vacuformed kit but because of its configuration and the poor resin parts that are supplied. A better prop and fan can be had from Cutting Edge, albeit for other planes but as long as they were meant for use with the BMW radial they should be close enough. Replacement guns and ammo canisters are available as are photoetch rudder pedals. The kit supplied parts are poor at best. The interior needs some help, a lot of it will need to be from scratch although resin radio sets are available from Verlinden. I would only recommend this kit to those with vacuform kit experience and a great desire to have this plane in your collection.

Since I have since acquired the HiPM kit of the Bv 141 I have no need for this kit. If you would be interested in purchasing it please drop me a note here.