by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
HpH Models have built up a thoroughly well deserved reputation for their superbly crafted resin kits. They sit at the very cutting edge of this area of our hobby. Of course, this type of handmade excellence doesn’t come cheap, and some of the company’s larger kits carry a hefty price tag, but at the lower end of the range comes this excellent model of the Luftwaffe’s primary glider trainer, priced perfectly those of us on a more modest budget or wishing to sample HpH Model’s products before investing in a more expensive kit.
The Sg-38 Schulgleiter was designed in 1938 as a simple sailplane for the Nationalsozialistisches Fliegerkorps, a Nazi paramilitary organisation that offered initia flight training to its members, many of whom went on to join the Luftwaffe. The catapult-launched Sg-38 proved a relatively safe mount, despite its normally totally open single seat „cockpit“ due its low speed. Thanks to its very basic construction, the glider was also simple to repair after the inevitable „prangs“.
…. mount of countless neophyte Luftwaffe aces
the kitThe Sg-38 arrives in a compact and sturdy flip-top box, with all the components sealed in zip-lock bags and well protected by bubble-wrap. The kit comprises:
24 x grey resin parts
93 x etched metal parts
A set of laser-cut paper seatbelts
Decals for 2 x colour schemes
A Belgian chocolate!
The casting in my kit is faultless - I can’t find a single bubble or other blemish. Surface detailing comprises a beautifully delicate fabric effect on the flying surfaces and the rear of cockpit shell. The shell itself is cast realistically thin with a structure on the interior surface. The core of the model is a one-piece fuselage frame. This will make assembly easier and should provide support for the quite heavy wings. Functional rigging?
Instructions & decalsAn unusual point of the kit is that the instructions are supplied as a 21-page Adobe file (along with Jpegs as back-up) on CD-ROM. This makes perfect sense economically for a limited run kit of this nature and has an added bonus for the modeller; because the pictures are scalable, you can zoom in on some of the more intricate details and see things far more clearly than with conventional printed instructions. Of course, you can print out the guide, but in these days of tablets etc., digital instructions like this may well become more commonplace.
The instructions are packed with diagrams and clear colour photos of each stage, along with reference shots of both vintage and preserved machines.
Markings are provided for a single machine, XVII-174 – but at four different stages of its interesting carrier:
A. In natural doped linen and wood finish with a fuselage pod.
B1. In German markings with RLM 81/83 mottled camouflage and no fuselage pod.
B2. After capture, still camouflaged, with the swastikas painted out.
B3. As with option B2, but with Czech insignia applied.
The decals look to be excellent quality, with the thin and glossy items showing minimal, crystal clear, carrier film. The crisply printed items are monochrome, so there's no registration to worry about.
ConclusionHpH's Sg-38 is a delightful kit of a very attractive and unusual subject. Despite its apparent simplicity in terms of the number of parts, it looks likely to be quite a challenging build – and with such an open construction, any mistakes will be all to apparent. Nevertheless, if you're looking for something really unconventional, this could be just the ticket. At around £50, it represents very good value for a limited run resin kit of this exceptionally high quality. Recommended.
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