- Published on Friday, 06 April 2012 00:01 James Hatch
1:32 Daimler-Benz DB 603
Grey Matter Figures
Catalogue # GMALB3201
Available from Grey Matter Figures for £12
The Daimler-Benz DB 603 series engine was an improved and more powerful variant of the DB 601 series which powered the Bf 109E, Bf 110 and Me 210 fighter aircraft. This new variant was physically larger, due to its longer bore and cylinder stroke. In fact, the DB 603 was almost 900mm longer than the DB 601, and the overall weight was increased by a further 300kg+. The DB 603, being obviously developed for seriously power machines such as the Dornier Do 335, Heinkel He 219 and Ta 152 series, to name but a few, also was cooled by pressurized water injection as opposed to the regular coolant systems employed by the DB 601.
The most unusual fact about the DB 603 development was that this engine was originally destined for a car which was designed to win a land-speed record, set for 1940. Unfortunately for that dream , Hitler plunged the world into war in 1939, and the DB 603 development was realised for the aviation industry instead.
Here is a German language video which shows the DB 603 installation within the Dornier Do 335.
These are two photographs I took of a surviving DB 603 which is displayed at Flugwerft-Oberschleiβheim, near Munich
GMF's Daimler-Benz DB 603 kit, mastered by Loic Bridot, comes within a slim-line cardboard box, with the parts within being protected by zip-lock bags and tissue paper, as we now have come to expect from GMF.
The kit itself is cast in light grey resin, with my sample being free from any flaws such as pin holes etc. Flash is so light and difficult to find that it simply isn't an issue. Some parts have the remnants of a fine spout through which the resin was injected. These are very simple to trim back and are far better to handle than the usual casting blocks that we are used to removing. Seams are negligible too. Very little work will be required on this kit before assembly can commence.
ELEVEN resin parts comprise this kit, all being beautifully cast and exhibiting some great, sharp detail. The parts themselves are almost so logical, than apart from the small detail, instructions aren't too important during early assembly.
The main crankcase and forward shaft and boss are cast as one piece. The detail is superb. Lifting lugs, bolt heads and breather are meticulously detailed. The cylinder banks are moulded separately and need minimal clean-up in order to fit to the crankcase. It's very obvious which side is which, and the orientation of these key parts also. The cylinder bank detail is also superb with all bolt and port detail looking great. The ignition lead conduits are cast onto the cylinder banks, and the only thing that I can see missing from this kit is a little wire to add those ignition lines, and other ancillary wiring and minor plumbing.
Nestled in between the cylinder banks is the fuel injector unit. Again, this part is beautifully detailed, but you will need to add any small pipework yourself. In the next week or so, I will add some new, detailed photos of the Daimler-Benz DB 603 in order to help you out with regard to the minutiae of this engine, so fear not.
The centrifugal supercharger unit is cast separately, as are the magneto and pump unit to the rear of the crankcase. The lower pressure compensating induction manifold which sits between the heads of the two cylinder blocks is also separate, and should be a breeze to fit.
Two parts which fit at each side of the crankcase form the water and methanol injection system which, when injected into the supercharger, caused a significant power boost. This was known as MW 50, meaning that a 50:50 ratio of both water and methanol, plus a small percentage of anti-corrosion additive were used for this temporary power boost.
The last remaining parts are a couple of small pipes which fit to the rear of the engine, between the magneto and pump unit and the cylinder banks.
Instructions are colour printed onto a single side of an A4 sheet, with accompanying notes to indicate differences between parts, and also the length to trim the resin pipework. It is noted that care must be taken with the alignment of certain parts in order for said pipework to fit properly between the pump unit and cylinder banks. The rear of this sheet shows two completed views of the DB 603 with a 'three-quarter' view of the engine from an upright and underside perspective.
So what do we think?
This is a beautifully created kit, both in terms of Loic's mastering, and GMF's casting. Assembly is straightforward, and the only thing you will need is a little lead and copper wire for the plumbing and electrical work. I also think that the price for this is excellent. You will need to source some decals for the number which is usually stencilled onto the crankcase.
Very highly recommended.
Our sincere thanks to Grey Matter Figures for the review sample used here. To purchase this directly, click THIS link.
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