When Squadron decided to produce an original plastic model kit, they really went all in with the top secret German Haunebu II project. For those of you not familiar with the Haunebu II, it was either a functioning flying machine that took members of the Third Reich to a hidden base on the dark side of the moon, a fabled “wunderwaffe” that never made it off the drawing board, or something in between. It all depends on who you believe.
What I do know is that this new kit from Squadron is big and impressive. The kit comes packaged in a deluxe box, which includes a protective sleeve with a full-color original artwork of the Haunebu II sitting hidden in a Nazi hangar ready for action. The back of the box provides a brief history of the Haunebu projects. Inside the box, you’ll find individually wrapped sprues protecting the 125 parts necessary to build the kit. The instruction manual includes a short history of the project, and includes color instructions for assembly and suggested painting.
The instructions are easy to follow, and construction goes together quickly with the fit of most of the pieces being excellent. The construction almost feels like a snap fit due to the well-engineered parts. Parts are cleanly molded with rivets and recessed panel lines throughout. The landing gear had some mold lines that required cleaning, but other than that the parts have little to no flash.
Assembly is quick, and relatively painless. The bottom of the model consists of two pieces forming the lower disc. The lower disc includes four fully rotating turrets with each housing twin 80mm guns. The kit-provided 80mm guns will need to have their barrels drilled out, or Squadron offers a set of replacement resin barrels for the kit if you’re so inclined. Overall, the fit of the turrets to the bottom is well done. The landing gear can be done either extended, or closed. The tires could use some replacement wheels to show the weight of the vehicle, but other than that the landing gear is acceptable and goes together without issue.
There is also a retractable entrance ramp that can be added to one of two positions. The ramp construction includes a box structure over the top of the entrance ramp to provide some depth to the entrance opening, while at the same time preventing the large empty opening inside the model from being visible. However, once the ramp’s railing is installed, the ramp is unable to fully close into the opening because the clearance on one end of the box is too low. In the end, I’m not sure how much opening and closing of the entrance ramp will be done, so it shouldn’t affect the model too much.
The upper portions of the disc are constructed using three separate pieces. The fit of these is very nice with the attachment seams intended to match up with the panel lines featured across the model’s surface. I found that the seams were too large and needed some filler to complete the seams. Getting the top attached to the bottom required a little more effort and clamps than I was expecting, but I think this was more of a self-induced issue, as opposed to something common with the model assembly.
The cockpit/control room includes three control panels, nine crew seats, as well as some details on the control room walls. The flooring is made to look like diamond plate and an electro-magnetic conductor/alterative power drive is prominently featured in the middle of the room. Overall, it provides some decent details, but the control panels are slightly out-of-scale, and look a little oversized compared to the seating. The control room in general would benefit from additional details to the fronts of the control panels, some photo-etch, or possibly a set of crew figures. The roof of the control room is removable to allow you to show off the interior, or if you want, you can glue it closed. The removable top includes a pair of 110mm cannon.
The finished model is big. Even in 1/72 scale, the model has a 15-inch diameter, so plan ahead for where you’re going to build and paint it, as well as where you want to display it. The color painting guide recommends a RLM 71/75 splinter pattern, with the underside painted RLM 78, and trust me, you’re going to use a lot of paint to cover this massive canvas. Since this is really more of a “what if” project, you can pretty much paint it however you like. I choose to go with one solid color for the entire model as I plan to use this for testing some weathering and streaking later. The decal sheet is done by Cartograf and the decals are in register and go on very easily.
The finished result is very striking and Squadron’s first kit should become a featured model of any collection. The build is simple, and while some additional interior details would help, the overall finished model is impressive. This model will be good for modelers of all skill levels, and can be built straight from the box with nice looking results. I highly recommend this kit.
Thanks to Squadron and IPMS/USA for this review kit.