Heinkel He-219 Uhu
First, a little background. The He-219 Uhu was a purpose designed night fighter and also the first operational aircraft to have ejection seats. The plane had an advanced VHF radar, a 385 mph top speed, excellent armament and good range. It was not available in quantity however which is probably a blessing for the bombers flying at night.
Revell's kit consists of 12 light gray sprues of medium soft styrene with 2 clear sprues. There is a large booklet of instructions and a large decal sheet. There is some small amount of flash on the sprues. The decal sheet gives you options for four planes:
- He-219A-7 Denmark April 1945
- He-219A-2 Sylt Germany April 1945
- He-219A-7, Sylt Germany April 1945
- He-219A-5, Munster-Handorf, January 1945
I do want to mention one frustration I had and it with the instructions and numbering of the parts. The sprues have no letter associated with them and parts for each assembly instruction may be on two or three or more sprues. I found myself multiple times searching for parts and then having to get the instructions back to the parts map and search for a part. While the maps are good, this took a lot of time and with some better design could have been avoided. In the end, it only cost time.
Construction starts with the cockpit and it is beautiful. Decals are provided for each instrument dial and I think this is an excellent idea. Paint and then decal, flat coat and gloss on the instruments to represent the faces looks wonderful. The painting instructions are good also. One thing not included are seat belts for the ejection seats. I used an Eduard set for this and they look great. It would be nice to have some markings for the radio also. while building the cockpit, you also assemble the front landing gear bay. This required some putty to cover seams. Once the cockpit is complete, it slides into the fuselage halves, you add the wing support struts and make any necessary cut outs and ADD WEIGHT!!!!! Don't forget this point or you will have a tail sitter of epic proportions.. They recommend 70g right behind the cockpit and 25g per nacelle. I added weight behind the cockpit, in both nacelles and to the nose and it sits well but it is well over 150g. Also, this is the time to start thinking the fuselage can be joined.
Now is the time you need to decide on which option you are building- it will change the canopy, armament and antennae arrangement. The top is added (with the correct insert) and the correct gun types are added to the bottom along with the bottom panel. Fit is excellent on these parts as I used almost zero filler (only where I cut too deep removing it from the sprue).
Wing construction is next. If you want top drop the flaps, you have to do a little surgery by removing part of the upper wing. Not hard to do but it won't fit unless you remove the excess plastic. The wheel wells are added at this time and are nicely detailed. I elected to go flaps up and the wings built quickly. This is also the time to add the inserts that represent the wing lights and ducting. Both wings needed a little adjustment but slid right onto the supports and required very little putty to fir to the fuselage.
The tail was built and added with issues. The rudder and horizontal stabilizer parts are sandwiched and moveable but I glued mine down. Take your time here and get things aligned. With a little care, the fit is superb. I also added the closed boarding ladder at this time. Lastly, I added the landing gear so that it would sit up when painting.
It was at this point I added the canopy and windscreen which I masked before adding. The back part and windscreen fit very well with minimal putty. These were sprayed RLM66 to represent the interior color. I prepared all the landing gear doors also. the cowling were built but kept separate as I wanted to build the A-2 version with its black underside but the cowlings were all mottled.
Time for paint. The first thing to say is that this is a large plane- long, wide and its sits high. I painted the top RLM 75 by Modelmaster and then pulled some Aeromaster paints (which I miss!!!) and thinned RLM 76. I started by running lines around trying to duplicate the mottling pattern by drawing lines of almost constant width. A little back and forth to fix errors an it looked decent. I masked and shot the bottom black and then shaded some with black and a little white. Once dry, several coats of Alclad gloss and it was time for decals.
Couple comments on the decals. First they are very flat. They apply decently although I fought silvering on the small ones especially and had to pull out Solvaset to get them down. The bigger difficulty is the lack of the swastika. I understand why but it took me some time as with the black bottom and tails, I needed a 1/32nd scale white outline swastika and finally found one. I recommend the Eagle Editions sheets we reviewed as a great alternative.
These were sealed and then the panel lines enhances with an oil wash of brown on top and water based washes of black o the top and grey on he bottom. These were flat coated and slight chalking done and a final flat coats.
In most builds, we would be close to done but not here....we have lots of antennae's to deal with and landing gear doors, pitot tube, wing counter weights and all matter of fiddly things. There are two types of radar, Neptune and Lichtenstein. The plane I was building was the later. I added the supports for the radar and then painted the aerials and added them. These are very thing and fiddly also and for those desiring and easier go, Mastger Model makes and excellent brass replacement. The remaining antennae were added one at a time to the rear fuselage, under the wings. Last thing added was the aerial made from EZ Line. a final flat and we were done.
I can definitely recommend this kit with one reservation. It is big and there are lot of "pointy" things sticking out so it is not easy to handle. it take patience but the results are excellent. And the price is very good. My thanks to Revell for the chance to add this great kit to my collection and to IPMS/USA for the chance to review it.