Zoukei-Mura’s latest Release in 1/32nd scale is a Henschel Hs-129 B-2/RIII. The Hs-129 was a WWII version of the modern A-10 and was designed to and good at killing tanks. Inside the box, you will find 18 sprues in light brown with excellent engraving, no flash and also one small sprue of clear parts. There is also a set of masks and decals for one set of markings from 4(Pz)/Sch.G2 in Libya February 1943.
For those that have never built a Zoukei-Mura kit, their philosophy is to show the entire kit so that this kit includes all the interior stringers plus all the fuselage internals, highly detailed engines and parts. This does raise the parts count to 428 and the builder has the choice of many open panels or closed.
This build starts a little different in that Step 1 is the engines which comprise a total of 70 pieces for the pair. They are very detailed. It starts with the front and back cylinders and then the pushrods with the propeller shaft. Most of these parts were painted separately as they fit very well and it makes it easier. The back compressor was added and then the intake manifolds, mounting ring and exhaust pipes. You build the magneto and rear engine parts next. You add the back mounts and done. One important note here. FOLLOW the INSTRUCTIONS. Unlike many manufacturers, there are excellent notes and these instructions are actually set up by modelers with great instructions but also excellent tips and notes for the builder.
The cockpit is next and the build is straight forward. There are a few minor ejector pin marks on the seat. The rudder pedals need to have the straps added and I did that with masking tape. The detail is excellent with all knobs and levels replicated. There are two choices for instrument panels- clear and solid and two choices for decals. There are decals for the entire panel or individual dials and gauges. Once the basic cockpit is built, you add the armored bathtub that surrounds the cockpit. The one thing I did add was a set of Eduard PE seatbelts. Once done, this was set aside.
Since this was moving along, I proceeded to the next step and built the fuselage. The first part of this is the bulkheads for the wing attachments.. They build well BUT be careful. Alignment is critical and DO NOT get over zealous with glue- this is where the wings spars slide in and if it is glued and gets gunked up, the wings spars will not slide in, which I did and had to Dremel out so avoid the paint and don’t do it. Once the wings spars are built, the cockpit is added.
For the next steps, if you do not want to show the interior, you can skip painting the interior. For those that like painting, I added all the parts including the radios, battery, gas tanks and master compass. Take your time and test fit the fuselage together multiple times as you add bulkheads. Once all the parts are added, Glue to the two fuselage halves together – they should slide together with no seams like butter. The bottom ladder part is next and has an option of up or down with the ladder- I left mine up to keep it clean. I added the tail and tail cone next and set everything aside to dry.
So far I love this kit- in the next part, we’ll add the wings and close up the fuselage and finish it off in the third part.
My thanks to the excellent people working at Zoukei-Mura to give us such wonderful kit.