Many, many thanks to Mr. Hideyuki Shigeta for honoring me with the privilege of building the Super Wing Series He 219 Uhu (Eagle Owl) model kit for public review as an IPMS Reviewer Corps representative. I am deeply appreciative of the trust and confidence shown in me by both Mr. Shigeta and the IPMS Reviewer staff. I am delighted to report on the next stage of construction: the cockpit.
A personal challenge continues with this next subassembly. I want to keep blazing along, trying out all of the options available in the entire kit before settling down on how the final configuration will look. The cockpit assembly will be the last assembly where I have any wiggle-room before committing to the end vision! Forty parts are included in this section, and all of them fit extremely well with only the rarest hint of flash. Paint callouts for Vallejo colors are included, as are color photos and drawings of final assemblies. The very last chapter in this review series will be the “Heroic Return” figure set graciously provided by Mr. Shigeta (not included in the He 219 kit). The figure set consists of the pilot, radar operator, and a ground crewman. These figures relate to cockpit construction in that appropriate options need to be considered in the seats.
Since the pilot figure will be standing and climbing out of the plane, I chose to use part H-8, the seat with the harness molded in. Similarly, the radar operator will be seated, turned and looking out the left side of the plane, requiring that part H-25 be used, the seat pan without any harness details. I also chose to leave the radar scope hoods off (parts H-44 and H-45) since it is very likely that the hoods would have been stowed for entering and exiting the aircraft. I suspect that in the actual Uhu they may have been hinged at the top and folded over the top of the radar sets, but I haven’t found any photos to confirm.
The part assembly follows a logical order, starting from the left side. As before, it is very important to follow the instructions carefully, and this section has only 40 total parts! The underside of the cockpit floor is the inside of the nose gear well, and parts of the cockpit walls extend downward as framing in the wheel well. After you complete the cockpit, you will really appreciate how the nose weight will be installed in the next subassembly. There is no extra room in the nose!
Instrument faces and other lettering decals are provided. Complete decal gauge panels are included for the left, right, and main instrument arrays, but you are also provided the option of using the many individual gauge and control decals. Warning labels for the ejection handles are even included. I opted to use a combination of the full panel and individual gauges to increase contrast between the rectangular black gauge mounts and the dark gray of the actual panel. A drop of Future floor wax competed the panels.
There are many ancillary small parts that are very intricately molded. The various throttle, propeller-pitch, and other levers fit snugly and in the correct orientation with square pins. I found the square-pin feature a nice extra touch; the part pops in, needs no further tweaking to look right, and only took a tiny drop of Tenax to secure. The control yoke and the rudder pedals also fit without difficulty. The actuator cylinders in the well beneath the cockpit floor are attached at one end only, but I have no reason to think they will not match up well with other parts later. There are quite a few places where parts are installed without pipes and so forth connecting in a final configuration. In later work and in all cases (e.g., the compressed air bottles and associated piping), the subsequent assemblies lined up just fine, ready to glue. This result mirrors the experience I had in the last section, assembling the motors.
I took care to “weather” a bit as I went along, since the cockpit is so compact that weathering as an afterthought would not be possible. The whole assembly has a great look and feel to it. The idea of compressed air ejection from the He 219 occurred to me several times as the cockpit went together. I suspect any A-4 aviator would identify with the hazards of ejection and the tightness of the “office.”
What is Next
This is the third installment of a series of about 8 construction reviews. My immediate intent is to produce a review for each of the steps in Chapter 3-3. In this chapter, the aircraft will start taking form!
Conclusion (for this review)
I continue to be delighted at the quality of fit, molding, and ease of assembly, and the clarity of instructions. I also find myself immersed in the operational tidbits included in the instructions. Well-described part names are a great extra. I caught myself writing a note in the instruction book to look for the correct connection of the propeller-pitch actuator linkages through the wings to the motors. I am anxious to leap in the next section Teil 3-3 Rumpf/Fuselage.
Again, my sincerest gratitude to both Zoukei-Mura, Inc. and IPMS/USA for providing me this kit for review. It is a great privilege. Thank you.
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