KIT:

Hasegawa 1/72 He-111H-6

KIT #

00551 (E 21)

PRICE:

3200 (about $30.00) from Hobby Link Japan

DECALS:

Three options

REVIEWER:

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

 

HISTORY

Along with the Ju-88, the He-111 provided the brunt of the Luftwaffe's bombing capability. Designed as a relatively short range medium bomber, the early He-111 versions proved their worth in Span during the late '30s. They were also very effective in the beginning of the War against the rest of Continental Europe and when the Russian war began. However, they were found to be rather vulnerable when escort was not properly provided and many fell to RAF bullets during the second half of 1940.

Despite this, many different variants were developed and the He-111 was in production for most of the war, until all bomber production stopped during late 1944 so that more fighters could be built to try to combat the Allied air onslaught. These planes were used as mine-sweepers, cargo aircraft, transports for high-ranking personnel, unit hacks and a number of other various and sundry duties. A few were exported and Spain developed a production line for them, though they had to switch to Merlin engines after their supply of Daimler-Benz engines ran out in the late 1940s.

THE KIT

One of the first questions one needs to ask is, "Do we really need a new He-111 kit?" The answer is a resounding YES. Prior to this, the only He-111 kits in this scale were by Matchbox, Frog, Airfix, and Italeri. All of them a bit long in the tooth and of older engineering. Judging by the way the sprues are laid out, we can expect to see a number of different variants produced! This particular kit concentrates on the He-111H-6 variant, one of the most produced versions. Telling one He-111 version from another is difficult even for the initiated. The biggest telling parts of the airframe are the engines, especially the exhaust and props used, the lower gondola and where the fuselage guns are located. Hasegawa will be producing other dash numbers besides this basic boxing.

As usual, all the sprues save the clear bits are in one bag. This resulted in some damage to parts as they rubbed together during shipment. There are a LOT of sprues in this one and if you have built any of the Hasegawa twins, then you have a good idea of what you are in for. First thing that grabbed me is that this one actually has the interior bomb rack and you can pose the bomb bay doors open. A first as far as I know with regard to the bay doors in 111 kits. Thanks to the way the sprues are set up, you actually get two internal bomb racks so you can use the second on your Roden kit! You are also given external racks which were able to hold bigger bombs and pretty well negated the bomb bay. However, if the plane only had one external rack, the other side of the bay would be operable, making for some interesting possibilities. The cockpit is quite complete and provides an instrument decal only for the main instrument panel. On the inside of the rest of the interior is framing as you can see some of this through the various windows.

Depending on the aircraft you are building, you have the options of different exhaust, a choice of external bomb racks or the use of the standard bomb bay. You do have to drill a few holes for various bits as well. The engines use poly caps so you can just push on the props at the end of construction. I noticed a tiny bit of flash on the prop blades and the wing ejector marks almost punched through the wing, leaving visible marks on the outside of the wing. These may disappear under a coat of paint.

The instructions are the usual excellent ones we have come to expect from Hasegawa. Colors are given in generic and Gunze shades with RLM numbers provided where needed. Markings are for three planes flying in Russia during 1942. All are in RLM 70/71 splinter over RLM 65 with yellow lower wing tips and fuselage band. Oddly, the painting guide shows the upper/lower demarcation line to be very low on the left side and running about mid-fuselage on the right. This just doesn't seem right to me and I'm betting that it is supposed to be low on both sides. First is the box art plane from 5./KG 27 with red spinner tips. The next is 6./KG 27 with yellow spinner tips and the other is from 4./KG 100 with white spinner tips. Each aircraft has a large unit badge on the nose. Decals are well printed, though judging from the look of them they may be a bit transparent as the white does not show up vividly against the blue background. Fortunately, there are aftermarket sheets for the 111 that should work well. The sheet also provides a goodly data suite as well as the fuselage bands so you don't have to paint it if you don't wish.

CONCLUSIONS

Like most of you who enjoy building WWII subjects in 1/72 scale, I'm pretty jazzed about this new kit. It is great that Hasegawa has started doing medium bombers as many of what are currently on the market are a bit long in the tooth. I think their B-25 series has done well and is already gone through several boxings. I anticipate nothing less for this one and imagine that they have their sights set on things like the B-26, Ju-88, and A-20, all which have multiple variants; something that Hasegawa really likes as it stretches their development monies.

You can find this kit and many others at . "You have a friend in Japan."

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