Hasegawa 1/72 He-111H-8 w Balloon Cable Cutter

KIT #: 00929
PRICE: 5600 yen from www.hlj.com
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo etch cable cutter and maintenance ladder

HISTORY

The Heinkel He 111 was a German aircraft designed by Siegfried and Walter GŁnter in the early 1930s in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Often described as a "Wolf in sheep's clothing", it masqueraded as a transport aircraft, but its purpose was to provide the Luftwaffe with a fast medium bomber. It is perhaps the most famous symbol of the German bomber force (Kampfwaffe) due its distinctive "Greenhouse" nose. The Heinkel became the most numerous and primary Luftwaffe bomber during the early stages of the Second World War. It fared well in all the early campaigns suffering modest losses until the Battle of Britain, when its weak defensive armament left it exposed. Nevertheless, as a combat aircraft it proved capable of sustaining heavy damage and remaining airborne. As the war progressed the He 111 took on the mantle of "workhorse", and was used in a variety of roles on every front in the European Theatre throughout the war. It was used in every conceivable role; as a strategic bomber during the Battle of Britain, a torpedo bomber during the Battle of the Atlantic, a medium bomber and a transport aircraft on the Western Front, Eastern Front and Mediterranean and North African Fronts. Despite being constantly upgraded it became obsolete during the latter part of the war. But the failure of the Luftwaffe to design and produce a worthy successor meant the He 111 continued to be produced until 1944, when piston-engined bomber production was largely halted, in favour of fighter aircraft.

The design of the Heinkel endured after the war in the CASA 2.111. Its airframe was produced in Spain under license by Construcciones AeronŠuticas SA. The design differed significantly in powerplant only. The Heinkel's descendant continued in service until 1973, when it was retired.

THE KIT

What one gets with this kit is a standard He-111H with the various bits to make the balloon cable cutter variant in photo etch. There are some parts that won't be used (like the bomb racks) and the pieces unique to the H-8 variant are given.

For those who have not seen or built the Hasegawa He-111, it is a superlative kit that offers a considerable improvement over those previously available from Matchbox, Airfix and Italeri, to name a few. Finely engraved detailing and all the various bits and pieces needed to build whatever variant is kitted are included. To see a full build review of the base kit (and yes, I did screw up the main gear doors by not having them in the right position), please follow this hyperlink.

As usual, Hasegawa's instructions are superlative and provide Gunze paint references. You will have to do a bit of cutting for the attachment points of the balloon cable cutter, but that is clearly shown in the instructions. Just be sure not to assemble the wing halves before doing this or it will be a mess. Having a quality etch folding tool will also come in handy as there are very long folds to be made. The Etchmate set is as good a one as any and has the ability to fold long pieces. Markings are for just one plane. There are really not a ton of photo references out there. It is painted in RLM 70/71 upper and black undersides. In fact, the black goes up most of the rear fuselage and onto the fin/rudder as well. Decals are very nicely printed and should provide no surprises.

CONCLUSIONS

Another limited issue reboxing from our friends at Hasegawa. As with many of those that include upgrade bits, this one will probably sell out rather quickly, despite the additional cost. One thing for sure, it will make into a very nice model of this interesting variant.

February 2009

My thanks to www.hlj.com for the for the review sample. Get yours at Japanese prices.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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