Monogram 1/48 He-111H-22

KIT #: 85-5530
PRICE: $21.55 from www.greatmodels.com 
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Reissue

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.

Perhaps the best-recognised German bomber due to the distinctive, extensively-glazed, bullet-shaped "greenhouse" nose of later versions, the Heinkel was the most numerous and the primary Luftwaffe bomber during the early stages of World War II. It fared well until the Battle of Britain, when its weak defensive armament, relatively low speed, and poor manoeuvrability were exposed. Nevertheless, it proved capable of sustaining heavy damage and remaining airborne. As the war progressed, the He 111 was used in a variety of roles on every front in the European Theatre. It was used as a strategic bomber during the Battle of Britain, a torpedo bomber during the Battle of the Atlantic, and a medium bomber and a transport aircraft on the Western, Eastern, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African Fronts.

Although constantly upgraded, the Heinkel He 111 became obsolete during the latter part of the war. It was to have been replaced by the Luftwaffe's Bomber B project, but the delays and eventual cancellation of the project forced the Luftwaffe to continue using the He 111 until the end of the war. Manufacture ceased in 1944, at which point, piston-engine bomber production was largely halted in favour of fighter aircraft. With the German bomber force defunct, the He 111 was used for transport and logistics.

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.

He 111 H-22, the subject of this kit was a re-designated and modified H-6, H-16, or H-21 used to air launch V1 flying-bombs. More often than not, the later versions with a rotating upper fuselage turret were the type utilized.

THE KIT

I'm pretty pleased to see Revell-Monogram reissuing these older Monogram kits. This particular one was only released as a ProModeler edition with the newer fuselage that has a proper turret in the upper fuselage section. It also includes a nicely done V-1 to do the brief V-1 air-launch campaign during 1944. These planes were not all that successful as the British had a very potent night fighter force in the air during this time and many aircraft were shot down.

Aside from the new fuselage halves, turret bits and the V-1, this is pretty much the same as the initial issue of the He-111 back in the 90s. I didn't see the 'crease' in the wing near the engine that was the buzz when this kit was initial released, but perhaps I missed it. Regardless, this kit is everything good about Monogram that those of you who have not built one of these kits may have heard about. Detailing is superb with engraved panel lines, a fully detailed cockpit with crew members, and a detailed interior fuselage with wing spars as part of the two bulkheads.

For some reason, Monogram liked to include the gear doors as part of the piece that makes up the inner gear well. I know that some like this and some whould rather have the gear doors separate as later add-ons, but there it is. The landing gear are properly complex and Monogram molded the tires with a flat spot, though not as bulged as one would fine on True Detail replacements. Speaking of True Detail, they do a resin cockpit set for this kit, though many think it is only a tiny improvement over what comes in the kit. Though shown on the painting drawings with individual ejector exhaust, the kit does come with the proper collector exhaust.

There is a V-1 with the proper pylon included with the kit. Looking over the V-1 and comparing it with drawings and photos in V Weapons of the Third Reich, Monogram Publications, 1994, it seems to be quite accurate in shape, at least to my eyes. I'm sure those who study this subject more than I will chime in about any shape glitches this one might have.

Typical Monogram instructions with large, well drawn construction steps that include color information. The decal sheet is superbly printed and includes markings for two planes. Both of these are in standard He-111 camo with additional colors added locally. The first is the box art plane from 1./KG 53 with RLM 76 splotches over the  upper surfaces ad a wide yellow fuselage band. The other is from 1./KG 3 with a black-grey (RLM 66) underside and large areas of RLM 76 on the upper surfaces. Swastikas are included so no need to raid the spares bin.

CONCLUSIONS

One thing I can guarantee is that if this kit was molded today by certain companies from Japan or China, it would be nearly $100 retail. At less than $30 retail and less from many, it is a real bargain and makes into a superb model with all the detail and accuracy you'd expect from Monogram.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He-111

V Weapons of the Third Reich, Monogram Publications, 1994.

May 2011 

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