Kit: He-219A

Scale: 1/72

Kit Number:

Manufacturer: DML

Price:  £18-20

Media: Injected Plastic

Decals: 3 Schemes: He 219 A2 (G9+HK) of 2/NJG 1, HE 219 A5/R1 (G9+TH) Werk-Nr 290123 1/NJG 1, He 219 in Czech service post war.

Date of Review: 7 Feb, '97

The He 219 is widely regarded as the best night fighter of the war. As well as its formidable armament and radar combination, it was one of the first aircraft to be fitted with ejection seats, ultra-violet instrument lighting and comprehensive blind landing aids. However, due to official indecision with the placing and cancelling of orders production was limited. Finally, in 1944 the Jager-Notprogramm stopped production of all twin engined aircraft except the Dornier 335. The only other unit to fully equip with He 219's was NjGr 10, an experimental anti Mosquito unit. Final development of the He 219 series was to be the four seat C-1 night fighter and C-2 fighter bomber ( armed with three 500Kg bombs ) which were virtually new aircraft, with the tailplane being about the only original piece .These were however awaiting their engines (Jumo 222's) when the war finished.

The Dragon He 219 A-0.

This Kit has been around for a couple of years now; I acquired mine at the kit-swap at Donnington this year for £12, which isn't to bad as it goes for £18-20 in the shops. There are 121 parts in the kit, the majority being light grey plastic, with a small fret of etched steel for the various aerials and antennas, and clear parts for the canopy, armoured windscreen etc.

Construction in straight-forward enough, but the fit of some of the parts, particularly the tail

plane and the main undercarriage assemblies could have been a little easier to do; in the latter, the complete twin wheeled undercarriage (one per nacelle) has no positive locating point; three guesses who didn't get it lined up quite right? The only other problem I had was in using the etched steel for the radar arrays. As you probably know, these were rather fragile looking contraptions and, in 1/72 scale they are really fiddly. The kit provides two options; four large arrays and a smaller, central one or, as I chose, four small aerials. The problem is that, once bent at each corner, they become very weak and ...suffice it to say that super-glue and my finger-tips became intimate on numerous occasions!

Other than these problems, which are things to be aware of rather than major pitfalls, this is a very good kit and, when I can face those aerials again, I may try the other kit, the A-7 .

Luftwaffe camoflage

The initial colour for the luftwaffe night-fighter force in 1940-41 was black RLM 22. However, it was soon discovered that this colour, despite being the obvious choice, led to aircraft being silhouetted against the sky. Trials were conducted and the most effective scheme was a light grey finish of three shades ( RLM 74 dunkelgrau, 75 grau and 76 weissblau), which was later amended to overall RLM 76 with a mottle of RLM 75 on the upper surfaces. This scheme was often interpreted in different ways, some aircraft having a "scribble"type finish, others a "blotchy" finish. Some aircraft had the underside of one wing painted black as an identification marking in case German searchlights illuminated them.

By Duncan Flint

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