|PRICE:||A few dollars|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Made in France|
The Henschel Hs 126 was a German two-seat reconnaissance and observation aircraft of World War II that was derived from the Henschel Hs 122. The pilot was seated in a protected cockpit under the parasol wing and the gunner in an open rear cockpit. The prototype aircraft frame was that of a Hs 122A fitted with a Junkers engine. The Hs 126 was well received for its good short takeoff and low-speed characteristics which were needed at the time. It was put into service for a few years, but was soon superseded by the general-purpose, STOL Fieseler Fi 156 Storch and the medium-range Focke-Wulf Fw 189 "flying eye".
A short time back, I bought a box of older kits from a seller on a Facebook page. This kit was included in that box. According to Scalemates, this kit was initially released in 1977 and is the raised panel line era. This boxing is from the early 1990s when Airfix was owned by Heller. Overall, the kit looks fairly good without any big areas of flash. Several of the parts are off the sprues and not cleanly cut, but torn away. This is the third kit of this type of which I'm aware in this scale with both Matchbox and Italeri producing versions. I've built those two other kits, but not the Airfix version.
The kit is typical of the time with fair detail and no inserts for variants. Two variants can be built, an A and B with the difference being that the B has a more involved bomb rack for a larger bomb. To do a B a hole needs to be opened inside the fuselage. Surprisingly, there is a goodly amount of molded detail on the inside of the fuselage. This is good as much will be easily visible from the outside.
The cockpit is basically seat, stick and bulkheads. A pilot figure is included. For the arar there is a seat for the gunner. Instrument panels have raised detail. To call the detailing 'crisp' would be fairly far from the truth as most detailing is fairly rounded, though acceptable. Aside from the bomb and its rack, the other option is to have the wheel pants or not. If you want them, then you have to cut off the lower main strut section to attach these items. The stub you leave is what you attach the pants to.
Instructions have Humbrol-only paint numbers, but figuring these out is fairly easy with a bit of a web search. Markings are provided for two planes from unknown units. One is that B versions in white winter camo as shown on the box art. This one has no wheel pants. The other is an A version with the pants RLM 70 over RLM 65. The decals in this one are very much past their 'use by' date and in any case don't include swastikas. Fortunately, you can find aftermarket markings quite readily.
I'm a bit surprised that no other kit company has done a more modern kit in this scale, but perhaps it is only a matter of time. Anyway, this or the other two will not be difficult kits to build and will add a nice model to your collection. For the two or three of you who are interested, here is the Italeri kit that I built several years back.
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