Fly 1/72 Hs-123A
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run with p.e. and resin parts|
At the request of Oberst (later Generalfeldmarschall) Wolfram von Richthofen, chief of staff of the Legion Condor, five aircraft had been deployed to Spain as a part of the Legion Condor, intended to be used as tactical bombers.
In their intended role, the Hs 123s proved to be somewhat of a failure, hampered by their small bomb capacity and short range. Instead, the Hs 123s based in Seville were used for ground support, a role in which their range was not such a detriment, and where the ability to accurately place munitions was more important than carrying a large load. The combat evaluation of the Hs 123 demonstrated a remarkable resiliency in close-support missions, proving able to absorb a great deal of punishment including direct hits on the airframe and engine. The Nationalists in Spain were impressed with the Hs 123's performance in battle, purchasing the entire evaluation flight and ordering an additional 11 aircraft from Germany. The Spanish Hs 123s were known as "Angelito" (dear angel or little angel), and at least one Hs 123 was in service with the EjÚrcito del Aire (Spanish Air Force) after 1945.
Twelve Hs 123s were also exported to China, where they were used extensively as dive bombers against Japanese warships along the Yangtze River, especially in 1938.
This fairly recent tooling is very nicely done, but is still a short run kit. That means no alignment pins and the need to double check all parts prior to assembly. The kit includes a fair amount of resin that covers things like the engine, cowling, bombs, cabane and tail struts, wheels, seat, and a number of other items. There is also a p.e. fret for the engine pushrods, cowling brace, instrument panels, and harness to name most of them. You also have an acetate film for the instrument dials.
Unlike some kits, all the above items are required to build the kit. Naturally, there are a goodly number of parts that are not going to be used with this boxing. That includes the additional upper wing, tailplanes, rudder, fuselage halves and the unspatted landing gear. This variant uses all the canvas covered bits that are appropriate for early production planes.
The cockpit is well appointed and appropriately fiddly with al lthe small bits and p.e. that will be used there. Once that is built and trapped in the fuselage halves, you have to pick your markings option as the head rest/fairing was not always used. One then attaches the main wings before moving to the engine. I would consider holding off on attaching it at this point if it will make painting easier. Fly does provide several alignment drawings that should help.
Then the tail assembly is done as well as the spatted landing gear. Now the instructions are universal and tell you how to build the B version as well as the one for this kit. If you don't want to use the markings in the kit and do a later version, you can do so with this boxing as it does tell you how to build up the unspatted gear. You also have two resin bomb racks for each wing and a fuselage mounted fuel tank. There is no rigging required for this aircraft, which is a plus in my book.
Instructions as mentioned, are good for all the Hs-123 boxings that Fly produces. This boxing has markings for four aircraft. Two are Spanish in the four color splinter camouflage. The other two are planes sold to China in 1938/39. The painting and markings guide is on the back of the end opening box and provide generic and RLM shades. The decal sheet is nicely printed and I expect the decals are quite thin.
Pretty sure this will not be a simple build, thanks to all the small pieces and the need to be comfortable with multi-media kits like this. However, it is reasonably priced and should provide a much nicer representation of the aircraft that what has been provided by Airfix and Avis.
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