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  1. 1/48 Heinkel He 111H-6 ICM Catalogue # 48262 Available from Hannants for £41.99 The Heinkel He 111 was a German aircraft designed by Siegfried and Walter Günter at Heinkel Flugzeugwerke in 1934. Through development it was described as a wolf in sheep's clothing because the project masqueraded the machine as civilian transport, though from conception the Heinkel was intended to provide the nascent Luftwaffe with a fast, medium bomber. Perhaps the best-recognised German bomber due to the distinctive, extensively glazed greenhouse nose of later versions, the Heinkel He 111 was the most numerous Luftwaffe bomber during the early stages of World War II. The bomber fared well until the Battle of Britain, when its weak defensive armament was 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 in the Atlantic and Arctic, and a medium bomber and a transport aircraft on the Western, Eastern, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African Front theatres. The He 111 was constantly upgraded and modified but became obsolete during the latter part of the war. The German Bomber B project was not realised, which forced the Luftwaffe to continue operating the He 111 in combat roles until the end of the war. Manufacture of the He 111 ceased in September 1944, at which point piston-engine bomber production was largely halted in favour of fighter aircraft. With the German bomber force virtually defunct, the He 111 was used for logistics. The H variant of the He 111 series was more widely produced and saw more action during World War II than any other Heinkel variant. Owing to the uncertainty surrounding the delivery and availability of the DB 601 engines, Heinkel switched to 820 kW (1,100 hp) Junkers Jumo 211 powerplants, whose somewhat greater size and weight were regarded as unimportant considerations in a twin-engine design. When the Jumo was fitted to the P model, it became the He 111H. German-built He 111s remained in service in Spain after the end of the Second World War, being supplemented by Spanish licence-built CASA 2.111s from 1950. The last two German-built aircraft remained in service until at least 1958. The H-6 variant (the subject of this review) was a torpedo bomber and could carry two LT F5b torpedoes externally. It was powered by Jumo 211F-1 engines, had six MG 15s and one MG FF cannon in forward gondola. The kit I think it would be pretty fair to say that 1/48 Heinkel He 111 kits have been few and far between over the last years. In fact, before the initial ICM He 111H-3 version which was released towards the end of 2017, the last was another re-boxing of the old Monogram kit that dates back to 1994, and seen subsequently under Revell, Hasegawa, and Revellogram labels. It seemed that almost every other German twin had seen some release or other, apart from another Heinkel. Well, when ICM announced that they were to give us a newly-tooled He 111H-3, it was fair to say that many Luftwaffe fans were extremely pleased. The breakdown of the model also invited future versions to be released, and 6 months later, this is exactly what we got. ICM has a reputation for accurate model kits, with plenty of detail inside as well as refined external details. Their Ju 88 kits have seen numerous version releases, both with ICM themselves, and also with Revell and Special Hobby. No one can accuse ICM’s newer kits of having flimsy boxes, as per one German manufacturer. This one comes in a sturdy corrugated cardboard box with a locking tab, and with a separate, glossy product lid sat snugly over this. Box art depicts a France-based machine flying relatively low over the French countryside, towards dusk, with one box edge showing a couple of the FOUR schemes that can be built from this H-6 torpedo-carrying version. Once you cut through the clear disc tabs, remove the lid and open the box, you will find SEVEN sprues of medium-grey styrene and ONE of clear, tightly packed into a single clear sleeve. Normally I don’t like this approach, but there was pretty much no way these were going to rub over each other. The clear sprue was also packed into a separate sleeve within this main one. Now, those 7 sprues are actually common to the previous He 111H-3 release, as a second clear sleeve contains a further FIVE light grey sprues, and a separately bagged clear one. This brings the total sprue count to FOURTEEN! Of course, a healthy parts count is on definitely on the plate here. A heavy 28-page instruction manual lay in the bottom of the box, and tucked within this is a long and narrow decal sheet. This kit contains no PE parts. Sprue A Our first sprue brings us two of the main parts; namely the fuselage halves. It’s impossible to ignore these, so I’ll look at them first. These are very similar to how Revell went about their 1/32 kit, in that the upper forward fuselage is a separate piece, that can of course be an indication of other variants coming our way. Externally, detail is superb and very refined, with evenly and neatly recessed, narrow panel lines and a slightly proud wing root fairing with rivet fasteners. Elsewhere, however, no rivets are depicted. I quite like the difference that a riveted surface creates with a finished project, so will add these myself with a beading tool. The rudder is moulded separately, as is the belly. With the latter, two parts options are provided on this sprue, and those are for a bomb-doors closed, and doors open option. That certainly negates any ill-fitting doors that wouldn’t perhaps sit flush. Perhaps one thing that I’m not keen on are the aerial arrangement runners that are moulded to one of the lower fuselage halves. This makes removing seams a far more difficult task. Easy to fix though: slice off the detail and fit it later when seams are gone. Only a niggle really. Internally, I think ICM have made a very reasonable job of recreating the structural elements of this aircraft, with such detail extending from the nose, back to just aft of the belly gondola. There are some ejector pin marks though, but these are generally shallow enough to simply rub them away with a fibreglass pen, or other lightly abrasive tool. You will note that due to moulding limitations, ICM has had to produce a wing root insert to glue into position within the fuselage, and you might want to blend this in to the surrounding detail. This is the same solution that HK Models used on their 1/32 B-17 Fortress kits. Similar inserts exist for the lower bomb bay walls, but these sit primarily between the two main spar and bulkhead parts that form the basis of the construction. Note also the port and starboard wheel well walls, as well as the ceiling for this area. Fore and aft walls are moulded to the main spars. These walls will provide basic constructional elements and could/should be enhanced further by the modeller, with a little plasticard and wire. I’m not going to really criticise this due to the price of the kit, and the area providing a far more than adequate basis for detailing further. Other parts on this sprue are for the lower gondola, cockpit sidewalls, and radio equipment wall. Sprue B1 & B2 Both of these have the wing upper and lower panels as their main components, moulded with integral landing flaps. I would quite have liked to have seen these separate, and it will take some work for the modeller to achieve. However, the ailerons are separate items, moulded as halves on one of these sprues. As per the fuselage, external wing detail is very refined, with superbly thin and even panel lines and port access details. No rivets here again, except for key lines and those around fuel tank panels and upper nacelle fairings. Internally, positive channels are moulded for the main wing spars, creating what looks to be a very sturdy and unambiguous assembly. Going back to the ailerons, these have very subtle rib and fabric details, and shouldn’t need any toning down. Other flying and control surfaces are moulded here also. These are the stabiliser, elevators and rudder, moulded as traditional halves. These of course exhibit the same finesse as seen generally on external surfaces. Sprue C (x2) Where there are generally multiples of specific components, then these are the sprues on which you will find them. This model is equipped with two complete Junkers Jumo 211 A-3 engines, comprising of almost 20 parts each. I really am very impressed with the detail on these, and they certainly convincing against my reference material, including personal photographs of the 211. As with the wheel bays, just a little lead wiring should be all that’s needed to bring these to life. Unusually, the prop shafts are moulded into the main engine halves, instead of having a separate, captive pin that will allow the props to rotate. I did say this model had a full interior, and further evidence is seen here with multipart bomb bay cages, plus a full complement of eight SC500 bombs that sit within the cage’s vertical cells. Don’t get too excited though, as these AREN’T for use with this H-6 release! Nice additions to your spares box though. Other parts on this sprue include the numerous engine cowl parts, and the forward cowl ring with its characteristic lightening holes. Wheels are moulded as halves, but these aren’t weighted. They also aren’t used, as alternatives are provided on a new sprue, but they still aren’t weighted. Maybe Eduard will oblige us… Sprue D1 Unless it’s tied into more future releases, I admit that I don’t understand the nomenclature of the sprues D1 and D2. They seem unrelated. This particular sprue contains those two chunky main spars, complete with integral fuselage bulkheads and moulded bulkhead and main gear bay details. Note also other internal bulkheads, and for the cockpit itself. ICM has designed a rather tidy main cockpit, that is generally spread over both this sprue and D2, and should look great as it is, out of box. No doubt that Eduard will still be able to persuade us to invest further though. Decals are provided for enhancing the cockpit further, and these are clearly labelled on the instructions sheet. Internal parts on this sprue include the rear cockpit wall, cockpit floor, multi-part pilot seat with head armour, ammunition racks etc. Other parts here include the upper fuselage deck with moulded cupola gun traverse gearing, engine cowl to wing cowl fairings, splayed bomb bay door option, tail wheel that is moulded in situ with strut, and the main gear bay doors. Unusually, these last items have no detail moulded internally. This would definitely need addressing. Sprue D2 Someone at ICM had the foresight to include most of this kit’s more fragile and smaller parts on this sprue, meaning you can safely stash this to one side during the course of building. On here you will find the undercarriage struts and braces, ammunition rack components, rudder pedals and linkages, smaller cockpit components, control yoke and torsion tube, bomb aimer/co-pilot seat, MG mounts, etc. Sprue E This last sprue of generic He 111 parts contains all of the clear components. Where the varying items have sections that aren’t a part of a window etc. then these are frosted. Framing is pretty good, and this shouldn’t be too difficult to mask up for airbrushing. Even easier if Eduard release masks for this kit. What I do note is that whilst the clear areas have a good transparency, these areas look a little rippled, and more so when you look at through them to things in the distance. However, whilst this isn’t particularly good, if you look at things that are in close proximity to the clear areas, then this isn’t as noticeable. I have some faith that this won’t be too obvious when the model is complete, but don’t quote me. The He 111’s famous glazed nose is comprised of three parts. Care will definitely be needed in assembling these. Two options are supplied for the lower gondola glazing, as are weapons too. Note that the instrument panel is moulded here too. I’ve never seen the point of clear IPs, but that might only be my mileage. Instrument decals are supplied for this and other cockpit areas, but you may choose to punch out the individual dials and apply them separately. It certainly makes for a cleaner finish. Sprue E1 This new, clear sprue contains just four parts. Two of these are for the upper gunner position and the options here are for an open glazed area with a retracted canopy, or a closed version. I’m glad to see they provided optional parts instead of having to assemble this. The remaining two parts are for the front and rear of the ventral gondola. The standard of glazing here is actually nicer than the main canopy parts. Sprue G The first of our new grey sprues contains two underbelly sections. One of these is for the torpedo-carrying machine, and the other for the one carrying an external bomb payload. There are some slight differences here. Of course, the ETC racks sit over the He 111s bomb doors, and with this machine, you won’t fit the internal bomb racks. They are showed as not for usewith this release. Two scheme options provided in this kit have the tail with the rear-facing MG. Parts are provided here for that, but you will need to take a saw to the kit and remove the original tail. Maybe a slight oversight in ICM’s original modular design. The last parts are for the new tail wheel strut and ventral gondola. Sprue F (x2) These identical sprues contain the new props and spinners, two-part exhausts (thus hollow!), and external bomb load. Sprues H1 & H2 Not wanting to waste time and cost, of course, ICM has provided the same sprues in this release as for the Ju 88A-4/Torp. After all, they are the same weapons. Just remember that the racks won’t be needed as they are moulded to the underside of the new parts on Sprue G. The torpedoes themselves are moulded as halves, with separate propulsion impellors and a fin modification unit that is similar to the ones that the Japanese used on their torpedoes at Pearl Harbour, allowing the torpedo to operate very close to the water’s surface. Detail on these is excellent, and laden with two of these, this He 111 version should look particularly unusual and menacing. Decals One decal sheet is included, and there is no indication of where it is printed. I am assuming this is a homebrew ICM product. Printing is fairly thin and carrier film is minimal. Everything also appears to be in full register. No swastikas are included. A full set of stencils is included, along with the markings for the FOUR machines. These are: He 111H-6, 3./KG26, Norway, Summer 1941 He 111H-6, Stab I/KG26, Bardufoss, Norway, July 1942 He 111H-6, 8./KG53, Poland, June 1941 He 111H-6, 7./KG27, Russia, November 1941 Instructions I quite like ICM’s approach to the assembly manual, with the result being totally clean in approach and fuss-free. Starting with a history of the type, plus a colour chart for both Revell and Tamiya paints, a full parts plan is then printed, and then 116 constructional sequences. Assembly illustration is very clear, with colour annotation and selective use of shading to make some drawings clearer, such as where the 3D could mess with your mind! The last pages are taken over with a stencil drawing and four colour profiles for the supplied schemes. Decal placement and paint application is clear. Conclusion This appears to be a pretty accurate-looking kit with all the right curves in all the right places, and also a very intuitive and interesting assembly sequence. For example, you can’t build the wing separately to the fuselage, as the through-spars incorporate fuselage interior, and the bomb cells are loaded into the fuselage after main fuselage assembly, complete with the lower belly. Apart from the ripples in the glazing (which I don’t think will be too noticeable when assembled), the quality of this kit really is excellent, and ICM are setting new standards, outside of their Asian counterparts. This is also a kit with serious value for money, coming in at around £40. Plenty of buildability and one of those kits that really excites me. Hopefully, I’ll make a start very soon. My sincere thanks to ICM Model Kits for the review kit seen here. To purchase this one for yourself, click the link at the top of this article.
  2. 1/32 Heinkel He 111 detail sets CMK Catalogue # check article for codes Available from Special Hobby. Links in article. We recently looked at the 1/32 CMK He 111 Interior set, which provides a whole new replacement cockpit for Revell’s large and rather nice kit of this iconic German medium bomber. That set merited a standalone article due to its complexity, as you can see. However, in this article, I will take a look at the other sets available for this kit, again from CMK. Set # 5068,Heinkel He 111P - Wing fuel tanks, 418 Kč (approx. £15) Purchase link This set is packed into one of CMK’s larger blister packs due to the quantity of resin within. I actually couldn’t get it all to fit back in once I’d done the photography for this review. Designed to give the modeller an option to display the two inboard fuel tanks, this set requires some radical butchery of the main lower wing panels, so be prepared. A significant proportion of the plastic will need to be removed between the main gear bay opening and the fuselage. You are supplied with EIGHTEEN pieces of light grey resin, all flawlessly cast, although one fuel bay wing skin panel will need the hot water treatment to correct its shape. The premise of this set is quite simple. Each bay needs to be constructed from a ceiling and four sidewall pieces. All of these are suitably detailed within, bearing in mind that they will be filled with the tanks (2 per bay). Those tanks are nicely detailed, with securing straps and fuel filler points, plus the ribbing that could be seen on the rubber skinning of the tanks. Externally, the main wing bay panel is devoid of detail, as per the kit, but internally has some constructional elements cast into it. Instructions are clear enough with simple line drawings telling you all that you need to know. Details are provided for painting too, with codes given for Humbrol paints. Set # 5069, Heinkel He 111P Fuel filler necks and life raft, 247 Kč (approx. £8.50) Purchase link I must say that this is an unusual concoction for a detail set with a life raft compartment being sold with fuel filling points! Now, as the previous set shows you the wing fuel tanks from below, this set provides the tank fuelling points that exist in the inboard area of the upper wing panels. Instead of removing whole swathes of plastic though, you simply need to drill out the filling points on Revell’s moulded plastic. Underneath these points you will fit a resin box that will have a fuel filler point fastened to. Parts are of course supplied for the fuel filler plates that you drilled out previously. No real clean-up needs to be done on the resin boxes, but the filler ports and access plates are cast onto a block and will need removing and some tidying before you can use them. As for the life raft, this is a very simple mod indeed. After cutting away the relevant plastic on the spine of the He 111 kit, you will secure a compartment within this area, lipped so that it will recess into your newly-cut opening. When the fuse is closed and the compartment painted, a resin life raft can then be dropped into position, all folded with the relevant details such as gas canister and pull/inflation cord. Lastly, a panel is supplied which would cover this area. Casting is again excellent, and this set is packaged into one of the smaller CMK blister packs. Instructions are clear and easy to follow, with suitable Humbrol paint references. Set # 5070, Heinkel He 111P Tail undercarriage strut and bay set, 247 Kč (approx. £8.50) Purchase link If you’re going to super-detail your He 111, you may as well do the job properly. Presented in another blister pack, this set contains just five pieces, cast in light grey resin. Some casting block removal will of course be needed. Once done, this is a very simple set to install. Port and starboard tail wheel well walls are cast various constructional element details, such as longeron and stringers, plus a little plumbing too. Not too much, so you can add more if you feel the need, but this should be good enough for most modellers in the detail stakes. Once these are fitted, painted and the fuselage closed up, the resin wheel form is then fitted to the strut (I suggest pinning this too), and then resin pins are used to fit the tail wheel itself, plus the strut into the bay. As the locating point is quite high in the fuse, this could be a little awkward. I would also suggest you replace the resin pins for this job with some steel pins or rigid wire. The instructions look simple enough to follow, but the proof of the pudding is always in the eating. Looks a great little set, providing all fits well. Set # Q32159, Heinkel He 111H/P Instrument panels, 134 Kč (approx. £4.60) Purchase link Out last set is packaged into a standard sleeve with a cardboard backing. If you don’t wish to fit the entire cockpit set, then this simple upgrade could be for you. This set is designed to replace the Revell instrument panel with something far more presentable. Firstly, a resin panel is supplied, and this simply has rear instrument detail. You will need to add wiring etc. to this yourself. Onto the front of this fits a two-part photo-etch instrument panel, produced by Eduard and printed in full colour. PE quality is excellent, as we’ve come to expect from Eduard. Two other resin parts are included and cast onto a single block. These are for the large central console that fastens into the upper canopy area, and for a small side console. Details are very nice and I think just a little accompanying wire will seal the deal. Again, the instructions are simple but do the job effectively. Conclusion If you want to super-detail your He 111 kit, then whilst Eduard will provide some really nice sets, such as the bomb bay etc., if you want to add resin to enhance your work, then these really are the only sets in town that will give you what you need. Thankfully though, CMK’s work is excellent and straightforward to fit and the price is more than acceptable. All we really need now is for Revell to start moulding their kit again and perhaps we can see more of these sets used on the club and competition stalls. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Special Hobby for the review samples seen here. To purchase directly, click the links in the article.
  3. 1/32 Heinkel He 111P Interior set CMK Catalogue # 5071 Available from Special Hobby for 625 Kč (around £21.50 at time of writing) I struggle to believe that it’s been a whole seven years since I first saw the new-tool Heinkel He 111P kit from Revell. Remember, these were the days before we saw the truly large injection-moulded giants, such as the B-17 from Hong Kong Models, or even their B-25 Mitchell. Revell really were breaking new ground with this and their Ju 88 kit from three years earlier (2008). Revell’s Heinkel He 111 release was quite something, and I remember seeing the parts for the first time, and wondering just how I’d display something of this size! How times change… At the moment, neither of the He 111 kits (P-1 and H-6) are readily available, which is a shame. Apart from the new Technik Ju 88, neither are the other big Luftwaffe hitters either. Hopefully Revell will dig out those tools again before too long as there’s a whole raft of extras available for the Heinkel kit, including this set that I’m looking at today, concerning the He 111 cockpit. CMK call it an ‘Interior set’, but that’s a little ambiguous as it doesn’t contain parts for anything beyond the cockpit (so no bomb bay etc.). I can forgive them though, as it’s pretty clear from this set just what is included as it’s plastered over the artwork on the front of the box. The box itself is fairly small, and not too heavy either, as despite there being a lot of resin, there are no big, hefty parts. Even the larger components are relatively thin. Inside CMK’s familiar yellow and black box, adorned with a sticker with a graphical image of the detail set, are two bags of resin, one fret of colour-printed PE, and an instruction sheet. Unlike Revell’s Ju 88, whose cockpit is excellent out-of-box, the He 111 was always a little lacking, in my opinion, and certainly would benefit from some resin goodies. And here we are! Opening the first zip-lock bag, we are presented with the largest components in this detail set. All of the resin parts are cast in a medium-grey resin, apart from one, and this is the back wall of the cockpit (the largest part in the set). This pale grey part contains the doorway to the bomb bay (blanked off or closed), various trunking/conduit unites and a couple of avionics panels with wiring looms. Lower down is a recess into which the floor slots. As this is a replacement for the kit part, it will need to be thinned a little from the rear, and I think opening up the door would be a nice touch, especially if you have fitted Eduard’s bomb bay set. This cockpit is most definitely enhanced with the door opened. The floor is cast as two parts; the main rear floor, and the starboard projection which includes the bomb aimers cushions for when he lies prone. Some thinning of these parts and casting block removal will be required, but the details are superb, including various conduits and plate details. The prone position has side details, such as a drive chain mechanism. CMK has cast the sidewalls suitably thin, and because of this, you will have to remove not only the casting block, but also some part stiffeners that run along the bottom and top of the sidewalls. Details here include the constructional elements of the fuselage, as well as side consoles, wiring, and more avionics/electrical panels. One of my parts has a very slight warp, but that will easily come out with a quick dip in some hot water for a few seconds. These sidewalls seem to have to be installed once the floor and rear wall is in place, but some careful dry fitting will ascertain the correct and best way to approach this. The last part in this bag is the pilot’s seat. When the casting block is removed, the seat will be fitted to the cockpit using Revell’s kit part. There are seven casting blocks in the second zip-lock bag, as well as three standalone components. One of these is the instrument panel which has a blank face but has the instrument bodies cast on the reverse. Some wiring should be added here as this will clearly be seen in the finished model. For the front, CMK has supplied colour PE parts, courtesy of Eduard. The other standalone parts are……yes, the split door for the cockpit! So glad to see these added, and with the ability to be posed. Now you’ve zero excuse notto fit the Eduard bomb bay. The other components cast on the various blocks include a raft of ammunition saddles, multipart control column and linkages, bomb aimer seat, control panels, constructional elements, central instrument console, rudder pedals, trim wheels etc. It is pretty clear to me that you will need to look at the given kit parts in order to better ascertain the orientation and fitting of the resin upgrades. Other elements of the actual kit are missing in the upgrade illustrations too, such as the extinguisher that fits to the back wall. It’s evident that you need to follow both the kit and resin upgrade drawings with a view to knowing what should and shouldn’t be fitted. Some kit parts that are integral to the resin upgrade, are indeed shown in the CMK instructions, such as the pilot seat mount and rudder pedal assembly (sans plastic pedals). A single PE fret contains a colour-printed multipart instrument panel and various levers for the consoles, plus a set of seatbelts for both cockpit occupants. Quality is everything you expect it to be from Eduard. I find the instructions a little bewildering at times, with some parts not drawn exactly to the shape of the component, or with a level of ambiguity over where things actually fit. I’m afraid you’ll need to do some detective work in areas, but hey, isn’t that supposed to be the fun part for us armchair historians?! Conclusion A great little set with excellent casting and details that far excels what Revell offer in their kit, and at a very reasonable price. Just expect to have to do a little Google Imaging for some things! Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Special Hobby for sending this sample out for us to review. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
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