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  1. 1:32 Heinkel He 219 'Detail Up Set' Mk1 Design Catalogue # MA-32004 Available from Hannants for £83.40 Revell's Heinkel He 219 kit, released in 2012, was more than a bit of a mixed bag. A concoction of incorrect shapes/angles and spurious detail seemed to show a wanton lack of research from Revell, and the kit has been universally panned on the numerous modelling forums. I may be noExperten on the He 219, but even I could see that things weren't right. However, if you're willing to ignore these issues, the model does actually build up beautifully. Numerous companies have released upgrade and correction sets for the kit, but here's one you may not have heard of before, fromMK1 Design. This release is packaged in a slim, clear plastic box measuring 215mm x 155mm and roughly 15mm deep. Inside the pack can be seen many PE, colour PE, turned brass, resin and white metal parts. Some of the more delicate parts are fixed to the internal card backing, whilst others are bagged into ziplock wallets within the main box. Flip the box over and you'll find a full colour, photographic instruction sheet. Now, let's see how this will improve the standard kit. PE (Part A) This is certainly a wide-ranging set of parts, covering many areas of the airframe, both internally and externally. Revell made a big mistake with the lack of detail on the engine cowl flaps. MK1 have supplied these here as individual PE leaves, which need to be carefully arranged around the circumference of the cowl. I just hope they meet up at the end point! You may need to induce a shallow curve with these. I just can't tell. Inside the engine cowl ring, you will normally see the radiator faces, which under normal circumstances would have a sort of mesh texture. Here, a full set of individual plates has been supplied. Due to the open nature of the texture, consider applying these with Klear/Future, or something similar. CA may look a little messy unless you're very careful. Oddly, seatbelt straps are included here, minus buckles (found on colour PE fret). I can't understand the rationale in making these in regular brass and having to thread nickel-plated buckles over them. Single piece colour PE would have been preferable, or some material such as that used by HGW. Other parts on this fret include weapon pack gun blanking plates and channel caps, undercarriage compression strut jackets, exhaust tube forward grilles, windscreen armour plate, rudder pedals, nose gear bay plumbing and also finishing strips which you will fit into the rear of the stabiliser, before you add the elevators. Colour PE (Part A) I don't suppose it will come as any surprise to see that MK1 have tackled this in the same way that Eduard have with their own colour-printed parts. There is nothing on this fret to say this has been made by Eduard, and the style doesn't look typical of them, but I suppose it is possible. Parts on the colour fret include full cockpit instrumentation, including radio set fascias, and a multi-layer instrument panel, as we see with Eduard releases. A liberal smattering of PE covers everything from oxygen regulators, to other smaller sidewall detail. Quite impressive. Other parts on this fret includes the dipole array from the 219's spine, and a whole series of etch buckles for the belts which are presented on the first, brass fret. Resin Wheels Each of the 219's wheels is presented here as a single resin piece, with integral hub. Tread detail looks excellent, and the hubs are cast with the hydraulic lines in place. It is only the main tires that have a tread pattern, with the nose wheel being smooth. Detail is generally excellent, and of the wheels are very realistically weighted too, which is a vast improvement over the standard kit parts. The wheels exhibit some writing around the flat face. This says 'AVION and 'NACIONAL FIFELLI' (Pirelli?) . That all sounds a little strange to me. There are some tire sizes cast in situ too. I can't vouch at all how the detail is portrayed on these wheels in terms of tread or that odd writing. Perhaps you can make more sense of it? Casting is excellent, and the product appears very high quality. Casting blocks are connected to the parts via a thin wall which falls on the flat, weighted part of the wheel. Turned Brass parts These parts are quite impressive. Revell's exhaust flame damping tubes are a little weak to be honest (but still better than those in the ZM kit), and could do with replacing. MK1 have supplied superbly turned, thin wall brass replacements, complete with their straps, and with holes machined in the side into which he exhaust stubs will locate. A front cap is supplied for these tubes. For a night-fighter such as the He 219, you'll need an impressive radar array. Again, the kit parts are average, but you are limited with injection plastic. This set provides a whole new set of turned metal dipoles for the nose and tail of the aircraft. These look incredibly detailed. Other turned brass parts are included for the gun pack barrels in the belly, as well as for the upper firing MK108 guns too. A metal pitot is also included. White Metal Parts This is the last pack within this set, and contains no less than EIGHTEEN parts, all of which appear to be superbly cast, with no poor surface as seen on many SAC undercarriage sets. Main gear struts and actuators are included, as is the forward nose gear strut, with separate oleo scissor and two-piece fork, where the wheel would be sandwiched. It also appears that MK1 made the same mistake as Revell here and produced the undercarriage struts as they would look without any load, leading the model to sit too high, and with the wrong attitude. A full suite of prop blades is also included, but to me, they seem to lack any proper aerofoil curvature to the rear. The shapes to look right, however, but some fine seams lines could do with being polished away. The last metal parts here are for a replacement radio bank for the rear cockpit, and a simple ballast weight. These will certainly help push the centre of gravity forward and prevent your model being a nose-sitter, but please check the CoG before you seal everything up! Instructions A single, full-colour A4 sheet clearly shows the parts in the kit to be replaced, and where the extra details need to fit to the existing plastic. MK1 have done a very good job of this aspect, with everything being clearly labelled/numbered. Conclusion Like the Revell kit, this upgrade set is a bit of a mixed bag. Some parts have been carried off extremely well, such as the PE parts (with the exception of the seat belts), and the turned brass parts. Others less so. The wheels look great, but the bizarre text on them leaves me puzzled. The white metal parts are a general let-down in several areas. This is also quite an expensive set for what you get, and for me, you'd better channelling your money into the Eduard upgrade sets. Average James H My sincere thanks to KA Models for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  2. 1:32 Heinkel He 219A-0 ‘Uhu’ Zoukei-mura Catalogue # SWS No.6 Available from Volks Japan for 16,590¥ The Heinkel He 219 was a machine that almost never was. If it had been down to certain senior factions in the RLM, the project would have been dead in the water in its very early prototypical stage. Heinkel’s machine almost lost out to Messerschmitt’s Me 210/410 project, which was mostly beset with design and technical issues. The He 219 has the honour of being the first operational aircraft to be fitted with ejection seats, and had the type entered service earlier, and in quantity, it would most certainly have affected the success of the RAF’s night bombing operations over Germany. The He 219 was indeed designed as a night-fighter, and to this end was much better suited to it than other machines which were merely adapted for this purpose, such as the Ju 88 and Bf 110. The He 219 was heavily armed with 4 guns in a weapons pack in the aircraft’s belly, 2 wing mounted guns and 2 upward firing guns. The aircraft is typically known as the ‘Mosquito killer’, yet its performance in many aspects was inferior to the DH. Mosquito. Having said this, the type generally operated with success. The A-0 version was fitted with an armour plate panel which could be raised up in front of the armoured glass, giving extra protection from a direct encounter with a bomber turret. Under 300 of all He 219 variants were built, with only one surviving today in the USA. This is the machine which ZM have studied and agonized over in bringing this model kit to you. This is a model kit that I am already very familiar with. I make no secret of the fact that I have an ongoing relationship with Zoukei-mura, and at Scale Model World 2012, I was demonstrating the test shots of the He 219 to potential customers. Towards the end of last year, I also built a test shot of this model kit, so I am very familiar with the overall construction, and the positives and negatives which I myself perceive. That test shot was moulded in the familiar ZM 3 colour plastic, and came without instructions, decals, metal parts and masks etc. ZM listened to your comments about the three colour plastic use, and despite the Japanese home market liking this concept, they have now ditched it in favour of grey only. I for one am very happy with that decision. Without further ado, we’ll take a look at this shiny new release and see what you get for your hard-earned. Test shot image. Model by James H This is a large box, not unlike the Revell He 219 release, but unlike the Revell kit whose parts are few and seem lost in that big box, this kit is CHOCK FULL of plastic. There’s hardly a square inch free in there. Underneath the box lid, adorned by a superb artwork from Jerry Boucher, lies the inner carton, this time with a fold over lid to help contain the many sprues and stop them from bulging the lid outwards. Before we go in there, Jerry’s artwork is well worth mentioning. Specially commissioned for this release, a He 219A-0 is seen at night over a burning German city, whilst the Uhu’s noble quarry, a Lancaster, is seen veering away in flames. Superbly atmospheric, and most definitely the best ZM artwork to date. After prising the rather airtight lid from the box, and opening the flap lid, the first thing to be seen is the instruction manual, in a guise as a WW2 document, in a sleeve which also contains a large decal sheet, vinyl canopy masks and a resin leading edge lamp. More on these items later. First we need to take a look at the flood of styrene that we have here. When I say there are a lot of parts here, I really don’t joke. The Heinkel He 219A-0 kit is spread over FIFTEEN light grey sprues and TWO clear ones. The total parts count for this release is around 470, not including some die-cast parts which are supplied wrapped in foam, and within a narrow cardboard sleeve to prevent them from rolling around amongst the sprue bags. As I have previously mentioned, this release differs from the previous Zoukei-mura releases in that all sprues, with the obvious transparent exceptions, are now moulded in light grey plastic. This is a very welcome move from the gimmicky multi-colour releases, and finally dispels the myth about kit detail being soft. Both the silver and plastic did indeed make things look that way, but under a coat of primer, you could see the detail was sharp. The grey plastic has that same effect. Now, how do you tackle a review of such a detailed kit with a large number of parts? I think perhaps the best way to tackle this is to look at the construction of the model, and the options and detail within, and let the actual photos do the talking for the sprues. ENGINES TWO OF THESE SPRUES PROVIDED If you’re used to starting your construction with the pilot’s office, then we have a slight departure here, with your build beginning with the He 219’s two Daimler Benz 603 engines. Yes, this kit has included both powerplants for you build, and perhaps display with open cowls. The sheer depth of detail is incredible too. Each engine consists of SIXTY parts, and is a mini project in its own right. Each cylinder bank is moulded with piston and con-rods within, and when assembled to the crank case, the con-rods connect together. So, what’s the point? Well, I found on my test shot that this enabled me to get the angles of the cylinder banks correct in relation to the crank case, even though the fit of these parts together was nigh on perfect. A gimmick? Who knows, but this is the design those for SWS kits. Some modellers like this, and some don’t. The engines are adorned with extremely detailed ancillary parts, such as glycol tanks, magnetos, flywheels, supercharger, and fuel injection gear, as well as a LOT of plumbing that seems to weave its way over every face of the engine. Again, having built this earlier, I know that these various parts fit and match together with ease. Each engine also has a fully detailed annular radiator assembly, and the detail associated with opening/closing the external radiator flaps. You really have to see this to believe it, complete with the multitude of pistons that govern this aspect. To position as closed, you need to snip a predetermined length from the end of each piston. The flaps themselves are supplied as either open or closed options, and superbly/crisply moulded. Both engines have authentic damped fixing points attached to them which push neatly into sockets in the upper cowl. Whilst at SMW2012, we had a constant stream of people asking if we were going to be releasing the engine as a separate kit. It really is that good. Only this evening, I took the kit to Bolton IPMS to show the guys there, and again I was asked about the engine as a separate.
  3. I have been working on this over the last few weeks for Military Illustrated Modeller magazine... All a can say its a fantastic kit and its light years a head of the Revell kit! Hopefully I should have this complete in the next couple of weeks, ready for publication once its released! Here a couple of shots to get your mouth watering!
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