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1/32 Heinkel He111 H-6 Upgrades


nmayhew
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1/32 Heinkel He111 H-6 Upgrades


Eduard
Interior S.A #32766: 25,95 €
Exterior #32331: 17,25 €
Mask #JX150: 14,95 €

 

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Today I will look at three sets from Eduard for the Revell He111 H-6 kit. This is the second 111 from the Revell stable, and I reviewed it earlier here; another related review given the items I am looking at here is the MasterDetails cockpit. I have all of the equivalent sets for the He111 P-1 kit and these are unsurprisingly very similar. The main difference being that with the H-6 accessories, there is no Bomb Bay set, as by this time ordnance was mainly carried on external racks underneath the fuselage. No bomb bay does take quite a bit of the cost away, so I will be interested to compare the price of the respective BigEd sets when the time comes.

 

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Looking at the Interior Set first (link to instructions here) this comes on two frets and features the usual array of pre-painted parts on one, and standard brass on the other. It is important to note at this stage that seat belts are not included here. The key parts of this set are those that replace the pilot's main instrument panel, which on the He111 were affixed to the canopy framework above him, rather on the usual bulkhead directly in front. The kit parts here are ok if you are building the kit out of the box, but once you want that extra bit of detail, however, this set is the logical choice I think. There are a number of other PE parts to this set, the majority of which are for similar instrument panels, dials and so on. Even under close scrutiny the details are very sharp indeed.

 

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The only criticism I usually hear of these Luftwaffe interior sets is that the dark RLM66 just isn't dark enough, and that it will contrast quite a lot with say, the cockpit side walls painted by the modeller. Whilst there is something in this - the Eduard parts do look a shade lighter than most of the RLM66 paints out there - I really can't get too worked up about it. When viewed in comparison to other options the modeller has for detailing the 'office' of the 111 - I will be reviewing the CMK resin counterpart to MasterDetails shortly - the Eduard set is the simplest to use, and is probably the quickest way to adding respectability to this part of the kit. Whether it is the cheapest remains to be seen - remember you still need to buy seat belts; the CMK resin set comes with both etch instrument panel and belts. Another way to consider it would be as a complement to the MasterDetails set, which has neither of these (the IP is in resin).

 

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The second fret contains a number of parts to further detail the cockpit, including pedals which in the He111 are particularly prominent. It also has those which are for the aft crew compartment, where the radio operator and the various gunners were stationed. Many of the parts for this area will not be very visible. As an aside, for those interested in a super accurate interior, this set is not really the way to go, since it just embellishes what Revell have put in, and there are some issues with level of flooring, layout of the ribs and spars etc. For those that want to enter into the realms of the truly hardcore (and truly expensive), I suggest you take a look here at HPH's offering.

 

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The Exterior Set (link to instructions here) comes on one fret and is in standard brass finish. Whilst you would probably use all the parts in the Interior Set, I am not so sure with this one. I really like the radiator grills and oil cooler grills - they are excellent, and I think most people will buy this set for these parts alone. But some of the other parts look either a little superfluous or would be better off in another medium. I am referring especially to the numerous access panels provided - I haven't counted, but there are quite a few of them. In dimension and detail they are nice, but the problem comes in how to actually affix them to your model in a convincing fashion: on the real aircraft, these panels do not sit proud of the surface - they sit pretty much flush with the rest of the airframe. I am not going to get into how many scale inches etc these would be sticking out, but even from a distance and with the thinnest application of CA glue, I am not convinced these won't look rather stylised. This is to say nothing of the fact that once you use one of these panels, you have little choice but to use the rest. One solution might be to sand down the PE panel after attaching it, but the risk of ruining surrounding surface detail is high (I don't particularly like re-scribing things unless I absolutely have to), and filing down metal is a whole different ball game to plastic.

 

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The other parts in this set include gun sights, MG FF magazine faces (even though these are clearly an interior part) and a sway brace for the torpedoes. The sights are ok, but if one is going 'all in' on the detail, then you will undoubtedly get ones supplied with either resin or turned brass barrels. The magazine parts are useful though, because this will be quite visible right at the front of the 'greenhouse'.

 

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Now the Mask Set (link to instructions here): made of yellow kabuki tape, these generally conform quite nicely to even gentle compound curves. Relative to what Eduard charge for say, a 1/32 Bf109 cockpit mask (which I think are really overpriced), this one is reasonable value. The fact is, they could charge a lot more for this one, because who really fancies making their own masks for something like the 111? Now having said that, and on closer examination, I find that although masks are provided for the wheels as well as all glazed areas, many of the parts are supplied as 'outline only'. By this I mean that only a small sliver of tape is provided to go round where the frame and glazing meet, and you have to fill in the rest yourself with liquid mask. I feel this is a bit of a cop-out: yes there are some challenging compound curve surfaces to be dealt with, but I am fairly sure these could have been dealt with by having numerous pieces applied in a sequential manner. This is how I have overcome such problems in the past when making my own masks from Tamiya tape, but it is tedious - and that is the whole reason for masking sets in the first place. As to liquid mask, I have tried many and none are wholly satisfactory.

 

Conclusion
The Interior Set is the only one I can recommend without reservation, on the grounds that you will see nearly everything and the parts look tip top. The Exterior Set is really a bit of a damp squib, and not exactly cheap for what is likely to be for many people, just the engine grills; I would buy it, but only because the grills are a 'must'. The mask set is another 'must', but the necessity of having to use liquid mask or adding loads of tape bits yourself does make this set a lot more hard work than it out to be. Eduard has a near 100% monopoly of etch and masks for aircraft, so as Mrs Thatcher once famously said, I am afraid "there is no alternative".

 

Recommended - with caveats.

 

With thanks to Eduard for the review sets. To purchase directly, click the links in the article.

 

Nicholas Mayhew

 

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My pleasure

 

This kit as a project with aftermarket is 'almost' there, but at present I won't touch it

 

I am waiting for ETC / PVC racks - and I know someone is already on them, but also a new piece of nose cone glazing

 

Revell balls this up and mixed features of the P and H (I simplify), resulting in both kits being wrong

 

This one is more tricky - I have spoken to one company but I don't think it's a priority as yet

 

Straight OOB the Ju88 or DML Bf110 are a better project in my view

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