Administrators James H Posted June 14, 2013 Administrators Share Posted June 14, 2013 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. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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