The following introduction is from the instruction booklet.
The Heinkel He 219A was the first German fighter plane to be designed from the outset as a night fighter. No other aircraft throughout the world, is shrouded in as much mystery and accompanied by so many myths as the He 219. This is probably due to the fact that the entire development and production history of the aircraft always gives rise to misinterpretation and speculation, due to the sparsely preserved documentation, whereby in the case of the He 219 it is a prime example of poor management. In June 1941 Heinkel began work based on the former P1055 project. Even at that time a problem was identified that significantly affected the He 219 during the rest of its lifespan: the lack of available engines! Many of the engines envisaged for installation in the He 219, such as the DB 603G did not leave the drawing board or in the case of the Jumo 222 suffered poor reliability due to the unavailability of important raw materials. Despite all of the prototypes it never entered into mass production.
Ongoing ‘trench warfare’ in the corridors of power at the Heinkel company are also part of the He 219’s history. Hardly any other German fighter aircraft has so often throughout its history ‘died’ only to be ‘resurrected’ a short time later to new life. After the maiden flight of the He 219V1 fitted with two Daimler Benz DB 603A engines on 6 November 1942, followed by a whole series of further prototypes prior to the first production aircraft - a He 219A-0 - being delivered in June 1943. Further development at Heinkel continued in this vein. In July 1944 this this finally resulted in the He 219A-2, also fitted with the DB 603A. Specific external recognition features of the A-2 were the missing small FuG 212 C1 antenna previously fitted between the large antennas of the FuG 220 Lichenstein SN-02 on-board radar. They were rotated at an angle of 45 degrees horizontally in order to reduce susceptibility to enemy interference. Additionally the radar received an enhancement enabling different frequencies to be used: this so called “wave scattering” was marked on the nose or the fin according to version in roman numerals, commonly IV or VI were used.
In the meantime the He 219 had long since passed its Baptism of Fire with flying colours. During the night of 11th / 12th June 1943 Major Werner Streib in a He 219A-0 of No1 Night Fighter Wing was able to shoot down 5 enemy bombers with a 219A-0 of number one night fighting squadron. During succeeding night missions the He 219A proved to be an excellent, but still far from perfect fighter aircraft.
A particular fault which lead to the loss of aircraft without enemy participation was the fuel supply during fuel transfer between various tanks during flight. Meanwhile following requests from individual night fighter aces for an additional crew member for aerial observation Heinkel built a series of 3 or 4 prototypes He 219A-5’s, which were tested by No 1 night fighter squadron. Due to poor results the design was completely cancelled.
An increasingly long list of complaints lead to a fundamental revision based on the A-2, mass production was planned under the designation HE 219A-7. The previously mention DB603G or ultimately the Jumo 222 were envisaged as power units. The engines belonged to a group of standard engines that should be delivered as complete units including all accessories. An upgrade of any performance conform engine was therefore available without any modifications. However since none of the engines were available a design was made to start series production using the unoccupied designation A-5 with DB 603AA in order that later modification to the desired A-7 standard could be achieved when the new engines became available. Shortly there after the war ended and the project came to a quick end. Thus the completed A-5’s are indeed a sort of A-7, they only have the wrong engine.
It is my understanding from my limited reference material, that the Allied bomber forces (specifically British Bomber Command with this being a night fighter) should be glad that this aircraft never ever really got going, as it was a very efficient night fighter with a good radar and plenty of punching power from its four 30mm MK 103 cannons.
The model is supplied packaged in a card tray and lid box. The sprues are packaged in a number of clear plastic bags that are cello taped closed, this method has in this example prevented damage to the mouldings. The mouldings break down as follows;
- 12 light grey sprues
- 2 clear sprues
- A decal sheet
- An instruction booklet
- A warning pamphlet
Taking a good look at the mouldings results in a positive opinion for the most part, due to some clean moulding by Revell of Germany
. There are a few flow lines present, but none of them appear to have caused any issues that will need to be addressed. Sink marks in this model are completely absent, this is a big positive as I have noted that Revell of Germany
does suffer with this issue on their thicker moulded parts. Flash is absent from the model with the exception of some minor and thin flash on the upper left wing tip, this flash will be easily removed with a light sanding or a scrap of a sharp knife. The decals have good colour with crisp lines, however there are a number of the decals that have excessive carrier film which will require careful application on a good surface to hide. The only other negative is that some of the gates between the sprue and the moulded parts are on the heavy side.
My reference material for this aircraft is limited, with only have the internet and a copy of ‘The Luftwaffe Profile Series No 3 Heinkel He 219 UHU. That said there are pictures of the pilots console and this detail has been very well captured by Revell of Germany
, every dial looks to be there and matches the size and placement of the real thing. The pilots site is a little soft on detail but I do not believe that Revell of Germany
could have done any better without resulting to providing photo etched parts. The side walls of the cockpit are not covered well at all reference wise, but what limited detail I have observed in my reference is faithfully replicated on the model.
Moving on to the rear of the cockpit we find the radar screens and radios; the lower half of the of this area matches up well with my reference as does the very top area, but the middle section looks a little muddled against my reference, the viewer for the right hand radar screen is accurately detailed but the left hand side viewer is missing completely. The ejector seat system, a first I believe on a production aircraft of any country, has some nice detail but I cannot comment on its accuracy, the seat will benefit from some added harness detail from either an after-market company or some scratch work.
The fuselage has some nice shallow recessed panel lines and some good raised detail present, the securing screw/bolt detail is also nicely present in various areas. The fuselage is made up of a surprising number of panels with the two sides being joined with a separate belly and top, plus there are some smaller panels for the tail area. The housing for the four 30mm MK 103 cannons is good but the barrels will need to be drilled to improve detail or you could invest in some after-market barrels from a company such as Master Reality in Miniature, due to the small amount of the barrels that show drilling the tip out will most likely be good enough for most.
Wings and Tail
The flight surfaces of the model share the same attributes as the fuselage when it comes to shallow recessed panel lines. The control surfaces are moveable, but as usual I recommend they are set in the desired position when the model is finished. Revell of Germany
has supplied two parts which are secured inside the fuselage which then has two braces that extend out of the fuselage on each side and support the wings in the correct orientation and of course support the weight. The tail is made from separate parts with them joining together at the centre of the fuselage, I would have liked to see a single run upper surface of the tail with two separate lower surfaces, this approach would have helped greatly to get the correct degree of dihedral to the tail.
The undercarriage of this model looks to be a fair representation of the real aircraft. The main legs have again been split into two halves by Revell of Germany
, this applies to both the nose and wing wheels and this approach has made it harder to obtain a clean join after filler has been utilised. The wheels are split in two halves and are not weighted which is a pity. Supplied detail on the inner faces of the wheel wells is quite good and along with the detail on both faces of the wheel bay doors provides a good level of detail; for those who like to add detail to their models this is an area where you can to town adding brake lines and wiring detail that will improve the finished look of the model.
There is no internal engine detail with this model, but Revell of Germany
has included the radiator detail around the inner face of the cowling. The exhausts on the engine will need to be drilled to improve the look of them but are otherwise good. The profile of the propeller blades looks to match my reference very well but as my reference is limited it is difficult to be 100% sure of that. The spinners do not match the profile of the artwork in my reference, with that said it does look to be a fair match for a spinner in one of the period photographs but it is difficult to be sure due to the slight angle of the aircraft in the picture.
Revell of Germany
has done a very fair job on the two types of antennas in this kit with them being reasonably accurate; these can be further improved if wished as Master Reality in Miniature have released brass offering for both options included with the model, if you wish to take a look at those offerings a link is provided at the end of this review. The two types of antenna supplied with the model are;
German FUG 218 Neptun Antenna
German radar FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2
The placement and angles depicted in the instructions do look to match up with the information I have and will look acceptable to most.
Instructions and Finishing Options
The instructions are supplied in the form of a loose leafed A4 booklet. Construction is covered in 78 stages using the black and white line drawing method; these stages are clear due to Revell of Germany
keeping the number of parts added during each stage at a reasonable level. The instructions provide four finishing options which are;
- He 219A-7 of 3/NJG 3 at Grove, Denmark, April 1943
- He 219A-2 of 1/NJG 1 at Westerland/Sylt, Germany, April 1945
- He 219A-7 of 1/NJG 1 at Westerland/Sylt, Germany, April 1945
- He 219A-5 of Stab 1/NJG 1 at Munster-Handorf, January 1945
The Heinkel He 219 is one of those aircraft I know very little about other than what I have read on the instruction booklet and on the internet, it is this that perhaps points out one of the weaknesses with the internet which is contradictory information, you have been warned. The model itself looks a good match for my printed reference and I am happy that it has a good level of accuracy due to how well it matches up with areas I do have good reference for. The decals will need care when used unless of course you trim the decals well. The low cost of this model is perhaps one of the best reasons to search it out as it will not break the bank and leaves wriggle room should you wish to hit the after-market suppliers to further improve the base model. The good points far outweigh the few bad and so I recommend this model as a worthy contender for your modelling time.
Related ReviewsFUG 218 Neptun Antenna
German radar FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2
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