by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
historyThe Heinkel 70 "Blitz" entered service as a fast mail aircarft for Deutsche Lufthansa in 1932. Boasting advanced design features for the era such as an elliptical inverted gull wing constructed of highly polished plywood, flush rivet construction, retractable undercarriage, and an engine cooled by ethylene glycol rather than water, the Blitz set eight speed records. Lufthansa developed it into a fast passenger plane.
Military needs incorporated the He 70E as the Luftwaffe's first Schnellbomber and subsequent versions as a fast reconnaissance plane, but they were eventually regulated to liaison and courier duties. In combat another unique feature of the He 70 presented a flaw. The fuselage was built of an alloy of magnesium; one hit would ignite the airframe. Though they were withdrawn from Luftwaffe combat duties before WW2, 18 were sent to Spain with the Kondor Legion (a review of the He 70 in Spanish Civil War markings can be found at "Additional Images URL:" below). Several stayed and flew for Spain until the 1950's. The Royal Hungarian Air Force used them for reconnaissance into 1942.
You will find a decal sheet and 83 styrene parts on 3 sprues: 71 light gray and 12 clear plastic. The sprues are in a self-sealing plastic bag. Three pieces for the civil plane are not used with this model. The quality of molding is very high. There are minor amounts of thin flash here and there, but none significant enough to require carving nor sanding away. A few ejection marks are visible in the cockpit, but not where they can be seen. I found no sink holes except on the sprue runners. There are some seam lines, and these are very obvious on a few small parts.
Both crew seats, DF loop, and MG 15 machine gun are incredibly thin. The machine gun is even molded with an open trigger guard!
The airframe is built with two fuselage halves, five wing pieces, a single part for the horizontal stabilizer, a tail cone, and top cowling. The ailerons, trailing-edge flaps, and rudder are separate and presumably positionable; the elevators are not. The five wing pieces are a center lower wing, left and right outer lower wings, and two full span upper wings. You have to cut away the fuselage behind the radio operator/gunner position, the only real modification of the model.
Two remarkable aspects of ICM's engineering of this kit are the wheel wells and exhausts. The interior for the landing gear wells are molded as single piece wall inserts. The exhaust stakes are hollowed at the ends.
Twenty-three parts (26 if you count the machine gun) build the cockpit and crew compartments. This includes two spars that fit into the center lower wing part. Five fuselage side windows illuminate the fuselage interior. The seats lack belt and strap details.
The two-piece instrument panel and the radio face are part of the clear sprue. These are cleverly molded with textured background for the panel, yet with smooth raised details for the bezels and dials.
Each of the main landing gear have seven parts. You have a choice between a tail wheel or skid.
The canopy is clear and features slightly raised framing detail. The unused canopy part is for the civil Blitz.
The instruction sheet is a thin paper bifold printed in Russian and English. It features line schematics of the three sprues. For assembly it features each step as an exploded diagram illustrated with CAD in grayscale. There is no textual sequence of steps, and some of the lines showing positioning are not obvious. Red symbols for optional steps and paint codes clarify those processes. An insert illustrates the two painting and marking choices.
When I first looked at the wings I thought they suffered incomplete molding. Then I realized they are delicately molded to represent faint rib and spar detail under the skin! The usual simulated fabric of the control surfaces is more obvious.
Oddly, the fuselage is detailed not only with faint recessed rivet detail, but also a few fine raised panel lines. Considering the He 70 was constructed with flush rivets and flush-edge panels, raise lines do not make sense!
Interior detailing consists of raised structural detail in the cockpit and the interior of the landing gear doors, but not inside the gear wells. It is a shame that most can not be seen through the clear but small canopies.
Decals, painting and markings
Model Master is the only paint referenced.
Your two aircraft choices are:
1. Germany, 1936: Aufkl. Gr. (F)/122 in prewar RLM 63 Lichtgrau with the red Nationalsozialismus tail band and striking black "Blitz" forward fuselage, or
2. Germany, 1940: Stab/ JG2 Richthofen in wartime RLM 65 Hellblau, RLM 70 Scwarzgrun, and RLM 71 Dunkelgrun.
The decals are printed sharp and in register. Fine service and stencil markings are included. Disappointingly, while the BalkanKreuze and JG2 fuselage codes are printed solid, the Aufkl. Gr. (F)/122 markings have a cracked pattern throughout.
This is an impressive model with fine molding and good detail. The wing detail simulating the internal structure is fascinating. Positionable control surfaces present great opportunity. The delicate molding of the small pieces is excellent. Lack of significant mold flaws is appreciated. Unfortunately, the "Blitz" decals are flawed. There is no detail in the wheel wells. There is raised detail on the fuselage contrasts with the flush detail elsewhere.
While this is does not appear to be a "shake the box" kit a'la 'Hasamiya', it should not present any build problems for modelers with a few kits under their belt.
Click here for additional images for this review.