The He 70 Blitz (Lightning) was inspired by Lockheed's Model 9 Orion which had been introduced to Europe by Swissair in 1931. The Blitz was developed for Deutsche Luft Hansa as a high speed mailplane and light airliner. First flying in 1932, the Blitz was used to link Berlin with Frankfurt, Hamburg and Cologne. It also flew the Hamburg/Cologne route. Internationally, it formed part of Luft Hansa's South American mail route, flying the Stutgart/Seville portion of the run. By 1937, all of Deutsche Luft Hansa's He 70s were transferred to the Luftwaffe.
As is now common for ICM kits, this comes packed into a resealable plastic bag. The box is a little large compared to the sprues inside and the clear parts rattle around loose inside the bag, which could result in damage. There is a small amount of flash and a few ejector pin marks to contend with. The mouldings are otherwise crisp and the panel lines are very fine. They may disappear under the paint, but the Blitz was well known for the smoothness of its construction so that may be acceptable. This is a multipurpose kit which means that some parts for the military variations have to be replaced by the parts to make the civilian version. This is most evident in the turtleback fairing behind the cockpit and the interior. The instruction sheet is fairly small, with 6 construction steps shown in a 3D rendering style. The greyscale used is a little dark and some of the part positions are rendered unclear by the decision to present all the drawings in a 30 degree isometric showing the left side of the model. Symmetrical parts (flaps, ailerons, landing gear) are only shown for one side; the builder must make the conceptual leap that the construction for the other side is identical. As a result, I cannot recommend this kit for the beginner.
The fuselage is two halves from nose to tail. The cabin windows are open, with clear parts provided for them. The passenger door is a separate clear part and there is a fine scribed line inside the right fuselage half showing where to cut the door opening. I'm not certain whether cutting out just the window may be easier. The cockpit and passenger seats fit to the bulkhead/spar pieces and the lower wing section, which in turn has the fuselage built around it. Care should be taken to ensure proper allignment. For reasons unknown, ICM decided to mould the instrument panel in clear, but neglected to provide decal instrument faces to put behind it. If painted with care, it could look very good. The rest of the cockpit details are very fine. The pilot's seat is a military style bucket and lacks the cushions that Luft Hansa likely had installed. The only aftermarket item needed would be a set of seatbelts. There is a nasty sink mark in the radiator core, but it may not be visible after the radiator bathtub is in place. A spare piece of fine mesh could be installed to cover it up. There is a fine raised panel line around the rear fuselage just aft of the wing. Perhaps this is from a mould insert? It shouldn't be there, but sanding it down should not be terribly difficult. What appears to be another raised line is actually the positioning mark for the rear of the turtleback fairing.
The wings are each comprised of the aforementioned lower centre section, 2 lower wingtip sections and upper right and left halves. The flaps and ailerons are separate, but appear to be designed to mount in the neutral position only. It may be possible to deflect them with a little work if desired but I have not been able to find photos showing the flaps lowered while the aircraft is parked. A pair of wheel well inserts mount into the lower centre section before the upper wing halves are glued on. There is a pair of separate spar pieces to strengthen the lower wingtip joints but only one is mentioned in the instructions. The fabric covering of the wings is depicted by almost invisible ribs. They can only be seen when the wing is held at an angle to the light or felt if you run your fingertip over the wing surface.
The stabilisers are one piece that slots into the tail. A separate rudder attaches to the fin and then the whole assembly is secured by the tailcone. Once again it does not appear that the rudder can be positioned but it may not take much work to accomplish. The elevators are moulded with the stabilisers. It would take considerably more work to deflect them. Available photos show them drooped slightly when the aircraft is parked.
The top of the cowling is separate, but it covers an empty void. The exhaust stacks slot through the sides of the cowling, which will make painting easier if you leave the top off until after painting. It should be straightforward to install an aftermarket or scratchbuilt engine or even a sub-miniature electric motor in the engine compartment. The exhaust stacks are moulded with slightly hollowed ends, which is very nice to see given that drilling them out would be quite difficult considering how thin they are.
The landing gear struts and wheels are finely moulded and nicely detailed. The main struts are fiddly, made up of 3 components. The main wheel well covers must be bent to a 90 degree angle before being attached. The tail wheel looks a bit chunky and suffers from a slight sink mark. The instructions are contradictory, showing the skid in place while it is marked “do not use” on the parts map. Photos seem to show that Deutsche Luft Hansa's aircraft used the tail wheel.
I don't compare models to drawings or published measurements. When assembled it looks like an He 70
Decals and Markings
The decal sheet provides for two nearly identical Deutsche Luft Hansa He 70s in overall light grey (RLM 63) with black trim. It is difficult to tell from the black and white photos available, but most interpretations of civil He 70s have them in natural metal/aluminium dope rather than light grey. The decal options are:
D-UZUH in 1936
D-UNEH “Condor” in 1935.
Both colour schemes feature the red/white/black German tricolour on both sides of the fin. Changing the left side of the fin to show the later red band and swastika would not be difficult if the modeller so desires.
The painting instructions call for the side trim decals to be added first, and then for the nose to be painted black around them. This is to allow the lightning bolt to show through the decal. I'm not sure how well the decals will take to being masked over so great care should be taken while painting. The underside is not shown, making the demarcation of the trim under the nose an unknown. According to photos, the black trim curved around the leading edges of the wings and extended in a narrow scallop all the way to the tail wheel. This is on the decal sheet, but not mentioned on the instructions. The radiator bathtub, venturi tube and the antenna under the nose should be left off until after painting and decalling are complete. The decals are ICM's typical matte finish. The printing is in register, but very slightly fuzzy.
The real thing
in a typical pose.
A Matchbox kit
showing the underside trim.
ICM He 70 F (Spanish Civil War)
ICM He 70 F (Luftwaffe)
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