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Tamiya 1/48 scale Heinkel He 219A-7 Uhu

Kit: No. 61067
Scale: 1/48
Manufacturer: Tamiya, imported by Tamiya America, 2 Orion, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4200, 800-826-4922
Price: $45
Comments: Injection molded, 125 parts (1 white metal, 2 vinyl), decals.

The Heinkel He 219 Uhu has been at the top of several "most-wanted-kit" lists recently, so it is no surprise that a major manufacturer has issued a new kit in 1/48 scale. While desired by modelers, the He 219 wasn't as well received with the Luftwaffe high command when it appeared in 1942. Even though it eventually proved to be an excellent night fighter, only 268 machines were built.

Tamiya's parts are molded in medium gray plastic with beautiful recessed panel lines. My kit had no flash but there were two small sinkholes on the top of the two fuselage components. Optional features include open or closed cowl flaps, positionable flaps, and upward-firing Schräge Musik guns (under a removable panel).

Any long-tailed, tricycle-landing-gear model is a potential tail sitter, but Tamiya solved that problem by casting the cockpit tub in white metal; the weight keeps the model on its nose gear. Combined with plastic detail parts, it makes a fine-looking cockpit. A pair of identical crew figures are provided to sit in the ejection seats - that's right, the He 219 was the first operational aircraft fitted with them. The canopy is presented in three pieces, so posing the center section open is possible.

Construction goes along quickly and features excellent fit, except for the rear of the engine nacelles where I had to fill and sand. A pair of tubular wing supports inserted through the fuselage make the assembly strong and precise. Many small parts have tabs that assemble only one way.

Carefully study step 9 for the assembly of the main gear struts. After removing a section from D14, it and D12 surround a tab on D18. Ejector-pin marks and sinkholes in the landing-gear bays, cockpit, and engine exhaust stacks will end up covered over by other parts so don't spend a lot of time correcting them. The Schräge Musik gun bay cover didn't fit well.

The kit represents the last production model and includes only one variation of the Lichtenstein radars carried on the Uhus. The radar masts are molded on one part of the nose, making a strong and smooth assembly. The antennas attach to the masts. Tamiya's example has the antennas at an angle, but not all aircraft had this feature; check your references.

I painted my model with a combination of Model Master enamels and Polly Scale acrylic paints. Decals for three aircraft are included, and they went on well with a little setting solution. My sample's fuselage crosses were off register, so I replaced them with spares.

The finished Uhu looks dead on and measures within a few scale inches of the dimensions in Uhu - He 219 by H.J. Nowarra, and Luftwaffe Profile No. 3 by Dressel and Griehl.

I spent 34 hours on my Uhu, and modelers with average abilities will be able to build it without problems. I thoroughly enjoyed building this kit and it makes great company for my ProModeler Bf 110G-4.

- Jim Zeske

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