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Revell Germany 1/32 scale Heinkel He 111P-1

The distinctive profile of Heinkel’s He 111 medium bomber made it one of the most recognizable aircraft in the World War II Luftwaffe. I have always liked the sleek lines of the 111, so I was pleased when Revell Germany announced an all-new tooling of the plane in 1/32 scale.

Molded in light blue styrene, the kit comprises 433 injection-molded parts; more than 40 of them are clear plastic, and these brilliant, thin parts are a highlight of the kit. I found the engraved panel lines were a little wide and deep for the scale, though. Prominent ejector-pin holes mar the sides of each cockpit fuselage half; I left them alone, as they would have been difficult to repair.

The cockpit is nicely detailed, a fine thing under that much glass. The pilot’s control wheel, side consoles, and rudder pedals are satisfactory. Decals are provided for instrument faces.

Complete interiors fill the rest of the plane, too. The main landing gear and gear bays are nicely detailed, and the bomb bay has those unique, vertical bomb racks. The aft fuselage continues with radio gear and various ammo drum racks — and more ejector-pin marks on the fuselage walls.

Decals provide markings for three aircraft. The decals were in perfect register and had a dead-flat finish.

You have a few construction options, too. All the control surfaces are molded separately and are posable. Bomb bay doors can be opened or closed; same for the landing gear. The dorsal turret windscreen can be opened or closed; same goes for the cockpit hatch.

I found the 113 steps of the 16-page instruction booklet busy and, in places, hard to follow as parts placement was sometimes vague (mainly the ammo racks). As American modelers often note, paint references are for Revell colors. (Here is where you can fins a cross-reference to Testors paints.)

Construction was straightforward, and everything fit perfectly.

The only issues I encountered were at steps 43 and 44: The instructions show attaching engine bulkhead parts 28 to the upper-center wing halves in a slot with raised lines. No such moldings existed on either parts, so I waited until later in the nacelle assembly to determine the exact placement for the bulkheads. My solution was to attach parts 32/33 and 20/21 to the completed center wing section, add the bulkhead parts 28, then attach the previously assembled engine nacelles.

Once the fuselage and wing center section were completed, it was time to begin masking all those clear parts for painting. Obviously, there’s a lot of glazing. But Eduard comes to the rescue with a set of precut, self-adhesive masks made specifically for this kit (No. JX127). I was able to do all that masking in about an hour, even though there were a couple of odd omissions in the masks.

Mounting the tires on the main gear was tricky; I had to spread the landing gear legs to trap the tire. One side worked perfectly, but on the other side the main gear leg split down the middle and had to be repaired.

The overall fit of the big model was quite nice — especially all the clear parts! — and I used only a touch of filler here and there.

For the topside two-tone black green and dark green, I painted with Tamiya acrylics; underneath, I used decanted Tamiya spray paint. After the color coats were nice and dry, I used Tamiya clear straight from the spray can for a gloss coat to which I applied decals. The decals went on OK, though I did have to use some decal solvents to get them to settle into the panel lines. However, in spite of what looked like good adhesion on the gloss, I did have some silvering issues and ended up using Mr. Mark Softer on the troublemakers. Be careful with those solvents, though; it’s easy to damage these thin decals. Once the decals were dry, I overcoated with Testors Dullcote.

By law, Revell Germany kits provide no swastikas. I didn’t have any spares, so my plane doesn’t have them, either.

The completed model is striking — with a 27"-plus wingspan! It was an enjoyable build, thanks to the quality engineering and superb fit. I’m just not sure how or where to display it — it’s too big for my display cases!

Note: A version of this review appeared in the January 2012 issue of FineScale Modeler magazine.


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