by: Darren Baker [ ]
ICM have at last released my dream variant of the Heinkel HE 111 in the form of the Zwilling in 1/48 scale. Zwilling which means ĎGeminií involved the combination of two Heinkel HE 111 joined by a new centre wing section that housed a Fifth engine. The Heinkel variant used for this Aircraft was the H6 versions of the Heinkel HE 111 and, I believe its primary task was as a glider tug for the German Goliath. So letís take a look inside and see whatís in store for us!
This ICM offering is provided in the usual good quality cardboard box with additional card lid with the artwork on top, the exception here is that we get two cardboard flip top boxes inside the card lid. The models sprues are supplied in four re-sealable plastic bags with two in each box and this has avoided (from what I can see) any undue bending of the contents. An examination of the sprues reveals two completely new sprues and I believe two complete HE111 H/6 models. Looking over the sprues there is no obvious issues with them, there are the usual flow marks present on the larger mouldings and as is usual these do not feel or look to have caused any issues to the finish of the parts.
The interiors of the model are of the usual high standard that I have come to expect from ICM, while considering that they do not provide photo etch elements. The crew compartment from the mid rear section through to the cockpit is well detailed having nice rib structure throughout. The defensive weaponry and its ammunition storage is well replicated by ICM. The cockpit itself has everything I would expect to find in an ICMmodel kit although, I do wish that they would provide photo etch for the seat harnesses or replicate this in another manner. Careful painting of the model should result in a very pleasing view of the aircraft through the heavily glazed front portion of the fuselages. The only thing other than the seat harnesses that I think the modeller should replicate, are the leather padded cushions on the floor of the gondolas.
The exterior aspects of the fuselages have the usual high quality light recessed panel lines that I now appreciate from ICM, as they provide a quality finish to those areas. The flight control surfaces have all been provided as separate parts and while not covered could be depicted in any orientation the modeller desires with very minimal work. My only concern reference these very fine recessed panel lines is that any filling and/or sanding undertaken by the modeller can quickly erase them.
The wings themselves also exhibit the very fine panel lines seen on the rest of the model and, as such the same caution remains reference filling and sanding. In this model ICM has provided five Jumo engine models which are very good, straight from the box and could be even further improved with a little scratch work from the modeller or by looking for after market photo etch sets. The high level of detail provided on these engines can be easily displayed in part or as a whole due to numerous panels being provided for the engine cowlings. Once all of the wing assemblies are added to the model you will have a substantially wide offering which is nearly 30 inches across, for our members who prefer metric we are talking 76cm. Therefore this is extremely large. The support for this very wide wingspan is provided by four bracing structures with two mounted in each fuselage with them meeting in the centre wing either side of the central line.
The undercarriage of the model has very nice detail in the wheel wells which of course could be further improved if desired in order to replicate the wiring and tubing which should be present. The undercarriage struts have a nice level of detail on them, but again will benefit from some additional work on the part of the modeller to replicate the brake lines and such. The tyres of the undercarriage will have a centre line to them due to being provided in two halves that will need addressing and I would have liked to of had the option of weighted tyres but alas not. The tread detail on the tyres is pleasing but again care will need to be taken when removing the join line to avoid damaging the tread pattern. The tail wheel for each fuselage has been provided as a multipart assembly and I greatly approve of this, as to my mind it makes the detail so much better. The undercarriage doors may proof a little difficult to install due to getting the lugs down the side of the previously installed undercarriage, but care and attention should allow a good finish.
Provided with the model are four 800 litre fuel tanks, my only concern here is that a decal should have ideally been provided to go onto the fuel tanks for accurate replication. The fixed pitch wooden paddle propellers have a very nice level of detail to them, and bring a nice finish to what is a formidable sized model that should attract the eye or anyone walking past a display table or cabinet with one being displayed.
ICM has provided this model with two finishing options, which are:
HE 111Z-1, Eastern Front, Winter 1942 - 1943
HE 111Z-1, Eastern Front, Spring 1943
Due to the distinctive difference in these two patterns I believe if one fuselage was done in one finish and the second in the other, it could make for an even greater visual attraction. The decals provided for the model are a little on the heavy side as I can feel them on the backing paper.
This model offering from ICM will result in a very large model but one I feel, due to its unique appearance will prove a big talking point and eye catcher at any model show or indeed inside your own home when someone sees it. The quality of the model is very high in all provided respects. There are a few additions that I would recommend from the off, these being harness details for the seats and drilling of the muzzles of the defensive machine guns. Additional details for those with the ability would be the addition of cabling in the engine bay and undercarriage, I would also look to give the tyres a weighted look or alternatively seek out designated resin offerings. I am sure the modellers out there can think of 101 alterations to make to this model but for me these are the only ones that I would consider as required and improvements. In closing I highly recommend this model from ICM as something that is large and will have a great deal of visual appeal for just about anyone who lays their eyes on it.