by: Andy Brazier [ ]
HistoryThe Heinkel He 219 Uhu (Eagle-Owl) was a night fighter serving in the later stages of World War II with the German Luftwaffe. The requirement for an advanced night fighter was issued in 1942 and the He 219 was the product of this programme. A relatively sophisticated aircraft, some speculate that had the Uhu been available in quantity it may have had a significant effect upon the strategic bomber offensive of the Royal Air Force. However very few of the aircraft saw service and the He 219 had no appreciable impact upon the course of the war.
Production models, equipped with radar, began arriving in the Luftwaffe in October 1943. The capable He219 had an enviable reputation as a “Mosquito”-killer, but production was never sufficient to have a significant impact on the air war. The later He219B model was fitted with 2500hp Jumo 222A/B engines, giving the Uhu a maximum speed of 700km/h. It also featured a lengthened wingspan for better high-altitude performance.
The KitUpon opening the sturdy lidded box you are confronted with 5 sprues of grey injected plastic parts, 2 sprues of clear parts and a small photo etch set. The clear, P.E parts and decals are separately bagged and taped to a cardboard sheet to protect them. A total of 125 parts make up the kit, with 12 parts not being used.
The make up of the parts are as follows:
- 96 x grey styrene parts
- 6 x clear styrene parts
- 11 x photo etched brass parts
The plastic injection parts have no flash on them but there are lots of sink marks on them. I would like to state that the sink marks do look to be in places that won't be seen once the kit is finished, so clean up of the parts should be a breeze. Nearly all Dragon model kits have small knockout "nodes" that are attached to nearly every piece to help with getting the parts out of the moulds and some care will be required to remove these, as some of the "nodes" are bigger then the piece it's attached to.
The kit has some very nice engraved panel lines and access hatches on the wings and fuselage. I know if you scaled this kit up to 1/1 scale you would lose your arm in there but until someone comes up with a better way of recreating panel lines this fine then Dragon have done a marvelous job on current moulding techniques.
Interior detail is pretty good considering the scale. The cockpit has the seat bases already moulded onto the floor with the backs being separate parts. The front of the seats have a couple of pin marks on them and haven't got any harnesses moulded on them or that come separately, so adding them should improve the look of them. The main instrument panel is a P.E part and will require some careful painting to make it look realistic.
The main wheel bays have some rivet detail moulded in, but should look pretty good once complete as each undercarriage leg has 10 parts each. The nose wheel bay has no internal detail but considering the size of the bay its not surprising, as I feel you wouldn't see anything anyway. The same goes for the engines, which are moulded with the cowling already in place.
The clear parts are very, eerr, clear with no distortion visible. The frames are nicely replicated and raised. The frames have a frosted look to them, so painting the correct part is easier to do.
The P.E parts are the already mentioned instrument panel, 2 underside aerials and the 4 main aerials. I believe the inclusion of the P.E aerials can only be a good thing as A - they will look more realistic then injection plastic ones and, B - they will not break so easily.
InstructionsThe instructions are printed on the normal Dragon folded paper. The build sequence is broken down into 8 stages with interior colours given along the way. The build looks to be fairly straightforward with the optional parts highlighted along the way.
The last 2 pages contain the painting and decal guides. All the paints are from Aqueous Hobby Color, Mr Color and Model Master paint ranges.
Decals and MarkingsThe decals are printed by Cartograf and are in register. There is minimal carrier film and the colours don't seem too bright for a night fighter. There are markings for 3 aircraft:
- 1. AC, NJG3, Germany 1945 - All black
- 2. D5 CN, NJG3, Germany 1945 - Black mottle over light grey uppers and black undersides.
- 3. G9 CY, NJG3, Germany 1945 - Black mottle over light grey uppers and black undersides.
Whether the colours are correct or not I don't know, as I have found several different colour schemes for German night fighters.