by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
As usual with recent Dragon models, the presentation is excellent. The sprues are separately backed within the sturdy top-opening box and parts such as the transparencies, etched details and decals are taped to a cardboard insert to further protect them. The kit comprises:
101 x grey styrene parts (plus a few spare)
6 x clear styrene parts (again a couple of extras for the spares box)
11 x etched brass parts
Decals for 2 x colour schemes
The moulding is very crisp throughout, with basically not a trace of flash and no signs of sink marks, so preparation for assembly should be extremely quick and easy. Surface detail consists of precise and quite fine engraved panel lines. There are a couple of ejector-pin marks to take care of in the cockpit - these wouldn't have been visible in the original kit, but fall into the area now occupied by the extended cockpit.
A quick test fit shows the main parts fit together well enough. The fit at the wing roots looks particularly encouraging and the large locating tabs promise a sturdy assembly.
The kit is nicely detailed for this scale, with a well moulded cockpit tub that also forms the roof of the nosewheel well. To convert the kit to a 3-seater, new parts are included to extend the existing tub rearwards. Side consoles and radar/radio faces are nicely moulded and the pilot's instrument panel is etched brass. Disappointingly, seeing as there's an etched fret, no seat harness is provided.
The undercarriage is well detailed too, with 10 parts for each main gear. There's no note as to whether weight is needed to prevent the kit being a tail-sitter. My instinct is add some weight in the nose to be on the safe side.
The propellers are made up of separate blades which complicate matters a bit, because there are no locating pins to ensure each blade is set at the same angle. The nacelles feature open cooling gills and nicely detailed exhaust shrouds.
The direction finder is provided as an etched part under a clear cover and the radar array is a combination of styrene and etched parts. The latter are obviously too flat for absolute accuracy, but should look fine in this scale after a coat of paint to give them some "depth" - and they are a definite improvement over the clumsy moulded aerials we've seen all to often on earlier kits.
Instructions & DecalsThe assembly instructions are pretty straightforward (although the radar operator's console disappears in Stage 2 for no apparent reason) and include matches for Gunze Sangyo paints. Oddly, Dragon suggest mixing what is presumably RLM 66 from field grey and black, when Gunze Sangyo include the colour in their range – H416
Decals are included for two aircraft:
1. QT NY, 3./NJG3, Germany 1945
2. w/n 310188, D5 CL, 1./NJG3, Germany 1945
Decals for a third aircraft - G9 FK are also included, but it isn't illustrated on the painting guide and no details are given.
The decals are beautifully printed in perfect register by Cartograph. The items are thin and matt-finished. The only down point is that no swastikas are included, but this is hardly the end of the world as they are easily obtainable.
Conclusion Dragon's He 219 A-5/R4 looks like a good kit and it's great to see a lesser-known variant of this perennial WW2 favourite kitted as a mainstream model.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.