With all of the excitement on the modelling world with two large scale He-219 kits coming out the guys at Kagero had quickly sold out of their first edition Monograph with the “Uhu” as the subject. Well now good news that this book has been turned into more than one book but two.. Read on in our review to see what I mean…
Marek J. Murawski, Marekl Ryś
Archive & Colour photos + 3D Renders
Sheet A4 plans (1/72) + Sheet A3 plans (1/48)
Format : A4 portrait - (210x297 mm)
Seen this before? Well yes you have and no you haven’t. The older version of this book (Kagero 3041 Heinkel He 219 Uhu - Marek J. Murawski) – long sold out and in dual English and Polish languages combined into one book, well it has been edited, added to and expanded into two volumes. The initial book sold so well and with modern 3D imagery being able to be included the people at Kagero saw that they could expand on this book and tap the increased interest from new kits in larger scale have brought to this. Let’s have a look at what is old, what is new and what is very good about this book.
For the textual body of this volume I we now have thirty eight pages of text and period photographs – all in English - instead of ninety-one pages total. This covers the initial development and the prototypes of the aircraft, right up till the early combat of this type over German skies in late WWII. The struggle to get this machine into the air with all of the interference from the management above makes your eyes water just to read about it. From the top of the RLM down everyone seemed to have a hand in delaying the onset of production of the UHU. Indeed this could have been in the air at least a year sooner, and with better engines it would have been much more than “Woefully underpowered” aircraft as Captain Eric Browne describes it in the intro of the book.
The book takes you through every step the designers took to get this machine into the air, as well as some miss-steps along the way. We go through several pages and descriptions of what the prototype aircraft had to improve before you are taken on your first mission description. The notable first sortie by Werner Streib on which he shot down five enemy bombers and crashed on landing! The story is even more interesting than this description.
The last parts of the text part of the book take us up to roughly half way through the Uhu’s operational career. We learn the difference between the variants and some of the intricacies like the testing of the ejector seats and early experiences with the enemy are discussed. This is the most interesting account for me – I would be truly getting angry myself with the high command for making so little progress on a plane with such potential!
There are black and white plans included in 1/72 and scale of the earlier aircraft as well as the A-5 and A-7 later service aircraft while on a fold-out section of plans included with the book there are also some plans in 1/48th scale included. The 48th scale aircraft depicted is the early V-9 + A-2/R1 + A7 later aircraft. These should help modellers with their smaller scale kits like the excellent Tamiya 1/48th kit which is so popular in the market.
Included in these plans are scaled drawings of the engine, Revi gunsight, and cockpit diagrams will come in the next book.
These drawings are very good – I have however little faith in any drawings I see of WWII aircraft - and find it them a good guide line but I wouldn’t ever say to anyone else that the drawings I have are 100% accurate. I think only a copy of a blueprint would satiate most modellers – unless it suits their purpose. The drawings are however very helpful to understand the differences of each variant and to scratch-builders or conversion hounds looking to add to their kit to make it something else it isn’t. (Most modelling folk)
The party piece of this book – and one that modellers will most like – is the 3D- like renders of the front cockpit.
I would think that the radar operator’s section would be covered in book two – this book however deals with the cockpit from the armoured nose glass and front right through to the rear facing navigator/ RADAR operator’s seat. Both early and later variants of cockpit, dial and control are represented – in almost perfect computer animated renders that leave make squinting at pictures of black and white photos of cockpits to help make your model kit in the dust.
The detail here is astonishing and I dare you not to see it in the flesh for yourself and not give a little “Wow” as you look at the minute detail captured by the artists and researchers of this book. This is a reason in it’s own to buy this volume if you are wanting to model the kit – amazing detail and a trump card over other titles I have seen recently.
Next we have thirteen pages of colour photo walk arounds from the NASM Udvar-Hazy Center where the last soon to be operational He-219 is held. (if you don’t count the one they are recovering from the north sea)
This is a pristinely thought out restoration – in taking off the wings the people at the NASM have found the original colours of the machine which blew a few of the expert theories on colour schemes out of the water.
All angles are covered here except the insides of the machine – there are a few walk-arounds of this aircraft on the internet – but none of these shots are hazy or badly taken in bad camera settings – details from the engines to the internal compartments are very helpful to modellers.
The last part of this book is filled with aircraft profiles, Seven different aircraft are portrayed here – with special attention to Hauptmann Modrow’s half black underside-marked Uhu.
Also included are several other well-known aircraft – a black undersided version and the ejections seat test-bed with red and white striped markings on the camouflage. I think the profiles are well drawn and convey a good amount of the aircraft’s texture. They don’t look flat or lifeless. I think though many have been seen before – indeed this was not a very highly produced aircraft – that they are a great part of the book for modellers.
Well that is it – even though they have taken a lot of the old book into this volume I understand what has been added in the extra text, corrections here and there and the amazing 3D images which should be seen to be believed.
This is a great modellers tool – if you are building the Uhu – or even just thinking about getting it out of the stash to build I recommend this book
Thanks to the peeps at Kagero for this good read and new modelling aid for when I make my Uhu!