Friday, November 9

We review (& partially construct) the Revell 1/32 He-219 A-7/A-5/A-2 late "UHU"

There is once again a large scale battle on to win the night skies over Germany – Large in scale meaning the 1/32nd market. Our two contestants - the Zoukei Mura He-219 in the blue corner – with a high price tag but high detail to accompany that – and in the red corner the He 219 from Revell, boasting nearly as much detail but a much easier to swallow price tag. Who wins the battle?? Well we have the Revell kit here to examine today – we will see if it kit can match it with the best in our review…

Scale: 1:32nd
No. of parts: 261
Light grey and clear plastic transparencies.
Length: 524 mm / Wingspan: 578 mm
Marking Choices: 4 choices of ex Luftwaffe machines.
RRP: £49.95
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit 

There are two new kits of the He 219 in 1/32nd scale on the market this year - one is the high-tech – high price point version of the early He 219 A-0 “Uhu” from Japanese brand Zoukei-Mura and the other is the later He219 A-7/A-5/A-2 from Revell.  We think that both will have their own market – but today we focus on the offering from Revell.

Revell has a theory of model making that is put to the test with this kit. They have been forging ahead in a  “slow but steady wins the race” way – releasing a few large scale kits a year that are increasing in detail and ease of construction but are including just enough detail to keep most modellers happy.  This method satisfies a lot of people but in particular it keeps the aftermarket guys in raptures – there always being one or two areas that people invariably want to improve on or detail further. I believe personally pretty strongly in this ethic myself as I would prefer not to have too many parts of the aircraft open whilst keeping kits detailed but simple to make. If I want detail I would probably use aftermarket anyway – the amount of research and detail most of these companies put in make this a better choice for me. But enough of what my preferences are - Let’s look at what is in the box

The large blue box has striking box art that captures this sleek but sinister looking aircraft very well.  The Uhu is spiting fire whilst a heavy bomber goes down in “discreet” flames behind – this is a step in the right direction - too many boxes of kits recently have been sanitised and this box looks great. The other thing about this box is it is a top opening box – no one maybe except the greenies like the side opening boxes so two ticks even before we look at the kit!

When we look at the instructions they are the regular Revell comic book looking fare we are used to but rather better thought out this time – Seventy eight phases of construction are a little easier to follow this time and it doesn’t look like everything is jammed into a few pages like they have been previously. There aren’t many traps here to fall into as long as you follow instructions. 
Even on these smaller parts there is not much flash to speak of..
On opening up the large kit we were surprised at the slim and lengthy lines of the kit – this was indeed a creature designed to be used at altitude – the long fuselage sprues are fifty two centimetres long whilst the slim wingspan comes in at nearly 60cm. The plastic on offer is a light grey with a slight duck egg tint we have been familiar with the other large scale Revell German kits. The twelve sprues are free from any visible sink marks to my eye. There is some extra flash at the rear of the wings where the plastic is very thin - but that is an instant fix with your hobby knife. A good job on the injection process.

An overview of the grey plastic sprues - click images to make them larger..

Although I have high praise for the way the surface is textured there are still some surface problems – there are some two separate mould lines going with the direction of the airflow on the starboard wing. The top and the bottom wing are affected – and I am baffled as to the source of this as there are no rib/s below the surface on the inside of the wing it to make it happen. Puzzling! It needs a quick sand and a re-scribe to fix or you could ignore it altogether, the only thing is once you know about it it’s hard to not look for it.
There is also a bumpy surface around the working surfaces of the tail – though this and the wing irregularities are minor they must be mentioned. I have found with most models though to sand or cut connecting pins shorter and to sand joints to fit before you glue them. Measure twice cut once as carpenters say!

The lovely rivets and access panels are not too deep - lovely detail is shown on this kit

Apart from these irregularities I am really impressed with the surface detail of this kit. All of the panel lines and access ports are only very recessed slightly right around the kit – they are very fine indeed and not too overstated – especially once undercoat and paint goes on to the model. The plastic is easy to cut and work and we found the sprue connections to be in sensible places. There are several features of this kit which make it clear that Revell had thought hard while tooling it.

An example of forethought here is the top dorsal and underside ventral panels which sit in the middle of the fuselage and runs nearly the length of the aircraft – they fit over the fuselage like a saddle and secure right on the aircraft panel lines like in real life – goodbye to the arduous centre fuselage seam sanding and later re-scribing of the surface to get a decent looking result.

The bottom gun pods are a separate part as well preventing nasty seam fixes - well thought out
The other thoughtful part of the engineering I liked was the use of the strengthening wing spars that I think Tamiya pioneered – this enables the wings to be strongly anchored onto the fuselage at the right angle – very important for a kit with such a long wingspan.
With three variants being able to be depicted – from the A-2, A-5 and the latter A-7 Variant we have many features that can be included or not depending on your choice. I would stick to one colour scheme you like and follow the instructions carefully as there are several aircraft specific choices you will have to make in the options of this kit. The choices really start to make a difference around step sixteen at which you have to choose how many guns you put in the under-fuselage pod. You must choose carefully and use the thoughtfully included blanking plates if you wish to use the upwards firing "Schrage Music" cannon.
The front cockpit is very thoughtfully made – it houses a detailed little instrument panel which once painted simply needs the supplied decals fitted to it. The side panels sit inside two bulkheads which house the cockpit tub perfectly as you can see below left. The cockpit tub can be detailed up to look very realistic with some care and ingenuity in the addition of scratchbuilt throttles.
The only addition I would make would be some aftermarket seat belts and pedals as these are pretty thick/soft in detail and this would be the only thing about the kit I would change if I were moulding it.

The large radio and electronics suite in the rear facing seat are very well detailed and will come up really well under some paint and chipping. The equipment for both types of FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 radar are included as well as the viewer for the Naxos radar equipment which sits on top of the panel and it is at this step in the build where special concern must be taken to make the right choice. The instructions are clearer here than in previous incarnations and they tell you pretty well at step eighty in the build to make the choice.Shown below is the complicated set up for the Neptun radar array on the nose, the instructions guide you through pretty well.
The former big hitter in the He 219 stakes was the Tamiya 1/48th scale kit – It had an integrated metal cast front nose wheel bay which kept this tricycle undercarriage bird from being a “tail sitter” this was a great idea but left a lot of stress on the otherwise thin metal gear in the nose. Revell have again thought straight and shown you in the instructions to add 25 grams to the front nacelles in each engine and 70 grams to the section just behind the cockpit. This keeps the weight off the very front and spread the strain well for those who will use the supplied plastic undercarriage. This may negate the need for metal undercarriage as well.

Instead of buying some weights I used 3x  2 Pence coins and a 1 Pence coin – it beats the hell out of paying for weights – this was the 25G for the engine nacelles – and you can just x3 it to make the weights for the nose section. Cheap and readily available if you don't have any readily available sinkers or lead weights!
The undercarriage itself looks great and comes in two parts to each strut - whilst they are well made and look very much like the real ones to my eye some may as a matter of habit with such a large aircraft - opt for metal landing gear.
Gear doors are detailed inside and out
The Wheel bays are very well detailed and although they do not have all of the wires and cable as shown on examples like the restored NASM aircraft In America they should be quite adequate for most modellers. There are two injection marks inside the engine nacelle bays and a large seam that needs to be filled before this is painted. This wont be seen sitting normally but it certainly will under close inspection.
The Tyres are fat and plain in tread like the real thing – with the brake lines supplied on the wheel hubs. The landing gear fits around the wheels which is a pain if you want to pre paint them – you could trim down the stalk the wheels rotate on and cheat them in there if you like though.

There aren’t any engines on this kit – well none that you can see anyway. The cowlings will have to be buttoned up unless you want to source an aftermarket engine and cowlings. The cowls I would have liked to have posed open – as this gives this the ‘219 a more menacing look. The nacelles themselves are nicely panelled and go together on the kit not too badly. I have assembled two of them already and the fit is great

Whilst there isn’t an engine there are the internal radiators to display inside the nacelles – these are very finely moulded and will give some depth to this part of the kit.

Whilst the exhausts are not too detailed and certainly not hollowed out this doest matter as they are surrounded by flame dampeners so this would have just been detail wasted anyway.

The spinner hub looks a good shape but the blades are too thin at the root – I am sure the aftermarket guys will be rubbing their hands with glee at this as it is one of the hardest parts to get right.
The posable tail surfaces are here for you to see on the sprue – they do move freely and the fit is fairly tight but you must really follow the instructions carefully to make sure that you don't put a step wrong. You don't want something that fits to fit on the wrong side.
The tail surfaces secure “on the tail” - if you know what I mean, they need to be assembled on the kit and not before it as they clap around their pivot points. I used Tamiya or Mr Cement thin glue to make this bond AFTER I clasped them around the tabs which let them pivot on the kit. They are not at all flimsy and do not flap around in the breeze like some I have encountered. Posable surfaces are a great addition and add depth and versatility to the kit, modellers on the whole will really appreciate them.
The tail sits on top of the fuselage and the gap between the two horizontal surfaces is your seam – these fit together really well and leave no gap to fix – excellent!
The wing surfaces are moveable just like the tail – here I have assembled the starboard wing almost completely – to do this you need to again make the control surfaces around the tabs which come off the wings. Once you get into the groove this goes quite quickly and easily. Make sure you don’t go all “loose cannon” and read those instructions!!
The kit has two sprues of clear parts which depict the three types of canopies needed to depict the aircraft in the box.  The canopies can be positioned opened or closed to suit your tastes and how comfortable you are with your completed cockpit modelling.

A canopy is depicted housing the NAXOS radar bump and included is the clear NAXOS tail radar part as well. The parts are thin and very transparent and luckily for Revell the shape of the canopies negates any need for a centre seam down the cockpit bubble. One part which is interesting on this clear sheet is the side wall moulded in plastic so you can colour it whilst showing the clear switches.
There are four choices depicted in the decals - Several of the He 219s were captured in north Western Europe by the allies and photographed extensively I mainly for their novelty value I suspect – some research has gone into the decal choices here – a small sheet of decals represent five “Uhus”.
The decals are similar to others released by Revell – printed by Cartograf in Italy these decals have some pedigree – I have used them myself and know the satin finish of these decals gives way to a marking that settles down into the kit very well and leaves little to no signs that it is a decal at all. With the rising popularity in using masks it is a good thing Revell go to the market leaders in quality to print their decals.
Included here are all the markings you need except for swastikas – being a German based company and it being illegal there I can understand why but sourcing them is always something I wish I hadn't needed to do. There are the red dotted walkway strips which may or may not be included on your kite (our choice as the proof for or against is inconclusive) as well as tiny access panel markings.

As mentioned before there are several small decals for the instrument panels which look great once applied and save the need for Photo etched metal. The decals have a small amount of carrier film on them but my experience with these decals is it disappears under micro-set/sol combination. The colours are strong and the white is not at all opaque – this looks like an efficient and well set out sheet.
Marking Choices:

- Heinkel He 219A-7 of 3./NJG 3 at Grove, Denmark, April 1945
Captured by the American in Denmark in 1945 this Uhu had the lighter colour schemes predominating with these birds - all over RLM 75 “Lichtblau” with the upper surfaces RLM 76 Grauviolett – the squiggled with the underside colour over the top of that. Captured by the British this aircraft formerly known as  “D5-CL” codes wore the RAF roundel after the war whilst being evaluated by the British.

- Heinkel He 219A-2 of 1./NJG 1 Westland/Sylt, Germany, April 1945
The first of two aircraft in this decal sheet from Sylt air base captured in 1945 – this machine featured a black underside (applied to aircraft undertaking air to ground night attack duties against the allies) -it looks certainly different and should be popular- the topsides are the squiggled RLM 75 over a RLM 76 base again – like the former machine there are attractive white spinner spirals included in the decal sheet as well.

- Heinkel He 219A-7 of 1./NJG 1 Westland/Sylt, Germany, April 1945
This kite I think has been the subject of some revision or maybe just an error on the decal sheet – maybe it just saved space I would think the latter – as the werk number is to be changed from 310215 to 310213 – it is really hard to tell on photographs and this may be the reason for the change. Smart thinking if it was just to save printing costs – something Revell has passed on I think in the end price point. This aircraft Is the more familiar RLM 75 squiggles over RLM uppersides and RLM 75 undersides.

- Heinkel He 219A-5 of Stab I./NJG 1 Münster-Handorf, January 1945
The last choice is again an all over RLM 75 “Lichtblau” with the whole upper surfaces RLM 76 Grauviolett – then squiggled with the underside colour over the top colour. Again there is an alternate version with a different werk number that brings the total of markings up to five and not four - smart thinking Revell

With a large kit like this most people probably only want to buy one of models (for space reasons alone) so the choice of WHICH kit you b will be important. You must decide I suppose on your modelling philosophy. Undoubtedly the completion kit will be well researched and detailed. But it will be hard to come anywhere near this kit’s price point and ease of construction. This kit from Revell is surprisingly simple to make and impressive in it’s basic feature list that gives you more than enough things to show your envious mates, and a great step off point if you want to super detail. 

I think this will be the He 219 kit you build first – whether you build a second kit of this type or not depends on you and your wallet I suppose – but Revell have hit the ground running with a stunning looking model that will be the pride of your display stand for a while yet.
As much as we could make in the space of this review- its an impressive kit for not much money!

We were pleasantly surprised by the detail, fit and surface quality in this kit – well done Revell for making an easy to assemble and attractive large scale aircraft that modellers have been wanting to see for ages.

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit