Tuesday, March 11

Review: Valiant Wings “Building the Heinkel He-219 UHU – A Detailed Guide to building the Zoukei-Mura 1/32nd kit”

Zoukei Mura’s new kit of the Heinkel He-219 UHU in 1/32 scale has had some great press. We have seen some very talented modellers end products but not so many build guides to help the regular “modeller on the street” achieve greatness with theirs. Valiant Wings now step up to the plate – with the help of their master modeller Daniel Zamarbide they have brought out a book showing you just how to achieve a great result like we will show you in our review.

Airframe Constructor No. 2: Building the Heinkel He-219 UHU– A Detailed Guide to building the Zoukei-Mura 1/32nd kit.
Written by: Daniel Zamarbide.
Publisher: Valiant Wings
64 pages.
English text.
All colour photos.
Available from: Valliant Wings' Website directly for £13.95

Valiant Wings
have made some pretty good books so far in their short career – we have reviewed several of their books as well as the first in their series of “Airframe Constructor” series which look at how to build a specific kit. We looked at their book that highlighted the ZM P-51D Mustang in 32nd scale a while ago and found it helpful and very very “inexpensive” but now it is time for a new chapter in the series.

This new tittle focuses on Building the Zoukei-Mura 1/32nd Heinkel He-219 UHU kit. Released to much fanfare and eclipsing in some ways (detail and some shape issues)  this kit has seen a lot of attention but the nature of the kit being large and detailed there haven’t been as many builds out there as we might have liked. What we need is a guide..
Daniel Zamarbide is the author of this book and maker of the beautiful kit showcased here. He is a regular contributor to the Model Airplane International Magazine on most months so he knows how to write and has a great quality about his builds.
Firstly a little about the physical nature of this book. Coming in at 94 pages of A4 portrait format, this book is packed with over 800 colour pictures of every detail of the model during and before construction to aft the finished product. The cover is a matte finish and attractive layouts are eight through the title. The text is easy to follow and it all flows easily. This is often a problem in guide books like this with lots of pictures. Easy to follow and attractive that are a few boxes ticked just looking at it.

In this book Daniel starts off with a short review or overview of sorts that tells us about the kit. It is a blink or you miss it type of review but it serves as a nice intro.
The rest of this book – nearly all of it – is taken up with a step by step build of the large scale He-219 from Zoukei Mura.  Daniel takes us from the start to the end of the build with how he weathers paints and finishes the kit including the mixing of paint and what materials he uses.  The book forgoes the usual block of text which are replicated in the captions to the pictures in favour of purely captions numbered in sequence. I like this approach.
Daniel takes us step by step with a wealth of pictures we walk through the build. The fuel tanks, engines, props, weapons, undercarriage, fuselage cockpit, wings, assembly of all of these parts and painting along with final details are documented. Well shot and plenty of shots show us just how. The one thing I would say about this comprehensive coverage is that while I applaud brief descriptions of each of the steps I would like to know EXACTLY how he recreated some effects.
Some steps feel a little too brief in the description - Instead of simply saying what he did it would be really beneficial for the modeller like me who needs to know HOW to do it - I think the regular modeller would like to be shown the process in detail with a detailed description – and then we can briskly go through the steps like we do in this book. Not a real criticism but a want to know the method rather than just the order of how the very talented modeller gets the results he does.
Another thing is I look for in a build review is the fit – I would like to know how to get the best of the kit before it is painted – are there any issues? What to watch out for? This is not really discussed. These are the only two additions I would make to this otherwise extremely helpful build guide.
Daniel does not stick to the kit religiously – he uses the excellent wheels from Barracuda Studios for the model. He also adds some latches on access panels and some detail to the engine exhausts. He uses hypodermic syringes to make the radar array on the nose which is quite educational. He does describe the additions quite well.
Daniel is most comfortable – or he explains best the painting and finishing of the aircraft using masks and the airbrush. He lets us in on some details of just how he finishes his kit.
The last two pages add some detail of the available accessories that you can get for this kit – decals, books, documents and the accessories sold by Zoukei-Mura themselves. Valiant always do a good job of adding these parts to their books and this is a helpful guide.
So that is it – the book ends with some splendid pictures of the master’s work – and I can say that if I get to build the ZM kit I would at the least have this as one of the first accessories at my side. It is a good publication and a step better than the previous Mustang book by the publisher and author. Congratulations for getting rid of distracting block text and adding captions this works well in this format. Hopefully we see more of these soon.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Valiant Wings for sending this book for us to read – you can get this book directly at the Valiant Wings website now