Review: Platz 1/72 He219 A-0
The Heinkel He 219 Uhu (“Eagle-Owl”) was a night fighter that served with the German Luftwaffe in the later stages of World War II. A relatively sophisticated design, the He 219 possessed a variety of innovations, including Lichtenstein SN-2 advanced VHF-band intercept radar. It was also the first operational military aircraft to be equipped with ejection seats and the first operational German World War II-era aircraft with tricycle landing gear. Had the Uhu been available in quantity, it might have had a significant effect on the strategic night bombing offensive of the Royal Air Force but only 294 of all models were built by the end of the war and these saw only limited service.
The He-219A-0 were actually all pre-production aircraft used for testing and development and then turned over to combat units. The A-0 aircraft are virtually indistinguishable from the A-7 that Platz released a while ago, hence the same sprues are used.
This kit is a reboxing of Dragon’s well received He 219 with a few extras that Platz have added. The kit was first released in 1991 but if you take into account all the reboxings there’s not that many 1/72 He-219 kits out there, 4 I think, and the best of them is this one, originally by Dragon. The kit is a good, modern, quality kit.
The box is a standard top opening box and all the sprues are individually bagged and all the individual bags are contained in a single larger bag. The weights are bagged separately and the bag is attached to the bottom of the box to stop it moving around and possibly damaging other parts. The decals and PE fret are bagged together but the PE fret is in is own bag with a card backing. The bottom of the box has a template that will allow you to make a stand to hold the aircraft as you build it. You can cut up the bottom of the box or use it as a stencil to make your own. The bottom also advertises the PE set and masking set available for this kit. Those are reviewed as part of the He-219A-7 review here. The box contains:
- 18 PE parts
- 115 plastic parts
- 6 white metal weights
- 1 decal sheet
- 4 page glossy black and white instruction sheet
- 1 colour double sided painting and decal guide.
Paints: The colour call-outs are in Mr Color and Model Master. The main colours are described by name, RLM02 for example, but the names of the colours used for smaller items you will have to look up, but there are plenty of online references to help you with that. The colours are called out where needed in the instructions with a letter in a circle.
The plastic in this kit is nicely detailed with fine recessed panel lines. There are no ejector pin marks to worry about and the attachment points are all small and will be easy to clean up. Simply put it’s a good modern kit with the standards we have cone to expect of a modern kit. There are only 2 real players in the He 219 kit game, Dragon and Revell, and Revell’s kit started a long time ago and has been reboxed many times. If anyone is going to rebox a He 219, then the Dragon kit is the one to go for. I like that Platz added to the kit to solve some of the things that made it a bit tricky to build.
The instructions are in Japanese and I’m thinking this release is intended for the Japanese home market. However, the instructions are very clear and the lack of any English is not going to hamper you in any way. The first page of the instructions gives the usual layout of the sprues and you can see that about 4 parts are not used. At the bottom is another addition to the kit from Platz.
A major pain with He 219 kits is that they always want to sit on their tail and there’s hardly anywhere to put enough weight to counterbalance it. Platz solved that for you with 6 white metal weights, the first of which is shaped to fit inside the nose.
The steps in the instructions are not numbered but have arrows to make them a flowchart type of instructions. The lack of English in the instructions won’t be a problem if you have a few kits under your belt. The build starts, as is usual with aircraft, with the cockpit.
- Step a, as mentioned starts with the cockpit but also puts together fuselage. Cockpit colours are identified as well as any differences between the three build options. The first of the supplied metal weights is fitted into the very tip of the nose. Fuselage is put together with a choice of canopy depending on which option you build. There is a decal supplied for the instrument panel should you wish to use it.
- The next step, which you could do alongside the first step, puts the upper and lower wings together with undercarriage bays added too. Each of the engines gets 2 shaped weights in them to help keep the nose down too. A simple diagram shows that the weights need to be fitted with the arrows pointing down.
- The next steps at the bottom left are pretty simple and make the exhaust shrouds and the propellers.
- The 4th step at bottom right puts the undercarriage legs together and mentions the undercarriage bay doors.
- The final step on this page, and the bottom middle, brings the wings and fuselage together. This is where the jig on the bottom of the box will come in handy.
- The back of the instructions shows the final smaller steps, adding the rudders and rear aerial, adding the undercarriage legs and doors, adding the props and exhausts and finally the PE nose antennae. There are 2 antennae arrangements depending and 2 nose wheel types which of the 3 decal options you choose to go for.
There are 3 decal options in the kit. The decals have very little extra backing film and look reassuringly thin. I’ve used Platz decals in the past and had no problems and don’t see why these should be any different.
- He 219 A-0 G9+FB (used to be V9)
- He219 A-0 G9+FK (used to be V12)
- He219 A-0 RL+AJ (used to be V16)
The other side of the decal placement sheet shows what I think are extra painting details or options for the first 2 decal options. In doing some research I found that these 3 aircraft had different paint schemes at different times.
I found this kit for sale at HLJ for about US$36 plus shipping.
The base Dragon kit is very nice and Platz has added a few things to make life easier for you. The supplied weights solve a big issue of trying to cram enough metal in there to keep the nose down and the cut-out jig on the box bottom is a nice touch. It’s a modern quality kit and should go together very nicely.
Many thanks to Platz for the review sample.