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He 111D/E Conversion

Cutting Edge 1/48 He 111D/E Conversion Set First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2004 Manufacturer Cutting Edge
Subject He 111D/E Conversion Set Scale 1/48
Kit Number CEC48449 Primary Media Resin
Pros Exceptional backdate set for the Monogram kit; beautiful clear resin parts! Cons Extensive conversion not for the inexperienced modeler
Skill Level Advanced MSRP (USD) OOP

First Look

He 111D/E Conversion
He 111D/E Conversion
He 111D/E Conversion

At least in 1/48th scale, there have been no options to create an early model Heinkel 111 without loads of scratchbuilding. That is until Cutting Edge revealed their early He 111 conversions a few months ago. According to the Meteor Productions, who produces the Cutting Edge line, these conversions have been in such demand that there hadn't been enough left over to send out for review.

We have been fortunate enough to obtain one to see what all of the excitement has been about. The conversions are available in three sets:

  • CEC48446 - He 111B/J Conversion
  • CEC48449 - He 111D/E Conversion
  • CEC48452 - He 111F Conversion

The conversions wouldn't be as appealing with some decals, and Cutting Edge has produced four sheets here too:

  • CED48238 - He 111 Pedro "Pencil Noses" Part 1 (He 111B)
  • CED48242 - He 111 Pedro "Pencil Noses" Part 2 (He 111B)
  • CED48244 - He 111 Pedro "Pencil Noses" Part 3 (He 111B)
  • CED48247 - He 111 "Pencil Noses" Part 4 (He 111E/F)

The set we received was the He 111D/E conversion, and the instructions rightfully declare that this conversion is for advanced modelers. While the kit to be converted is the easy-to-build Revell-Monogram He 111, the surgery to the kit is extensive.

For instance, to create the correct profile for the early Heinkel wings, you must remove the leading edges of the wings and the engine mounts. These are replaced with resin parts shown in the first image. The aileron hinges must be filled in at the indicated spots, the aileron trim tabs replaced by the larger resin tabs, and the wing tip reshaped. It doesn't sound that hard and it shouldn't be.

But then there is the new nose from wing forward and a new underside for the dustbin retractable gunner's position. This requires some extensive work to install a new nose, complete with a new 'traditional' cockpit and separate bombardier's compartment, installation of the new structural floor in the midsection around the new ventral replacement panel that accommodates the new gunner position. The real interesting work will be the fitting of the wing spars that are on the replacement resin rear cockpit bulkhead around the resin parts that are in the leading edges of the wing. The instructions point out that there will be some trimming and fitting here and it will all go smoother if you have tools that work well with resin conversions, as more advanced modelers will have.

As you can see in these photos, a completely new nose is provided (bottom right of last photo) that has nice integral details on the insides, and impressively clear transparencies for the cockpit and bombardier's stations (middle photo). Even the new engine nacelles are beautifully detailed and capture the look of the powerplants with their box-shaped radiator fairings.

With the re-release of the He 111, you can bet that contest tables will once again have examples of this Luftwaffe warrior, but if you want to get some serious double-takes, grab one of these outstanding conversions to backdate your Heinkel into one of the colorful Spanish Civil War machines or (in the case of the available He 111F markings) an early Luftwaffe example.

I can see why these sets have been so popular.

My sincere thanks to Meteor Productions for this review sample!