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He 112

Classic Airframes 1/48 Heinkel He 112 Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review July 2009 Manufacturer Classic Airframes
Subject Heinkel He 112 Scale 1/48
Kit Number 408 Primary Media Styrene, Resin
Pros Nicely detailed limited-run Luftwaffe fighter Cons Control surfaces and canopy molded solid; wing halves were sanded at factory, almost erasing the panel lines
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

He 112
He 112
He 112
He 112
He 112
He 112

The Heinkel He 112B could be considered to be a development of the He 112A, but except for their name nothing else was common. The He 112V-9 was the first true B-series aircraft; it first flew in the summer of 1937, powered similarly to the Bf-109B with a Junkers Jumo 210Ea engine.

However, series production of the Bf-109 had already commenced and the RLM resisted all efforts by Ernst Heinkel to mass produce the He 112B; therefore Heinkel concentrated on the export potential and the aircraft was exported to Japan, Spain, Hungary and Rumania.

In July 1938, tensions between Germany and Czechoslovakia resulted in the impressments of all serviceable military aircraft to reinforce the Luftwaffe; as a result a batch of He 112s completed for Japan was assigned to IV./JG132. Some retained their overall light gray factory finish, while others were camouflaged in standard RLM 70/71/65. In November, the aircraft were replaced by Bf-109C’s and the Heinkels were shipped to Japan.

Service in Spain’s Civil War was next on the agenda and the He 112 served in the Spanish Air Force from 1937 until 1952! A point worthy of note took place in March of 1943, when a P-38F Lightning was shot down over Morocco by a Spanish He 112.

A slightly different version of the He 112B served with Hungary and Rumania, and this version was covered in another release from Classic Airframes, in early 1998.

Credit is given to Denes Bernad for his research on the Heinkel He 112, which culminated in the Heinkel He 122 in Action book by Squadron Signal Publications. This is the single best source reference on this aircraft, and is strongly recommended.

Classic Airframes is a model company based in Chicago, Illinois USA. Their kits are molded in the Czech Republic and packaged in the USA.

The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art shows a He 112 flying above the clouds. It is in a splinter pattern of RLM 70 schwartzgrun and RLM 71 dunkelgun above RLM 65 lichblau undercarriage. It has the a yellow fuselage number of 4 and the German national crosses in normal 6 positions. The tail has a wide horizontal red band covering it with a white circle with a black swastika in the center of the band. This is said to be an aircraft assigned to IV./JG132, Luftwaffe, Summer 1938. This scheme is included on the kit’s decal sheet.

A side panel gives a one paragraph history of the He 112 in English, next to Classic Airframes address in Chicago. Classic Airframes is said to be a division of Bringuier Aviation Products. A warning appears about the small parts in the kit that are not suitable for small children. The other side panel has a small repeat of the box art, next to a listing of the features of the kit. The decals are said to have been done by Microscale.

This kit was released in mid –November 1997.

Inside the box are two light gray trees of injection-molded styrene parts, tan resin parts, and a fret of brass PE. Two vacuformed canopies are included. One is a spare, in case you mess up. Nice move Classic Airframes. There is a black photo negative of the instrument faces, to sandwich behind the holes in the PE instrument panel. The decal sheet and instruction and a subscription order blank for Fine Scale Modeler magazine and a membership blank to join IPMS/USA completes the kit’s contents.

The light gray parts are in a sealed cello bag. The tan resin parts are in another sealed cello. The brass PE and the photo negative are in a stapled shut cello with a white backing card to protect the PE from getting bent in shipment.

The instructions consist of a single sheet that is folded in the center to create 4 pages of 5 ½” x 8 ½” format. A second sheet this size has 4-views printed on each side for the two marking and painting schemes offered in the kit.

Page one of the instructions has parts illustrations covering it.

Page two begins by saying that the kit is aimed at experienced modelers, because of the extra work needed with dissimilar materials of parts and the need for super glue. This is followed by some international assembly symbol explanations and the first 4 assembly drawings, which are not numbered.

Page three gives the final 2 assembly step drawings.

Page four gives the history of the He 112 in English.

The single sheet gives a 4-view on one side of the box art subject (already described above). The reverse side gives a 4-view for a He 112 assigned to the 1a Esquadrilla, Grupo 22, Tauima/Nador, Spanish Morocco, 1943. It is in a wave pattern camouflage of brown, sand and dark green above a light blue undercarriage. It’s fuselage code is 5 black circle 65 all in black. The rudder is white with a black X covering it. The propeller spinner is red and yellow. A thin black circle with a dog leaping out of it (dog black also) is on the forward sides of the tail. A yellow fuel triangle, outlines in white, with the black number 87 is below the cockpit on the port side.

Both of these schemes have the notation that Classic Airframes forgot to do the shell ejector holes under the wings and for modelers to indicate them with black paint or black decal material.

The first light gray part tree holds: the fuselage halves, horizontal tail surfaces, propeller and it’s spinner and back plate, landing gear doors and legs, tail wheel, belly air scoop, antenna, foot pedals, instrument panel back plate, pitot tube and landing gear actuation struts (27 parts)

The second light gray parts tree holds the wing halves. Both the upper and lower halves are full span, which sets the dihedral nicely. (2 parts) Something very STRANGE was done at the factory in the Czech Republic to these wing halves. It appears that they used a very fine sand-paper and sanded these wing half surfaces in large areas, just about obliterating the panel lines. Rescribing is going to definitely be done to them.

The light tan resin parts include: exhaust pipes, main wheels, another tail wheel, joystick, reflector gun sight, pilot seat, cockpit wall instrument panels and the cockpit floor (10 parts)

The PE fret holds seat and shoulder belts and the instrument panel (7 parts)

The photo negative is for the instrument faces and it get’s sandwiched between the styrene instrument panel back plate and the PE panel, with the instruments entered behind the holes.

The two vacuformed clear cockpit canopies and the decal sheet complete the kit’s contents. The decal has already been described above.

Panel lines are all lightly engraved and care will have to be taken to not obliterate them under too heavy a coat of paint, unless one cares to rescribe them.

The instructions indicate that the resin cockpit should be first assembled as a separate unit and then inserted into the completed fuselage. A fellow modeler told me that this is a bad way to do it. It should go inside before the fuselage sides are glued.

With care, the experienced modeler – who has done some other limited-run, multi-media kits should be able to produce an attractive replica of this aircraft. Control surfaces are all molded solid and would take surgery to re-position. Recommended.