Academy 1/48 Hispano HA-1112 'Buchon' Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2004||Manufacturer||Academy|
|Subject||Hispano HA-1112 'Buchon'||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||12203||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice detailing throughout kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$20.00|
During World War 2, Spain maintained a precarious neutrality similar to Switzerland, but still quietly did its part to get the war over. During this time, the Spanish Air Force flew the HA-1112, a license-built Bf 109G, adding their own improvements as they gained experience with the type. When the war did end in 1945, the supply of engines from Germany ended, leaving Hispano seeking alternative powerplants for the HA-1112.
After a brief attempt to use the Hispano-Suiza engine as an alternative, Hispano adapted the Merlin engine to power the aircraft as they had done with their locally-produced He 111s. The Merlin installation drastically altered the contours of the nose, and with the resulting chin scoop under the nose, the aircraft was nick-named after a local pouting pidgeon, the Buchon.
This aircraft remained in production until 1961, with many of the surplused examples ending up as warbirds. Aside from its service with Spain, the HA-1112 saw service with only one other major power - Hollywood. The Buchon served as the Luftwaffe's main fighter in the movie 'Battle of Britain'.
The kit was originally produced by Hobbycraft as part of their 19 varieties of Bf 109 that started with the Bf 109B and ended with the Bf 109K, Avia S-199 and HA-1112. Molded in light gray styrene, the kit features finely scribed details on the exterior and a simple but moderately detailed cockpit. Supplied on three trees, plus a single tree carrying the windscreen and canopy, the kit is also provides 23 parts that are not used with this version as some of trees are used by versions of the Hobbycraft Bf 109.
As with the original release, Academy has provided flash-free parts and well-illustrated instructions that will make assembly of this project a breeze. In addition to the obvious Merlin nose, the HA-1112 kit also provides a pair of 20mm cannons for the wings and four underwing rocket launchers for close air support.
Markings are provided for two aircraft:
- HA-1112, 471-28, Spanish Air Force
- Bf 109 (sort of) in Luftwaffe (warbird) markings
If you are tired of yet another Bf 109 on the contest table, this aircraft painted in the silver over azure blue of the Spanish Air Force and packing underwing rockets will cause more than one raised eyebrow. However, if you really want to have some fun, you've got to build a few of these in the Luftwaffe colors they wore in the movie 'Battle of Britain'. The paint schemes were real on these Merlin-powered machines will be sure cause a few double-takes on the contest table! This kit is recommended!
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!