Minicraft 1/144 He 111H Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||May 2010||Manufacturer||Minicraft|
|Kit Number||14605||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Simple build, nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$12.95|
The Heinkel He 111 was an outgrowth of Ernst Heinkel's desire to build the world's fastest passenger aircraft. In the early 1930s, Heinkel unveiled the single engine He 70 which easily stripped the Lockheed 9 Orion of its speed record. Many of the features of the single-engine He 70 were incorporated into a larger, twin-engine design which could accommodate a greater payload over a longer range.
As the early versions of the He 111 entered commercial service with Lufthansa in the mid-1930s, the new German government wanted to press the aircraft into military service. Early versions of the He 111B-F bomber did see combat in the Spanish Civil War.
The He 111P would be the first version of this series to change the nose section from the more conventional 'stepped nose' to an all-glass design. The vast majority of the He 111s produced by the time the assembly lines were closed in 1944 was the H-model. The He 111H-4 was powered by the Jumo 211D or F engines and was distinctive by its conformal twin bomb racks under the fuselage. The He 111H-5 was similarly powered as the H-4, but it carried its bomb load internally. The He 111H-6 was powered by the Jumo 211F and replaced the two bomb racks with two torpedo cradles under the fuselage.
While the He 111 would see service throughout the war, it gained its fame as the principal bomber used over England during the Battle of Britain. He 111s would even continue service after the war, primarily in the Spanish Air Force where these aircraft were re-engined along with the Bf 109 to accept the Merlin engine. Next time you watch the movie 'Battle of Britain', take a closer look at those Heinkels - they're powered by Rolls Royce!
Minicraft has released the nice 1/144 Crown kit of the He 111H bomber. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus one small tree of clear parts. The molds are in good shape with no signs of flash on this example so build-up should be straightforward.
Among the highlights of this kit:
- Choice of gear-up and gear down
- Spinners with or without propeller blades (to simulate the appearance of running engines
- Optional external twin-torpedo load
The kit doesn't provide an interior so build-up of this will go faster, but you'll want to decide how to paint the blanked-out interior plates (black, dark blue, whatever).
Profiles are provided for two examples:
- He 111H, KG 4, 5J+GN, 1942
- He 111H, KG 55, G1+EM, 1940
This is a simple kit that will provide a nice addition to your 1/144 scale flightline.
My sincere thanks to Minicraft Models for this review sample!