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The Heinkel He 219 'Uhu'

The Heinkel He 219 'Uhu' Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2012 Title The Heinkel He 219 'Uhu'
Author Richard A Franks Publisher Valiant Wings Publishing
Published 2012 ISBN 978-0-9567198-4-3
Format 100 pages, softbound MSRP (BP) £15.95


Valiant Wings Publishing has released the first in a new series of titles called Airframe Album. This first installment covers the Heinkel He 219 Uhu (Owl) and my first impression is WOW. The title is laid out in the format of an engineering technical manual and literally starts with a list of acronyms. With the exception of the brief two-page preface, this title jumps right into the details and stays there. The book covers the aircraft from nose to tail, subsystem by subsystem, and is illustrated with a great mix of period black and white photos, period engineering drawings, contemporary color photos of aircraft components (as well as the sole survivor at the National Air and Space Museum), and contemporary CAD drawings. I had no idea that there was this much information left on this aircraft and Valiant Wings has pulled it all together into an AMS Modeler's dream reference.

Once the details of the various subsystems are covered, the title looks at the configurations of the various early prototypes of the Uhu, the configurations of the production aircraft variants, and a look at the planned variants had German industry lasted any longer. These variants not only include the He 219B-E models, but also the He 319 and He 419 follow-on designs. There is even a nice diagram of the Huetter Hu 211 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft which was essentially a long-winged He 219A-5 sans radar.

The title examines the restoration underway on the sole-surviving He 219 at the NASM and how that aircraft ended up stashed away in Silver Hill. Next follows the colors and markings used on the type including some nice full-color profiles illustrating the variations of the night-fighter camouflage.

The author drives straight into the subject near and dear to all of us - modeling resources. The first stop is a preview of the upcoming Revell 1/32 He 219 kit with images of the test shot and evaluations of the details in the kit. Coverage follows for the various kits, details, decals, and references for this subject.

This is an excellent title for tackling either of the upcoming 1/32 scale He 219s - Revell or the Zoukei Mura kits. In 1/32 scale, there will be lots of opportunity to expand upon the kit details or modify the kit into one of the other variants produced (or planned). If you have the Tamiya 1/48 scale kit (and I do), this title will still be very useful in taking the stock kit and adding additional details and/or making sense out of some of the aftermarket resin detail sets that don't always come with the clearest of instructions. Regardless of your scale preference, if you love the subject and you want to select on title to help you on your bench, this is easily the best available.

My sincere thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for this review copy.