Tamiya’s venerable ‘Uhu’ in 1/48. An unusual aircraft. The Heinkel He 219 Uhu (“Eagle-Owl”) was a night fighter that served with the German Luftwaffe in the later stages of World War II. A relatively sophisticated design, the He 219 possessed a variety of innovations, including Lichtenstein SN-2 advanced VHF-band intercept radar, also used on the Ju 88G and Bf 110G night fighters. It was also the first operational military aircraft to be equipped with ejection seats and the first operational German World War II-era aircraft with tricycle landing gear. Had the Uhu been available in quantity, it might have had a significant effect on the strategic night bombing offensive of the Royal Air Force; however, only 294 of all models were built by the end of the war and these saw only limited service. Ernst-Wilhelm Modrow was the leading night fighter ace on the He 219. Modrow was credited with 33 of his 34 night air victories on the type.
This is old kit now, ‘new tooled’ in 1997 I believe, but it is the only game in town at this scale. It still is a nice, relatively accurate kit though and is well supported by the AM industry.
I should have learnt from previous encounters with Aires that 90% of their stuff simply doesn’t fit the kit is is intended for and you spend hours filing, sanding and cutting with the inevitable result that you have a bodged fit that you need to cover up.
This set comes with a full cockpit but the Tamiya kit comes with a solid metal cockpit ‘tub’ which all the kit’s cockpit detail fits to. This is because the Uhu had a tricycle undercarriage and you need all the weight of the kit on the nose to balance it out, otherwise, it’ll sit on its tail. Aires doesn’t give you this, so if you’re going to use this option, you’ll need to get creative with some lead shot or something. I’m using the Tamiya cockpit, the detail Aires provides isn’t much better in my opinion and with the Eduard PE for the cockpit, it’ll be pretty nice.
I really want to open at least one engine nacelle up, as per the box art but major surgery will be required to get the Aires parts to fit (just call it a hunch). Part of the open engine nacelle concept means also fitting new landing gear wells that the Tamiya kit landing gear parts will have to somehow attach. I would put the farm on them not fitting quite right and as a result, the aircraft will sit all wonky…
Maybe i’ll get lucky… but I doubt it.
So my dilema is, do I risk screwing this all up, or do I just build the bird OOB with some nice cockpit, radar and weighted wheel bits? - and accept that I wasted my money on the Aires kit…
Has anyone used this Aires kit before? Does anyone know if anyone has blogged a Uhu build using this Aires set before?