Heinkel He.111P Update Sets (For Revell)
The new large scale Revell Heinkel 111 arrived a few months ago to a generally positive response, and some stunning built up examples have already been seen both in traditional magazines and online in forums such as Britmodeller.
As with all models, the moulding process, budgets and available references often dictate the level of detail that a manufacturer can put into a kit and still make it affordable, and thereby accessible to a larger audience, and Revell achieved this balance quite well. This leaves plenty of scope for the aftermarket companies and scratch builders alike, to increase the detail to more impressive levels.
A number of sets have since been released by the Photo-Etch (PE) masters Eduard, and we are reviewing them all here for your convenience, so that you can pick and choose those that suit your needs, budget and building style.
Interior Set (32709)
The cockpit is one of the most visible aspects of the kit under its large expanse of glazing, and this set addresses this area and the area immediately behind it, where detail can still be seen through windows and doorways.
The set comprises two PE frets, one of which is pre-painted and self adhesive, containing new instrument panels, radio faces for the extensive gaggle of black-boxes carried by German aircraft and other small instruments and boxes dotted around the cabin.
The larger un-painted fret contains myriad small parts for upgrading the details in the cockpit, wing-root insert, access to the lower gondola and the interior walls in the compartment behind the cockpit where the bomb bay resides. The bulkhead between these two parts is also upgraded with a set of open doors and additional small parts, the cockpit sill get edging strips with the ubiquitous lightening holes present, and the large instrument panel receives additional structure behind it, which enhances realism. Of course you’ll still need to add the wiring loom to the numerous instruments, but some things are beyond PE.
Seatbelt Set (32708)
This set provides a full complement of crew seatbelts in pre-painted PE, as well as some additional structure for the two tubular “baby chair” style seats.
Exterior Set (32289)
This set provides all of the little airframe and skin details that give your model a more three-dimensional look, akin to the real thing. The most notable of these is a gaggle of raised inspection panels along the wing leading edge, and dotted around the rest of the wing. Where these tend to be engraved on modern kits, these new parts will stand proud, just like the real things.
A pair of large radiator grills and their supports are also supplied for the big chin-mounted radiators under each engine nacelle, with two different types supplied. A smaller curved mesh is also supplied for the upper intake.
The side windows often had drop-down shutters that protected the windows, but these are always missing from any 111 kit I have seen, so their inclusion in this set is pleasing. They can be posed in the open or closed position, and have matching internal framing that can be seen through the open window. The final few parts give a neat base to part 73, and three sets of ring and bead sight to the kit machine-guns.
Bomb Bay Set (32293)
The first clue as to the size of this set is that it is supplied in an A5 resealable bag. The second hits you when you open the package and not one but two large sheets of PE slide out. This is essentially a scale-up of their excellent 1:48 set for the Revell-Monogram 111, and the detail here is stunning at this scale. The modeller must first remove the moulded in lattice from the underside of the wing/fuselage part (31), as these are provided in much greater detail and finesse by this set.
Two sets of bomb-containers are built up over five steps, with most of the parts built up without much in the way of complex bending. The only part here that will need some patience and care is the outer section, which is made up from one large piece that the modeller must bend into the familiar shape in order to fit the internal structure in place. It's heartening to know that the main internal parts have tabs and slots to keep them in position, so the task shouldn't cause too much bad language, and the results should be worth the effort. Some "girder work" is attached to the triangular top of the bomb canisters, and some small lengths of 0.5mm styrene rod will be needed here.
The outer detailing of the bay will require the use of two lengths of 0.8mm diameter rod in 60mm lengths, so you'll need to ensure you have some in stock before attempting the task. These parts fit into a lightened framework that fills the gap left by the removal of the kit structure. This is supported by the end framework installed at the beginning of the job, which has a pair of tabs fore and aft to hold the central section in place. The outer edges also have tabs to keep them in place, and have another pair of rod hinges running along their length.
The baffles that disrupt the airflow immediately as the bombs leave the bay attach to the front, and have numerous slots etched into them and lightening holes for realism. The individual bay doors are then built up, ending up with 32 in total, all of which are formed to a flat C shape, with a pair of hinge points added to each one in the appropriate position, depending on their location. These and the baffles are probably best left off until the end of the build, as they are very delicate and could easily sustain damage during handling.
The initial impression of the set is one of utterly staggering complexity, but on examining each step of the instructions, it is relatively simple if handled in bite-sized sections. There are no complex bends that need special tools, and all bends are pre-etched with hinges to ease the job. The resulting bay should look absolutely stunning once painted, which is probably the hardest part - to get each part assembled and painted in the correct order to minimise touch-ups later.
Undercarriage Set (32306)
The gear bays on the big Heinkel are quite large open affairs, and as such call out for some additional detail. This set provides that detail in the form of a substantial re-skinning of the inside of the bay, with a new roof, augmented side panels, and plenty of extra ribs and strengthening rods included. Details of the retraction mechanism are also included, as well as some handsome detail parts.
The gear legs themselves have new PE slides installed beneath their location points, and here additional detail parts are included for the legs, with a new PE truss on the supports (parts 102 & 103). The gear doors also get a more realistic pair of internal braces that line up with the attachment points, and a small linkage attachment point for the inside. A set of brake hoses are also included, with fold-over sections to make the unions more realistic. I have reservations about replacing any hose/wire with flat PE, but these parts will make an excellent template for the modeller armed with some suitable lead or fuse wire.
Mask Set (JX127)
This is the set you've all been waiting for - I know I have, even though I don't really have a problem with masking canopies. There's quite a bit of glazing on the 111, which is quite an understatement, and this set covers it all, plus the main wheels. I understand that Revell have got some of the framing wrong on the kit parts, but unless you plan on going to the same lengths that Iain did on his excellent build, this masking set should fit the bill.
As usual with these sets, the areas adjacent to the framework are covered, leaving areas in the centre to be covered with liquid mask. This isn't just laziness on Eduard's part, it's to ensure that the edges all seat well, and that the more bulbous areas aren't constantly pulling the edges of the masks away from the frame lines. Given the scale and number of panels, there are two sheets of the Kabuki-style tape, and it covers all of the and the wheels, as you would expect.
The big Heinkel 111P from Revell is a kit that seems to demand your utmost effort, and these sets allow the modeller to do just that. The amount of detail present in the various sets is stunning, and a kit of care has gone into ensuring that the more complex aspects such as the bomb bays have been engineered to simplify construction as much as possible. Obviously, some of the sets aren't for the PE novice, but anyone that has experience of folding PE should be able to do a good job as long as they have the correct tools for the job, and the patience to take their time and study the detailed instructions before plunging in.
I imagine that the masks will sell in their 1,000s, given the complexity of the 111's glazed nose, and the sheet number of panels. Many a modeller's dream will be fulfilled by their availability!