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Mike

The Heinkel He 219 Uhu - Valiant Wings Publishing

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The Heinkel He 219 Uhu
Valiant Wings Publishing


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Written by Richard A Franks, this book is sub-titled "A detailed guide to the Luftwaffe's ultimate nightfighter", and that's about the best description for both the book and the aircraft itself. The He.219 was an advanced design that took time to find favour enough to get it to production, and even then it was too late to do much to change the outcome of the air battles that raged over Germany during the late war, thanks to the delays due to personal conflicts and in-fighting high in the RLM. Was it ever thus?

The book is a perfect-bound letter sized volume in portrait orientation, which extends to 98 pages, filled with information and (to me at least) rare photographs, drawings and accompanying explanatory text and captions. It is broken down into five chapters with four short appendices, and begins with a technical description of the aircraft, which is broken down into sub-sections, and accompanied by a host of photos and drawings. The second chapter covers the development, both actual and projected, of the aircraft from initial V1 prototype through to production aircraft and proposed versions all to the way up to the He.419, a high altitude fighter, probably designed with the high-flying B-29 in mind. It is easy to see here that the sheer number of variants that were being posited resulted in a division of effort that saw the project delayed even further.

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Chapter three deals with the sole survivor, which is currently undergoing renovation and restoration at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C. in the USA, as well as the other war prizes that weren't so lucky and ended their days as scrap. The last paragraph mentions the recovery of a crashed 219 from its grave 100 metres from the shore of Denmark.

Camouflage and Markings are always tricky to ascertain due to the rarity of colour photographs of anything in WWII, but deduction, official documents and best guesses from photos are pretty much all we have. There are six pages of discussion and example photographs followed by another five of side profiles of various airframes to act as inspiration for the modeller.

The final three pages before the appendices covers the then new Revell kit in 1:32, with some speculation mixed with photos of the sprues. We now know what that kit is all about, and you can read our review here. The appendices are brief, and cover available kits, aftermarket accessories, decals and finally a bibliography.

Conclusion
This is a good mixture of text and pictures, which is of great benefit to the modeller as well as the aviation enthusiast. Having such a book on hand during a build will no doubt make the task easier, especially if you intend to super-detail the cockpit, or open up some seldom seen access panels. I'm not altogether sure of the use of the three pages on the big Revell Uhu, as that information has already dated, but as it's only three pages, that's easy to forgive. Well worth a look.

Highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of
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Great book, bought it for my venture into things Germanic.

Cheers

Den

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