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Mike

Heinkel He.279 Spirale (MX4857) 1:48

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Heinkel He.279 Spirale (MX4857)

1:48 Master-X

 

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There are a few theories regarding the Heinkel He.279, some stating that it is a pure fabrication, others that it was a propaganda mock-up using a Heinkel 280 fuselage and wings to confuse the Allies, and another that it may actually have existed in some limited shape or form.  Speaking personally, it has a few oddities that set the spider-senses tingling, and all but one of the very limited pictures of it online are clearly models, despite people believing otherwise.  The old panel lines give the game away every time!  The picture that does give one pause for thought is a head-on shot with a Luftwaffe chap stood nearby, but even that has a strangeness about the four-bladed prop that sends it packing into the "uncanny valley". 

 

It is purported to have been driven by an experimental X-arrangement engine, which explains the two runs of exhaust stubs on the sides of the fuselage, with a drive-shaft passing through the cockpit to the large prop as previously mentioned.  The Fuselage and flying surfaces are identical to that of the He.280, with just the nose and cockpit showing any major differences.  I'm erring toward it being a fabrication of someone's fevered imagination, but it looks just reasonable enough (with a few additions) that it could have been one of the aforementioned stories, or perhaps another more fanciful one.

 

 

The Kit

This is a resin kit with styrene clear parts, so strictly speaking we should call it multi-media because it is.  I'm lucky enough to have the old Eduard kit of the He.280, so the resemblances there are more than passing.  It arrives in a white top-opening hinged-lidded box, with the product details pasted on the lid, which includes a nice profile that is well printed.  Inside the box are all the resin parts, with the large ones heat-sealed in a partitioned bag for their protection, while the small parts are found in a ziplok bag, as are the clear parts, which I would surmise have been made for them by Eduard as they are identical.  This is backed up by the masks, which are in another bag with the decals, having the box-code for Eduard's recent reboxing of their He.280 kit cut into the yellow kabuki tape.  Elementary my dear Watson!  The instruction booklet completes the package, and this is a fairly short affair due to the simple construction.  There is even a suggested colour scheme on the back page, although the world is your oyster, given the fact that it may well not even have existed!  Not one to be put off by that fact, as I have a fondness for the Luft46 projects as the paper and research projects are sometimes called, I was very interested.  Imagine the fun a what-iffer could have coming up with back stories and schemes from alternate timelines and so forth.

 

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Construction is straightforward, but that doesn't imply a lack of detail, as there is plenty visible.  It begins with the cockpit, which has a rear bulkhead and insert that sits within the canopy, although that portion isn't shown in the profile.  To that the seat lower, control column, rudders, side consoles, seat back and instrument panel are added, all with some reasonable detail that will look good under a coat of paint and perhaps with some Airscale instrument decals added into the dials.  There is also an undocumented early ejection seat included in the box, although mine had become a little damaged, but it's nice to have the option if you so wish.  With just the cockpit completed, the fuselage can be closed up around it, just remember to paint the underside of the floor RLM02, as it is also the roof of the nose gear bay.  There are no details there other than a location point for the nose gear leg, so if that bothers you, add a little ribbing here and there to taste.  The same goes for the wing-mounted main gear bays.  The fuselage will need taping while you apply super glue around the mating surface, which I tend to do with a sharp blade while the fuselage parts are taped loosely together.  That allows you to both join and fill the halves in sections, and generally results in less clean-up.  The top of the fuselage was the location for the moulding stub, which has been removed by the manufacturers, and here you will need to remove some rough-spots and fill in a few little bubbles that have risen during casting.  Grab some rod and a drill to ream them out to size, super-glue the rod in place, nip it off and sand it smooth to get rid of them quickly and easily.  You'll also need to remove the flash over the cockpit opening, which just snaps off, leaving the edges needing a little smoothing.  While you're there, check for flash over the exhaust apertures, as holes are always flashed over in casting so that the parts can still be removed from the rubber after.  Interestingly, the diagrams show a nose gear bay assembly, but these aren't present in the kit, so must be a hangover from a previous version of the kit before release.

 

With the fuselage done, you can install the four exhaust banks, two per side, which are perilously close to the aft of the cockpit.   The wings have been cast as a single part, with the casting block removed from the trailing edge, and this too will need a little clean-up.  There is a landing light part on the clear sprue, which fits into the slot on the port wing, and later on a pitot probe will be fitted further outboard on that wingtip.  The fit of the parts seems good on a brief test-fit, so as long as you have got the fuselage fitted together neatly, the wings shouldn't give you any trouble.  At the rear, the H-tail attaches to the top of the fuselage, and the rudders hang down perpendicular.  That's the basic airframe done.

 

The nose gear is a single strut with a yoke that holds a tyre between it, and a test fit may require you to deepen the depression at the centre to allow the yoke to grab the wheel better.  A retraction jack braces the strut forward as per the profiles, and three small bay door parts surround the bay, making any lack of detail less evident.  The main gear legs are substantial struts, with two jacks and a single wheel each.  Again, the wheel will need the attachment point drilling out, as this has been left intentionally shallow to avoid bubble formation.  The bays are finished off with a small bay door.  The final parts mentioned on the instructions are the canopy, which can either be posed open in two parts, or closed with one.  The great big fun propeller with hollow spinner (presumably an intake as-per the early Fw.190) isn't mentioned, but is present and where it goes is pretty obvious anyway!  You'll need to clean up a little roughness at the trailing edge of each blade, and my review sample had a slight blemish on one blade, but that's nothing that can't be fixed with some filler, and then it just slots into the hole in the fuselage front.

 

 

Markings

The decals included in the box are sufficient to do the boxtop scheme, with the white 8, and enough crosses for the fuselage and wings, plus a couple of half swastikas for those that want them, or can use them.  The scheme is an RLM 70/71 green splinter pattern with an RLM65 blue underside, but as the genre suggests, you can paint it any colour you like.

 

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You might be able to see the slightly raised underprinting on the crosses, which is simply the white borders that have been carried through from side to side.  These shouldn't notice once you've glossed over them, but it's worth noting if you're not one for over coating decals.

 

Conclusion

It's hard not to like this kit, as it's a bit of a mystery that more difficult to solve due to the lack of easy evidence available on the net, but is very likely not to be real.  Who cares?  The shape of it was what drew me to it, and it reminds me a little of the Me.509 that's available from Hobby Boss, and I like weird things – ask my friends. ^_^

 

The quality of moulding is good, with just a few blemishes here and there that will need a little fettling.  If you've had experience of short-run kits or would like to try a resin kit for a change, there's no reason why you shouldn't give this a whirl, particularly if you like its unusual look like I do.

 

A little reminder for those that may not already know:  With resin, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in (as are all tiny particles).  Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Ordering Instructions

Review sample courtesy of

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Great review, this would be ideal in the forthcoming Luft 46 GB

 

 

Shameless plug ! :sorry:

 

cheers Pat

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1 hour ago, JOCKNEY said:

Shameless plug ! :sorry:

It would.  When's that again Pat?

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50 minutes ago, Mike said:

It would.  When's that again Pat?

Not till 2020 I'm afraid but we still need more victims whoops sorry volunteers so if anyone is interested please let me know, you will be very welcome.

 

 Cheers Pat

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Photos of the so-called " real " aircraft:

 

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Chris

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8 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

 

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That's the more realistic of the three. The other two look quite a lot more fake.

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That has to be one of the worst tailsitters ever made and I thought the He162 was bad

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14 hours ago, JOCKNEY said:

That has to be one of the worst tailsitters ever made and I thought the He162 was bad

It's based on the He.280, which just had jet engine pods under the wings a la 262.  Whether it existed (I don't think it did), was a propaganda fake, or a more genuine fake, it's difficult to say with certainty, but I don't think it was real, personally.  I can believe it could have been a propaganda thing if I have a handy bucket of salt, but I err toward it being turtly fake. :)

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Too bad the original discussion from the old and long-gone AirWarFare forum isn't available. I can't remember now how that went after the late Jan van den Heuvel first posted that first photo he had bought off Ebay or some other online place. I'm quite sure it was determined that if was not a real aircraft.

 

Perhaps @JMSmith remembers some more details. AWF was his forum.

 

 

Chris

 

 

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if i remember correctly, all the photo egg spurts and people in the know decided the photo was real, they thought it was a mock up done for what ever reason, so yes it did exist but was it flyable, who know, the answer is long gone lost in the mist of time

 

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I can't put my finger on which bit of it sticks out as wrong.  I am not sure why it would need that tail with only a prop - it makes more sense on the 280.  It does look like it would fall on its tail at any minute though.

 

Having said all that it is part of the fascinating end of war mythology surrounding the many varied and (potentially) wacky projects being considered, both on air and land.  Sorry I am not au fait with any sea based projects from that time and am happy to admit my ignorance...

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While rooting through some boxes in my hobbyroom closet, I came upon some binders where I had put some items I had printed off. This was from when I first went online and hadn't yet learned how to save images and the like onto the computer. All of this came from the old AWF forum.

 

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Chris

 

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