- Brian Cauchi
is a description of some of the work involved in building the vacformed I.D.
models, Heinkel 219. It took me
roughly 3 years to complete this model which was a sort of experimental build
for the following reasons:
is my first vacform kit!
tried out a new process whereas all the kit was constructed without painting
any part beforehand.
had obtained this kit from Doug Feeney himself (the big man behind ID Models,
now retired). He had visited
Malta a number of years ago and had written to me asking whether I wanted any
model from his range. I had
chosen the 219 since I thought it would be nice to have in my collection.
It is also the kind of aircraft which is not normally built in 32nd
a first vacform, I donít think it was a wise choice since the kit is
hopeless and requires major reworking of all parts except for the fuselage
which I found to be acceptably accurate.
It is also a very difficult and large subject.
(I am still trying to find a place at home where to display it)
Last consideration is the limited literature and details pertaining to
this aircraft especially during the first two years of construction.
This is no longer true because ever since Tamiya released their 1/48th
model, a multitude of aftermarket stuff followed.
A factor which outweighs all this heavily is the sheer beauty of the
I knew that it would be a long time before the model would be complete, I
decided not to paint any part or section before constructing as much of the
kit as possible. The whole model
was therefore completed to a high degree including all minor details.
I dry fitted the whole thing so that I assembled the whole model with
tape before touching any paint or glue. What
usually happens when I complete a section such as the cockpit and paint it is
that by the time the model is complete, this would have been handled so often
that it requires a repaint. I
tried hard to avoid this and managed successfully.
a guide, due to the relative scarcity of literature and the fact that line
drawings from one publication do not tally with another, I bought a 72nd
scale Dragon model. This I found
to be very accurate except for the keeled ventral tray which needs flattening
and rounding off. Some time after
the Tamiya kit was issued, I borrowed it together with all the aftermarket
products which were released by Verlinden, CMK and Aires.
I braced myself for a shock since I had by now completed all detailed
areas including interior, wheel bays, dinghy compartment, fuel cells and
engine bay. To my relief I found
out that all my detailing was correct to a T and tallied with the Aires detail
set which is brilliantly accurate and the only one worth buying.
only aftermarket set for the 32nd scale 219 is a detail set by
Marine Air Products which is a mixture of sponge like resin and molten masses
of white metal. I donít know
whether mine was a sample or the normal production set but boy was it bad.
Although pretty extensive, the set required as much work as the basic
kit and was a headache. The resin
is very bad and highly porous, the white metal castings are beyond use and do
not resemble anything they are meant to reproduce and to top it all, most
parts are highly inaccurate. A
number of the parts supplied were also broken.
cockpit of sorts including sides, navigatorís instruments, seats, gun sight,
front armored panel and joystick. Most
of the items were modified and used. The
side consoles were heavily warped and were greatly modified to an acceptable
level. The seats were mostly
scratch built and I only retained their basic shape.
The joystick was broken and the top part was used.
cowlings. These were retained,
rescribed and hollowed out since they were solid masses of resin.
The result was a couple of cowlings each made up of two separate parts.
These were modeled on the Tamiya cowls which are highly accurate.
spinners and blades. The blades
had to be reshaped. However,
these items were used.
bays were highly inaccurate and discarded.
complete set of wheels were about the best thing provided and these were used
after the multiple blowholes were filled in.
With this set, this was a never ending process because as soon as you
try to sand the filler, you unearth a multitude of new holes and so on.
legs were masses of bent and distorted white metal which were immediately
included were the supports for the radar antennae on the aircraft nose which
were of the wrong shape for my particular model and were therefore not used.
my first vacform, I tried to follow all the advice Iíd heard from various
sources. I traced around all the parts with a black marker and cut these out
making sure that the marker remains visible.
A length of sandpaper roll was pinned onto a flat strip of wood at
least 1m long. All the parts were
then held lightly and run over the sanding strip till the black mark just
disappeared, making sure that even pressure was applied to the various parts
being sanded. The different parts
were tried together and sanded in particular areas as required.
then transferred all the panel lines from the dragon 72nd scale
model onto mine following careful measurement and using a pen.
The position of the cockpit opening and front wheel bay were marked
only after all the panel lines were positioned correctly. I then went through the literature I had available and
decided on which areas to expose. My
choice fell on the dinghy compartment, the electrical equipment bay on the
rear underside of the aircraft and the fuel cells top.
The aircraft has three cells but I only had information showing the
rear two and so decided to expose these.
relative panels were removed resulting in a very flimsy fuselage with gaping
holes. I decided against fitting
bulkheads till the individual detailed areas were complete.
Most of these provided bulkheads and supports which would once again
consolidate the fuselage. An edge
made from scrap plastic card was created all around the fuselage perimeter on
the inside so as to have a support when both sides are mated together.
and Front wheel well
was the first area to be tackled. The
cockpit floor was made from plastic card.
The underside of this is in fact the front wheel bay.
This was fixed to one side of the fuselage.
resin bulge which formed part of the detail set was used and fitted inside the
plastic card. This provided space
for the wheel leg when the wheel was retracted.
The sides of the wheel bay were then detailed.
Details include the compressed air cylinders for the ejection seats and
various pipes and wires including a couple of pressure gauges on the cylinder
tops. One side of the bay would
be impossible to paint following installation so that this was made separate
and modeled to fit exactly in place once painted.
aircraft poses an immediate problem. It
has a nose wheel and no front beyond the cockpit.
The cockpit floor is the front wheel well top and where does this all
lead to? No room where to put
weights for the aircraft to sit on its front wheel instead of its tail.
So as not to waste precious space, I filled the very short limited nose
space in front with lead shot. A
large compartment was constructed immediately behind the radio operatorís
position and this was also filled with lead shot.
The first impression is that this is overdoing things and the kit
weighs a ton. But in the end, it ensued that this weight was not enough and
I even had to resort to fixing more lead weight under the seat.
The resin sides were corrected for the various mistakes and omissions
but at least they fitted in the allocated space.
The rear panel with a mass of equipment was also detailed and plastic
added to its sides so that it would fit snugly into the fuselage.
The instrument panel was
scratchbuilt using plastic card and bezels.
A mixture of 32nd and 48th bezels is normally
required. The rudder pedals were
mounted on their shaft and the joystick made up from the resin top part and
came the seats. The resin seats
were modified and accurized. Some
of the resin was replaced with plastic card.
Head and foot rests were scratch built and the whole assemblies mounted
on a scratchbuilt dividing frame which includes the rails onto which the seats
slide since these were ejection seats.
belts were made of masking tape and photoetched buckles.
This completed the cockpit. The
weight compartment also provided support to the first third of the fuselage so
that no additional bulkheads were necessary.
was constructed from thick plastic sheet. (extra plastic from the same kit)
Incidentally, one really good point in ID models is the plastic used.
It is thick and allows for easy scribing.
You can also have a decent butt joint a good area for glue which will
not come off easily. During the
course of construction, this proved invaluable in many instances.
What I can say is that all the extra plastic surrounding the parts has
been used. The dinghy was made
from milliput. The compartment
cover was made out of aluminum sheet. The
compartment itself and cover were detailed with frames and the release
mechanism. When the pilot pulled a lever in the cockpit, the compartment
cover was released and at the same time, a compressed air cylinder activated.
This automatically inflated the dinghy and pushed the cover away from
Electrical Equipment Compartment
is one area which I over detailed. Starting
out from the rear electrical equipment bay, the whole internal structure up to
the fuel cells was constructed. The
initial idea was to open up a side panel.
This I in fact did but it immediately became apparent that the fuselage
would become too flimsy since the side panels are huge and run for most of the
fuselage length aft of the wings. The
panel was once again reinstated and in the end, only the bottom access hatch
is opened offering a view of the electrical equipment and the fuselage heating
unit. All internal structures
were made of plastic sheet, plastic rod and aluminum tubes.
fuselage sides were at this point taped together and the wing supports tacked.
Due to the envisaged weight of the finished model and also due to the
fact that the modelís weight would be supported by the wings, a strong
support was required. An I
section plastic beam was used together with a circular section thick rod.
The rod was located at the wing leading edge and apart from offering
support would also serve as a gluing surface for the part of the wing leading
edge. The I-beam is located at
the thickest part of the wing section and serves the same purpose.
It was intended to run this beam to the main landing gear wells so that
it would bear the weight but this was not possible following detailing of the
wings and wheel wells.
I did not know what happened in the DF circular aerial section, I opted to
uncover the two rear fuel cell tops and these were detailed using brass and
aluminium tubing and wiring. The
cell top was made from very thick plastic which allowed me to give it its
rounded edge shape and also served as a support between the fuselage sides. The fuselage cover was made from aluminum sheet.
shape of the wings as supplied with the kit are completely wrong and these had
to be re-cut. One technique I
used often in the course of building the model was to scan the 72nd
or 48th part, enlarge it to bring it to 32nd scale and
then print it. I found this to be
very helpful with obtaining accurate outlines for parts.
I used this in particular for the wings, tailplane and tail fins.
The Ailerons and flaps
were obviously cut out since these would be repositioned, the flaps in the
lowered position. One wing was chosen to be detailed and this would have an
exposed engine, and oil tank compartment, a cannon and the ammunition bays.
wings are horizontal till the engine nacelles.
The outer portion then has a dihedral.
This was obtained by gluing a square section hollow copper bar which
was given the desired angle. Thus,
both wings had the same angle. It
also served as a support. The
engine nacelles supplied were of the wrong shape and these were built up with
milliput till the correct shape was obtained.
wheel bays were built up using plastic card and then detailed.
Plumbing and wiring was installed and provision made for the eventual
fitting of the undercarriage legs and supports. The engine bay was also detailed. I had to cheat somewhat here and create a thicker bulkhead
than actually required to keep the wing together since this fell apart when I
finished cutting up all the areas to be exposed. The gun and ammo bays were also built up from plastic card
and detailed as required. The
visible part of the cannon was scratchbuilt.
Ammo chutes were made from sheet alumimium and the cannon shells were
made from brass rod, turned on a minidrill and sandpaper and cut off at equal
lengths. These are then mounted
on a think strip of masking tape which can be painted to represent the shell
links. An actual ammo belt is
formed in this way. The oil tanks
were made from plastic blocks. All
covers and wheel well doors were made from sheet aluminium.
main undercarriage was completely scratchbuilt except for the wheels which
were resin and formed part of the detail set from Marine Air Products.
Since the total weight of the model would rest on these points, I
decided to have them built completely from brass rod. I also got this bright idea of making the undercarriage work
and so did not use any glue. All
components were pinned together but his worked so well that it kept folding
inwards so I finally had to fix the whole assembly by tightly pressing on the
various pins. The main legs were
then given a coating of milliput and sanded down to obtain their unique
tapered shape. The main supports
were made from a brass u section
and I section which as in the actual aircraft, fit into each other when
folded. I was lucky in this respect to find components of the desired
kit part for the horizontal section of the tail was used.
As in the case of the wings, however, this was cut to the correct
shape, scribed and the elevators removed.
I was lucky with the wings and tail section because the parts supplied
were larger than required and so reshaping entailed cutting off extra pieces.
Adding on plastic would have been another story.
This assembly also has a dihedral and as in the case of the wings,
square hollow copper section was glued to the lower part to obtain the correct
and accurate angle. The upper
faces where then separately glued in place.
The vertical fins were very badly shaped.
These were rebuilt using excess resin and the rudders cut off.
engine was built around the Verlinden DB 601 engine.
This was very generously donated by Saso.
Extensive surgery was carried out on this resin product and after a few
amputations and numerous additions, a beautiful DB 603 emerged, unfortunately
to be mostly hidden by the engine bay when mounted inside the aircraft.
This was mated to the heavily modified resin cowl supplied with the
detail set. Additions include
scratchbuilt supercharger, liquid coolant containers on both sides of the
engine and lots of pipes and wires all over.
items worth mentioning
canopy supplied with the kit was suitable for an A5 or A7 model.
This is markedly different to the A0 which I built.
I therefore constructed a plastic master and had it vacformed by a
friend of mine. Although not 100%
perfect, it had to make do. The front and rear portions are very good and after lots of
polishing are highly acceptable. The
middle portion, however is not so smooth and this shows a bit.
219 main undercarriage doors are thick and include such details as a guide
rail for opening. These were made
from sheet aluminium coated with a layer of Milliput.
This allowed for detailing and provided the required thick section.
control surfaces were removed and rebuilt.
Most were made from solid plastic and resin.
aircraft modeled is He219A-0, G9 + FB flown by Major Werner Streib on the
night of June 11/12 1943. After
destroying five RAF bombers, the aircraft was involved in a landing accident
and was completely destroyed. Luckily,
Streib survived the crash when the cockpit section of the aircraft was
detached from the rest. Unfortunately,
the quality of the photos is very bad and the camouflage is not clearly shown. Some sources even show the aircraft in an overall RLM76
scheme without mottle. However,
after studying many photos of night fighters with similar schemes, I felt that
there was RLM75 mottle present but this is not heavily applied and would not
show in bad light or in a bad quality photograph.
Much practice was carried out to obtain the required effect and after
spraying most plastic items in the house, I was satisfied.
this particular aircraft was not flown on many missions before being written
off, I did not go overboard with weathering this time.
Due to the complexity of the camouflage scheme, I could not follow my
usual painting pattern to fade the paint and enhance panel lines and so I
opted for pre shading. I did not
fade any paint since this would call for extreme weathering so I just used
black and pre shaded all panel lines.
and Humbrol paints were used throughout.
Metallizer paints were used on the exhaust shrouds, the engine and all
hydraulic actuators on the undercarriage.
I sealed in the metallizer paint with Revell gloss varnish.
Please note that this works beautifully and does not diminish the
quality of the finish. The
metallizer sprayed parts will remain very much like true metal parts.
If you use the Testors sealer, this effect is ruined.
were used for the swastikas on the tail fins, G9 codes, commanderís chevrons
and the letter B in the code. All
other markings are sprayed on including the black outlined green Fís.
above is intended to give an idea of the work involved in completing the
model. When one considers that it
took three years for me to complete, I have not even started explaining what
the work involved. However, Iíll
be happy to help anyone with particular queries.