1/32 Revell Heinkel He 162A-2

Gallery Article by Lorenzo Cassinadri on Apr 21 2014

 

 

Heinkel He 162A-2 "WNr. 120015"

Here is my Revell He 162A-2 I built about a year ago in the colors of "Yellow 21" (WNr. 120015) of the 1./JG 1, Leck airfield, May 1945. 

This kit is one of greatest bang for the buck you can possibly get out there, having very good details and great fit of the parts and all with a small price tag. I built the kit without any aftermarket parts, I've added only scratchbuilt details to the cockpit, landing gear/bays and the engine. If I should build it again, I would buy metal landing gear because the bird is a heck of a tail sitter and I had to put a serious amount of ballast in the nose cone and behind the cockpit to keep it balanced. Although I've reinforced the gears' attachment points, the model is still somewhat wobbly on its legs. Apart from this minor shortcoming, the remainder of the building was completely trouble-free. 

While I was researching the subject on the Net, I found this great site packed full of amazing reference pictures:  http://memorial.flight.free.fr/He162uk.html

It's a French site which shows the restoration of many aircraft (in particular WW I ones), but among others, there is "WNr. 120015", one of the five He 162s acquired by the French Air Force at the end of WW II.

I was immediately attracted by this subject because during the restoration process, it was completely disassembled, analyzed in all of its aspects and rebuilt just like as when it came out of the production line in 1945. All the various layers of paint have been thoroughly recorded, allowing to reveal the original colors and markings. At last, a precise paint scheme that is not the result of interpretations and speculations over 70 years' old wartime pictures! 

Another interesting feature of 120015 is the main landing gear, as the two legs are different: the right one is of a late Me-109 (G10-K4) while the left one comes from a earlier Me-109 G6.    

 

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I painted the model mostly with Gunze acrylics, RLM 81 and 82 for the tail assembly and engine cowlings, while the wing has a "old style" RLM 70 on top and RLM 65 on the bottom. The fuselage is painted with Lifecolor RLM 76 while the empennages undersides are in RLM 76 by Gunze: the two colors are slightly different as seen in pictures of the restored aircraft. The cockpit is painted with Tamiya Dark Grey XF-24 (RLM 66) and the wheel bays with Gunze RLM 02. Some of the markings are masked and sprayed on (fuselage and upper wing balkankreutzen and yellow "21"), while I printed with my inkjet printer and then heavily retouched by hand the two 1./JG 1 badges. The rest of the decals and stencils come from the kit.  I kept weathering to a minimum because those birds didn't manage to log much flight time.

For the concrete runway, I tried something different: genuine concrete. I used the ready-to-use concrete+sand mix for small masonry works commonly found in DIY stores mixed with water and white glue. First I glued strips of thin styrene to the frame base to form the slabs' joints, then I poured small amounts of semi-liquid concrete into the "molds" and leveled it with an ice cream stick. I cast only a couple of slabs at a time, because concrete cracks depending on its curing time: if the concrete dries quickly e.g. leaving it under the sun or using a hair drier, it will crack a lot. Otherwise if you let it cure slowly (also by spraying it with water from time to time) you will have little or no cracks. When the base was completely cured, I trimmed flush the styrene strips and painted them with thick flat black paint, to simulate the tar joints. I painted the slabs with sepia, grey and black inks heavily diluted in water to break the concrete monotone, then I glued some finely ground poseidonia grass along some of the cracks to add some form of life to that bare surface. 

I hope you like it and thanks for looking.

Lorenzo Cassinadri

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Photos and text by Lorenzo Cassinadri