OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017
MENG AIR MODELLER
74 OCTOBER/NOV 2017 • £6.50 UK $15.99
Kent Karlsen’s Dispersal Diorama
Hs-123 Was the new Gaspatch 1:48 kit worth the wait? Paolo Portuesi thinks so.
Left for Dead Renzo Bortolotto’s grounded MiG 23M.
Tamiya’s 1:32 CORsair Zdenek Sebesta works his magic with the F4U-A mega-kit.
74 Squadron Kent Karlsen’s ambitious modelling dream is fulfilled in time for issue 74!
Air Borne New releases.
Night Owl Jean-Baptiste Sailliant re-visits Dragon’s vintage 1:72 He-219.
Meng AIR Modeller is published Bimonthly by AFV Modeller ltd Old Stables East Moor Stannington Northumberland NE61 6ES Tel: 01670 823648 Fax: 01670 820274 email: [email protected]
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The Henschel Hs 123 was a single-seat bi-plane dive bomber and close-support attack aircraft flown by the German Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War and the early to midpoint of World War II. It continued to see front-line service until as late as 1944. Used also by Spain and China it was the first combat aircraft flown by the famous ace Adolph Galland. The Hs 123 was intended to replace the Heinkel He 50 biplane as a reconnaissance aircraft and dive bomber as well as acting as a "stop-gap" measure until the Junkers Ju 87 became available. As such, production was limited and no upgrades were considered, although an improved version, the Hs 123B was developed by Henschel in 1938. The aircraft entered service with StG 162 in autumn 1936. Its career as a dive bomber was cut short when the unit received its first Ju 87A the next year. By 1939, despite its success in Spain, the Luftwaffe considered the Hs 123 obsolete, but in 1944 was near to restarting production.
I have always been fascinated by the Hs 123, a kind of heavyweight bi-plane that was already looking dated in the early stages of World War II. Until now building a 1:48 model of this aircraft was possible, but not an easy task. In a striking contrast with almost every other Luftwaffe aircraft, there has been poor coverage of the Hs 123 in any scale. The vintage ESCI kit was the only one really available in 1:48 and to build an acceptable replica by today’s standards, it needs a lot of expertise and aftermarket corrections to produce a detailed replica as I did myself some years ago. I was never entirely happy with the look of my reworked 1:48 Hs 123 so when I heard that GasPatch Models, planned to release two new state of the art kits in 1:48 I was very excited!
Simply holding the box you gives you the
less experienced modeller here. All the
In another very commendable feature of
impression immediately that this could be
packaging is very well presented. The
the detailed cockpit, the dials on the
a serious kit. GasPatch Models has packed
instruction booklet is printed in full colour
instrument panel are offered as individual
over two hundred plastic and etched parts
with an accurate painting and marking
inside. Every sprue is individually bagged.
guide. Every assembly stage is very well
Overall, this new kit confirms a trend of an
In addition, we have something unusual: a
explained. To facilitate the painting of such
increasing number of recent 1:48 releases,
cardboard jig to perfectly align the landing
a complex airframe as this, the building
where they are reaching, and in some
gear, some canopy masks, and markings
process is divided in sub assemblies. As
cases exceeding, the level of detail typical
for five very interesting aircraft. All the
usual with most kits the instructions start
of 1:32 kits. As a consequence, the cockpit
plastic parts are very finely moulded and
with the building of the cockpit.
interior builds out of the box into an astonishing representation of the real thing.
detailed. There is no flash or extractor marks worth a mention. Both metal and
Looking at the instructions, I was quite
My only ammendment was to
fabric surfaces are faithful reproduced and
amused by the apparent complexity of the
replace the photoetched seatbelts
the surface detail matches any other
cockpit as biplanes are usually far less
provided by GasPatch with some Eduard
manufacturer for finesse. In brief, this kit
complex than later aircraft. But this is due
pre-painted ones. I painted the cockpit in
ranks amongst the best 1:48 kits I have
to all the exceptional detail packed in. The
Gunze RLM O2 (H-70). Unsurprisingly, the
ever seen. In my opinion, capturing in scale
seat is a good example of the level of
assembly of the fuselage halves was
the lines of a biplane is always difficult. It is
finesse from GasPatch. In this scale, the
trouble free. Usually I don’t spray a primer
even more difficult is to engineer the kit in
Pilot’s seat is often presented as a couple
on my models, but here I felt it a
a way that the fit is easy and ultimately
of parts. Here not only it is nicely shaped,
worthwhile process as I was desperate to
requiring no thinning, but it is detailed by
see the detail under a coat of paint.
about seven additional plastic parts, not to
The result was outstanding, no filling was
mention the photoetched ones.
required and the surface detail looked
My first test was to dry fit the main
airframe parts, checking one against the other. I found that they fit together with great precision. GasPatch appear to have a kit suitable for experienced and also the
With only one full kit (Salmson) in their catalogue, GasPatch have made an outstanding job of the Hs 123 kit, I for one can’t wait to see
what they have planned next! Check out their range of superb, highly detailed accessories at www.gaspatchmodels.com
Three choices of undercarriage legs are provided in the kit.
The wing struts have very firm location points and excellent fit allowing the modeller to leave the kit in sub-assemblies until the last stage post painting, essential on a biplane.
The biggest difficulty in mating together the fuselage with the lower wing is simply to choose the correct lower wing of the two versions included in the box. A little bit of attention is needed as the difference is subtle to suit the choice of spatted, semi spatted, and un-spatted undercarriage legs (one for the spatted and semi spatted, another for the unspatted legs.) Again, the detail of the wheels and landing gear is excellent making this kit a real ‘out-of-the-box’ build for even the fussiest of modellers!
Features such as separate control surfaces are expected with newly tooled kits.
GasPatch include a jig to help locate the undercarriage legs in their correct position.
GasPatch have produced a separate pre-cut mask set to help with the hard-edged splinter pattern on the upper wing
The surface detail and textures are as good as you’ll see in any scale.
Engine detail would shame many 1:32 kits! No need to search for aftermarket parts here, just considered painting to enhance the detail.
With the lower wing attached to the
The internal detail of the cowl sections
and Cocoa Brown (H-17) because they
fuselage, and most of the airframe
allows the option of a maintenance scene
match well with the RLM colour references.
painted, my next important step was
should you wish to show off the BMW
For the upper and lower fuselage surfaces
securing the wing struts.
radial engine. Prototypes of the 123 show
Gunze RLM 71 (H-64) and Gunze RLM 65
Again, any worries were unfounded; the fit
smooth cowlings but the production
(H-67) were and easy choice.
was perfect and the sub-assembly strong.
aircraft have the characteristic ‘humps’ to
Panel shading and highlighting was
The same was true for the undercarriage
clear the valve covers.
achieved by the usual lightening and darkening of the tones and controlled,
legs.The only area of this kit requiring some attention is the engine and cowl
As soon as I saw the five different markings
gradual airbrushing. Finer details and panel
assembly. GasPatch have produced an
included in this kit, I knew that my choice
lines were enhanced by oil paint washes.
excellent engine, you really have
was the last option: an Hs 123 late in
no reason to look for a resin one, all it
the Russian campaign with only the upper
Finally, I simply loved the kit decals. After
requires is careful painting and a dark
wing painted in the older three-tone
checking them carefully, I didn’t feel the
wash to enhance the detail. Mine is
splinter camouflage. All the painting was
need to put them aside and paint the
finished with a gentle dry-brushing of
done using Gunze aqueous acrylic colours
markings and codes as I often do. They
aluminium. Securing the engine to the
according to the very well researched kit
adhered perfectly to the Gunze paint finish.
forward fuselage is a problem-free
process, but lots of very careful dry fitting is
For the three upper wing colours (RLM
required to perfectly assembly the three
60/61/62), I used Gunze Light
main parts in which the cowl is divided.
Aircraft Gray (H-332), Dark Green (H-320),
After a final fitting of the upper wing, wheels and antennae I finally had one of my favourite aircraft in my favourite scale that I was satisfied with. GasPatch have re...