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Reviews : German Last Updated: Aug 21st, 2020 - 13:06:35

Tamiya He162 1/48th Preview
By Mike Regan. IPMS Wellington, New Zealand
May 31, 2006, 10:17

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This kit was a pre-production test shot – just a bag of sprues with no part number tabs, locating pins, instructions or decals. Even in this state, it was pretty obvious that this little guy was going to knock the older Trimaster/Dragon kit of the He162 off its perch. Enough parts are provided to build the complete aircraft along with a separate engine which can be displayed on a maintenance trolley. If so desired, it is possible to build the model with the engine cowling halves opened up to display the engine in situ.

Fortuitously, the French language modeling magazine “Replic” (issue 175) appeared on the shelves at the same time as I was starting in on this kit. This issue features a major build article devoted to the Revell 1/32nd scale kit of the He162 which includes excellent reference photos of virtually every aspect of the airframe – a real bonus for detailing the cockpit sidewalls, which were smooth and devoid of any detail – the full production kit does have properly detailed sidewalls. I added the ribbing and prominent wiring loom that runs from the rear cockpit bulkhead and along the starboard sidewall below the side instrument console. The horizontal trim adjustment handle was added to the port side wall. The ejection seat was spruced up with a harness made from lead foil and the leg restraints on each side of the seat pan were added from fuse wire. This was the major work carried out, with the main and nose wheel wells being built up as supplied. Typically for a Tamiya kit, the fit was excellent throughout and the only other addition to the kit was a fishing weight super glued just behind the cockpit bulkhead to ensure the little critter would sit on its nose wheel.

Using markings taken from Aeromaster sheet 48-335 “Reich Defense Pt VIII” I opted to finish the model as “White 23” the mount of Oberst Herbert Ihlefeld, the boss of JG-1, the only frontline unit to operate the He162. Disregarding the painting instructions noted on the decal sheet, I finished the model in the colours Brown Violet 81 and Dark Green 83 over Blue 76.The undercarriage doors and band around the nose are Blue 65. Three white stripes are reproduced on the starboard wing end plate – these are present in photos taken of White 23 before shipment to the United States. It would appear that this machine was subjected to extensive repainting by the Americans, as well has having the entire tailplane replaced once in the U.S. The engine intake was finished in Grey Green 02, after looking at photos of White 23; I decided that this was probably the most likely colour of this component.

All up, this was a fun project and I’ll quite happily build a “production” kit when it becomes available here in New Zealand. I would rate it as the best kit of the He162 in any scale – highly recommended.
A special thanks to Modelcrafts & Hobbies and Trevor Bringans Ltd for making this sample available to me to build.

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