He-219 Uhu is one of the most interesting airplanes used by the German Luftwaffe during World War II. Heinkel made a plane, which was a glimpse in the future and had the potential to be a multi-role airplane so very early in the aviation history. Alongside many other German projects, the aircraft featured amazing innovations, engineering design decisions and concepts. Heinkel He-219 was a night fighter, twin engine plane, featuring intercepting radar and ejection seats. It was also the first operational German WWII aircraft with tricycle landing gear.
He-219 Uhu first flew in 1942 and debuted in the mid of 1943. Its first flights were very successful, showing the design capabilities and advantages. Before He-219 Uhu, British Mosquito fighter-bombers were considered untouchable. Pretty much on the get go, Uhu showed its superiority over those, as well among many others.
The first version of He-219 Uhu was A-0 and was considered pre-production run of the plane. It is the subject of this review too. A-0 was the one of the most produced, with more than 100 of He-219 A-0 built. There were other versions to follow, most notable being A-2 and A-7. In total, little less than 300 of that type were produced. Very unfortunate for the Wehrmacht, since the full scale production of the plane would’ve caused significant troubles for the Allied forces and together with other genius projects could’ve changed outcome of the war. Not surprisingly, Zoukei-Mura chose
The Boxart of their He-219 Uhu to be as it is. Burning city beneath, bombed by an Allied Lancaster, who has been just shot down by the Uhu, defender of the Fatherland. Night bombing runs were something awful during the last days of WWII and this dramatic scenery was the sad reality back then. Unfortunately many civilians were killed, cities with wonderful architecture burned down to the ground. Those tragic events boost even more the impact of the boxart and make the kit for us – modelers – very tempting purchase. Sad fragment of history, but with power to impress!
The box itself is big. The cover of it – just mentioned above – looks like a typical box cover from soft yellow cardboard. There are some pictures of the built airplane on the side, plus some cautionary descriptions. On the other side there are pictures with highlights of this kit specific super-details. Those are built engine, landing gear, cockpit, etc. Very tempting at first glance. Trust me on that!
Removing the cover, a fully covered cardboard box hide all the contents of the box. This looks similar to what Zvezda are doing lately as a standard but here is executed with finesse. The cardboard is not rough looking like Zvezda but rather delicate material. It is enclosed carefully, so attention is needed to open it and this extends the pleasure of opening the kit for the first time.
It is made to be sturdy and to preserve the parts, of which we have so many inside!!!
Sprues are packed in individual plastic bags, each slightly larger than the sprue itself. They are made from light gray plastic and fill the box as well as the heart.
We have many parts and its hard to point out the high’s on them. Actually, let’s start with the lows –
There isn’t any.
The plastic material is flexible and I mean more than the usual we are used to. It is not flimsy, just the perfect amount of flexibility that one might ask for. The ejector pin marks are mostly on places that will never bother you, the surfaces are clear and without sink marks or any defects. There are some things to be sanded and cleared with X-acto but everything is in perfectly acceptable boundaries.
The winds lacks some rivets next to the panel lines. I cannot judge for imperfection here. Rather I would speculate, that this might’ve been the case with the airplane. Speed freaks among engineering stuff sometimes used to putty-out the riveting for more clear flow over the wings and this might’ve been the case here. Since I haven’t seen any He-219 Uhu wings up close and personal – just a fuselage – I can only be wondering about it.
Engine sprues are piece of art in any way. Zoukei-Mura went that far to replicate the pistons and the piston rods inside the cylinders. This is beyond everything I’ve seen. Way beyond. The turbochargers are there and with pretty decent size. Daimler-Benz DB603 12 cylinder power plant was used on Me-410, Do-217 and Do-335 and it is a beast of an engine. Here we have two of these, hence – two sprues with details for each. Words have very little power to describe the parts that Zoukei-Mura made in scale here, so I would suggest to look closely at the pictures. Astonishing work!
The cockpit detail is pretty much up to the same standard as the engines. Zoukei-Mura’s kits are somewhat esoteric plastic modeling, so you can expect nothing but the best.
Germans were the first to introduce the color indications in the airplane cockpits. This helps a lot during intense flying, being able to comprehend the general situation just by looking at the colored area – gauges are red for trouble, yellow for limits or upcoming trouble and green for normal operations. Handles and such: Blue is oxygen, red is fuel, yellow/brown is usually oil-related stuff or such.
This makes the cockpit of a German warplane one colorful and self-explanatory pit, especially beautiful when scaled down. The plastic that Zoukei-Mura gave us with their He-219 Uhu is taken to the extremities. Details are presented up to the size of the needle of the gauge. Artificial horizon’s line is visible, horizontal situation indicator /HSI/ airplane mark and the compass rose – all in all: everything you can dream of in 32nd scale is there.
Seats of the cockpit are beautiful too. Seatbelts are molded with texture clearly visible, plus the fact that there are many rivets included too. Depending on the manufacturer we usually get either PE belts and plain seats, or molded belts and cushions without texture or riveted seat or backs. Here, with this Zoukei-Mura’s He-219 Uhu we have everything in one place. Out of the box.
Metal Struts included were a surprise for me. I thought that since Zoukei-Mura sell metal landing gear parts as a separate set, I won’t find any in the kit. I was wrong. There are metal struts OOTB and I am not sure what is the difference. I assume that there is a better set, although I saw nothing wrong with the ones I found inside. They will require some polishing and cleaning up, but nothing other than the usual. Plus there are no any specific reason that comes into my mind why would I buy another set of metal struts when I have a perfect set inside my box. Well, there is one and you can get it from the website. I would stick with OOTB though. Just my two cents.
Alongside with those there is a metal part which goes inside of one of the fuel tanks. The fuel cell gets closed so this won’t bother anybody and will keep the balance of the bird. Let’s not forget that this was the first operational German Warplane with tricycle gear and the weight distribution here is slightly different. Zoukei-Mura did us a favor, thinking of a way to hide the weight needed and also include it in the kit. Another small benefit to the kit. One of many…
Clear parts are two clear sprues with canopy parts and one slightly lighter gray plastic sprue with frames for the canopy. Zoukei-Mura has given us two options: use the standard practice and paint the clear parts in the color of the frame after masking everything, then paint the outer color and unmask. The second way to go is to attach the clear parts to the plastic frame which can be done after painting the frame itself or at least give you a different option to go.
Having the frame separate gives you one more option – damaged airplane, abandoned sometime in the spring of 1945. This isn’t going to be a pretty sight but it is something that might be based on the engineering option for the clear parts here.
Overall quality of the transparent parts is great, with clear molding and without the usual bending of the view when looking through them. This is something that I’ve seen already with Zoukei-Mura’s kits in their F-4J set. Superb work!
This is something that requires more attention than any other chapter in my review of this He-219 Uhu. The instruction sheet comes as a thick book, made from great material with simulated weathering of the colors.
The first glimpse you get and you will think of WWII. I can guarantee. Inside, everything is arranged exactly like in a book. With chapters for every different stage of the build each one starting at specific page and arranged in a specific way.
There is of course some He-219 Uhu history, which is followed by neatly arranged building process. This process is described very thoroughly and it is done in a way to ease up the work of every modeler. Although you should be pretty much a pro to get involved with Zoukei-Mura kit, you will be surprised how thoroughly everything is described here to help even the novice get through the built like a breeze.
Suggestions are made, notes and explanations. Very pleasant surprise for me was the fact that almost every important detail is described. Even knowing your way around airplanes like I do, you can easily be lost in which is which when it comes down to different design. For example the antennas. Or different technical decisions made by Heinkel.
With this instruction sheet everything is depicted and you will not only build easily but you will learn a lot.
Options are provided and carefully depicted so you won’t miss a thing. At the end of the booklet we have the camouflages chosen to be presented with this kit and the description of the sprues. For Japanese market there are additional sheets, probably for ordering spare parts or spare sprues. I am just guessing here, since I cannot read Japanese. But most likely that is the case. There is a contact form and for those in the rest of the World – an email.
Very sophisticated booklet with innovative design, deep explanation and demonstration of understanding the subject at very high level.
Decals are made by Cartograf. They are the best decal manufacturer in the world, producing the fines, thinnest and most delicate product available. Cartograf decals are easy to work with, and In my opinion are a must for every serious kit maker or at least for every high-priced large scale kit of their lines.
There aren’t many pictures of the He-219 Uhu and it is difficult to be absolutely precise with the technical markings and small details needed to be there as decals. However, from what I see with this sheet, we have a pretty nice job done by Zoukei-Mura. Color letters on the markings are vivid, yet realistic, small technical markings are there but not overly many and swastikas are here too. As you know they are missing from some kits. Like for example the other He-219 Uhu available in that same scale – Revell #04666. Of course, Zoukei-Mura and Revell are aiming towards very different customers and the level of execution in between those two shows us a huge gap. Nevertheless, Revell’s decals are usually quite nice and many of their models are sold just because of them. In this particular case though, Zoukei-Mura did it in a way that is unbeatable.
We have two options for the aircraft featured in the sheet:
He-219 A-0, Wk.Nr.190012, 2./NJG1
He-219 A-0, Wk.Nr.190070, STAB I./NJG1
A nice addition to the kit are the canopy masks. They are made out of thin green material, similar to the one DN Models use, but slightly thinner. It is different than Tamiya and while other Japanese company give us masks for their 1/32 scale kits which are to be cut by us, here that’s not the case. We have delicately pre-cut set and pretty much self explanatory.
I haven’t tested such masks yet, but from the look of them and the fact that I have seen my fair share of masking products at DN Models, I bet those will be very good. The fact that the material is different than the usual yellow masking tape is too quite satisfactory.
Separately packed and attached to a tiny instruction sheet is the resin add-on. It is a wing light, which is to be installed on one of the spars. The instruction sheet to which is attached feature brief explanation about the differences of the material and the glue needed in this case.
Zoukei-Mura kits are not for beginners, but the company did the modeler a courtesy, explaining everything needed to complete the project successfully. Such small things make that /and other Zoukei-Mura’s/ kit extraordinary. It is certain, that when engineered, the kit was thought trough by professional modelers with the mindset of providing something superior. And they pull that off.
I really do not know where to begin with this kit. That’s why I will start with its alternatives. In order of appearance, Tamiya’s 1/48th scale Uhu is the first decent kit released on the market. It features great engineering but lacks some of the detailing and it is limited by its scale. Next decent kit is the Revell He-219 Uhu. It features more versions but it is in the same heavyweight category as Zoukei-Mura and they are pretty much incomparable. Maybe the price if that is your general factor when buying hobby products.
Revell lacks the complexity and the finesse and in the same time Zoukei-Mura have elevated 32nd scale to a whole new lever here. Just remember the pistons and the piston rods molded. Besides that fact, Zoukei-Mura offer few aftermarket options for their Uhu – figures, tires, metal struts, photo-etch, metal antenna or guns.
The built product will be definitely highly superior compared to Revell even if you spice up German Uhu with a lot of aftermarket. It is simply Zoukei’s way of doing things.
I have seen hundreds of kits and I do aircraft mostly in 32nd scale. I thought that Tamiya’s Spitfire and Mustang are the best in business until I’ve seen this one. In addition to the kit itself OOTB, here we can purchase a lot more directly from the same company which eliminates the need to do big modifications and go bananas with scratch building and improving.
Zoukei-Mura also provide a “Concept Note” booklet for their kits, which is a supporting information on the subject and how to build it better. It is actually very useful tool. I’ve seen it in their different subjects – F-4J and Do-335 and I am pretty sure I will get He-219 Uhu when I start building.
It is true, that the kit is a “hard to get”. You shouldn’t be expecting to find it in your local store. Either get it directly from the Manufacturer or look where to order it from. But that’s the beauty of it. If you went that far down the road to get Zoukei-Mura kit, then you are a pro for sure. And with such kit with practically no real competitors on the market, you will be assured to have something really unique in your collection.
I am completing this review quite speechless. I can only summarize in one sentence: That is the best kit I’ve ever seen so far – no substitute for it.
You can get this kit here: Heinkel He-219 Uhu by Zoukei-Mura 1/32
Zoukei-Mura’s Concept Note: Heinkel He-219 Uhu Model Reference Book