Tag - zoukei-mura

kit prices china future of production scale modeling dn models masks for scale models

Kit Prices and the Future of Production

 

Prices of the kits that come from China to US are probably going to go up. That might be very soon the case for Europe as well, but that is not the point in the article. Just this morning /December 6th, 2019/, a well respected company for scale modeling re-selling announced that they will raise the prices due to the tariffs that are to be imposed on China. Nothing unexpected, nor nothing overly scary for the regular consumer. You buy kits only every once in a while, its not like one cannot live without them. Its not food or gas.

It deserves respect that the re-sellers are mentioning that in their news stream. That means they care for their clients and they care for what people think about their pricing policies. The issue comes with the fact that kits nowadays are coming mostly from China. Back in a day, kits were Revell, Heller, Airfix, Hasegawa, Tamiya and Italeri. They never offered way too much in terms of variety, but some of them produced decent kits that are still nice up to this day. Those who produced lower quality kits inspired scratch building, home-made alterations and all kinds of art-oriented improvements that showed the true colors of every modeler.

Nowadays we have tons of kits covering every subject and even some that are doubling or tripling on a specific model, just to make more money. They are almost perfect, however with that comes the slow but steady death of the artistic part in the building process, leaving more on the painting and weathering side. Good for some, very bad for others.

The main problem is, that China is not a market that can sustain that production by itself. Those Shermans, Tomcats or whatever are not made for Chinese modelers. Undoubtedly, there are many of them, but it is hard for one to imagine that they stimulate that production. The case is that Western World is the main consumer. To them are all those kits oriented and that is why their subjects are such and such.

Then why the kits are still being produced in China? Why not see high-quality kits from Italeri, Revell or whatever company being designed as well produced on their homeland? Price is the answer.

In that terms, news that re-sellers are about to raise their prices are not bad. Maybe raising prices for the Chinese production kit will stimulate production and improvement of the stuff old players on the market make. If you have similar quality, similar abundance and easy access to a kit, what's the point of paying the same price when you can get it from somewhere else? Because the main reason the production of new and modern kits is coming from China is that China offers the lowest prices for that. 

It is not the best thing to see Zoukei-Mura or Wingnut Wings being made in China. We don't go and buy ZM or WnW because we want to get Chinese quality. There is Trumpeter for that. We buy them because we want something better in all aspects. And it is true that those companies too depend on the market to survive, but the struggle for quality must never step aside just to give way to quantity. Never.

Especially in a hobby where people are all about accuracy, clean and clear production, and precision. A hobby that you need your brain more than anything else so to be successful. 

Before China we had scale modeling. And a good one too. After China we will have it still. But now we are all dependent on their production. We are trapped in an endless struggle between paying less and getting more, which at some point becomes impossible.

Maybe its time for a change. Maybe its time for old companies to take some notes from producers like MiniArt who are produced in ex-communist country, but somehow manage to be competitive even to China. Better in many respects too. Maybe its time to bring all the production where it belongs. Bring it home. Even if we have to pay more for that. And wherever home might be.

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Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura: A-12 version in 32nd scale.

Do-335:

Extreme is the word that describes this airplane when you come to think of it. It was heavy, non-standard twin engine beast, not only being the fastest prop that Luftwaffe had in WWII, but also filled with innovations hardly seen before.

The unique design of push-pull engine concept eliminated the turning tendencies typical for twins that have their power plants on the wings. Not only that, but the rear prop defined the need for an ejection seat which was something revolutionary for the time.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 review by dn models masks for scale models

It was huge and scary looking compared to the contemporary fighters and even though propeller driven and in the dawn of the jet age, it was proving a concept that still stands to this day. If it wasn’t for this beast, the idea of a heavy twin interceptors would’ve been different. Thus, you can easily consider this the grand- grand- daddy of designs such as MiG-25 and F-15.

Only around 40 were built and of those, very few were twin-seaters like the model of the subject in this article. Actually, according to some sources, most of the planes were pre-production/prototype versions. The actual production Do-335 were built in extremely modest numbers: 11 single seaters and 2 twin-seaters. However, sources vary in their conclusions and being the end of the Second World War nobody can tell with absolute certainty.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 review by dn models masks for scale models

Box:

Zoukei-Mura are a company that accepts nothing but the best and does no compromises with their kits. The boxes are always perfect and so is the case with the Do-335 A-12. It comes as with their other Luftwaffe planes, glossy and high-quality appearance, with yellow sides and beautiful boxart.

Once you lift the lid, the cardboard case enclosed from all sides is what you see. This adds to the curiosity and the childish-tension feeling that we all get the first time we open the box of the newest kit we get. The cardboard is top quality as everything else with this set.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 review by dn models masks for scale models

Beneath it, a crowded box with separately packed sprues opens the door to another dimension of modeling, different from what you are used to. Instructions are two sets, packed independently from each-other. The sprues are two types: standard gray plastic, and semi-transparent ones, with milk-ish appearance and fantastic texture. Of course, there are some sprues for the clear parts too. To be perfectly honest, even the plastic bags that holds everything are nicer than everybody else’s. At this point of your introduction to the kit, especially if it is your first Zoukei-Mura, you will be completely enchanted. It simply doesn’t get any better than this. Trust me on that.

Instructions:

There are two sheets included. Surprisingly, one is for the initial version of the Pfeil that Zoukei-Mura released back in 2016 – the A-0. The second one is very thin and features the differences you have to apply while assembling the Do-335 Anteater. It also includes the color schemes for the specific plane.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 instructions review by dn models masks for scale models

It is rather odd on one hand. Why wouldn’t that kit get its own set of instructions, but instead get a patch only? Maybe that is a good thing, since thorough research of the sheet is needed well ahead of the assembly process. On the other hand, Zoukei-Mura eventually will keep the price a bit lower using that technique. I am not certain, only guessing here.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 instructions review by dn models masks for scale modelsDo-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 instructions review by dn models masks for scale models

Anyhow, the instruction sheet is the standard bundle of info typical for the Japanese model maker. There is SWS information blocks, which feature valuable and hard to find tips about the planes and its assembly. Also, alignment guidelines are included, which is the first thing IPMS judges look for in a kit. What’s the point in having perfectly painted and weathered kit with misaligned forms? It could never fly in reality, so there your work goes in the bin. Well, not if you follow through here.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 instructions review by dn models masks for scale models

The sheet by itself is a booklet that will take decent amount of time for reading, even if you don’t assemble the plane in the same time. So you can imagine that this is one very well thought-through guide, designed for modelers who are very devoted and patient.

Sprues:

The grey plastic sprues feature superb details on every single piece molded onto them. I will be cheap on words here, compensating with pictures. That will do the job better. It is important to add, that the plastic that Zoukei-Mura featured in Do-335 Anteater /and their other kits/ is of very high quality. Especially when sanding, you can enjoy it to the maximum.

Zoukei-Mura went deep enough to depict the cylinders and the pistons inside, impeller of the turbocharger, perfectly shaped openings of the exhaust system. There are cables, rivets and all kinds of goodies in the cockpit too. Simply put, no stone was left unturned.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 grey sprues review by dn models masks for scale models sprues

Semi Clear Sprues:

The second set of sprues are the milk-ish ones. They feature the control surfaces, the outer parts of the aircraft and the outer parts of the wings. In one word, the skin. All those parts are designed in a way that can be used as they are. No primer, no paint. Nothing.

Even if you decide to show everything inside and apply them directly over the built skeleton of the aircraft, they will fit perfectly and will unveil the beauty of this scale model. Of course, for the purpose you should approach the building process and more specifically - application and type of glue differently.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 clear sprues review by dn models masks for scale models Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 clear sprues review by dn models masks for scale models Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 clear sprues review by dn models masks for scale models

Those parts are not perfectly clear. Nor should they be. Transparency is just enough so you can peak beneath and enjoy. However, if you ask me, I would paint all over. If I would like to show something, I would be cutting through some of the parts, exposing the internals, as if someone just ripped a panel or two off of the plane.

Again, pictures will say more than any text could possibly can. The really important thing here is the option added. Transparency is not for everyone. Some love it, others hates it. Zoukei-Mura managed to please both sides.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 clear sprues review by dn models masks for scale models Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 clear sprues review by dn models masks for scale models Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 clear sprues review by dn models masks for scale models Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 clear sprues review by dn models masks for scale models

Clear Parts:

The Do-335 A-12 Anteater features dual separated tandem cockpit layout, which are embedded on different levels in the fuselage of the plane. They feature decent number of frames and are similar but not equal in appearance. One of those is a single-piece, while the other have the front windshield divided from the rest of the canopy. In addition to that there are spares from the original A-0 included.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 others review by dn models masks for scale models

The sprues are made from high-quality material and looking through the windows doesn’t bend the light significantly. In other words – realistic to the highest level in the industry. They are both very well detailed, featuring even the tiny vent windows that are present on the sides of the real aircraft. Modelers/Glider pilots probably will smirk here.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 others review by dn models masks for scale models

There is special attention devoted to the semi-transparent canopy bed, with tension dividers /to be removed/ placed in order to avoid bending and provide a guarantee for a perfect fit and alignment. The only thing needed here are the highest-quality sprue cutters that you can get. Everything is delicate and demands attention. In the same time the parts are thoroughly thought through and you will easily achieve superb results if using good tools.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 others review by dn models masks for scale models

Decals:

Two decal sheets are included. Printed by Cartograf. Pretty much enough said. But let’s elaborate on those. The smaller sheet features small dashboard decal and two white numbers – 112. In addition to that there is an option for separate decal gauges. Each one cut neatly if you want to weather the dashboard first and then put only the dial faces in each’s own bed.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 others review by dn models masks for scale models

Same thing is done with the other sheet which is larger and features everything else needed. Again, complete dashboard decal and separate gauges. In addition to that, technical markings – yellow, red, white. Crosses and letters, which – considering the manufacturer – will be nothing short of perfect.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 others review by dn models masks for scale models

Transparent film on each decal is barely visible and the thickness of the carrier material /light blue/ suggests flawless work too. I will conclude with what I pointed out in the start – Cartograf. Enough said.

Masks:

Masks are separated alongside with each instruction sheet. Zoukei-Mura simply included an add-on to the original single-seater packing. Masks are cut into a green vinyl material, which is unknown for me, even though I am familiar with many brands and models. There are barely any shrinking with Zoukei-Mura’s material and the masks are cut perfectly for the purpose. Maybe some will prefer Kabuki tape, but I can assure you – these will do the job perfectly.

Canopies are abundant in framework, so adding masks was unavoidable, epsecially if the Japanese kit maker wanted to hold the reputation of one of the top modeling companies in the World. Nice touch, to which DN Models probably will add mask set for the Insignia of the Do-335 A-12 Anteater. Not that decals are bad, but masks for scale models always give you the best possible realism. In whatever scale.

Do-335 Anteater from Zoukei-Mura A12 others review by dn models masks for scale models masks canopy

Accessories:

Zoukei-Mura offer some additional sets for the Do-335 Anteater available on their site. First and most important of those is the Concept Note dedicated to the single seater. You can learn more about it here.

Parts and accessories are offered too. Those include photo-etch parts for the instrument panel and seatbelts, pilot figures, metal gear struts, weighted tires, metal machine gun barrels/pitot tube/antenna set, resin/pe bomb set, PE radiator set and of course – proper color set from Vallejo.

My opinion on those is, that not everything is needed. However, this is only my perspective of modeling and you will most likely disagree with the most of it. Anyhow, here it goes: No on the bomb set and the PE instruments. Both will deteriorate the appearance instead of improving it. Pilots too /but some figure masters will strongly disagree here/.

Metal machine guns, antenna and pitot are mandatory, as well as metal gear struts combined with the weighted tires option. Photo-etch radiator set probably will make the Do-335 Anteater even more attractive.

As for the color set, since Vallejo are demanding I would suggest another approach. I have no troubles with those, but people often do and there is something else too. Once, not so long ago I heard a rumor about a possible collaboration between Zoukei-Mura and Mission Models Paints. Mission Models are far better paints than Vallejo and their derivatives. They are abundant in colors and I trust that they are the best match for the quality of the Do-335 Anteater. Maybe Mr. Paint too.

Conclusion:

This is one insanely nice kit. The quality is unmatched. The details are perfect. The options for modeling are practically endless. Dornier Do-335 Anteater is huge in 32nd scale and that is demanding, both in modeling and space terms. Not for inexperienced modeler, this kit is designed in a way that will please even the most demanding glue sniffers. Even though a novice modeler won’t be able to comprehend the complexity of the kit, if one builds couple of Tamiya’s 48th scale Pfeils, this can be a step up from those, due to the brilliant instruction sheets and the out-of-this World engineering.

This kit is miracle, as with all Zoukei-Mura creations. The price is high, but please trust me on that, it is under-estimation of the quality that Japanese maker provides in return. Even if it was 50% more expensive, it would’ve deserved every single penny.

Highly recommended is an understatement. Saying that would be like saying that a tsunami wave is a slight water displacement around the shore. This Do-335 A-12 Anteater is a complex engineering miracle, a product of a genius mind. There is nothing on the market that comes close to it. From the packing to the very last tiny bit of plastic detail, it is a masterpiece. It is pleasing, intriguing and satisfying, deeply inspiring and in the same time humbling experience even for the top expert modeler.

It simply doesn’t get any better than this.

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Henschel Hs-129 from Zoukei-Mura in 2018

Zoukei-Mura are continuing their expansion with 32nd scale Luftwaffe items. Planes, which are released by some companies, but still represent a huge gap in modeling with their lack of detailing and attention deserved. The Japanese company fixes that, releasing the kits in the typical Zoukei-Mura style, famous for superb and ingenious engineering, wonderful fit and flawless reputation. After a year dedicated to 48th scale Phantom in J, S and C versions, Zoukei-Mura released their Do-335 A-12 twin seater Luftwaffe plane in 32nd scale. Few days before that, a boxart of their next Luftwaffe project appeared on the web. This time it is a plane that deserves a lot of attention and it is among the top-wanted Luftwaffe props, especially in 32nd scale. We are talking about the Henschel Hs-129, a twin-engine ground-attack airplane used in Africa and Eastern Front. Although only 865 were built, this airplane is still considered a legend and loved and respected among both – modelers and aircraft enthusiasts. It’s rugged shape is charming, camouflages used – attractive and the modeling especially weathering-wise: almost endless. Zoukei-Mura promises two options, Hs-129 B-2 and Hs-129 B-3. Latter one is very interesting, since features 75mm cannon, the weapon that made Hs-129 that famous. That was the most powerful gun installed on WWII aircraft and could’ve ripped a tank from the air. That gained the nickname of Hs-129: “The Tank Opener” and with its mean look made the plane very intimidating and charming. As with all Zoukei-Mura kits, the quality expected is very high. Detail-wise, well, if we follow the other releases, we should see engines, landing gear and weapons systems dissected and represented in plastic, in a way that nobody else presented us so far. Markings-wise, Hs-129 was used by Hungarian and Romanian Air Forces and of course – Nazi Germany. For what we are about to see in the kit, I still cannot discuss, but I assume that options will be available. Hopefully we will get to see soon. Hs-129 is a twin that set the beginning of the flying tank idea, with a concept that we can still see today in A-10. Even though Ilushin Il-2 is produced in larger numbers /20 times more actually/, it still brings the obsolete concepts of its time and the inferiority of Soviet engineering. The fact that Hs-129 was a twin and the pilot sat away from the engines in a highly-protective capsule, showed very different idea which still counts to this very day. There is a lot to be said about Hs-129 and we can only hope that Zoukei-Mura did that in plastic. Their models were always at the highest possible level setting standards in the industry. I see no reason why would Hs-129 will be any different!  
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Werner’s Wings with Mission Models – the better recipe for the C-type

Werner’s Wings is a company owned by Floyd Werner Jr. a pilot and a modeler, very famous for his tutorial videos and modeling skills. Werner’s Wings offer various items, but here, we’re going to take a quick look at one of their latest releases: Phantom decals for Vietnam warbirds. Aside from that, we’re going to talk a bit about painting the Phantom before applying those decals. The missing link: With the release of J,S and now C Phantoms, Zoukei-Mura changed the scene for the Smokey Joe, giving us the best kit in any scale. Unfortunately, each of their kit features a sole paint scheme version of the Phantom included. That disappointed a lot of modelers, used to have many options per kit, especially with the release of the Eduard’s limited edition sets featuring many per piece. Additionally, painting guide appears to be criticized by the same modelers, due to the choice of the brand to be used. The set from Floyd: Werner’s Wings released set featuring mostly Phantoms from the D version. There is a C and E Phantoms, with all of them featuring South-East Asia camouflages. They are pretty standard looking, with almost the same camouflage pattern. Many think the camo is exactly the same, but after a research, it appears, that slight differences are visible. Nothing important though. Werner’s Wings set might be suitable mostly for the D version of the F-4, but there is a C included, which will fill the missing link with Zoukei-Mura’s latest release. With that in mind, I have to add that D version is upcoming from the Japanese maker, so this set will be two-in-one solution for those interested in getting more decals for their Phantom collection. The Phantom included in the Zoukei Mura SWS No.6 kit is a Keflavik bird, from 1976. That is post-war plane, so many will be interested in exchanging that. Option 11 in the set of Werner’s Wings is exactly what we need for the Zoukei-Mura release so to make it a Vietnam ace! It is called Chappie’s Jet and you can learn more why at Werner’s Wings website. I will just hint you that Chappie was the nickname of Daniel James Jr. - the first African American to become Four Star General in USAF. The option is from January 1967, 9 years before the Keflavik included in the box and it was participant in Operation Bolo. These F-4s are far more interesting for the regular Phantom enthusiasts. They were the same planes of course, but the moment in that the plane is caught is in war time here, while in Zoukei-Mura’s option is different. Actually, in 1976, F-15 Eagles was dominating the skies already, so Phantom was already obsolete. The paints: Zoukei-Mura advises on using Vallejo paints for executing South-East Asia camo schemes for the Phantoms. Since the only modeler that I know who hasn’t yet complained about Vallejo is myself, I would’ve pick a different paint manufacturer to suggest the colors with. Some brands already started with sets for that era and of course, good ol’ Tamiya and Gunze paints can do the job as well. But I would emphasize on something else here. Mission Models paints that I recently reviewed here are a very good option in my opinion. Aside the fact that they are odorless and probably the least harmful of the brands currently on the market. From my tests, it seems that these paints are easy to be applied and the layers are pretty stiff and sturdy, plus the colors seems to be correct. At least for the applications I tested. That includes Luftwaffe colors which are usually a trouble. So in order to get the perfect combo in my mind, I would suggest Mission Models colors, which combined with the decals mentioned above, should give a very good alternative to what Zoukei-Mura suggested. MMP-095 Camouflage Grey  FS 36622 MMP-066  Medium Green FS 34102 MMP-058  Dark Green  FS 34079 MMP-060  Dark Tan  FS 30219  and of course: MMP-040  Tire Black  MMP-001  White Conclusion: In case you want to expand your options for the F-4C SWS No.6 that is about to be released in the next few weeks, and in the same time make a good investment for the future, Werner’s Wings set comes as a good option. Quarter scale F-4 is quite a big chunk of plastic, and marking appearance is vital for the looks of the completed model. Besides, when we see a Rhino with earth tones, we think of Vietnam war. Also, the weathering that you can apply on the aircraft is enormous, since USAF Phantoms flew mostly bombing missions and often close to the ground, were debris flew up and Phantoms went through it. That made them look like tanks more than planes which is always a good modeling perspective! For that same reason, we need tough paints. Mission Models deliver in that case. Not only, but their color range is pretty spot on and I trust that paints made in USA will most likely give an accurate nuance of the colors applied on a US aviation symbol. So, be sure to check their website as well as Werner’s Wings home page for more info. You will like what’s there! And have in mind that the Phantom was one tough and mean big jet, which requires only the best! In my mind, this is what you should get for it. www.dnmodels.com
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zoukei-mura, dn models

Displaying the F-4 Phantom properly – The Best Stand ever!

Zoukei-Mura keep surprising the modelers all around the World with their little precious gifts to the modeling society. Shortly after F-4S release, the Japanese maker showed a specially designed, hand-made and hand-painted pad for the Phantom. It is an excerpt from the deck of an aircraft carrier, more specifically - USS CV-41 Midway. It is an old-school catapult system, which reflects perfectly to the option included in their latest release - F-4S - of an extended nose gear of an airplane ready to launch. The pad is designed for those who wish to present their Phantoms in Ready-to-fly option, being very popular at the modeling shows recently. It is somewhat controversial to the endless opened panels and visible internals, which makes the planes look odd. It is by itself - a controversial to the purpose of an airplane - to fly! Especially in 48th scale, ready-to-fly jets are more than attractive presented that way. So in order to keep the modeling up to the desired level and still be able to present your aircraft in its full potential, Zoukei-Mura thought about this display pad. It is also with very decent size considering the huge chunk of plastic that F-4 Phantom II is in 48th scale. Besides, their /so far/ two releases are of the carrier based versions, which begs for such attribute to be purchased. Their Phantom is superb in quality and will look more dressed up with this pad. The diorama pad is with diameter of 295mm, thickness of 6mm and total weight of 437 grams, which when you add your F-4 over it, will become pretty heavy display piece, with rather big size. The release date is 10 days away from this article, and the number of pads will be limited. Zoukei-Mura are a company that leads the market with their innovations and precision, now incorporating art into the whole mix of goodies. They do know how to seduce the modelers and how to please them with results. So with this being said, you can conclude for yourself about the quality of this pad, but not only. Things are often labeled with prices. Here, with Zoukei-Mura everything is labeled with value. And value is great. It is the only thing that matters after all! Go check www.zoukeimura.co.jp to secure your piece! You don't have much time!  
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horten ho-229 1/72 1/144 zoukei mura dn models

1/72 Horten Ho-229 Flying Wing from Zoukei-Mura and Bonus…

Just a couple of day ago, I did a discussion with a fellow modeler who didn't know about the existence of 48th scale Horten Ho-229 from Zoukei-Mura. For those of you who never heard of that, it is a scaled down version of their wonderful Ho-229 in 32nd scale. The kit features the same engineering - transparent parts, internal body structure and so on. We discussed how nice it would be for a modeler to make and present a set of the two scales side by side - 48th and 32nd. Of course, this gives you the option to present the models in different camo schemes and in this case - in totally different appearances. As you might know from the review I've done - the outer layers are made from transparent plastic material. So imagine my surprise, when I read through one of the social network updates and I saw the Zoukei-Mura update for 72nd scale Horten-229.  Zoukei-Mura promises engineering with the highest possible standards and as many details as the scale allows. This is quite a promise and it sends chills back my spine, since I am very familiar with their 48th and 32nd scale kits. Since Horten Ho-229 is not a small aircraft, you can imagine that in 72nd scale we will have a lot to deal with. The surprises does not stop there! Zoukei-Mura promises that there will be a bonus included in the box - 1/144 Horten Ho-229. And that was the last drop in my cup! As a devoted fan of that German jet miracle, I was excited to the maximum, knowing that we will have now 4 scales available for that flying wing. Besides, all of them will be from Zoukei-Mura, so far giving us the best kit of the Horten 229. And they will fill the market basically for everybody! 1/144 scale isn't popular as 48th, but in the Nordic countries 144 alongside with 72nd are very warmly welcomed and modelers there often create miracles with the kits. With the proper out of the box basis - Zoukei-Mura tooling - I have no doubts we are about to see tons of Horten 229s at the shows and in all scales possible. Great news! Alongside with the smallest kit they ever did (1/144 scale Horten), Zoukei-Mura announced one of their biggest as well - twin-seater Do-335 Pfeil - soon to update you on that one too. ! So stay tuned!  
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horten ho-229 1:32 zoukei mura unboxing review dn models

Horten Ho-229 – Zoukei-Mura’s flying wing in 32nd scale

Horten Ho-229 flying wing was first in many achievements once it was introduced in the late days of WWII. For its time it was beyond revolutionary and you can tell by looking at it nowadays. 70 years later. This is twin-engine jet-fighter/ jet-bomber, implementing flying-wing concept, stealth capabilities and ejection seat. For the current times it might not sounds like a lot, but at the time of its first appearance it was almost science-fiction. The airplane was designed to fit the 3 x 1000 requirement. Carry 1000kg bomb at a distance of 1000km with speed of 1000km/h. Ho-229 actually got pretty close to that: it was able to carry two 500kg bombs, with a speed of over 900km/h, with unknown exact range, since the program was killed by the end of the war. Ceiling that Horten was able to reach was over 15 000m, at a stunning rate of 22 m/s. It was planned to be armed with 2 x MK 108 guns and with R4M rockets. Pretty sophisticated technology for 1944-1945. In addition to all that, this is considered to be the first stealth fighter. Reimar Horten mixed charcoal dust with the glue for the wood parts in order to help radio wave absorption. That, with the fact that the cross-section of the flying-wing design is pretty low in general, helped to hide the airplane from the radars, especially the early versions. By many this is considered a happy coincidence, while others claim that this was thought-through idea by the German engineers. Whatever the case, that was closer to an alien spaceship than to the aircraft typical for the time. Just take a look at the Me-109 and P-51. The Box and the Boxart: Even though planned as a jet-bomber, the plane was more suitable for a jet-interceptor and no-fly-zone protector. Maybe that is the reason why, Zoukei-Mura picked that particular boxart image for their 32nd scale beast. We have a flying Ho-229, just pierced through a British Lancaster, falling from the sky in flames. The camouflage depicted is more idea than reality, since there were no production aircraft flying. However, the look of the two planes in the skies depict pretty neatly the idea: old-looking obsolete 4 engine prop-bomber, being attacked by an engineering miracle. Something like the past on the background and the future wiping it off from the skies. Just brilliant! The box itself is with rather luxurious appearance. Almost glossy surface of the top, looking like a canvas. For example, the Hobby Boss or Trumpeter models with the same box size show the cardboard lines beneath the picture and the lower quality is quite visible. Here, nothing of a kind can be seen.   The sides are yellow, just like on the Zoukei Mura's Heinkel He-219 Uhu kit.We have pictures, depicting what can be considered as the "highlights" of the kit. Everything is described with a short text beneath the shots, unfortunately in Japanese only. The pictures speak about themselves though. They show just enough, so to reveal the complexity of the design of this Zoukei-Mura Horten kit. We have a stand-alone engines, which if you decide to display on their own, you will be still more than good to go. We have the fuselage frame, which can be left as it is also. The outer parts, seen here are depicting the frame tube structure and the assembled kit on the box sides gives a clear vision of the option available. Alongside with that, we have two shots of the built and fully completed airplane, making you wonder what's beneath the finished surface and somehow makes you feel sorry for all the goodies that can be displayed and not been in this particular case. Tricky move Zoukei-Mura! That will make us want more than one kit on the bench!!! The Instruction sheet: As with the Heinkel instruction sheet that we have reviewed already, this one here is superbly done helping tool. It has a lot more than the regular instruction sheet that you are used to see in a scale model kit. Besides being done in a retro-manner, with wonderful colors and slightly worn appearance, the booklet is made from great material as well. The contents are arranged just like a book and if you are careful enough and follow closely the advisory, you are almost guaranteed to be successful in the end. That should not full you to think that the build is easy. It has been simplified as much as possible and alongside with this wonderful instruction tool it will definitely be breeze compared to DML build for example. However, as a whole, the kit is challenging and first-timer might have substantial troubles taking the right decisions every step of the way. All that being said, you can see that the SWS Design Concept boxes are all over to guide you, we have color depictions and clear and not over-busy areas of building. We have Vallejo paints described as colors, which is also pretty straight forward process, since those are available pretty much everywhere. I know that many don't like them, nor AK or MIG in that matter, but once you get to know them they are OK. Besides, Vallejo RLM colors are very good and many agree on that. If you take the long and unhealthy road to research RLM, you will find out in the end, that if you want to use solely one brand for those, Vallejo is the name. The Decals and Masks: If you are reading this, you are probably familiar that DN Models is based on mask designs. So, I know my way around those products. With Zoukei-Mura's Ho-229, we have canopy mask set included in the box. It is made from light-green flexible masking tape, unknown origin - at least for myself. The masks are great looking, and even though they appear to be shrinking a bit in time, the change is minimal. Outlines of the shrunken product are even easier to be found, so removing the mask patch from the sheet is easier. Of course, as everything else, the downside of shrinking has its upside too. The decal sheet is not as big as seen in the Zoukei's He-219 A-0 Uhu in the same scale, but the quality is again - superb. We have numbers in three different colors. The Sprues: Inside of the cardboard box, there is a separator in the middle, dividing it into two halves. Each halves contains two kinds of sprues, arranged in layers: First we have transparent parts. At first glance, this is pretty scary, since transparent parts are more pretentious when it comes down to airplane modeling. Not in this case though. Here they are presented more like an option, than a mandatory transparency. The only actual difference is the material: you can see through it and it is clear, although somehow - milk-ish. This is probably to make difference from the canopy clear part itself. Transparency is perfectly suitable to see through and examine the internals of this Horten twin-jet.   On the second layer of sprues, we have the light grey plastic, the same that we've seen in the Heinkel He-219 Uhu kit. It is soft and easy-to-work with material. Everything is molded with precision and even though the parts are big, the details are superior than any other company out there, giving us 32nd scale kits. Maybe Tamiya are the only one comparable and only about their newest props. Otherwise, ZM is better. Combination of those two types of plastic is interesting approach toward a modeler. I have built 32nd scale kit with transparent parts /F-4 Phantom from Tamiya/ but it was only the front of the jet. Here we have most of it with the option to leave it out for viewing. This means a lot of things: you should be very careful building the interior frame and parts of the bird - like the engines, the tube frame and the tanks. It also means, that gluing the transparent parts will require your best skills and devotion, so to manage to hide all the glue marks and attachment points. In the same time, you have the option to paint only parts or 1/2 of the model, and leave one side visible, while the other - with standard camouflage and markings. Whatever floats your boat. The Engines: The first thing that caught my attention when I was looking at the instructions were the engines. The fact that we have the rotors and the stators inside just stunned me. After all, this is 32nd scale kit and not all the internals are to be done and presented. Obviously, Zoukei-Mura decided otherwise. The jet engines of the real Ho-229 were state of the art technology. The jet engines of the ZM plastic model kit are alike. The transparency of the outer shell of the aircraft is mandatory, when you come to look at that perspective. It is a heresy to leave those two babies hidden beneath the surface. Cutaways are another great idea if you ask me. Take a moment to look closely at the pictures and you will see my point: The clear parts /of the canopy & engine covers/: We have two options for the canopy. What is interesting to be mentioned, is that the clear material for the outer parts of the aircraft and clears for the actual transparent parts are different. With slight exclusion mentioned below. This is clever move from Zoukei-Mura, simultaneously arousing your attention and interest, and give you a warning hint. There is no other way around it if you come to think of it. It will be pretty odd looking if the transparent intakes were clear as the canopy. This can be seen on airshows, where jet engine manufacturers have their turbofans on display with all the moving parts inside rotating and stealing your attention. The whole engine looks naked, purely for advertising purposes. Zoukei obviously didn't wanted to create that sort of a display case, but rather more delicate and sophisticated look. With what you can see as a difference here, I think you would agree, that they did it! What they did in respect of the engines was, that the top covers of the engines were made more transparent. That way you can have a glimpse inside. Just like Tamiya did with their transparent nose F-4 in 32nd scale. The overall body transparency is milk-ish the engine intakes too, only the tops clear the view. More than enough! Additional part included in my package: Upon delivery, inside of my cardboard box but outside my kit box, I found what you see on the picture above. This is a substitute part for one you can find on the sprue OOTB. The reason for having this part replaced is kinda obscure for me, since at first glance I saw nothing wrong with the original part. However, Zoukei-Mura probably know better and I am sure it will all be revealed once I get to know the kit better during the assembly process. It is a nice touch to have this included and means a lot to many modelers. It is a clear sign that the company values the clients and respects their needs while keeping its own reputation at the highest. Conclusion: The profile of the Horten Ho-229 is pretty much an exact copy of the profile of a Peregrine Falcon. For that you can judge from the long-circulating picture of a B-2 comparison with that bird of prey. However, B-2 is not the plane that everything started with. Just the contrary - it was the one that it is in the end of the story so far. It started with Ho-229 and its scaled-up proposal for Amerika Bomber - Horten H.XVIII. Then many designs followed, based on Horten Brother's ideas. Zoukei-Mura managed to combine many ideas into one scale model kit as well: Engines and their internals, transparent parts, aicraft airframe and internals - quite a mix of ideas. Just like Horten Ho-229 was in real life. The kit itself is massive and will present the modeler with challenges, although Japanese maker tried to simplify it as much as possible and pulled-of instruction sheet that will go along the build as a true helping-tool not just a guide for what step comes next. Material quality is superb as well, decals are beautiful nevermind that you can do a damaged unmarked vehicle out of it. Masks are included and a lot of aftermarket stuff from Zoukei-Mura themselves are available. So... Horten Ho-229 is one of a kind, stunning in appearance, full with innovations engineering miracle, which served as a base for many aviation inventions later incorporated in other designs. No wonder why Zoukei-Mura introduced such a serious kit with such amazing quality to the market. It definitely deserved the respect and the effort. For any WWII fan, any aviation fan, any German warplanes fan - this is a MUST!
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Zoukei Mura World - Welcome

Zoukei Mura World – Welcome !

In the latest monthly advertisement that Zoukei-Mura sent me I found nothing new nor upcoming. Yet, that was the most attractive advert that I ever got from them, since it had it all. "Welcome to the World of SWS!" - was the name, and in it, fans of the wonderful hobby of scale modeling, can find a picture worth of thousand words. When I was a kid, I remember the Muppet Show adverts, where each and every one of the Muppets were set and posing for picture. Now, we have the same here, with aircraft from plastic! I found it quite intriguing, not only because the way it was presented, but because it gives you a choice and a lot to think of. A lot to contemplate on. In Fact, we don't have many kits from the Japanese company. We have few, but selected ones. Kits, made with superb precision and different than the standard approach. At the beginning, they were so attractive, that many are already sold out. Like the Shinden J7W1 and the first version of Zoukei-Mura's Ta-152: the H-1. Both in 32nd scale, they were one the market for short time, and the modelers who knew about them bought them out quite quickly. Zoukei-Mura offers kits that have competition too. And a tough one in the face of the P-51 Mustang. Of course, for that subject there are many  options on the market, even in 32nd scale. But let's not fool ourselves and admit, that Tamiya is on the top of that list. And then not exactly the winner here. Zoukei-Mura released their P-51D, which featured a lot to show for from the inside of the plane, a quality that Tamiya is missing. Then they have the P-51K too, which was expected and normal extension of the line of Mustangs. By selected kits, I meant exactly that. Zoukei-Mura know what to put their efforts in and are not chaotic as many other companies. And please, don't get me wrong, I have the Tamiya Mustang and I adore the kit. One of the best 32nd scale props ever. But not if you want to show the insides and not go insane with scratch-building. Interestingly, on that advert, Zoukei-Mura placed a lot information alltogether. Like the prices, the options and of course pictures, showing the dissected birds in their best look possible. You can get prices and compare of course. For the kits that have substitutes, like the Ta-152 and the Mustang, and also their newest on the market - the F-4J. The latter one, being within a strong competition between the Hasegawa well known tooling and the new Academy approach, now combined with Eduard talent to issue super-kits repacked with a lot of decals, resin and PE inside. Probably because it is the newest, and due to the fact that it faces tough market, the Mighty Phantom takes the center place of the advert. It is not their biggest set by far - only in 48th scale, although sizeable jet, the F-4 is smaller than the Uhu, the Pfeil and the Skyraider. All of those - Zoukei's masterpieces. For me though, the center of attention goes to the Horten Ho-229, which is available in both scales. I prefer 32nd of course, because of the more detail, and the respect that I have for this flying wing designed by the Horten brothers. It is a milestone in aviation history, featuring numerous innovations, technologies and engineering approaches. No wonder why Zoukei-Mura did this plane in both scales, 32nd and 48th. They did the same with Kurt Tank's high-altitude fighter - the Ta-152. Another legend in the history of aviation. And hopefully, we will see them do it with the Phantom too. I am suspecting hard-core fans of scale modeling are reading the blog here. I also suspect that I got your hearts pounding with this leaflet. Got you contemplating, which of these you should get. In my opinion they all deserve to be built. As for personal preferences, Horten Ho 229 and Ta-152 are my favorites. I would've mentioned the Uhu but a thorough review of Heinkel He219A-0 was already published here. I assume you've read it. Hopefully, with time we will get to see up close and personal all of those, or at least the bigger part. You will be amazed how much can be found in the boxes of those Zoukei-Mura's sets. Be sure to check out their website and see for yourself. There is a whole new modeling Universe there!    
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Zoukei-Mura’s Scraper – The Seven Tools Story Continued

When we hear "Japan" we imagine beautiful sights, cherry trees blossom and Samurai and Ninja Swords. Of course, the latter ones are a symbol of strength, quality of material and devotion to finest craftsman and precision. We all know the stories, how the steel is treated several times becoming the strongest and sharpest one in the World. Imagine now, that we can get that in scale modeling. Not as a weapon scaled down, but as a helping tool. Zoukei-Mura started easing up our lives providing wonderful tools, if you remember - The Seven Tools story. Constantly many companies are doing that, but with doubtful results and quality. Not with Zoukei-Mura. Japanese maker of kits is famous for being one of the best /if not THE Best/ company in the business. So no doubts in their accessories line should arise. In their last info note, Zoukei-Mura announced forged, Yasuki steel made Chisel and Scraper: So two things you should be aware of here: First, look closely at the picture above. You will see a mark, saying: Limited Hand-Made item. Hand made in Japan and limited edition. Second - check out the other tools shown there. The trigger action airbrush, the precision plastic cutters, the wooden work base, the basic tools needed for modeling. Everything screams precision and let's not forget that these are emerging through a tough competition from newest Meng Model airbrush or well known and respected Gunze and Tamiya accessories. Trumpeter also started their own line of helping tools. But none of those can compare. Zoukei-Mura started with modest but well defined concept, of making the finest models with a lot of interior features. Limited as variety to choose from, but instead full with superb qualities if you choose their subjects. Same goes for the tools. We don't have that much, but we have the right ones. We have the ones that are used mostly, the ones that are enough for a good modeler to cope with any task. And lastly - they are made in Japan. Enough said I believe!
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he-219 uhu zoukei-mura unboxing review sws dn models

Heinkel He-219 Uhu 1/32 by Zoukei-Mura

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! Instruction sheet 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 And He-219 A-0, Wk.Nr.190070, STAB I./NJG1 Masks 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. Resin part 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. Conclusion: 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
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