Review: Platz 1/72 He219 A-7
The Heinkel He 219 Uhu (“Eagle-Owl”) was a night fighter that served with the German Luftwaffe in the later stages of World War II. A relatively sophisticated design, the He 219 possessed a variety of innovations, including Lichtenstein SN-2 advanced VHF-band intercept radar. It was also the first operational military aircraft to be equipped with ejection seats and the first operational German World War II-era aircraft with tricycle landing gear. Had the Uhu been available in quantity, it might have had a significant effect on the strategic night bombing offensive of the Royal Air Force but only 294 of all models were built by the end of the war and these saw only limited service.
This kit is a reboxing of Dragon’s He 219 with a few additions that Platz have added. They’ve also taken the Eduard PE set for this kit and upgraded that too. I’ll cover this PE upgrade set and the masking sheet in this review since if you’re going to get the Platz kit you might want to take a look at the PE set and masking set.
The box is a standard top opening box and all the sprues are in bags and all the individual bags are contained in a single larger bag. The box contains:
- 14 PE parts
- 100 plastic parts
- 6 white metal weights
- 1 decal sheet
- 1 4 page glossy black and white instruction sheet
- 1 colour double sided painting and decal guide.
The instructions are in Japanese and I’m thinking this release is intended for the Japanese home market, but you can buy it and the aftermarket sets direct from Platz. However, the instructions are very clear and the lack of any English is not going to hamper you in any way. The first page of the instructions gives the usual layout of the sprues and you can see that one of the canopies and few other parts are not used and are greyed out. At the bottom is another addition to the kit from Platz. The bottom of the box has a cut-out cardboard jig you can build to make sure the wings are aligned correctly. The stand has a few English words on it so you know which way is front and up so you can be sure of using it correctly.
The steps in the instructions are not numbered but have arrows to make them a flowchart type of instructions. The build starts, as is usual with aircraft, with the cockpit. Main colours are mentioned by name, RLM02 for example, but the colours of the smaller items you will have to look up, but there are plenty of online references to help you with that. A major pain with He 219 kits is that they always want to sit on their tail and there’s hardly anywhere to put enough weight to counterbalance it. Platz solved that for you with 6 white metal weights, the first of which is shaped to fit inside the nose. The first step sees the fuselage halves go together along with the belly guns and the tail and canopy.
The next step, which you could do alongside the first step, puts the upper and lower wings together with undercarriage bays added too. Each of the engines gets 2 shaped weights in them to help keep the nose down too. A simple diagram shows that the weights need to be fitted with the arrows pointing down. The next steps at the bottom left are pretty simple and make the exhaust shrouds and the propellers. The 4th step at bottom right puts the undercarriage legs together and mentions the undercarriage bay doors. The final step on this page, and the bottom middle, brings the wings and fuselage together. This is where the jig on the bottom of the box will come in handy.
The back of the instructions shows the final smaller steps, adding the rudders and rear aerial, adding the undercarriage legs and doors, adding the props and exhausts and finally the PE nose antennae. The lack of English in the instructions won’t be a problem if you have a few kits under your belt.
The plastic in this kit is nicely detailed with fine recessed panel lines. There are only 2 real players in the He 219 kit game, Dragon and Revell, and Revell’s kit started a long time ago and has been reboxed many times. If Platz were going to rebox a He 219, then the Dragon kit is the one to go for. I like that Platz added to the kit to solve some of the things that made it a bit tricky to build.
There are 3 decal options in the kit, all from 1/NJg 1. The decals have very little extra backing film and look reassuringly thin. I’ve used Platz decals in the past and had no problems and don’t see why these should be any different.
- He 219 A-7 G9+CH (RLM76 & RLM75)
- He219 A-5 G9+BD (RLM76 & RLM75)
- He219 A-2 G9+TH (Mostly black with some RLM76 & RLM75)
The colour call-outs are in Mr Color and Model Master. The other side of the decal placement sheet shows a 1/72 scale drawing of the aircraft with the mottle shown so you can try and replicate it I guess.
The PE sheet that Platz offers for this kit is a copy of the Eduard 73286 but without the self-adhesive. The cockpit PE fret is in colour and will add greatly to the cockpit which is easy pretty big and clear. The instructions for the PE fret have Japanese text on them, but if you want the instructions in English, although the differences are minimal, click here. The masking sheet is a copy of Eduard’s CX197. Both sets are available from Platz at very close to the same price as Eduard, so if it’s faster tp get things from Japan than Europe for you then you can get them there. The He219 kit retails for about US$50.00 depending on the exchange rate.
The base Dragon kit is very nice and Platz has added a few things to make life easier for you. The supplied weights solve a big issue of trying to cram enough metal in there to keep the nose down and the cut-out jig on the box bottom is a nice touch.