Vector 1/48 Hs-126A-1

KIT #: 48-007
PRICE: 80 Euros (about $110) at Neomega Resin http://www.neomega‑
DECALS: Six options
REVIEWER: Tom Cleaver
NOTES: Resin kit


             “Corps reconnaissance” was developed during the First World War.  Dedicated front line reconnaissance aircraft continued to be designed and produced afterwards, with some of the more famous being the British Westland Lysander and the German Henschel Hs-126A-1.  Within two years of the outbreak of the Second World War, these aircraft had left frontline service, having been found unable to survive in the frontline aerial environment.

             The Henschel Hs-126A-1 was the penultimate development of a line of German two seaters that included the Heinkel He-45 and He-46, along with the Henschel Hs-122.  The Hs-126A-1 offered higher performance than these types and was all metal in construction, with fabric-covered control surfaces.  The aircraft was developed from the earlier Hs 122 design of 1935, but offered improved performance and handling characteristics.

The Hs 126 was well received, due to its good short takeoff and low-speed characteristics.

            By the outbreak of the Second World War, the Hs-126A-1 equipped the majority of the Luftwaffe's field reconnaissance units.  While it was outstandingly successful in the Polish campaign, it was found to be very vulnerable to opposing fighters during the campaign in the West in 1940, capable of operating only under conditions of air superiority.

            The Hs-126A-1 went on to serve in the Balkans campaign and on the Eastern Front, with one Staffel equipping the Afrika Korps in 1941.

             By 1942, the Hs-126A-1 was outperformed by the Fieseler Storch, which had even greater STOL capability as well as better low-speed handling.  The Fw-189 had the performance to survive in the frontline reconnaissance role on the Eastern Front, and the Hs-126A-1 was rapidly replaced in frontline units.  By 1943 it was relegated to the roles of squadron hack, trainer, and glider tug.  


            If you've ever seen a Vector resin engine, you know the quality of resin casting that this kit presents.  Vector's Lavochkin series has generally been considered as the best kits of those aircraft available in 1/48 scale and well worth their price.

             This kit is the seventh full-resin kit from Vector, and it sets an even higher standard than was found in the previous kits.

             At first look, one could easily mistake the dark olive resin for styrene plastic, providing smooth surfaces and crisp, subtle details.  The molded-in cockpit interior is much superior to what any injection-molded kit would provide.  The rest of the detail is of equal quality.  The seats have harness detail molded in that looks very realistic.  Vector's reputation rests on engines, and this model of the BMW 132 is a model in its own right.  Control surfaces are all separate, with blade-sharp trailing edges.  The landing gear can be done with or without the spats.  Additional side armor is provided for the Eastern Front options.

             Decals are provided for six aircraft, one from the Condor Legion in Spain; one from the Polish campaign; one from the Finnish front; two from the Eastern Front, including one in winter camouflage; and one from the North African campaign.


             This is one of the best all-resin kits it has been my privilege to see.  I can't recommend this to a first-time resin kit builder, due to the extreme fragility of the bracing struts for the wing, where the successful outcome is going to depend on “some advanced modeling skill required.”  However, if you've done a couple resin kits, you'll love this one.  As a kit it is far superior to the only other 1/48 Hs-126 out there, which was done by Fonderies Miniatures.  It is well worth its price, and will turn into a beautiful model when completed.

 Review kit courtesy of Vector.

Tom Cleaver

May 2009

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