Italaerei 1/72 Hs-126






Three options


Scott Van Aken


Currently OOP but easy to find.


Developed in early 1936 from the disappointing Hs122 the parasol-winged Hs126 was a thoroughly sound machine very like the British Lysander in character though more conventional. The crew of two sat below and behind the wing in a capacious tandem cockpit, the pilot's portion being enclosed. Typical photographic, radio and light bombing equipment was carried, and the aircraft proved to have excellent STOL capability and ability to absorb much punishment .

Altogether about 802 were delivered, maintaining the Aufklarungsstaffein (recce squadrons) at a front-line strenght of around 280 aircraft. By June 1941 virtually all were on the Eastern Front or in the Balkans or North Africa. A few survived until 1944-45 in operations against partisans in the Balkans, but most had been replaced by the Fw189 and used for towing gliders. The 200-odd combat veterans served in Nachtschlacht (night ground attack) wings, often using a variety of armament schemes.



Those who follow the history of model companies will know that the Italaerei company split in the 1970s into Italeri and Supermodel. This kit is from before that split (hence the tongue-twisting name), but it has been reissued a number of times in the Italeri boxing. You get two tan sprues with detail as raised lines. The detailing itself is quite good for the time. There is no flash, and little real problem with ejector pins (though you will have to take care of those on the cockpit floor, seats and so on). You will have to do some filling of the sink areas as they are a mite more numerous. Mostly on the thicker pieces. I should point out that in the days this kit was developed, few modelers bothered with filler. The clear bits (not shown) are very well done and the kit includes a display stand.

The interior is quite visible on the real plane so Italaerei made a rather complete one for this kit, consisting of a floor, two seats a control stick, instrument panel, radio and camera. Of course, two crew figures are also included. Optional bits are the ability to carry a bomb on a fuselage rack and to build the kit either with or without wheel spats. There is a somewhat heavy handed representation of fabric on the control surfaces, but a coat of paint or so should tone that down.

Instructions are nicely done with two large exploded views for construction sequences. There is a history of the type in four languages and a part layout guide. Markings are provided for three aircraft. One is a Spanish Civil War version in RLM 71 over RLM 65, A desert  bird in RLM 71, 70 and sand yellow with RLM 65 undersides, and a Greek 126 in RLM 71 and pale brown uppers with RLM 65 undersides. The decals are, well, a bit old so have yellowed. They are well printed and very matte. They could be salvaged and probably will have to be as aftermarket sheets for the 126 are almost non-existent.


1/72 Modelers are fortunate to have this and the Matchbox kits available to them for this aircraft. Though neither kit is by any means modern, both are very nicely done and will make into super models.

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