Special Hobby 1/72 He-59





Two Aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Multimedia with resin and vac bits


Allow me to paraphrase the historical background stuff from the kit instructions:

"Even before the breaching of the Treaty of Versailles, Heinkel had started work on a reconnaissance and torpedo-carrying seaplane. Both wheeled and float prototypes were built, flying in 1931 and 1932. However, the float plane version was more widely used with the first of 143 aircraft being delivered fully loaded with weapons in 1933. There were many different versions and variants of the floatplane built with the only visible difference to most being the nose of the aircraft.

The initial use of the He-59 in combat was during the Spanish Civil War when the He-59B with a great deal of success by AB/88 when used to keep up the blockade and during night attacks  at Valencia, Cartagena, and Barcelona. When WWII started, they were already considered out of date, but as long as there was little air resistance, they were able to perform well, mostly in long range recce duties and general transport.  The type served quite well in the Mediterranean and was used by the Finns for coastal patrol duties. Later versions were used as air-sea rescue planes and air ambulances, though many were shot down by the British thinking they were used as recce birds. Even near the end of the war they were still in use as trainers in the Baltic.


You get one heck of a lot of plastic in this kit. The box is full and quite heavy as the He-59 is not a small plane. The only reason I bought it is that I was reading a book on the Legion Condor and it included a chapter on AS/88 and the He-59. Naturally, I had to have one in my collection.

 Detailing is quite good as MPM improves its molding over the years. It also has the requisite vacuformed bits, bag of resin parts and small etched brass fret. The majority of parts on the etched fret are small braces of various types. In fact, quite a large percentage of the plastic parts are braces of some sort. Most of them are just single struts of varying length so construction will be a challenge. If anything, this is a very large WWI type of plane with the addition of heavily braced engines and floats. Resin parts include all of the interior bits, the engine fronts, a few additional braces, machine guns and their mounts as well as some other small exterior bits. Fortunately, two sets of vac bits are included for those of us who make lots of mistakes! There are no optional configurations. I also find it a bit odd that no external ordnance is included as this was a torpedo/level bomber and I don't think that those items were carried internally.

The instructions are quite good with lots of additional diagrams showing the proper placing of items, a real need when one is dealing with all these struts. Not provided is a rigging diagram so the builder will have to rely on the box art for that task. Frankly, it doesn't look all that bad, but a diagram would sure be useful. Decals are provided for two subjects and the sheets are really quite large. First is for the box art plane from AB/88, and is allegedly in overall RLM 02 with the underside of the floats in RLM 74. Well, I hate to argue with kit instructions, but I'd be willing to bet that the plane is more than likely in overall RLM 63 than 02. It is up to you to decide the shade. Wingtips are white as was normal for Legion Condor planes. The other is a plane from 3./KuFlgr 106 in 1939. It is in the proper splinter camo of  RLM 72/73/65 as befits a seaplane. It has very large wing insignia and the usual sectioned swastika. I do believe that most will go for the AB/88 version.



Once again, we have an injected kit of a most unusual subject. I do believe that the later He-59 is available too, should your tastes lean in that direction. How many will be built vice those bought remains to be seen. Biplanes are popular subjects, but not that many are actually built. It is great that MPM decided to take a gamble on this kit and I hope it does well for them.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has 200,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page