Heller 1/72 Fieseler Fi-156 Storch






Two Aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The Fieseler Fi-156 'Storch' Stork was developed from a 1935 requirement for an army co-operation, casualty evacuation and general liaison aircraft. The Fieseler entry was far and away the most useful of the entries. It even went farther than the others in its ability to operate from small areas. Thanks to Fieseler's high lift wing, it was able to take off in 210 feet, land in 60 feet and was able to hover in a 25 mph head wind! Powered by a 240 hp Argus AS 10C inverted-vee air-cooled engine, it was able to reach a maximum speed of 109 mph, but frankly, high speed was never a requirement!

The prototype first flew in 1936 and over 2,500 were built by many companies. The French firm of Morane-Saulnier built a version with a small radial engine and the plane was also built in Czechoslovakia. Many still exist on the civil register in a number of countries.




 Heller's kit of the Storch is well done externally with fine fabric detailing on all surfaces. It isn't overdone as is often the case, and even shows the stitching done to join the larger pieces together. There are the usual mass of struts that are so normal for an aircraft of this type and you do get optional pieces for the French-built MS.500. These are basically a tail wheel vice skid, different tail planes, and a different upper clear piece (see below).

The interior is basically a floor, two seats, an instrument panel and a control stick. The wings are attached to the large clear area via tabs set in the upper clear piece. It looks quite sturdy and should present no problems in construction. What really surprised me about this kit is that the plane is not small. It is larger than a Bf-109 or FW-190.

The instructions on my kit were the Aurora version as I bought the kit second-hand. This was a bit of a help as they are more than the normal exploded view that you get with Heller and one doesn't have to turn the page to read the construction write-up! Decals, however, are the same as with all Heller kits of that era. They are quite matte and have yellowed. Though these decals do go on well, most will replace them because of the yellowing. You get markings for the desert camouflaged Storch shown on the box art and a French version.

With the recent release of Mike Grant's two sheets on the Fi-156 (the reason I bought the kit), there should be renewed interest in the type.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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