Heinkel He-219 Uhu
This is Tamiya's rendition in quarter scale of arguably the most elegant and equally deadly night fighter to emerge from World War II. Personally, I would be hard pressed to make a choice between the Uhu and the P-61 Black Widow.
There will always be a debate as to how good the He-219 really was in service. Nobody can deny the fact that it surely was a ferocious looking nocturnal nemesis to the RAF Bomber Command. This was demonstrated when Werner Streib took his He-219A-0 G9+FB aloft and duly shot down five RAF heavies. Not many aircraft could claim this feat on its first operational mission. Within its first ten days of operational life the Uhu's destroyed a further 20 RAF heavies as well as 6 RAF Mosquitoes. This was the first time that the Luftwaffe was capable of intercepting and destroying the Mosquito !
However, the Uhu was underpowered and beset by political, developmental and logistical problems in the final years of the Reich. The He-219 A7 was the ultimate version of the Uhu as kitted by Tamiya. The He-219 A7 was powered by two Daimler Benz DB-603 E 12-cylinder engines to a max speed of 585 km/h at 6000 m. The He-219 A7 was armed with MK 103, MK 108 and MG 151/20 guns in the wing root, ventral gondola and upward firing Jazz installation. The aircraft was vectored onto its target using its FuG 218 Neptun radar and Lichtenstein SN-2. At the end of the war only 288 He-219's had reached operational status. only 64 of these machines served with 1. /NJG 1 under Gruppenkommandeur Werner Streb. My model depicts one of those 1./NJG 1 machines.
Tamiya's Uhu has a couple of shape error's, notably the long engine nacelles aft of the trailing edge. At the time of the build I selected not to change it. Scratch building was limited to seat harnesses, nav lights fashioned out of clear sprue, aerial wires, Evergreen bits and pieces to detail the Jazz gun installation in the aft fuselage as well as the undercarriage bays. Copper wire was added to detail the cockpit consoles, Revi gusight as well as the undercarriage. My Uhu is dressed up in a typical late war Luftwaffe night fighter camouflage of RLM 76 and RLM 75 squiggle pattern, slightly toned down to simulate a weathered look.
Weathering was done using pastels, Tamiya weathering kits and watercolour paint to enhance the panel lines.