Heinkel He 112 B-1 “Yellow 4″ – 1:72
The model presents:
He 112 B-1 "Yellow 4" of the IVth Gruppe JG 132. Karlsbad airfield, October 1938
The aircraft story cut short:
The history of Heinkel 112 began in 1933 when Ernst Heinkel, remarkable German aircraft designer, commenced the work on the modern monoplane fighter. Later that year, in December, the Luftwaffenfuhrungsstab issued the specifications for the new fighter. The specification was issued only to three selected manufacturers: Arado Flugzeugwerke, Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau and Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke.
The He 112 construction was inspired by He 70 Blitz - a lot of similarities can be noticed e.g. elliptical "W" wings or oval fuselage. He 112 quickly oned up the competitors and it seemed the contract would be easily won by Heinkel.
However, in 1935, one more aircraft managed to meet the restrictions and specifications and was allowed for the competition. It was Messerschmitt Bf 109 - excellent and modern fighter stuffed with state of the art machinery and technology. Consequently, Heinkel was forced to rethink and redesign the aircraft significantly to boost his chances against the new player. New prototypes appeared: He 112 V7 through V11.
Although Bf 109 won and was chosen the main Luftwaffe fighter, RLM agreed to start the production of He 112, what's more, they allowed Heinkel to export the aircraft but on specific RLM's conditions and to selected countries. The production started in 1937 - there were total only 98 planes built (including 85 B variants). Most of them were exported to Japan (ca. 30 planes), Spain (18 planes), Romania (ca. 30 planes) and a few went to Hungary. Nevertheless, the part of the production remained in Luftwaffe.
On the one hand the He 112 was said to be much worse than Bf 109, but on the other, a lot of pilots preferred He 112 to Bf 109 due to its handling qualities. One of the superb German aces - Hauptmann Wolfgang Falck Staffelkapitan was very impressed by He 112 and claimed it superior to contemporary Bf 109.
All in all, He 112 had some chances to become the first and major Luftwaffe fighter for the oncoming war, however, unfortunately for Heinkel, Bf 109 was picked. Undoubtedly, the success was close for Heinkel, they were both excellent aircraft. Can you imagine the war without Bf 109? How would Luftwaffe perform with He 112? Would it change the war? For sure, but to what extent we can only guess.
- Heinkel 112 - monograph by Seweryn Fleischer
- Heinkel He 112 in action - monograph by Denes Bernad
To be honest, building the model was on the brink of pain. I desperately wanted to build He 112 and RS Models was the only manufacturer I found who offered this aircraft. When I was buying it at the local model store, the seller warned me timidly: "Well, it lacks finesse". When I was "trying" to build it, it turned out that it lacks much more than finesse. The detail level leaves a lot to be desired and the quality is very poor. Well, I know that fixing the model is just part of modelling, but it was too much. And I wouldn't complain if the price was proportioned to the quality. This model cost more than most 1/72 Tamiya or Airfix. To sum up, I like the RS Models range of products - they perfectly fill the market gap with models that are not manufactured by others. My advice: if you know what you want and you're skilled and ready to put a lot of effort into building a model, go for it. Otherwise, avoid RS Models and go for top products at the same or lower price. You can check RS range here: http://rsmodels.cz/en/Homepage/default?do=setLang
Now I'm working on Tamiya's A6M2, probably will be finished in a week or two.
I will appreciate your comments. Cheers!