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1/48 Condor Legion He-51B Imperial German Air Service/Luftwaffe Group Build.

This is the fairly recent kit. All in all, not a bad kit. It’s engineered very nicely and has good cockpit detailing. It’s best feature is that the landing gear struts are molded to the fuselage halves. This guarantees strength and accuracy. It’s certainly an improvement over the 1st generation Classic Airframes He-51 that I built years ago. The kit does have a kind of unfinished feeling to it though. One weird omission is the gunsight. The windscreen features a cut out for it but the parts aren’t provided. I installed a chunk of plastic behind the screen to represent the sight’s’ body. I need to find a PE ring and bead to complete it. While it’s basically a high end limited run kit, you get the feeling that it could be a top tier mainstream kit with a little more attention from the toolmakers.

Roden gets an A+ for subject, B for execution.

I finished this one as Adolph Galland’s second assigned plane. He wrecked the first in a landing accident.

It went together pretty smoothly after I trimmed and sanded many large parts. Watch the wings. You need to scrape the lower wing and fuselage join areas to get rid of a pronounced anhedral. The edges also all have slight mold mismatch. I added Eduard seatbelts, blocked the view inside a couple vents on the nose with scrap plastic inside. I replaced a few details like foot steps and antenna posts with brass rod too.

Colors? Nobody really knows. Photographs of the plane show it to be covered with a dark camouflage pattern on top. Some say Green 70/71, others believe Green 62/Brown 61. I went with the later using Xtracolor enamels. I painted the undersides Gray 63. I doubt these planes received Blue 65 underneath as some profiles indicate.

Decals are from Aeromaster. If I did this again, I’d mask and paint the white Xs on the wings. Rigging is stainless steel wire and the antennas are EZline.

I built this one side by side with a SCW Bf-109E. Thanks for looking and happy modeling!

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.


20 responses

  1. A wonderful model, sharp and cleanly built! I think this is not a very easy kit, which demands quite a bit; you have overcome all difficulties and put a real gem on its feet. Congratulations on this beautiful result, which I like very much!

  2. Great looking aircraft ! A+ workmanship!

  3. Unusual and cool aircraft. Like the late 30s aircraft. Wonder if they knew already then how things would change in just a few years. I always felt the Spanish markings look like something from a comics album, Tintin or so...

  4. Like it a lot John. A very unusual bird, and the colour combination is also rarely seen

  5. I'm not into a bi-planes, but you did very good work!

  6. Congratulations on a truly gorgeous model, John!
    It was a joy to follow your build thread and witness the way you tackled "those little hings".

  7. Excellent build, John @j-healy
    Love the camouflage scheme and also the special way the antenna is wired.
    It was a pleasure to follow your thread and see the progress of this bird.

  8. Excellent work, John... your He51 also looks really smart alongside the Bf109E :-).

  9. Great build, and good work with the rigging. Seeing the two planes together, it kind of symbolized the end of one era and the beginning of another in aviation.

  10. Very nice build and scheme! I need to build one of these in 1/72.

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