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Italeri 1/48 Hs 123

Soon after Hitler's rise to power, Henschel started designing aircraft. One of the first was the , aimed to meet the 1933 dive bomber requirements for the reborn . The prototype performed its maiden flight on 1 April 1935. It featured a wide, "smooth" engine cowling, with all subsequent Hs 123 wearing the distinctive tightly fitting cowling that included 18 fairings covering the engine valves.

Its biplane wings were of a "sesquiplane" configuration, whereby the lower wings were significantly smaller than the top wings.

The design did away with bracing wires and, although the plane looked slightly outdated with its single faired interplane struts and cantilever main landing gear legs, it did feature an all-metal construction, clean lines and demonstrated superior maneuverability.

Since it was intended to replace the Heinkel He 50 reconnaissance and dive bomber biplane, as well as to act as a "stop-gap" measure until the Junkers Ju 87 became available, its production was limited and, apart from the improved Hs 123B, no upgrades were considered.

The type was flown by the Luftwaffe during the Spanish Civil War, where it proved to be a success, and in the early to midpoint of World War II, where it still proved to be very useful.

In service on the Eastern Front, it gradually underwent field modifications, including removal of the main wheel spats, fitting of additional armor and extra equipment, as well as mounting extra machine guns and even cannons in under-wing housings.

Its rugged, fixed undercarriage and the invulnerable air cooled engine were much appreciated, the open cockpit during the severe Russian winter not that much!

As the already small number of operational planes dwindled, aircraft had been salvaged from training schools and even derelict dumps all over Germany to replace losses.

By 1945, the remaining serviceable machines were reassigned to secondary duties such as supply dropping and glider towing.

The greatest tribute to the type’s usefulness came in January 1943 when Generaloberst Wolfram von Richthofen, then commander-in-chief of Luftflotte 4, asked whether production of the Hs 123 could be restarted, since it performed well in a theater where mud, snow, rain and ice took a heavy toll on the serviceability of more advanced aircraft.

However, the Henschel factory had already dismantled all tools and jigs in 1940.

Seeing service during a period where exact role of army supporting aircraft was still formulated, the Hs 123 was perhaps the first dedicated attack aircraft design intended to fulfill the close air support role in the niche between the tactical bomber and the dive bomber.

The type clearly showed that a slow but rugged and reliable aircraft could be effective in ground attack. Despite its antiquated appearance, it proved useful in every battlefield in which it fought.

Sadly, no Hs 123s are known to have survived.

This is the reissue of the classic mold, a good but at places basic kit. It was combo-dream-built together with my good friend @johnb, who made a magnificent job with his.
Should you wish to read my model's full build review, you might do so by visiting my beloved site Modelingmadness:
https://modelingmadness.com/review/axis/luft/other/pen123.htm
Happy Modelling!


42 responses

  1. An excellent result, Spiros @fiveten
    Indeed a pleasure to built this aircraft together you.
    I learned a lot of nice tricks, for example the incision of the wheels.
    Well done.

  2. Again - nice classical model from my childhood years! Looks great Spiros!

  3. Very nice work Spiros. I enjoyed reading the history of this interesting aircrafts. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nice clean build Spiros.

  5. 👍🏼Once again, Spiros @fiveten. Enjoyed your written history over at MM and the extra photos here.

  6. Excellent work, Spiros! That's a sharp model.

  7. Looks great, Spiros! A classic design.

  8. As German biplanes are Spiros it makes this model be one of the nicer example-Builds.
    Informative write up as well.

  9. Another enjoyable read and terrific pictures, glad you and John @johnb had such a great time on your combo build, that’s what modelling should be about.

  10. Superb work, Spiros. Well done.

  11. Great work overall sir

  12. Looks great! I'm itching to build another bipe - maybe this or the Curtiss P-6.

  13. WOW! I like what you have done with this kit Spiros. It looks AMAZING!

  14. I'm impressed! Great build!

  15. Very clean well done model, Spiros!

  16. Nicely done, both the model and the MM article!
    Congrats on another great post, Spiros!

  17. Great job on this Spiros. I'll bet you had lots of fun cleaning up the seam line on the 2 part cowling!

  18. Getting a great model like this out of an ESCI kit requires all of your modeling skills, Spiros (@fiveten). Looks awesome, aside from having too many wings. :o)

  19. Nice work Spiros, I really like the way how your biplane came out and it’s sharp looking finish. Very attractive plane.

  20. Great work and informative article, as always, Spiros. If I was to ever expand my dive-bomber collection to the European theater, this one would definitely be on the list to build!

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