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Henschel Hs 123 Preview




S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number : TBA
Scale: 1/48
Price: USD$29.98 (based on AMtech announcement of November 7, 2002 http://www.kitreview.com/reviews/amtech071102_1.htm )
Contents and Media: 65 injection molded styrene in light gray (test shot in black) and 1 clear injection molded windshield. 15 parts in pale cream-colored resin. Decals and instruction not yet printed.
Review Type: Preview of Pre-Release Test Shots
Advantages: The reissue of a long out of production kit with a beautiful and highly detailed resin cockpit and parts to make the spatless gear legs. Well represented fabric surfaces.
Recommendation: Highly recommended to all modelers.


Reviewed by Steven Eisenman

AMtech's 1/48 scale Henschel Hs 123 will be available online from Squadron.com




The Henschel Hs 123, developed in 1935, entered service in 1936 as the first stage in the Luftwaffe’s effort to create a modern dive bomber force. But it was not the role of dive bomber that allowed this aircraft to remain in service well into 1944, but rather it was its roll as a Schlachtflugzeug , or close-support aircraft.

The Hs 123 played the close-support role successfully from the Spanish Civil War, through the invasion of Poland and the Balkans and well on into the disaster that was the invasion of Russia. Even when all other aircraft had been grounded due to airfields being a mass of mud, the Hs 123, without its landing gear covering, was able to remain in combat.

So valued was the Hs 123 in its role on the Eastern front, that it was even suggested as late as January of 1943, that production of the Hs 123 be reinstated. Alas, the tooling for the Hs 123 had been scrapped in 1940.





Those of us who have been modeling for over a decade may remember the ESCI / ERTL kit of the Hs 123. It was a great kit of an aircraft that played a minor, but important role in the Luftwaffe. The only problem I can remember with the kit was that the inter-plane struts may have been too long. I guess it was not much of a problem, though, because this was one of the first kits I built when I returned to modeling in 1985. I built two and thought I would do more. But alas, they went out of production and became hard to fine.

AMtech has resurrected the original ESCI / ERTL molds and the test shots show that nothing has changed. The very delicate, but raised panel lines are still there, as is the well represented fabric surfaces. Take note that those three rings on the ailerons are not ejector pin marks. I believe they were on the actual aircraft. The panel lines could be left alone, or easily re-scribed. Also the kit allows for modeling a Hs 123 either with or without the raised head restraint behind the cockpit.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The real beauty of this re-release of this oldie but goody is the exquisite resin cockpit and spatless landing gear. The cockpit fits right in with just the removal of the lover alignment shelf for the original cockpit. While the opening for the cockpit is quite small and a lot of the detail could be lost when closed up, the kit allows for the entrance panels to be folded down. In this case, you may want to sand down and eliminate the attachment lip that is there.



The spatless landing gear is done as an injection molding and fits nicely into the locating holes for the original spatted gear. The skeletal legs will be a nice look on this little aircraft.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

I am sorry to report that the decal options have not yet been finalized. But the aircraft in the profile (below), Blue O, will blue represented.



The predominant color schemes for this aircraft appear to be 61/62/63/65 (dark brown, green and green-gray over light blue) and 71/65. It appears that the pre-war scheme was left on many of the aircraft well into the ‘40s, and when repainted , were given a simple over-paint of dark green. Some, most likely at the end of their production, received the basic 70/71/65 (black-green, dark green and light blue) scheme.





Speaking for myself, I truly welcome this kits. I want to replace my old and less-than-well-done Spanish Nationalist aircraft, and I look forward to doing one with a red tail band; and another in the splatless version used in the Balkans and Russia.

As one who loves the minor players in the great air battles of WW-2, I highly recommend this kit. Given the quality of the resin cockpit and the absence of larges molding blocks, it should not be a problem even for less experienced modelers.

Just be warned, I believe that this kit will be limited to a run of only 5,000 kits.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Alan Griffith of AMtech for the pre-production review sample.

More information about this and other releases may be seen
on AMtech's website

Review Text and Images Copyright © 2002 by Steven Eisenman
Page Created 30 December, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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