Henschel Hs 129B-2
Reviewed by Brett Green
Fortune has smiled on fans of 1/48 scale tank-buster aircraft in the last few years. First was Accurate Miniatures with their superb Stormovik family, followed by Hasegawa with the Junkers Ju 87G-2 Stuka and now their Henschel Hs 129B-2.
Hasegawa's new Hs 129B-2 is supplied in 92 light grey plastic parts on 8 sprues; with 5 parts in clear and 4 poly caps (two remain unused). All the grey sprues are packed in one bag resulting in some minor surface scratching, but the clear parts are mercifully bagged separately with the decals.
The Hs 129 is a petite aircraft considering its tank-busting role. Its slim profile must have helped avoid the inevitable maelstrom of ground fire. Everything on the model looks small - the engines, nacelles, cramped cockpit, propeller blades and radiator housings. Quite dainty.
Quality of the mouldings is typically high. Recessed panel lines are crisp and fine. Control surface detail and trim tab actuators are very convincing.
All parts are flash-free with only a few small ejector pin marks at the top of the main gear retractions struts and bomb racks. There is a small sink mark under each side of the cockpit that will need attention.
The delicate propeller blades are accurately portrayed in counter-rotating configuration. Gnome-Rhone engines are nicely moulded as one piece. The crank case cover is separate.
The ten-piece cockpit is a bit sparse but the armour behind the pilot's seat is particularly nice. Three choices are offered for the instrument panel
Engine instruments are moulded onto the engine nacelles. This arrangement was partly due to the lack of space in the forward cockpit. Decals are also supplied for these instruments if the modeller prefers.
The combined aileron/dive flaps are provided separate to the wings. Actuating hinges are also individual pieces - no solid moulded overscale parts here!
The fuselage halves are crowded with hatches and gun fairings. The machine-gun and cannon troughs are deep, and separate barrels fill the open holes in the fuselage. A crew ladder is provided.
A narrow but realistic gap is moulded between the top of the rudder and the fin. Trailing edges of flight surfaces are razor thin. Take care not to use too much liquid glue or you might distort them.
Stout undercarriage legs are complemented with equally solid keyed locating positions in the lower wing. The roof of the undercarriage bay is moulded into the lower wing. Surprisingly, the main wheels are depicted flattened and bulged. Maybe True Details will release a set of non-flattened wheels for this model! The lightening hole detail on the inside of the main gear doors is very well done.
Small detail parts are nice too. Fuel filler and other access ports on the top of the fuselage are supplied as separate parts. This is a thoughtful touch to ensure the detail is not lost when sanding the top-centre fuselage join.
20mm cannon barrels and the four exhaust pipes are hollowed out.
30mm cannon options comprise the early MK101 and the later MK103. The different housing styles are accurately represented. Muzzle perforations for both cannon are represented by indentations. I can't imagine anyone actually drilling them out (so how is that for a challenge). The MK101 barrel is hollowed out but a pin vise will have to be used on the end of the MK103 muzzle.
Bombs and racks are supplied but detail is a little chunky.
The characteristic armoured windscreen is suitably thick but the external gunsight glass looks like its armoured too. A small square of clear plastic will fix this minor problem.
Instructions are outlined in nine illustrated steps.
Markings for two aircraft in Dark Green / Black Green are provided. Both have red/white code letters and yellow theatre markings. The after-market decal industry will have a good time with some of the wild winter and desert schemes used on this aircraft.
Hasegawa's Henschel Hs 129B-2 looks great in the box and I have no doubt that it will build up nicely. This model is well up to Hasegawa's very high standards.
This should prove a simple construction job for most modellers.
Review and Images (except boxart) Copyright © 1999 by Brett