Independent thinking and cultural diversity in scale modelling

HEINKEL He119v4 high speed reco-bomber prototype (1/144 - scratchbuilt)

By Alex Bernardo

I decided to build this model for obvious reasons.  It’s a clean and unusual design.  Very unique for it’s time.   One of the most radical aircraft built prior to World War II.   The most unusual aspect of this aircraft was a propeller shaft assembly extending thru the center of the cockpit canopy compartment.   The pilot and co pilot sat on either side of a shaft gearbox.   Buried within the slim fuselage, were two V12 power plants (Daimler-Benz DB 606) coupled to a common gearbox.    The first flight was made in mid 1937.  While showing phenomenal performance, the He 119 never achieved production.  Eight versions were produced.   The third version was built as a seaplane.  Still achieving 354 mph.   The fastest recorded time was 367mph by version #6.  Versions 5 thru 8 could carry internal bomb loads of 2205 lbs.  Most of the airframes were relegated to testing while V7 and V8 were sent to Japan.


This model was built from spare parts and raw materials.  The fuselage was a 1/72 or 1/48 modern drop tank.  It was reshaped with many sessions of filing and sanding.  Once the correct shape was achieved.  Nose was separated to used as a male master for making a “heat-n-smash” canopy.  The canopy was initially intended to be a single piece.  But after many unsuccessful attempts, I decided to split the canopy two pieces.  Consisting of upper and lower halves.

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The wings originated from the outer wings of a MPC 1/72 P-38 kit (spare parts).   A photocopied pattern of the landing gear bay was used to trace the outline on the bottom of the wing.   The landing gear bay was cut out using a drill and Xacto knife.  Then boxed in using paper-thin sheet styrene.  The wings have a distinctive inverted gull bend.  Very similar to the Corsair.  To achieve this shape,the lower wing surface was scored and the upper wing surface had a narrow notch cut out to allow an upward bend.   I used super glue make the bend permanent.   A notch was cut into one of the wings to allow placement of landing light.  Landing light was made from a spare piece of clear styrene, a shallow hole drilled into the back, to simulate a light.  The light was painted silver and remaining back area was painted gray.

Horizontal and vertical control surfaces were made from reshaped spare parts.

The landing gear and wheels originated from the Lindberg He162 kit.  The landing gear was reduced in length.  Wheels went thru a similar transformation by reducing the diameter, using a file and sand paper.  Additional strut used to be copper wire. 

Gearbox, propeller shaft, propeller, radiator scoop, instrument panel, and seats were made from stock styrene.  Seatbelts were made from painted tape.


Interior and landing gear bays were painted with Model Master Acrylic RLM 02.   The vertical stabilizer was initially painted white with Poly Scale acrylic.   Two discs were cut out from tape and placed onto the stabilizer.  Then a coat of red paint was sprayed on using Pactra Insignia Red.  The red band was masked using Parafilm.   All of the panel lines were shaded with Poly Scale Underside Gray.   The remainder of the model was airbrushed with Model Master acrylic RLM 63 Light Gray.  Subsequently sprayed with Tamiya Clear.  Swastika decals were obtained from a Super Scale decal sheet and applied to the vertical stabilizer.   The model had a clear flat coat applied using Poly Scale acrylic.

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Alex Bernardo