Revell-Monogram 1/48 Heinkel He-111H

Kit #5509
Images and text Copyright © 2003 by Matt Swan

       In 1994 Revell-Monogram released the first of a new breed of injection molded model for their company. Models that feature engraved panel lines rather than the dreaded raised panel lines on their previous releases. This new breed was introduced with the Heinkel He-111.

       The He-111 was one of the workhorse aircraft of the Luftwaffe. It was used as a bomber, transport, anti-shipping and reconnaissance aircraft. Initially developed in a “Pencil Nose” configuration production aircraft were done in a more streamlined configuration that became a familiar sight during the Battle of Britain.
       The He-111 was the only twin-engined plane used by the Luftwaffe basically unchanged from the first days of the war through to VE day. They were used with devastating results in the Spanish Civil War and in Poland. During the Battle of Britain they suffered prohibitive losses when faced with Spitfires and Hurricanes flown by determined pilots. In early 1941 they were used in the “Night Blitz” operating under cover of darkness being guided by radio beacons.

The Kit
       Although this kit is currently out of production (#5509) it is still readily available on E-bay and in some hobby shops. Listed as a skill level 3 kit, the kit consists of 4 sprues of gray injection molded sprues containing 106 pieces and a single sprue of clear parts totaling 17 pieces for a kit total of 123 pieces. There is minimal flash associated with the parts and the level of detail is very good. All the parts feature finely engraved panel lines. The clear parts are well cast, not overly thick and have good transparency. Parts are provided to build an H-4 version with 1000 pound bombs or an H-5 version carrying two externally mounted torpedoes.

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       The kit provides decals, by Scalemaster, for two different aircraft. Markings are included for KG 55 “Griffin Squadron” with a black underbelly and KOG 26 “Lion Squadron” which was relocated to Sicily in the spring of 1941. The instructions are clear and concise consisting of eight pages that include two pages of painting and decal placement guidelines along with a brief history of the aircraft.

       The modeler can build this completely “Out Of Box” and have a very nice representation of a He-111 H-4 or H-5 or add a variety of aftermarket parts such as Koster Aero Enterprise conversions for slightly earlier H models or the new Cutting Edge Pencil Nose conversions for the initial civilian and prototype military versions. Aeromaster made several supplemental decal sheets for this and a few of them are still available and Cutting Edge is releasing at least three different decal sheets for the Pencil Nose versions which served during the Spanish Civil War. Aires, Eduard and Verlinden also offer several different detail and conversion kits. It is possible for the modeler to go so far as to create a Zwilling twin fuselage version with various aftermarket kits. Overall it is a very nice kit and well worth the modeling dollar and makes an excellent and historic addition to any Luftwaffe collection.

       Revell-Monogram has announced the re-issue of this kit for June of 2004. The expected MSRP will be around $24.00.