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In-Box Review
148
Henschel Hs 126
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by: Jean-Luc Formery [ TEDMAMERE ]


_ORGINPUB:
AeroScale

History



The Hs 126 first flew as a prototype in 1935 and was derivated from the Hs 122 which meet a 1933 Luftwaffe requirement for a battlefield observation aircraft to replace the Heinkel 46. The Hs 122 was underpowered, so Henschel were asked to change the design to use the Bramo radial engine instead. This was designated the Hs 126, with Henschel using the opportunity to make significant changes to the basic aircraft design. Early Hs 126 production aircraft were fitted with the BMW 132 engine, as the Bramo engine was not yet available. These early aircraft were designated A-1's, and Bramo-engined aircraft were B-1's.

Some Hs 126 A-1's were sent to Spain in 1938 for evaluation, being operated by the Legion Condor during the Spanish Civil War. By the outbreak of WW II, the Hs 126 was the main co-operation and battlefield reconnaissance aircraft of the Luftwaffe . During the Polish campaign, it was also used to strafe and bomb Polish forces once general air superiority had been achieved. However, in the campaign against France, it became clear that the Hs 126 was very vulnerable to enemy fighters. Accordingly, production ceased in January 1941, with just over 600 aircraft having been built. Almost all surviving Hs 126's were sent to the Eastern Front, and as they were replaced in frontline service by the Focke-Wulf Fw 189, they were adapted for such roles as glider tug for the DFS 230 and night harassment aircraft. Some aircraft based in the Balkans operated in the latter role until almost the end of the war.



The Kit

The new Fonderie Miniature kit is packed in their usual carboard box with a nice cover artwork which, for sure, will be usefull for painting and decalling the model (picture 1). The box is rather big as the Hs 126 is quite an imposing single engined airplane compared to a Bf 109 fighter for exemple. The kit is a typical short run production with injected plastic sprues, resin and white metal detail parts, vacuform canopies, decal sheet and instuctions.

Let's take a look at the plastic parts (picture 2). They are very crude and it seems as if the kit has been designed by a logger as there is a lot of flash, a bad surface finish and an important amount of moulding issues (picture 3). The engine cowling in particular is badly done and will require a lot of work to end up in something acceptable. Some parts, such as the fuselage halves, suffered while being expelled of the mould (picture 4). But what to think about the ailerons (picture 5)? The best will be to cut them out and to scratchbuild new ones!

You thought you've seen the worst of the kit? Then take a look at the cabane struts (picture 6 and 7)! The logger was a clumsy one for sure! Fortunately the bigger struts are far better (picture 8) even if one was broken in my sample... oh well, it's nothing compared to the things I mentionned earlier.

The gear legs (picture 9) can be mounted with or without covers for the tyres as the two versions are provided. There are small sink marks on the unspatted legs but this is not dramatic and won't represent too much additional work to eliminate them.

Resin parts are included mainly for the cockpit area (picture 10). They are good except for one which had some air bubbles. The white metal parts are typical of Fonderie Miniature (picture 11). With some sanding they will probably look ok but I would suggest you to replace the tailplane struts with some replacement made of styrene.

The "greenhouse" is vacuformed and comes with a replacement in case something bad happens while cutting (picture 12). They are not as good as many vacuform canopies I saw in other short run kits but better that what I was used to from Fonderie Miniature.

The decals (picture 13) are unfortunately very much the same quality as the rest of the kit... pretty bad! It seems that to much black ink was employed at the printing stage (picture 14). The letters are usable (after all, some markings were painted in as hasty way on real aircraft) but the insignia suffered badly. Considering that this is quite a specialist kit, I don't think many aftermarket decals will be available for this model in the future, so you will have to search for replacement ones in the spares box. Markings are provided for three machines:
- 5F CK of Aufklärungsstaffel 2 (H) 14 in North Afrika in 1941
- 4E ML of Aufklärungsstaffel 3 (H) 13 in Greece in 1941
- P2 FL of Aufklärungsstaffel 3 (H) 21 in Russia


The instructions are printed on two A4 sheets (picture 15). They are composed of a brief history, a five steps assembly guide with written instructions (French and english), a decal placement guide and a 3 view plan with color indications for the RLM 70/71 splinter camouflage. If you want to do the plane on the boxart, you will have to rely on... the boxart!



Conclusion

Thanks to Fonderie Miniature, we have at last a Hs 126 in injected plastic, but unfortunately it's not one of their better kits, to the contrary! I have their Breguet 693 and Blohm&Voss 212P kits in my stash and I must say they are much better than this one. I don't really know how it was possible for the French manufacturer to regress so much, but they did!

I only recommend this kit to "hardcore" and skilled Luftwaffe model builders as it will imply much more work than any other short run kit produced in the Czech Republic for exemple. It is a bit pricey too, so the only plus of the kit is that it is the only one available in injected plastic in that scale!
SUMMARY
I was very excited as Fonderie Miniature announced the release of a Henschel Hs 126 kit in 1/48 scale. I always wanted to add this historically important Luftwaffe observation plane to my collection, but I must say I'm a little bit dissapointed by the kit. I know we can't expect from F.M. to release models of the same quality level as mainstream manufacturers, but at least we can expect from them to improve the quality of their own products. Unfortunately it's not the case with their Hs 126!
  MOULDING:40%
  DETAIL:70%
  VALUE:40%
Percentage Rating
50%
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 6055
  Suggested Retail: 52 €
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 22, 2007
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.63%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 63.00%

About Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)
FROM: MOSELLE, FRANCE

I'm mainly interested in WW2 aircraft and I build them in 1/48 scale.

Copyright ©2019 text by Jean-Luc Formery [ TEDMAMERE ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.



Comments

Hi Jean-Luc I told you, but you did not listen ... Still, I bet you make a masterpiece out of that garbage .... I hope for a better MPM group release some day and maybe even a Storch will see the light (I know Gavia promised one for some years now...) until then you better go with a resin kit (MPM HML or WSW .. depending on what you can get) cheers Steffen
JAN 21, 2007 - 07:32 PM
Hi Steffen! Ja, Ja! Ich nehme an Ich habe es verdient! Do you know the MPM HML kit? They have one at Moduni. It's expensive though... but probably better than the FM one! But I think this time I will follow your advice and wait until someone of the MPM group will make a better one. If the same happens as for the Loire 130, it should be next year! Fonderie Miniature will release a Hampden next... but I think this time I will wait for someone else to make the review first! Rowan? :-) Jean-Luc
JAN 21, 2007 - 10:04 PM
Hi Jean-Luc Ja, du hast es verdient suum cuique Unfortunately I do not have the Hs 126 kits (neither). I have read the WSW is quite nice ... though I cannot remember where I read it ... . The HML kit should be ok. I have the He 219 (which I bought for 200 D-Mark just a few months before the Tamiya came out and then I screwed the kit ... doh) .. but the kit was a good resin kit though a bit too tail heavy for a tricycle landing gear .. I guess that is no help, sorry best wishes Steffen
JAN 21, 2007 - 10:52 PM
Hi Jean-Luc :-) I think not... making something half decent out of the Halifax should take me well past my retirement age! Getting back to the Henschel - I'm gutted to read that the kit's as bad as I feared it might! No... actually, it seems worse! How could they do it to one of my favourite aircraft?... Perhaps we should have a word with Eduard about finally releasing decent injected kits of this and the Storch... All the best Rowan
JAN 22, 2007 - 03:16 AM
Hello to all Henschel HS 126 cravers. The solution will be: buy the ICM kit which will be released about this year. Rumours say it will have the same part load as the Spitfires in their range (the price of 34.50 Euros hints at that...) Best regards, Haldaneplace
OCT 14, 2008 - 11:34 PM
Hi Nikola, Yes, I'm looking forward to see the ICM kit hit the shelves... By the way, welcome to Aeroscale! Jean-Luc
OCT 15, 2008 - 07:04 AM
Salut Jean-Luc, thanks for your warm welcome ! Another recommendation: the latest Wellington XIV in 1/72 by Trumpeter and Valom's Hampden with extra bomb bay. I hold them in my hands and what should I say - excellent. Alors, je te souhaite un bon weekend, mes meilleurs voeux de l'Allemagne, et jusqu'à la prochaine nouvelle édition sur le marché de maquettes...
NOV 14, 2008 - 02:10 AM
   

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