Revell Heinkel He-162 A-2 in 1/32 scale
         Started: March/2018
Current state: Main assembly

This project is another integrant of the Leaving the Tunnel diorama, on which I have been working on and off over the last three years. Having finished the WR-360 locomotive and the flatbed gondola, the main missing part of the project became the Heinkel He-162 that would be transported by the gondola, besides the scenic part (terrain, figures, etc.), of course. Both, the WR-360 and the gondola are in 1/35 scale, while the Salamander is the 1/32 Revell kit 04723:

The difference in the scales would be mitigated by the fact that the He-162 will be mounted on the gondola without its nose, tail and wings/engine. I planned this diorama showing the composition about to leave a factory tunnel in Austria carrying a batch of partially finished Heinkels in an effort to hurry up their delivery to the frontline in the last weeks of the war. 

Since the wings would be removed, I had to start by practicing some butchery on both fuselage halves. This comprised to remove the section along the fuselage halves (parts 24 & 29) running immediately under the engine. Yes, I would need to scratchbuilt the internal details along that area later. The nose and the tail cone woul be removed later, too:

It is not easy to find clear photos of the area where the wing is embedded into the fuselage. I don't mean the area atop the wing - those are plenty, but the area you see when the wing is removed. I took some photos from the He-162 A-2 w/n 120227 in the RAF Museum in London, but they didn't help much. Later I found some good material online and I was covered 
well enough to go ahead.

The part removed from the fuselage does not follow anything molded in the kit parts, though. I had to carve the wing root profile out and then proceed to a straight cut (blue) running from the flap station up to the electrical compartment of the engine under the nacelle intake. This area would be covered with a single plate, isolating the engine from fuel tank and landing gear wells. I played with the factory drawings to make the idea more clear:.

Revell provided parts to display the starboard 20 mm MG 151 cannon bay open (contrary to the He-151 A-1, whose 30 mm Mk108 barrels protuded to the exterior, the barrels of the MG 151 were barely visible). Because aircraft factories were hastly finishing their planes at that point of the war, paint, instruments and armament were not always available to be installed at factory. I chose to glue the cannon door shut, and re-scribed the seam lines to match the port side fuselage half. While at it, the signal flare hole is oversized in the kit. I reworked the area to accept a piece of brass tubing of suitable size and sanded everything flush:

At this point I started to work on the inner side of the fuselage. Revell parts are good enough for a closed cockpit. However I planned to leave the plexiglass hood open (a
couple of slave workers will be tying the He-162 to the gondola...), and so a better cockpit was in order.

Not wanting to re-invent the wheel, I grabbed the excellent Legend Productions cockpit set for this kit and my problems were solved (and I could resin copy the oxygen regulator for a couple of other projects!): 


Work on the cockpit started with the installation of the resin sidewalls. I first removed the molded-on details of the fuselage using a rotary tool and then glued the resin parts using epoxy glue. Note that the nose was not removed at that point - this is because the resin sidewalls were kept in place by a few clamps. In order to avoid distortion, I dry assembled the fuselage with rubber bands while the epoxy dried. Had I removed the nose, the lack of stiffness could let some unwanted deformation. This simple expedient avoided any possible warping of the cockpit:

I also started to prepare the wheel bay area. Wheel bay roof and bulkheads (parts 31, 32 & 33) were assembled and primed. This assembly would be the canvas of the landing gear area. If by one side I love to detail this kind of thing, it was obvious that not much of it would be visible once the Heinkel was tied to the flatbed rail car. Therefore I avoided to go overboard, but a couple of things should be done. 

One of the things done at that stage was to remove a window from the rear landing gear rear bulkhead to install a new hydraulic accumulator.

The other thing was the accumulator itself, a left over resin part that I cast years ago. I added some plumbing and hoses, a few more would be added later. The only problems at that point would be to decide which color to use, as both RLM02 or natural Aluminum were used, sometimes both:

Still a long road to go. Stay tuned...


Technical file
- Revell #04723
- Legend Productions LF3214 - He-162 cockpit set for 1/32 Revell kit
Basic colors: 
- Primer: Automotive universal grey primer
- Camouflage: 

- Flat finish: 
- Many scratchbuilt details (see text).

Rato Marczak 2018