Book Review
Building The Heinkel He 219
Airframe Constructor No. 2 - Building The Heinkel He 219 'Uhu'
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Every once in a while, a book comes along that opens your eyes to a whole wealth of new finishing techniques. So it was for me with Daniel Zamarbide's new volume on building the 1:32 Heinkel He 219 “Uhu” from Zoukei-Mura, for if ever there was more to a book than the title suggests, this is it.

Printed in glossy A4 softbound format and spanning 96 pages, the book begins with a brief over-view of the ZM beauty before covering each stage of construction in intricate step-by-step detail. Daniel does add some small extras to the standard kit, but this book is more a master-class in his state-of-the-art finishing and painting techniques than a heavy-duty “cut here” and “sand there” narrative. The contents break down as follows:

1. Introduction
2. Build Narrative
3. Step-by Step Guide
* Fuel
* Engines
* Propellers
* Weapons
* Undercarriage
* Fuselage
* Cockpit
* Wings
* Assembly
* Painting
* Details

4. Finished Model

1. Accessories and decals
2. Bibliography
3. ZM upgrade parts

The fact that the book is focused primarily on the ZM kit needn't necessarily deter you if you don't have it - you could use Daniel's build as inspiration for the Revell 1:32 kit too (although that kit doesn't include anywhere near as much internal detail (as you'd expect in view of it being so much cheaper)), or even if you're building the “Uhu” in a smaller scale.

In fact, I'd say treating Daniel's book as a “How-To” for this specific kit risks entirely missing its true value; I prefer to see it as a detailed explanation of the author's finishing techniques, using the “Uhu” as a canvas on which to display his art. Working through the list above, you will learn Daniel's methods for tackling bare and corroded metal, faded and scratched paint, leather, mud... there's something for aircraft modellers from every genre to learn from within the pages – and if the He 219 only had fabric-covered control surfaces, I'd go as far as to say the book could serve as an encyclopaedic study of state of the art finishing techniques for aircraft of any era.

The photography is exceptional and the layout clear and engaging as it leads the reader through each stage of the build.

Without giving the game away (you must buy the book to learn the author's secrets), I have to caution that patience and attention to detail is essential if you hope to achieve anything resembling the author's results – with multiple layers of base-coats, varnishes, washes, highlights, blending and detail painting, it's certainly not a quick process. For instance, Daniel devotes 11 stages to painting the tops of the fuel tanks, 15 stages to the main undercarriage legs and 9 to finishing the plain RLM 76 spinners. And of course, those are only minor tasks, and when you get to major sub-assemblies such as the cockpit, the count goes through the roof, with around separate 45 stages!

Some of the results are simply mind-blowing (the exhausts and gun blast-tubes stand out particularly for me). While the heavily used look that Daniel favours here will not appeal to those who prefer “factory fresh” finishes, but the beauty is that you can choose which techniques to try, and blend them into your own style. The important thing is that it shows what can be done with time, patience and an extremely large dollop of skill.

Is this an essential accompaniment to building the kit? I'd have to say “no”, but it's value goes far beyond that limited scope. In fact that the book's title might sadly work against it, because while the ZM “Uhu” is undoubtedly a gorgeous kit, I think it's fair to say the majority of us will never own one and so may overlook this book. That would be shame because although we may not chose to adopt all the techniques illustrated by Daniel, I think we owe it to ourselves to be aware of the possibilities they present. I've found the book a real inspiration, and it's got me itching to try adapting some of the finishing effects for my own style of building. I might never match Daniel's results, but it will certainly be fun trying. Highly recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: A superb step-by-step explanation of the author's exceptional finishing techniques with hundreds of clear colour photos of every aspect.
Lows: The focus is very much on painting, so anyone looking for a Blog-style warts and all account that deals with pitfalls in the kit may be disappointed.
Verdict: Whether or not you intend to build Zoukei-Mura's He 219, you will find much to inspire you in this veritable encyclopaedia of state-of-the-art painting and weathering.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: 9780957586628
  Suggested Retail: £13.95
  PUBLISHED: Mar 19, 2014

Our Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing!
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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright ©2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


I have the book and woudl concur with the reviewers comments.
MAR 19, 2014 - 01:04 PM
The results of his techniques are clearly stunning, but I just can't be arsed to devote time to 45 stages of painting to internal items! I have far too many models that I want to build, the Revell He219 among them. I noticed that he made his own paint masks, respect; if you are going to invest this amount of time and effort into building a model decals just don't cut it
MAR 19, 2014 - 07:26 PM
Hi Mal The phenomenal number of stages for the interior is partly explained by the fact that Daniel's working method is to treat each subassembly as a kit in its own right. I'm sure building them simultaneously would streamline things but judging by what he does on individual areas, I reckon you're still talking around a dozen or more painting/weathering stages. I won't knock it, because the results speak for themselves. As I say in the review, the beauty of the book is that by showing everything broken down in such detail, you can see what can be achieved and decide what elements to use yourself. I'll certainly be trying some of the ideas out on my builds. All the best Rowan
MAR 19, 2014 - 08:04 PM
Hi Rowan, Don't get me wrong, the results speak for themselves, but I itch to get to the exterior painting because of the masked and painted markings that I want to use. If I was building like Chuck does then it might be a different story. When I build Tamiya's Spit I might have a go at this sort of painting detail, as I will detail the cockpit and have the canopy open, but generally I now have the canopy closed on my builds because I am more interested in the exterior painting
MAR 20, 2014 - 07:04 PM
Hi Mal Can this be the same Mal who used to say he steered clear of 1:32 because he'd never resist being able to pile in all the extra detail it would allow? Come on, you know you want to do both - interior detailing and a nice all-painted exterior finish. All the best Rowan
MAR 20, 2014 - 07:41 PM
Yep! But things have changed, I'm getting on and I need to get some models built. There are a few that I want to go to town in the cockpit on, but they won't happen for a while; I need to find my modelling mojo! At the moment I am still having to think through what I need to do at each stage, rather than knowing what to do; its very frustrating!
MAR 21, 2014 - 07:31 PM
His painting techniques does sound a little too much for the average modeler. Yet if one does count how many different applications both brush and airbrush to do a sub assembly, I'm sure you'd be somewhat surprised. Joel
MAR 23, 2014 - 01:25 AM

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