First Look Review
Heinkel He 70F-2
  • ICM-He70_Boxtop

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

ICM's He 70 arrives in an attractive top-opening box with the sprues inside a resealable bag. The clear parts are packed along with the other parts, but they face away from them and suffered no ill effects in the review sample. The kit comprises:

69 x grey styrene parts (3 unused)
13 x clear injected parts (1 not needed)

ICM kits have acquired something of a mixed reputation in the past, but the moulding here is really very good, with very little sign of flash or sink marks. I found one or two tiny moulding "pips", but it's a only a few moments work to clean these off. The surface finish is very subtle, with beautifully fine panel lines and rivets on the fuselage and what must be the lightest representation of wing ribs I've ever seen - other manufacturers would do well to look at this. The overall finish is so delicate that there's a danger it'll be lost under anything but the thinnest of paint jobs, but the full-sized aircraft was famous for its smooth finish, so that's no bad thing.

A test fit of the major parts is very encouraging indeed - in fact the fuselage halves, tail and wing roots are basically perfect. It's a shame that the lower wing half is moulded in 3 parts, because it means there's a joint to hide on the outer panels to maintain the smooth finish. This underside joint aside, the way the wings clip together is rather clever, creating profiled cut-outs for the ailerons and flaps, which are separate parts, as is the rudder. The trailing edges of all the flying surfaces are nice and thin.

The inside of the fuselage halves feature good rib and stringer details, and the cockpit/cabin is neatly kitted out with well moulded seats and flying controls and throttle for the pilot and an MG17 complete with separate ammunition drums for the gunner. The fuselage must be cut open to create the gunner's station, and among the unused parts are a fairing and seats for a passenger compartment, so it's clear a civilian version is also planned.

ICM's He 70 continues to impress with some very nice touches, such as hollowed-out exhausts, a well moulded propeller, boxed-in wheel wells and quite a complex multi-part main landing gear.

The clear parts feature alternative sections for the gunner's canopy. The transparencies are quite thin with well defined frames, but I found a few small blemishes, so polishing and a dip in Klear/Future won't go amiss. The instrument panels are moulded clear.

Instructions & decals
The assembly guide is quite unusual and marks a real change from previous ICM kits I've seen. It features shaded 3D CAD illustrations, which are quite impressive, but are printed quite small and a bit on the dark side. The positions of some of the interior parts is a bit vague, but might become more apparent once you begin assembly. I have to say that I prefer conventional line drawings for clarity. Colour matches for ModelMaster paints are included.

The includes decals for a pair of Spanish Civil War colour schemes

1. Heinkel He 70F-2, 14-34, Kondor Legion Aufklärungsstaffel, March 1937 in white/dark blue sunburst markings
2. Heinkel He 70F-2, 14-36, Spanish Nationalist Air Force, 1938, wearing 3-tone upper surface camouflage.

The decals are thin and have a dead flat finish. While quite usable, the decals aren't up to the quality of the rest of the kit and there's slight "aliasing" as though printed from a computer and the registration is a tad out (particularly noticeable on the nationalist roundels) on the sample sheet.

Overall, ICM's He 70 is a very impressive kit - well detailed and cleverly engineered. It's presumably computer designed, so I really hope ICM are planning a 1/48 scale version too - the level of detail included here could certainly stand being scaled up. While it'll require a little more preparation than a "Tamigawa" kit, the He 70 promises to build well and should be suitable for all modellers with a little experience. Recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Well moulded. Clever engineering. Some fine delicate details.
Lows: Instructions vague in places. Decals slightly out of register.
Verdict: Maybe not suitable for total beginners, ICM's He 70 is a fine kit of an important but often overlooked aircraft that's suitable for modellers with a little experience.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 72231
  Suggested Retail: £14.67
  PUBLISHED: Dec 23, 2008

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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.


Hi JP It's a brave person who makes hard and fast predictions in the current financial climate, but I think ICM give most of their kits long production runs, so you should be safe to wait a while. All the best Rowan
JAN 10, 2009 - 09:34 PM
Very interesting ! We can compare the kit with it's master manufactured by a talented ukrainian modeller : LINK Denis
JAN 15, 2009 - 01:46 AM
that is a great link thanks denis
JAN 15, 2009 - 03:57 AM
now if they'd just do it in 1/48th!
JAN 16, 2009 - 02:16 AM
I knew it!!! Given my luck, I knew someone would release one after I worked for almost to years on mine: More here, if there's still any interest: LINK Rato
JAN 25, 2009 - 02:30 PM
Thanks that is a very instructive build. Bookmarked!
JAN 25, 2009 - 09:29 PM
That is a fantastic build, Rogerio! especially as "Notes: - This kit is a crap!" considering how much work you put in your model, you would probably not have been satisfied with the ICM kit either, so: don't worry, be happy!!! all the best Steffen P.S. I am a big 48 scale fan and I have the fuselage parts for an loooooong ago announced HiPM release ... should I work Spitfire wings on those? Mal?
JAN 25, 2009 - 10:03 PM
Hi Rogerio Fantastic work! You should submit this build as a Feature - it'd look great on the front page! All the best Rowan
JAN 26, 2009 - 01:57 AM
Thanks folks. It's always good to hear all this encouragement, but I will look for more Tamigawa kits for a while (I still have some tuff things on my workbench...). Steffen, better to start with a WWI fighter wing and buy a good stock of sandpaper... Rowan, I submitted an article to a magazine, still waiting the answer. If they deny, sure I'll divert the article to AeroScale... And by the way, does anybody saved the photos of the masters pointed out by Denis? The link now shows only thumbnails... Thanks again. Rato
JAN 26, 2009 - 01:26 PM

Click image to enlarge
  • ICM-He70_Sprue_1
  • ICM-He70_Sprue_2
  • ICM-He70_Clear
  • ICM-He70_Colours
  • ICM-He70_Decals
  • ICM-He70_Nose
  • ICM-He70_Interior
  • ICM-He70_Seats
  • ICM-He70_Spar
  • ICM-He70_Exhausts
  • ICM-He70_Propeller
  • ICM-He70_Well
  • ICM-He70_Mainwheels
  • ICM-He70_Gear_2
  • ICM-He70_Gear_1