Sunday, April 17, 2011

Airfix Hs 123

This, of course, is the Airfix 1/72nd scale Henschel Hs 123. The Hs 123 was a rugged and reasonably reliable sesquiplane (one-and-a-half wings) dive bomber used the Luftwaffe. It saw action with the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War, but as the war progressed, it mutated out of its dive-bombing role and into general low-altitude attack missions, and ended its days on the Russian Front, flying alongside (and against) vastly more modern airplanes. But it was eventually phased out not so much because it was obsolete, but because the production line had been shut down for years and spare parts were hard to come by.

The Hs 123 is just odd enough to appeal to me, and I've always liked the Airfix kit of it. And a good thing to, because up until fairly recently the Airfix kit of it was the only kit of it there was. Like the real airplane, the Airfix kit is cheap, rugged, and undemanding. This is a relatively easy biplane to build because of the immense gluing surfaces on the rather monolithic interplane struts, but it's covered with rivets and the fit elsewhere isn't great, so you gets what you pay for.

I sawed off the enormous pilot headrest fairing because I think they look better without them, and painted it in a more or less fictitious Condor Legion scheme. The kit decals were very thick and a bit crispy, but at least they didn't blow apart like some Airfix decals I've tried lately.

I took the pictures on my wife's table, but they came out a bit dark. I was going to relight the airplane and try again, but I have such a headache right now; I'll try again later.