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Heinkel He 219

by Kay Koglin


Heinkel He 219

Tamiya's 1/48 scale Heinkel He 219 is available online from Squadron.com



It is not easy to report on a modeling project that extends back three years, but I will try anyway.

I love the Heinkel He 219 and the finished diorama looks impressive. But unfortunately, three years ago, I wasn‘t able to take photos of the construction work. I will therefore use this article to report problems and the main features of construction. For me, it is very important to use a new modelling project to help my own further development as a modeler.

I recall, just before Christmas some years ago, being overwhelmed when I saw the contents of the box. The outstanding quality of the parts that left nothing further wanted. When I examined the three-view-drawing for the painting-scheme I realized that I wanted to start building the model straight away, but in reality it was some time before I got started.

Tamiya’s Heinkel He 219 presented an irresistable invitation to modify the basic kit to into a high-detailed model. This superdetailing project helped to decide her nickname “The Venus of Rostock”.


I began with researching the interior, including detail photos of the engine, the armament and the cockpit. However, I would up in a dead end because I could not find this information anywhere in a book. I therefore began the long wait for a detail-set that would offer the details that I would like to depict in the model.

Verlinden was the first with his Update kit, but unfortunately this update did not meet the standards of the day, having only a small amount of detail but with a high price and moreover still with some errors. The CMK detail set was better, but with the appearance of the AIRES-Kit, the choice was clear.

On the same day that I took deliver of the Aires set, I started with construction. I can remember well, there was an inexhaustible quantity of parst in a quality never before available, and this at a fair price!

The finished model looks from the first glance, but it is nevertheless a big project with many problems encountered before the final resu;t. During construction I came to the point where the the desire to actually complete the model was overtaken by the thought that I would never finish – I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel! My recommendation is not to put yourself under pressure to finish by setting artificial deadlines. Just enjoy the experience.



I do not need to describe the basic construction because the Tamiya kit does not present any nasty surprises. I will therefore focus on the detail sets.

Installing the Aries Update

Preparation for the installation of the Aires detail set requires that many kit parts are altered. First, all doors and bays that that will be displayed open must be cut out. I used a small saw for this task. Before I cut with the saw, I used my Dremel tool and drilled a hole in every corner of the doors. This makes the cuts with the saw easier and acts as a guide to prevent errors.

To reproduce the thin sheet metals used at airplanes skins I again usedmy Dremel with the cutter and milled the plastic of the kit from the inside. The thinned plastic looks authentically thin after this process. Tak your time with this process, however, as it is very easy to damage the plastic parts if you rush.

The mounting of the wheel well, the engine compartment and the engine turned out to be the most difficult part of the assembly. This entailed many hours of cutting, sanding and dry fitting of the parts. I repeated my technique for representing the thin sheet metal used for the skin of an aircraft.


Good references are required for wiring the engine, otherwise a good imagination will be helpful. I prepared the engine for wiring by drilling out locating holes. I used thin cooper-wire - don’t forget to anneal the copper-wire (carefully heating over a candle) to make the parts more flexible. The same can be done with photo-etched parts too, but be careful. Overheating might destroy some more delicate parts!

Thick super glue was used to secure the resin parts. This is also handy for filling gaps between the resin and plastic parts. Take care not to get this glue on the parts though.

For gluing the plastic-parts I used liquid glue and the “Squeeze-Technique”. The big advantage is that the parts set quickly and there is not much risk of residue. The process is simple, it needs only a thin brush. Hold the two parts together and with the brush, soaked with the liquid glue, brush along the seam. Through the capillary-effect, the liquid-glue flows into the seam by itself. Finishing the join is very easy, it is only necessary to sand the seam slightly.


Painting and Markings

My Painting Technique

Xtra Color RLM 02 was used to paint the interior, including the cockpit and wheel wells.. In order to give the paintjob a three-dimensional finish, I use heavily thinned dark color and a thin brush. I pointed the brush in corners and because of the capillary-effect the thinned dark color flows in the corner and edges. After a drying time of 24 hours I drybrushed details with white artist oils. The advantage of the oil paint is that it leaves a soft transition between the colors and, in the case that there might be too much oil paint on the model, it can be removed by a brush that has been slightly moistened with thinners. This technique can be applied on many other parts of the model too.


The painting of the He 219 was in accordance with the Tamiya instructions using Xtra-Color RLM76 lightened with white. The disruptive camouflage was RLM 75 Grey Violet. Spraying the detailed camouflage pattern proved trying.

Application of the decals from the kit performed well with the help of my favorite decal softener, Gunze’s Mr. Mark.


Weathering is one of the most controversial issues for modelers. My philosophy is, the less the better!

For example, the He 219 represents a German high-tech weapon in the last year of the war, therefore it is logical to assume that she was well maintained by Luftwaffe technicians. She would have little evidence of aging and weathering. That is the reason why I only shaded the panel lines with heavily thinned, dark coloured oil paint applied with a fine brush taking advantage of the capillary-effect-method. I went over the panel lines with the tip of a cotton bud afterwards to clean up any excess wash.

After a coat of Matt varnish, I further accentuated the panels by spraying a thin coat of a solution from Matt Lacquer and Burnt Sienna oil paint. The advantage of this technique is that faults are less visible and it does not exaggerate the structure too much.



Diorama Base


The airfield diorama is not composed in the classic military method. Since, as already mentioned, the He-219 was a high-tech weapon system, it is understandable that it would not be rolled out on a dirty meadow. Wartime photos suggest that the He 219 was operated on concrete.

The base consists of a wood-picture frame. I like using these picture frames which are inexpensive and effective. I leave the glass in the framework and replenish the framework with corrugated cardboard. In order to add variety to the concrete, I positioned clumps of grass and. I spread white glue on to the cardboard and sprinkled this with the sand and grass. I left this to dry for 24 hours. After the white glue is dry, I blow away loose material with a hair dryer. Subsequently the entire basis-plate, including the concrete surface, were worked over with my airbrush.

The VW Kübelwagen is a resin kit from the Hungarian manufacturer FM in 1/48 scale. Beside the usual preparation and assembly of resin parts, no particular difficulties were encountered. The painting of this little model took place using the same techniques that I used for the He 219.


As an eye-catcher, I added a map from a Verlinden-Set in the Kübelwagen.

The figures come from Verlinden and Reheat.

I hope that I have mentioned all significantly items of the building of my He 219 Diorama and I also hope that I have encouraged some modelers to build their own He 219 Diorama.


Project Components Summary:

  • Tamiya-Kit Heinkel He 219

  • Aires detail-set

  • Reheat and Verlinden figures

  • VW Kübelwagen from „FM “

  • Xtra-Color-paints



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Kay Koglin
Page Created 05 November, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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