Detail & Scale Header
Digital Publications Link
Aviation Photo Section Link
Scale Modeling Section Link
Aviatin Artwork Link
Furball Aero Design / Detail & Scale Decals
About Us Link
Contact Us Link
Home Page Link

Detail & Scale Books

Quick Links to Available Detail & Scale Series Publications.


Detail & Scale Series


F3H Demon in
Detail & Scale
**********F2H Banshee in
Detail & Scale, Pt. 1

**********
SBD Dauntless in
Detail & Scale

**********

F-102 Delta Dagger in Detail & Scale
**********

F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale
**********

F-8 & RF-8 Crusader in Detail & Scale

**********

Military Aviation Websites:
Click Here

——————

Scale Modeling Websites:
Click Here



KIT REVIEW


Eduard HE 280 ProfiPACK Edition -- 1:48 Scale



The Me 262 gets a lot of credit for being the world’s first operational fighter jet.  Indeed, it was a pioneering aircraft on many levels, but it was the third German turbojet-powered aircraft.  Preceding it was the pathbreaking He 178 that produced information used to produce another experimental aircraft: the Heinkel He 280.  In this kit, Eduard has re-released their 1:48 scale He 280 kit from the late 1990s and included new photoetched metal parts, a masking set, and new decals.  This ProfiPACK edition of the He 280 recently arrived on our review bench and it is worth a good look.    

(Return to top of page)

The Heinkel Company developed the first turbojet-powered aircraft with their He 178.  In today’s terms, this would be called a technology demonstrator.  The He 178 first flew in late August 1939, just days before Germany invaded Poland.  The German Air Ministry, or the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) failed to envision the potential in jet propulsion, but Ernest Heinkel pressed forward.  The subsequent He 280 was larger, fitted with two underwing engine pods, and twin vertical stabilizers.  The He 280 was also the first aircraft to be equipped with ejection seats, but unlike later rocket-actuated ejection seats, its seat used compressed air to blast the seat and its occupant clear of the airplane.

As was often the story in the early jet age, powerplant development lagged far behind the airframe.  Finally, after some 10 months of delays, the Number 2 He 280 prototype first flew on 30 March 1941.  Again, the German leadership failed to develop interest in jets. Flight tests and engine development continued.  In one episode, icing led to the loss of the aircraft and the first successful ejection in history.  Eventually, the He 280 went head-to-head against the Fw 190 in an air combat demonstration for Ministry officials.  The He 280 convincingly outperformed the Fw 190 and orders finally started to come in for some 20 prototypes and 300 production airframes.

Yet, only nine He 280s were built and flown before the deeply divisive and autocratic Erhard Milch (who managed aircraft construction for the RLM) cancelled the He 280 in favor of the Me 262.  Milch had a long personal antipathy for Ernst Heinkel.  These aspects of Milch’s personality arguably led to increasingly poor management and decision-making as the war progressed, contributing to the ultimate decline of Luftwaffe air superiority.  In the end, the He 280 was relegated to a smaller role in history than it might have occupied, but nonetheless, it paved the way for the dawn of the jet age.      

(Return to top of page)

Eduard’s 1:48 scale He 280 is based on their original 1999 molds.  In this boxing, it is paired with their latest in photoetched metal parts, pre-cut and self-adhesive masks, and new decals.  The injection molded plastic parts are distributed across three sprues which contain some 86 parts (only two go unused in this edition of the kit), along with another three clear parts on one clear sprue.  Also included in the box is one fret of photoetched metal parts (11 of which are pre-painted) and a pre-cut, self-adhesive masking set for the windscreen, canopy, and nose gear and main gear wheel hubs.  The instruction booklet guides the build over 23 unnumbered steps.  Markings are provided for three He 280s:

Strengths:  This kit is based on Eduard’s 1999-era molds.  I would characterize them as much better than MPM kits of the same era.  The thickness of some parts and presence of only a few locator pins is however reminiscent an earlier era of limited run injection molded kits to be sure.  The surfaces of all the parts including the external airframe, are generally very smooth (but see below) and feature high quality recessed panel lines and rivet/fastener details.  I snipped off the fuselage and wing halves for some test fitting, and all demonstrate very good fits.  This is a well-made kit, even though, as mentioned above, it harkens back to Eduard’s days of limited run injection molding.  I would say it it still holds its own with contemporary kits from most manufacturers.

A few areas of the kit can certainly be improved, and that’s where the photoetched parts in this ProfiPACK edition represent a really important contribution.  The PE set provides a replacement instrument panel that is a quantum leap over the original kit part.  Likewise, PE details such as the rudder pedals and shoulder harnesses are significant improvements and enhancements upon the original kit parts.  There’s also a choice of an open or closed (single piece) canopy/windscreen. Depending on which version of the He 280 you’re building, parts for either the HeS 8a and Jumo 004 jet engines are provided (the Number 2 and Number 8 prototypes had the Jumo 004, while the Number 3 prototype flew with improved HeS 8a powerplant).  

The decal sheet appears to have been printed in-house by Eduard, and the decals look great.  Everything appears in-register, colors look good, and carrier film is restrained.

Weaknesses:  I cannot identify any meaningful shortcomings or warning flags in this kit besides the fact that if you hold Sprue A just right in the light, you can see a few sink marks on the surfaces of the wings.  They are minor and can be removed by a light sanding.  Also remember to add some nose weight – otherwise, your completed HE 280 will be a tail-sitter.  The instructions indicate the need for nose weight, but fail to specify how much is required.

(Return to top of page)

Eduard’s re-release of their He 280 kit coupled with the new photetched metal parts, masking set, and decals represents a really promising kit of one of the earliest pioneers of the jet era.  Fans of Luftwaffe subjects, experimental aircraft, and unique subject matter will find a great deal of enjoyment with this kit.

Sincere thanks are owed to Eduard for the review sample.  You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany     

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

(Return to top of page)

** Click on the thumbnails below to view a larger image.**


 

(Return to top of page)

Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
*********

Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
*********


Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

********


Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
********


Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

**********


Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

**********