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Henschel Hs 129

by Jamie Haggo


This model is the 1/48 scale Hasegawa Henschel Hs 129 ground attack aircraft. It operated for the main on the Eastern front in relatively small numbers right throughout the campaign and was mainly successful on tank busting duties, what today would be called battlefield interdiction. The aircraft was heavily armoured to enable it to operate over the front line where Soviet AAA could be murderous. The main draw back was the lack of power from the French built engines which were captured after the fall of France, this coupled with the armour plate led to a slow top speed and resulting in a vulnerability to interception by fighters.


For my model, I wanted to depict an aircraft operating in the temporary white distemper camouflage on the Eastern front so I chose an aircraft of Panzerjägerstaffel JG 51 during the winter of 1942/43. My all time favourite aspect of model making is painting and weathering models to hopefully create a bit of realism to a model and this finish provides plenty of scope. To add that extra bit of detail I utilised the Eduard etched detail set and to make life a little bit easier their vinyl canopy mask.


I broke all aircraft model-making traditions and started work on the wheels. I hate painting wheels, I really hate painting wheels so I tend to finish them off first to get that out of the way, (how airliner and AFV modellers cope I do not know)! Once this mind numbing chore was completed I started on the office. First off I sprayed Tamiya black onto all parts whilst still on the etched fret/sprue. When that was dry a coat of Polly Scale RLM 66 was misted on, after which followed lightened RLM 66 was misted onto the high spots and centre panels. The final stage was to dry brush light grey onto all the raised detail to make it stand out. The next stage was to assemble the cockpit minus the stick and, seat and armour plate, I tend to leave these bits out of cockpits until the very end as an aid to masking however in this instance, because of the tight canopy fit I needn’t have bothered. In the cockpit of the Hs-129 there is a plethora of levers and handles which are represented on the etched fret and are in consequence flat. The stems I could have replaced with thin wire however as the cockpit is very cramped and the opening quite small I decide not to bother, I did however place a blob ok Krystal Kleer on the ends to give some 3D effect. I did not have any colour references for the cockpit s I used artistic licence and guessed at which ones were red, yellow, black etc. I find colour in cockpits really bring them to life.

When the cockpit was complete it was sandwiched in between the fuselage halves which just clicked together, in fact this was the best fitting kit I’ve yet made with the only filler being between the spinner and the back plate.. The joints were sanded flush and the panel lines restored. Then disaster struck, the instrument panel fell out! I had to glue a length of sprue inside the nose for the panel to sit on, thank goodness I hadn’t glued the nose cone on as I had a fiddly enough job as it was. The instrument panel was strengthened with araldite to prevent a re-occurrence.

The rest of construction went smoothly apart from fitting the engines into the nacelles. It is important to get things lined up because otherwise the nacelles won’t be parallel leading to a ‘wonky’ looking aircraft. The engine/nacelle assembly was tacked onto the wing with Blue Tac which makes masking a lot easier. Top tip; the fairing for the under fuselage cannon is best left off until after painting, I tried to fit the gun after painting when the fairing was fitted and had a nightmare getting the cannon level. I fitted the pre painted undercarriage legs and masked them and the wheel wells prior to painting so I could use them as handles during the painting stage.

Painting and Markings

Onto the painting, hurrah. The model was primed with Halfords white primer which acted as base for the Polly Scale RLM 04 yellow theatre markings. When that was dry I added a touch of dark earth and post shaded along the panel lines. When all that was complete the yellow was masked for the RLM 65 which also was post shaded. When complete the underside was masked ready for the top colours.

To begin with RLM 66 was sprayed onto the pre masked canopy. Next came the RLM 70/71 which was sprayed freehand apart from where the open crosses of the national markings would be, here Tamiya masking tape was used to create a hard demarcation. The next stage was to paint the national markings using the excellent Eduard BF 109 national markings mask. I love these products as the markings can get the pre/post shading treatment, also there is no chance of silvering or decal film being visible. When dry these areas were masked up.


Next came the fun bit, white was mixed with a drop of grey (to take the starkness of the pure white away) and I started to spray, concentrating on the centre panels and slowly building up the effect. Unfortunately I overdid it somewhat so I added RLM 71 to the off white and post shaded along the panel lines, this resulted in a most pleasing effect. The final weathering was dry brushing any bits and pieces which were raised. At last I could remove all the masking and applied the exaust staining using a mix of blacks, browns and greys.

The final jobs were adding all the fiddly bits. The radio antenna was added from stretched sprue and painted dark metallic grey, also the engine nacelles were super glued on. Oh no, second Mayday, not only did I manage to lose one set of external engine instruments when I dropped one set onto the part eating carpet but I also lost one set of engine exhausts when it pinged out of the tweezers during painting. This is the reason for the tarpaulin on the right wing. This was made from toilet paper dampened with a thin wash of dark grey. When dry it was dry brushed with light grey and brown. It was placed on the model and set using a wash of white glue.


Finally my tank buster was finished and I was very pleased with how it had gone. I think I spent more time painting and weathering this model than actually building it but for me that’s the best bit.

P.S, I have a theory that Saturn’s rings are made from small bits of models teleported by part munching carpets and odd socks that go missing in washing machines.


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Copyright © 2004 by Jamie Haggo