Sunday, January 23, 2011

1/72 Heinkel He-111H-6 by Corgi

The Heinkel He-111's sleek line mask the plane's capability and versality as a medium bomber. This aircraft, sometimes called the "Flying Spade", was classified as a passenger/mail plane to circumvent limits imposed on German rearmament by the Treaty of Versailles. The Heinkel He-111, a rugged and dependable bomber,saw combat in support of Franco's Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War and later during World War II.

Produced in large numbers, the He-111 operated extensively around the world for more than two decades. Heinkel designed the aircraft in the early 1030s and production of the He-111 began in November 1936. Almost from its introduction, the He-111 was engaged in combat. Early model He-111s served in Spain with the infamous "Condor Legion". From September 1939 to May 1944, He-111s remained in continuous action in the skies of Europe.

During the course of the war, He-111s fought over Poland, Norway, France, UK, the Balkans, Iraq, the Soviet Union, North Africa, the North Sea, as well as the Arctic and Mediterranean Ocean. Derna was famous as fighting took place there following the capture of Tobruk, 2 brigades of the 6th Australian Division under Major General Iven Mackay pursued the Italians westwards and encountered an Italian rear guard at Derna. The arrival of the German forces and more specifically the Luftwaffe though swung the push back towards the Axis forces and it was not only the might of the Stuka and Me-109 that helped achieve this, but also the transportation and bombing capability of the Heinkel He-111. (Source: AA33708 The Aviation Archive Limited Edition Certificate)

Today's model represents an He-111H-3 variant (although Corgi's box & booklet state it's an H-6 variant) serial: S7+HA of Geschwaderstab StG 3, based in Derna airfield, Libya, September 1941. The H-3 was normally fitted with 5 machine-guns (two in the fuselage windows, two in the gondola and one in the ventral turret) and 1 cannon (in the nose position). The letter 'H' painted in blue, signifies this aircraft belongs to a Headquarter battalion and the white ring around the fuselage and white tipped wings served as quick identifying markers in the Mediterranean arena between 1941-43.

The top surface sand colour makes this model stand out in the collection, and it's one of my favourite Corgi Heinkels. Quality product, easy to assemble and display, no trouble with it at all, except it needs a little extra attention when handling, so as not to hit the various plastic guns coming out of the fuselage. One thing I would fix, are the engine exhaust ejector stubs which lack detail; but apart from this, it's by far, one of the best twin-engine models in the diecast market.

Source of artwork profile & photo: WWII Combat Aircrat Photo Archive - Heinkel He-111 by Manfred Griehl

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