AML's 1/72 Heinkel He46C
First flown in 1931, the Heinkel He46 entered service in 1934. An eventual total of 481 of all types were built, including 278 licence-built by other firms for export. 20 He46s were used in Spain by the Nationalist forces. In the later stages of WWII it was used as in a nocturnal role against partisans.
The He46C was powered by the 600hp SAM 22B engine and was armed with a single, flexible 7.62mm machine gun for the rear occupant. Up to 200kg of bombs could also be carried.
Moulded in a medium grey plastic, all parts are on a single sprue. They exhibit a combination of thick mouldings and fine detail akin to that of other short run manufacturers like Pegasus. The fuselage has very nice external stringer details, which are repeated on the inside. All panel lines on the fuselage and wings are engraved. The wing trailing edges are quite thick but this is easily fixed with some judicious sanding. The radial engine with cooling fins on the cylinders is well represented.
Internal cockpit details are rather sparse, consisting of seat, floor, stool for the gunner, control stick and a machine gun fitted to a scarff mount, control panelsn with instruments moulded in place. the scarff mount is best replaced with an aftermarket set from one of the many companies that cater to the First World War market - the mount appears to be just an updated Scarff-style mount.
The remaining pieces consist of struts, wheels, propellor, generator with small propellor in situ - this is best replaced as it is a tad chunky. For a warlike appearance, three bombs are also included.
The instructions are in a well illustrated eight page booklet. Each step is clearly drawn, although close attention to the part and drawing will be required for placing some of the parts. The cabane struts for instance have very tiny locating marks on the fuselage, that may be missed if just looking at the drawings. The final two pages have cross-hatched drawings showing the two decal options.
Decals are provided for two aircraft: One flying with the Nationalist forces in Spain in 1938, and the other with the Nachtslachgruppe 4 during 1943 operations against the partisans. Interestingly enough, the boxtop shows diamonds on the fin instead of swastikas, however the swastikas are printed intact.
The main components are very nicely moulded, and will build into a decent model if built OOB. If a more detailed model is desired, this should be easily accomplished as the kit itself appears to be a good starting point to doing so.