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Heinkel He 162 D

1/48 scale

by Marcelo Scaminaci Russo 2003 Modeler Site


This is the third part of a series of articles which I'm writing in Modeler Site about the Heinkel He 162 development, by virtue of the sets of Antares Models; this manufacturer issued four conversions to modify the Dragon's Salamander kit in 1:48 scale ( ref.# 5508 ).

We have already seen few months ago the He 162 A-10 and the He 162 C conversions 


Heinkel He 162 A-10 > Here

Heinkel He 162 C > Here


In this occasion, we will see the He 162 D; this is a very strange project, due to its unusual configuration. But, which one is the origin of this aircraft?


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During the Second World War, the German aeronautic industry developed a great number of prototypes and experimental planes; sometimes, they did not materialized due to all kinds of indecisions and interferences. Some of this German projects were very advanced, taking into account the technological point of view.

Despite of all efforts, during the War, the German aeronautic industry could never replace his two classics " hobbyhorses" in the field of fighters planes: the Focke Wulf Fw 190 and the Messerschmitt Me 109. At the end of the hostilities there were excellent jet fighters, as Me 262 and Heinkel He 162; but they came too late in the conflict to take part decisively on it.

Despite Allied bombings, the factories and his engineers continued with the development of these new planes: this is the case of the He 162. On March 1945 some versions of this aircraft, came out of the drawing boards, with different wing configurations, like the forward swept one.
This type of wing would give the plane better sustenance and a major stability at lower speeds. Early in 1941 the German engineers studied the swept wing concept, searching high speeds for their aircrafts; wind tunnel wing models were tested on behalf of Messerschmitt AG at Gottingen in October-November 1940.

It's possible that the Heinkel project would be based on an existing plane, which flew with this wing configuration on August 16, 1944: the Junkers Ju 287 V1.


Probably one of most strange planes that ever flew, the Junkers Ju 287 V1 was a test bed; this bomber was fitted with forward swept wings. Wool tufts were added to the fuselage and wings for flow visualization purposes during aerodynamics experiments. For this tests, a camera was added before the tail.

The german studies and developments were captured and used by the Allies; an example is the Grumman X-29, an american prototype that flew few years ago; this plane have the same wing configuration of the He 162 D.


The conversion

One of the interesting 1/48 sets of Antares Models is the ANT-07, which I said, was developed to transform the Dragon's Heinkel He 162 A-2 into the He 162 D version.
This set features two resin parts, well moulded, and an instruction sheet with good drawings.

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Only few hours will be necessary to do this modification, where the main point is to shave off the wing roots from the fuselage halves of the plastic kit; then, we must sand to smooth the surface. This will allow to fit the forward swept wings to the model. The instruction manual provides three views for a correct position of each wing. The final job is the filling of the joints with putty. A final sanding will finish our work..


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Finishing the Heinkel

The strange appearance of this plane is marked when the " butterfly " or V tail is fitted to it; these pieces are provided by Dragon in the kit.

I was looking for some illustrations in Luft'46 web, and I found a very interesting camouflage scheme, which was of my liking for my Heinkel: light grey RLM 76 ( ref. Tamiya XF-23 )for the under surfaces, and two tones of green color for the upper surfaces, which I identified as light green RLM 82 ( ref. Tamiya XF-5 ) and dark green RLM 81 ( ref. Tamiya XF-27 ).

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I applied the dark green color with airbrush in continuous wavy lines as the "wellenmunster", a very common camouflage pattern used by the German planes since early 1943.


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The crosses are painted using masks, and the swastikas on the tail are decals.
These ones are from Condor Decals, a new Argentine manufacturer which issued 4 different sheets with swastikas: two for fighters and two for bombers. Sometimes, to obtain these badges is a real headache for the modelers, when we are finishing a kit, because we realized that they lack in our spare box or we don't find one with the appropriated size.
Besides, the manufacturers don't include these badges in the decal sheet provided with the kits, or they offer them printed in a dismantled form: the decal never will be well assembled.
I applied Condor Decals without any problem, and I did not use setting solutions.
To finish the model I covered it with two coats of semi-gloss varnish from Gunze.


For all enthusiasts of WW II German projects of, this conversion means one of the most strange and interesting model. Since the point of view of aeronautic History, it is a part of the origin of the most modern jet planes that we can see on the sky at present.

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