Valiant Wings Publishing | Airframe Album 13: The Heinkel He 162
Reviewed by Kevin Futter
Valiant Wings Publishing has just released the 13th instalment in its Airframe Album series, entitled The Heinkel He 162: A Detailed Guide To The Luftwaffe's Volksäger. In common with previous titles in the series, this one is authored by Richard A. Franks, a well-known name in modelling and aviation publishing.
The first thing that strikes you with this book is the terrific cover art by Seweryn Fleischer. The presentation of material in this book is impressive throughout. Photographs are generally clear and crisply reproduced, as are the isometric line drawings by Wojciech Sankowski. The colour profiles by Richard Caruana are handsomely rendered.
The content itself is organised into four main sections plus an introduction and appendices:
- 1. Technical Description
- 2. Evolution - Prototype, Production and Projected Variants
- 3. Camouflage and Markings
- 4. Model
- I. Heinkel He 162 Kit List
- II. Heinkel He 162 Accessory, Decal and Mask List
- III. Bibliography
It should be evident from the list of contents alone that this title is aimed squarely at the modeller. There's plenty here for aviation enthusiasts and Heinkel He 162 aficionados too, but the emphasis is on providing the modeller with copious data and as much detail as possible.
The Technical Description section of the book is packed with period photographs, technical drawings and contemporary restoration images. The airframe is covered pretty comprehensively from nose to tail, with special emphasis on those areas of the most interest to modellers: cockpit and engine.
The section on the evolution of the airframe gives a concise but very clear overview of the albeit brief development of the He 162, from the initial prototypes, through to the limited production variants, including several projected versions.
The Camouflage and Markings section covers the type's use by the Luftwaffe, as well as its post-war evaluation by foreign air forces. A decent selection of period photographs is accompanied by a selection of colour profiles. A stencil placement guide in 1/48 scale is also included.
I'd like to see larger versions of some of the photos, but that's a perennial constraint that all aviation publications have to deal with, and hardly a criticism.
The final of the main sections of the book features but a single model build, which sees Steve Evans tackle the Tamiya 1/48 scale kit. Apart from some very well done additional wiring on the exposed engine, Evans turns out a very nice example straight out of the box.
It's a shame that there aren't more model builds featured in the book, as there have been with previous instalments in the Airframe Album series, but it's not explicitly a modelling instructional series in any case, so I can understand the decision from that perspective.
The final section is the Appendices, and these follow the customary pattern for this series of books, in outlining what options the modeller has in terms of kits, accessories and decals for producing a scale replica He 162. The Revell kit is obviously the main contender in 1/32 scale or greater, though a couple of vacuform kits do loiter in the dusty shadows of history. Interestingly, the Air Press Models 1/32 kit isn't listed here as one of them.
The book rounds things out with a bibliography of existing titles covering the He 162, which serves as a handy launch pad for further research into the type.
Here's a small selection of sample pages, courtesy of Valiant Wings:
This is a detailed, comprehensive and modeller-friendly title. If you're building, or intend to build, a model of the Heinkel He 162 in any scale, this book will prove invaluable, and I highly recommend it.
Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the review sample.
© Kevin Futter 2018
This review was published on Saturday, June 09 2018; Last modified on Saturday, June 09 2018