by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
ICM's He 70 arrives in an attractive top-opening box with the sprues inside a resealable bag. The clear parts are packed along with the other parts, but they face away from them and suffered no ill effects in the review sample. The kit comprises:
69 x grey styrene parts (3 unused)
13 x clear injected parts (1 not needed)
ICM kits have acquired something of a mixed reputation in the past, but the moulding here is really very good, with very little sign of flash or sink marks. I found one or two tiny moulding "pips", but it's a only a few moments work to clean these off. The surface finish is very subtle, with beautifully fine panel lines and rivets on the fuselage and what must be the lightest representation of wing ribs I've ever seen - other manufacturers would do well to look at this. The overall finish is so delicate that there's a danger it'll be lost under anything but the thinnest of paint jobs, but the full-sized aircraft was famous for its smooth finish, so that's no bad thing.
A test fit of the major parts is very encouraging indeed - in fact the fuselage halves, tail and wing roots are basically perfect. It's a shame that the lower wing half is moulded in 3 parts, because it means there's a joint to hide on the outer panels to maintain the smooth finish. This underside joint aside, the way the wings clip together is rather clever, creating profiled cut-outs for the ailerons and flaps, which are separate parts, as is the rudder. The trailing edges of all the flying surfaces are nice and thin.
The inside of the fuselage halves feature good rib and stringer details, and the cockpit/cabin is neatly kitted out with well moulded seats and flying controls and throttle for the pilot and an MG17 complete with separate ammunition drums for the gunner. The fuselage must be cut open to create the gunner's station, and among the unused parts are a fairing and seats for a passenger compartment, so it's clear a civilian version is also planned.
ICM's He 70 continues to impress with some very nice touches, such as hollowed-out exhausts, a well moulded propeller, boxed-in wheel wells and quite a complex multi-part main landing gear.
The clear parts feature alternative sections for the gunner's canopy. The transparencies are quite thin with well defined frames, but I found a few small blemishes, so polishing and a dip in Klear/Future won't go amiss. The instrument panels are moulded clear.
Instructions & decalsThe assembly guide is quite unusual and marks a real change from previous ICM kits I've seen. It features shaded 3D CAD illustrations, which are quite impressive, but are printed quite small and a bit on the dark side. The positions of some of the interior parts is a bit vague, but might become more apparent once you begin assembly. I have to say that I prefer conventional line drawings for clarity. Colour matches for ModelMaster paints are included.
The includes decals for a pair of Spanish Civil War colour schemes
1. Heinkel He 70F-2, 14-34, Kondor Legion Aufklärungsstaffel, March 1937 in white/dark blue sunburst markings
2. Heinkel He 70F-2, 14-36, Spanish Nationalist Air Force, 1938, wearing 3-tone upper surface camouflage.
The decals are thin and have a dead flat finish. While quite usable, the decals aren't up to the quality of the rest of the kit and there's slight "aliasing" as though printed from a computer and the registration is a tad out (particularly noticeable on the nationalist roundels) on the sample sheet.
ConclusionOverall, ICM's He 70 is a very impressive kit - well detailed and cleverly engineered. It's presumably computer designed, so I really hope ICM are planning a 1/48 scale version too - the level of detail included here could certainly stand being scaled up. While it'll require a little more preparation than a "Tamigawa" kit, the He 70 promises to build well and should be suitable for all modellers with a little experience. Recommended.
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