Heinkel 111 H6

Revell 1/48 Heinkel 111  by Tony Adams

I brought this kit along with a number of others from Rowan Broadbent just before he emigrated to France. Rowan had purchased numerous after market add-ons, a full set of Eduard Interior and Exterior etch, the bomb bay detail set, vac form canopies , white metal machine guns, a Aires resin cockpit set, plus various other bits and bobs (see panel), it took me a considerable amount of time to work out what was what. This model was going to get all the trimmings [1,4].

The kit was of a H4 / H6 variant which were predominant from 1941 onwards.  I wanted to model a Battle of Britain aircraft, ideally an aircraft stationed in France that was involved in the raids on Southampton on October 31st / November 1st 1940 (see panel).  Aircraft stationed in France were predominately H1 or H3 variants so some modification to the kit will be required, fortunately the add-ons that Rowan had already purchased covers much of the required changes.

[1]Kit parts sorted [2] Loads of etch
[3] White Metal Guns from KAE [4] Airies Cockpit kit

The first task was to sort out the parts and check everything was present and correct (and of course they where).There is enough extras to seriously detail the interior, I hope it will all be visible when I’m done.

Interior Walls

Rowan had made a start ( I don’t know why he stopped), many of the pieces were already cleaned up and a start had been made in enhancing the interior on the port side, using plasticard over the undetailed areas. Some cabin wall detail was present in the standard kit but there were plenty of areas where it was absent that will be visible once the cabin doors were cut away along with the bomb bay doors .  I followed Rowan’s lead on the starboard side cutting strips of plasticard to represent the interior ribs which were glued in place aligned to the existing ribs [5]. Several unsightly ejection marks had to be filled and sanded.

[5]plasticard rib additions, note the wing root areas being filled with plasticard [6]Cabin inside painted and shaded. The bulkhead doors have been removed and the interior lighting added.

A new rear cabin bulkhead was created out of plasticard and glued in place. Once complete the inside was sprayed RLM02 (X-53), I then used Light Grey X-24 to highlight the panel centre before giving the inside a coat of promodellers to bring out the detail. As I was adding so much internal detail that I wanted to make sure it could be seen once the model was complete so I added three 3V “grain of wheat “ bulbs ( purchased from eBay) to light the scene, I brought the wires out of the real wheel bay where hopefully I can hide them[6].

Bomb Bay

[7] Eduard bomb bay detail set in the process of being folded, this is the starboard side [8] Heinkel 111 bomb bay (actually a Spanish CASA 2.111,  built under licence and used in the film Battle of Britain) .

It was then onto the excellent Eduard bomb bay [7]. In the He111, 250kg bombs were carried vertically with their tops poking through the top of the structure allowing easy access for fusing [8]. Once folded , which took a considerable amount to time, the assembly was constructed and painted. The bomb release mechanism was cobbled together using plastic rod and stretched sprue [9] and duly weathered [10].

List of addons (so far):
Falcon canopies No 38, Airies Heinkeil 111 H-4/H6 cockpit set ;Eduard He111 Exterior set; Eduard He111 Interior set; ;Eduard He111 bomb bay set, KAE He 111 H/P detail set (inc white metal guns) , ;Eduard He111 H3 interior set , ;Eduard He111 H3 exterior set, True detail wheel set, Aeromaster Luftwaffe Mediums Pt II Decals
[9] Bomb bay painted RML02, note sprue bomb release mechanisium – unpainted) [10] Bottom view of bomb bay following weathering with a Pro modeller wash


The resin cockpit was next on the agenda, firstly the component parts were sawed off the formers and cleaned up, I used my ultra sonic cleaner to rid the parts of any mould grease and dust. The cockpit floor was given a coat of German Grey (XF-63), and the canvas slating that the bomb aimer laid on sprayed sand and then dry brushed with a light grey to give a worn effect. Pro modeller wash was added and finally a silver pencil was used to represent scratches [11]. Various etch enhancements were added such as the bomb aimers seat back , the rudder pedals [12] and of course some Eduard excellent seat belts [13 – 15]

[11] Cockpit floor, suitably weathered using Pro modellers wash and a silver pencil.

[12] Etch rudder peddles

[13] control column

[14,15] Completed cockpit

A number of other cockpit components such as the main instrument panel were assembled and put aside ( I haven’t photographed them yet) . These won’t be required until later in the build.

More Work on the Interior

There was plenty more etch to add to the interior, including the radio station and armo stores. The radios were folded and painted semi gloss back before white promodeller being applied which brought out the etch detail. Numerous ammo cassettes were constructed and stored on a shelf on the starboard side below the upper gunners position and in the curved containers on either side of the cabin. The H3 variant had a forward firing machine gun in the ventral gondolier which wasn’t present in this kit. I had a vac formed canopy for this but the cabin floor needed to be cut away [17].

[16] Radios in place , white pro modellers was used over semigloss balck to bring out the etch detail, before scratches were added with a silver pencil. [17] Access to the gondolier forward machine gun being cut
Why a Heinkel 111? – The raid of Octo 31/ Nov 1st 1940 was aimed at Southampton docks and the Supermarine factory in Woolston. It caused extensive damage to both, it also resulted in my Grandparents house being hit by a bomb that entered the roof and ended up downstairs. Fortunately it didn’t explode unlike the one that demolished a house 3 doors down the street. I was brought up in that house and can remember the patch in the ceiling plaster where the bomb entered.

It was also during a spell in the air raid shelter at the end of the garden during a raid that my Mother was allegedly conceived (not that I want to spread gossip!).  So this model is of an aircraft that could indirectly be responsible for my existence!

The H3 also had guns mounted in the cabin windows which weren’t represented in the kit. Once the transparency had been glued in place a drilled a hole in the bottom quarter and added a plasticard window frame. I am hoping that I will be able to insert the guns into the holes after the external painting is complete as these are bound to be damaged if I fitted them now.

Having  detailed as much as possible there was just time to take some photos before I closed the fuselage. [18]. This was a difficult job as the two sides were a little warped. They had to be coaxed together in small sections, where Tamiya cement was run between the halves and then clamped. After several hours the fuselage was together reasonably cleanly, possibly hiding my hard work forever!

[18] Final photos of interior detail before it was closed up forever!

As mentioned earlier originally I was planning to model a H3 variant of the He111 as I wanted to depict a aircraft that was involved in the raid on Southampton on October 31st 1940. I spent quite a lot to time looking for decals for aircraft involved , and had anticipated having to make my own . However I eventually got hold of a AeroMaster decal set that included a H6 machine based in Lille, France in 1940, that would save me a lot of work. Fortunately nothing I had done so far excluded my modelling a H6 so game on…

My first job was to clean up the join between fuselage halves. In places filler was required to fill gaps [19] , other area just required a little Mr Surfacer 500 before rubbing down , I had placed Tamiya tape either side of the join in order to protect most of the fuselage from over aggressive sanding [20].

[19] some areas needed more work than others [20]  fuselage ready for sanding

The wing halves were cemented together alongside the elevators, I did consider cutting away the control surfaces but in the end I decided I had enough to do.

I had some etch to enhance the wheel wells that required removing some of the existing plastic from the front bulkhead, once done I decided to cover up the resulting rough surface with plasticard [21]. The landing gear doors are moulded integrally with the wheel well side panels which meant that had to be fitted at this stage, I decided that there was no way they would have got through the build undamaged so I cut them away to be fitted later[22].  The next job was to build the engine nacelles again with a number of photo etch parts representing radiators and grills.

[21]plasticard cover for the wheel well [22]wheel wells enhanced with etch

The kit radiator flaps were cut away [23] and replaced with etch. A considerable amount to time was spent getting the join between the halves correct, it required a good deal of Mr Surfacer and sanding to get rid of the join, once done they didn’t look too shoddy [24].

[23]removing the radiator flap [24]  nacelle ready to add to the wing

When I offered up the nacelles to the wings the fit was terrible [25], it took a while before I realised that the wing was actually too thin at the point it joined to the engine. I managed to rectify this by making a shim out of thick plasticard to push the top wing surface against the wheel well and thus increase the wing thickness [26]. Once done the engine nacelles fitted perfectly.

[25] The initial fit was terrible! [26] the solution , add a shim to push the wing apart

It was now time to fix the wings to the fuselage , again dry fitting established that things were not going to be straight forward , A huge gap existed at the point the bottom surface of the wing met the fuselage, this was mainly due to the bomb bay walls bowing slightly inwards[27]. I got around this by first gluing the top of the wing to the fuselage and once dry using a clamp to pull the area around the bomb bay toward the bottom of the wing [28].

[27] More fit problems! [28] clamping the wings to remove the gap

The stabilisers went on next and the model then looked like a real aircraft, which is a stage I love. I must admit “zooming” the model around a bit making aircraft noises . I hope none of my neighbours were watching!

The etch bomb bay was inserted, I cut away the kit bomb bay doors ready for etch doors which will be fitted later in the build. After more cleaning up and plugging any holes giving access to painted surfaces the airframe [29] was given a coat of Tamiya fine primer via airbrush after decanting it from the can [30]. The primer did expose a few small gaps which needed rework, particularly along the lower fuselage join, I spent several evenings filling , sanding and adding primer and I must say I still am not totally happy with the result, still it will be difficult to see when the machine is on it’s pins.

[29] Ready for painting [30] primed and ready

Panel lines removed by sanding were restored using a scribe and some dyno tape as a guide, I only slipped once which made a change and the damage was easily repaired. I then had a small disaster, the cabin windows are in the exact place your fingers go to when you pick up the model and surprise surprise I managed to push one through [31]. I did manage to push it back using a cocktail stick inserted from the gondolier but in gluing it place manage to fog it badly, this is something I would have to fix later.

[31] BUM! [32] pre shade on the undersides

Black paint was the sprayed over all panel lines [32] as a preshade which has worked well in the past. I had originally planned to only preshade the bottom surfaces as in the past have not been successful with the technique when using dark colours similar to the upper surfaces, however I did get carried away and did the whole aircraft which actually proved to be a serendipitous event. Fine coats for Gunge Sanyo Light Blue(RLM65) were sprayed over the bottom surfaces [33]. This was then masked off. The aircraft I was depicting has while squadron leader’s flashes on the wing and tail. I did have decals for these but decide to paint them instead in order to reduce the chance of the underlying paint showing through. I sprayed a block of white on the wings and tail and then using the decals as a template cut and applied pieces of masking tape[34].

[33] Light blue applied [34] white applied and masked for wing flashes

I then applied the RLM71 Dark Green to all of the top surfaces , once again in thin layers in order not to swamp the preshade. Once dry I used most of my stock of making tape in creating the camo pattern, at least the geometric pattern was easy to create.

[35] RML71 applied to top surfaces , allowing the preshade to show through [36] camouflage masking

After applying Gunge Sayno RML70 Dark Green, I added a little white to the mix along with plenty of thinner and sprayed the centre of most panels to provide a subtle shading effect [37].

[37] Shading using thinned RLM70 breaks up the wide expanses of colour [38] masking removed – good job !

When I removed the masking I was very happy with the result. [38].

[39] The wheel wells were painted RLM02 before pro modeller dirt was applied.

Before I started weathering I had there were a number of sub assembles to add to the airframe [39].

[40] Lots of transparent parts require lots of masking, thank God for Eduard masks! [41] Main instrument panel located

First the wheel wells were painted RLM02 followed by a suitable level of grime curtsey of a Promodellers wash [39]. The cockpit that I had built earlier was inserted into the front of the aircraft. There were a number of additional photo etch and resin cockpit parts to add to the side walls that I had left off while I was painting

One striking feature of the He111 is the amount of clear parts, there are a huge number. In order to model the aircraft ( which bombed my parents house – see part one) I used gondolier parts from a # vac form set. I wanted to model the cockpit with the hatches open in order to give a good view of the interior. Surgery on the kits part was very carefully performed, cutting away the roof and the side hatch. Once this was done the various parts were dipped into Klear which certainly improved the part’s clarity. Once dry the parts were masked using the excellent Eduard mask set [40]. With the masks in place I sprayed the parts grey (the interior colour ) before over-spraying them the relevant camouflage colour.  I made up the excellent painted photo etch instrument panels adding a small drop of Klear to each dial to represent the instrument’s glass face. These were glued in place along side an number of etch ammo boxes and other details[41,42].

At this stage I was hopeful of getting the model complete for the Revell completion, consequently I applied the decals from Aeromaster, theses went on with very little drama. The model was given a good coat of Klear before a Promodeller wash was added to bring out the panel lines

[42] Etch instrument panels look superb [43] The undercarriage ready to be attached

I built up the undercarriage adding a number of etch parts, the resin wheels were sprayed (very) dark grey and highlighted using MIG pigments European dust [43].

Before I closed up the fuselage I had to add the various white metal guns to the side windows and gondolier , the guns that I had painted earlier ( semi gloss black + gun metal and silver Tamiya dust), were located via tweezers through the various openings. There was a time when I thought I had made a major error in leaving these to now (I had thought they would get damaged if they were fitted earlier) as it was far more tricky than expected. Finally I managed it, the guns were secured via a small wire collar that I had formed that was glue to the outside of the window, this allowed the gun to move reducing the chance of it getting broken.

[44] Using Krysal Clear to create small windows

I used Krysal clear to create the small windows at the bottom of the fuselage ( I hadn’t fitted the kit’s clear panels as they looked terrible froim the inside). This was surprisingly easy , just requiring a wipe of the solution around the opening using a cocktail stick[44].

[45] Interior detail about to be closed in [46] Filler was needed as the clear parts didn’t fit!.

The clear parts could now be attached to the model, sealing in all that detail – I hoped that it would be visible later [45]. The cockpit did not fit at all well; there were large gaps with the fuselage. I am always unsure whether to fit clear parts before major painting to allow filling or as in this case to wait to the end. However I now had a major problem. This put paid to any change of getting the model complete into the competition, instead I did enter it incomplete and justifiably it didn’t do too well…

I masked off as much of the surrounding paint work as possible before applying squadron filler, when dry this was carefully sanded[46]. The area then had to be resprayed and rewashed with promodellers. When done the clear parts blended nicely into the fuselage.

The nose cone was drilled out to accommodate the huge 20mm cannon , this had been prepared I a summary way to the other machine guns[47]. Putty was used to represent a canvas cover where it emerged from the nose, which was painted “linen” and washed[48].

[47] 20mm cannon , painted and weathered [48] The cannon in place

Before starting weathering the model I had to repair a large paint spot on the wing caused by flying thinners as I cleaned my airbrush [49]. After rubbing down and respraying the mark was still slightly visible , fortunately weathering will cover it  ( I don’t know how Paul keeps his models so pristine)

[49]  Splashes of thinners , generally are not a good idea

Now for a the most scary part of the build, overall the paint job was not too shoddy, I could apply a matt coat and call it a day with what will look like a factory delivered aircraft, however I wanted to mess it up a bit and make it look the aircraft would have looked on 31st October 1940. It was time to try pin washing for the first time!

Pin washing simulates the random multiple colour mix seen on real aircraft, it also serves to tone down colours and blend them into each other. The precursor is a dry shiny gloss coat which I had already achieved, and then dots of red, yellow, black and brown oil paints were applied over the model. Then using a paintbrush wetted with turpentine the dots were blended across the model in the direction of the airflow[50]. The result was a subtle staining of the model that broke up the colours nicely. I also added various oils stains to the fuel filler caps again using very thinned oils.

The model was then given a coat of matt varnish before a number of small etch parts that would have been damaged by handling were added, this included the etch bomb bay doors. I used a silver pencil on the propellers and around panels to represent scuffing.

[50] pin washing was a little scary [51] but the result was worth it, resulting in a subtle blend of colours

The radio aerial was added using nylon tread, with insulators formed our of globs of superglue. I could have left it there but I was unhappy about the kit engine exhausts which represented a later H6 and not the aircraft I was modelling. Time for some scratch building… My first attempt resulted in me cutting some 5mm plastic tube at an angle and gluing the pieces together – it looked rubbish! [52] The second attempt worked much better , I heated the tubing with a tea light and when soft, gently bent it to shape. Rubs were added using offcuts of the etch “sprue”, the end was plugged with some solid round rod and the exhaust exit pipe thinned using a rotary reamer[53]. Once done they were painted brown and then dusted with MIG rust before a dark wash was applied [54].

[52] first attempt at scratch building new exhausts was a failure [53] but the second attempt worked OK [54] completed exhausts

I applied these to the model then added exhaust stains to the under wing surfaces using a mixture of Tamiya smoke and heavily thinned browns.

Finally after 3months I was done At some point I will create a airfield base for the model , not the least to hide the battery holder for the internal lights, but for now I need a break. Time to start my Spit?

Photos of the completed model

2 Replies to “Heinkel 111 H6”

  1. Excelent work!

    Your model will be an inspiration for my project in 1/72.

    Keep up the good job. 🙂

  2. Great job !! Looks really good. I was wondering how the lighting turned out? Did it help show off the interior.

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