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Squadron Haunebu II

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/72 scale plastic model aircraft kit
RELATED TOPICS: SCI-FI / FANTASY | AIRCRAFT
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According to the kit’s historical notes, German scientists attached to a mysterious branch of the SS developed an electro-magnetic engine that could be used to power flying machines at great speeds. Those aircraft included the Haunebu series of flying saucers that may have been test-flown before the end of World War II.

Now I can’t speak for the veracity of those claims, but I can say that Squadron’s 1/72 scale kit of the Haunebu II Dornier Stratosphären Flugzeug is a blast to build and even more fun to paint. Although grounded in the reality of Luftwaffe color and camouflage aesthetics, the subject’s convergence with science fiction means you can finish it any way you think looks cool.

The major body parts feature engraved panel lines and raised rivets. No flash or sink marks marred the pieces.

Assembly starts with joining the identical belly plates. The butt joint is reinforced with an external center bulge and two of the four landing-gear bays. The latter secure bay doors that can be left movable, a useful feature for masking.

Also movable is the boarding ramp that fits into one of two slots on the belly. The other is blanked with a plate that required several sessions of filling and sanding to blend into the airframe. I filled the center seam also, but check the work as you go as the join follows panel lines in a couple of spots.

The control room features seats, several control panels, and miscellaneous equipment. Most of it won’t be visible through the small portholes, but the upper turret can be left removable to show your work. The clear window parts install from inside, but I left them off for painting and added them through the opening for the turret. They are keyed for alignment and extras are included if you lose one or two or more.

Four gun turrets detail the belly and are movable. I left the guns off for painting.

The three hull panels that comprise most of the upper body lock together with large locators, but I had difficulty aligning them. After that, mating the major subassemblies was a snap.

I painted the Haunebu in the suggested camouflage, then added a whitewash for some variety. The decals went down over a glossy surface without problems.

All that was left was to install the guns and the four three-wheeled landing gear struts. Be careful with the latter as it’s easy to dislodge the bays while pushing the struts into place.

I spent 15 enjoyable hours building Squadron’s saucer, several masking the splinter camo, and an hour or so filling seams underneath. If you are looking for a fun diversion, building a Luft ’46 diorama, or have science fiction aspirations, this kit is for you.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the September 2017 issue.

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