Monday, May 29, 2017

A build from my youth

Fi 156C3, 5F+YK, Luftwaffe, North Africa, ca 1941

This is the first Heller kit I was able to buy, I think from about 1980, but maybe earlier. It has the hallmarks of my building preferences from 1975-1980: hand painted with enamels, OOB decals, and a bit overzealous with the glue.

The Subject

I know little about the subject, albeit I did a quick search on the internet. Idleweiss unit in North Africa, circa 1941. I chose this subject because it wasn't green/green like all the other Luftwaffe models I could get my hands on at the time. THAT, I remember.

Some photos seem to suggest this was used by Rommel. Possible. He certainly moved around in a Storch if he wanted to see the battle field from the air. Not quite so sure he was in THIS particular Storch.

The Model

What I remember of this build is that I took a weekend to finish it. Purchased on a Saturday (I'm certain, as the rest of the week I would have been either in school or at work). Construction was pretty much done by the afternoon. First bits of white, light blue and green paint on by midnight. Sunday morning I put on the tan squiggles. By Sunday evening I was putting decals on it. Apparently I sprayed it with a coat of flat lacquer (Testor's Dull Coat??) because the finish is dead flat and the glazing is a bit frosty.

The decals have yellowed over time. Noticeable on the white backgrounds. At one point it had thread of some sort because I rigged the antenna per the instructions (had never done that before!). I remember it being a royal bear to get the thread to stick...likely I was using the only glues I had on hand, like Testor's tube cement. That did not survive 11 moves around the world while I was in the Navy.


I remember being quite proud of this one back in my teens. First "real" model, the detail was awesome and it went together so well I just had to find more Heller kits. I went right out and got a Tempest the next weekend. The Tempest did not survive the moves at all. I still have the canopy and wheels in my spares box.

Thanks for looking...


  1. Having just caught up with you, both on the photography post and now this one. I can see and understand your dilemma (re: the photo post) I see brownish squiggles all over this model- must be the "lens refraction without the film adjustment ratio in parallax " -eh? :-))
    p.s. great model

  2. Actually, those brown squiggles are paint. Applied per the original instructions to represent a tan color added to an otherwise green aircraft for the desert.