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 Matchbox 1/72 Heinkel He 115 Sorreisa, Tromso. 1942

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Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : Somers, Connecticut, USA

PostSubject: Matchbox 1/72 Heinkel He 115 Sorreisa, Tromso. 1942   Mon Feb 20 2017, 15:07

Matchbox PK-401, Heinkel He 115, 1975


The Heinkel He 115 was a World War II Luftwaffe seaplane with three seats. It was used as a torpedo bomber and performed general seaplane duties, such as reconnaissance and minelaying. The plane was powered by two 960 PS (947 hp, 720 kW) BMW 132K nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engines. Some later models could seat four, had different engines, or used different weapon setups.

Based on a requirement for a general purpose seaplane able to carry torpedoes, the Heinkel 115 design was ordered in November 1935 and the first prototype machine flew in August 1937. The initial series production aircraft entered active service in June 1937.

At the beginning of the war, the He 115 was used for dropping parachute mines in British waters, normally aiming for narrow passages in close vicinity of heavily trafficked ports on the English south coast. The River Thames was also a prime target. However, the aircraft had its finest moment when operating in the anti-shipping role against the Arctic convoys from bases in Northern Norway. The He 115 was used during the invasion of Norway and performed many duties including minelaying and patrol missions. Machines also took part in attacks on convoy PQ17 in both the torpedo bomber and reconnaissance roles. Because these convoys initially lacked air cover, the low speed and comparatively light armament of the He 115 was not such a big problem as it had been over the heavily defended English coastline. Later on, with the appearance of carriers and escort carriers, coupled with new Soviet heavy fighters like the Petlyakov Pe-3bis, the air superiority over the convoys was challenged, and as a result, the torpedo bomber losses increased. Although obsolescent for much of its service life, the He 115 achieved a considerable reputation for its reliability and for its handling in both the air and on water.

Its robust construction enabled the He 115 to be able to take a great deal of punishment. The aircraft had the distinction of being used by both the Luftwaffe and the RAF who used 3 captured aircraft for a series of clandestine operations in the Mediterranean.


This kit was a rather simple one to build. Like all Matchbox kits, all the parts were molded in one of three colors: olive, tan, and sky blue. The parts are nicely molded and feature rather deeply recessed panel lines. Parts fit is very good and I did not have to use any putty. Three crew figures are provided as well as decals to make one of three schemes.

As I decided to build a He 115 of 1/ Kustenfliegergruppe 406, Sorreisa, Tromse, from 1942, painting was done using Tamiya dark Green over a base coat of Testors flat white. The undersurfaces were painted with Tamiya light blue. Slight weathering and exhaust staining were achieved using Tamiya pastels. Unfortunately, the decals were in bad shape with the protective tissue being stuck to the decal sheet. Luckily I was able to salvage the decals for the plane I wanted to build. The rest of the decals I simply threw away.

Overall, a fun build that when finished with a bit of care, adds a really interesting aircraft to my seaplane themed collection.


Some comparison pictures to see how big the He 115 really was.


The Mad Hatter: "Have I gone mad"
Alice: “I’m afraid so. . . you’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. . . All the BEST people are.”
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Matchbox 1/72 Heinkel He 115 Sorreisa, Tromso. 1942
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