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MOC: Heinkel He-219 Uhu


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#1 Ralph_S

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 10:19 AM

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Those of you who are into military aircraft may have noticed that I've been building a fair few WW-II aircraft lately. Most of the ones I've built lately are intended for Lego Monster's Intrepid aircraft carrier. However, more than a year ago I started looking at German night fighters, aircraft intended to intercept (British) bombers at night and specifically at the Heinkel He-219 Uhu (Eagle Owl).
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Many German night-fighters wore 'dappled' patterns with relatively small dark spots against a lighter background on the upper surfaces. I wanted to recreate a similar effect on my LEGO model, using (old) dark grey and light blueish grey.
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When building the model the length and weight of the tail caused problems with the balance. Despite building two heavy weights into the fuselage just aft of the cockpit it would still tip on its tail. Ultimately I decided to get rid of the weights and to instead use a little strut built out of transparent parts to prop up the tail.  
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In order to detect its targets at night, many night-fighters were fitted with a radar system.  My model represents an Uhu fitted with the Lichtenstein SN-2 radar. Unlike more modern radar systems and many airborne radars used by the Allies at the time, which used parabolic dish antennae, the Lichtenstein used externally-mounted dipole antennae; the 'antlers' mounted on the nose. Some Uhus were also fitted with a tail radar, with a similar dipole antenna attached to the tail.
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The Uhu was one of the most advanced designs to enter service with the Luftwaffe during WW-II, with a tricycle undercarriage and a pressurised cockpit with a bubble canopy and ejection sets for the crew.
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When I first started thinking about building a Uhu I wouldn't be able to resolve a few difficulties with it. When reading about German night-fighters I came across the British DeHavilland Mosquito, and built one of those instead. However, I never completely gave up and now have finally pulled it off.    

Cheers,
Ralph

Edited by Rufus, 25 June 2011 - 05:59 PM.
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#2 Ezechielle

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 10:56 AM

Very nice! I wasn't convinced by the nose at first but finally it's fine :thumbup:
I also like the work on the camo.

Nice plane as usual :wink:
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#3 Milan

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 10:57 AM

Finally a camouflage that really looks great.
The rest of the plane is up to your standards, too :thumbup:
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#4 Sinner

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 11:08 AM

That is beautiful!  :wub:  I like your solution for the engine radiator covers.





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#5 Superkalle

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 11:55 AM

It would be good with some higher resolution pics so you can study the building techniques a bit closer up.
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#6 Commander_Rob

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 12:15 PM

Wonderful aircraft. I always liked WWII aircraft of all sorts, but they are devilishly hard to build out of Lego.
This is great though, beautiful camo and lovely radar antennae.
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#7 Lycanthrope

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 12:46 PM

Well done, that camouflage is excellent!

#8 Ralph_S

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:11 PM

View PostEzechielle, on May 9 2010, 10:56 AM, said:

Very nice! I wasn't convinced by the nose at first but finally it's fine :thumbup:
I also like the work on the camo.

Nice plane as usual :wink:
Thank you. The canopy on the real aircraft is more curved, but I had to compromise to find enough space to fit the crew, to have the cockpit open and to have the landing gear retract. I wasn't too happy about the size of the camouflage patches on the side, but couldn't make them smaller because I had to use panels fitted sideways to find enough space for the crew. It was all a bit of a bugbear, but as part of the overall aircraft it turned out to look OK. I'm glad you like it.

View PostMilan, on May 9 2010, 10:57 AM, said:

Finally a camouflage that really looks great.
The rest of the plane is up to your standards, too :thumbup:
Thanks. I think I've done decent-looking camouflage before, but it used far larger patches (and was on a far larger aircraft). The camouflage on these aircraft is very fine-grained and it took a lot of small plates to get this effect.  

View PostSiegfried, on May 9 2010, 11:08 AM, said:

That is beautiful!  :wub:  I like your solution for the engine radiator covers.
Thank you. They were the first bits I designed for it based on the designof my F4U Corsair. Thanks for putting it on the front page.

View PostSuperkalle, on May 9 2010, 11:55 AM, said:

It would be good with some higher resolution pics so you can study the building techniques a bit closer up.
I have higher resolution pics, but in my default setting they are only available to flickr users. I've changed the setting for these so that everyone can look at the high resolution versions by clicking the 'all sizes' link above the photograph. I also  have a few close-ups of the difficult bits (engine nacelles and cockpit) in my photostream.

View PostCommander_Rob, on May 9 2010, 12:15 PM, said:

Wonderful aircraft. I always liked WWII aircraft of all sorts, but they are devilishly hard to build out of Lego.
This is great though, beautiful camo and lovely radar antennae.
Thank you. I've been building aircraft for years, but until about two years ago mostly stuck to larger scale models of more modern aircraft.  For my WW-II models whether I think I can built a particular model is at least as important as whether or not I like a particular model. There's a whole list of aircraft that I wouldn't mind building, but that I feel that right now aren't feasible. I could compromise by not having minifigs inside, not having an opening cockpit canopy or not having a retractable undercarriage, but I'd rather chose a model where I can do those things or a model of an aircraft that doesn't actually have a retractable undercarriage or cockpit canopy  :classic:

View PostLycanthrope, on May 9 2010, 12:46 PM, said:

Well done, that camouflage is excellent!
Thanks. There were a few things that kept me from building one of these more than a year ago, including the camouflage.

Cheers,
Ralph
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#9 SpaceMonkey

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 01:39 PM

Beautiful. I saw this on Flickr a few days ago, but didn't want to be the millionth person commenting on the camo. It really is great though. At first glance seeing the top view thumbnail it almost looked painted. Did you have any difficulties with the structural integrity of the wings using so many small plates? Or is it all large plates underneath?

As usual, there's a lot of great and accurate detail here. Especially the angled tail, radar antennae, and engine cowling. I have no problems with the use of a trans stand for balance, but I am curious as to how the real aircraft maintained its balance on the ground. As I'm sure you've researched it, perhaps you could answer that for us?

What's next? Are you planning on doing more of these WW2 aircraft?
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#10 lightningtiger

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 02:57 PM

AWESOME just AWESOME 'Ralph_S'  :grin: - man, you are good at these planes eh ?
Great designing especially with camouflage.
Keep on bricking 'Ralph_S' keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#11 Fires-storm

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:06 PM

Wow, another beautiful plane mate, I truly love looking at these. The detail is impressive, the camo looks perfect, I love everything on this beauty! Well done, and keep bricking :thumbup:
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#12 greg3

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 06:26 PM

Very cool!! Love the camo and engine details!! Nice work!

#13 Ralph_S

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 09:48 PM

Thanks for the comments, guys. I'm glad you like it.

View PostSpaceMonkey, on May 9 2010, 01:39 PM, said:

Beautiful. I saw this on Flickr a few days ago, but didn't want to be the millionth person commenting on the camo. It really is great though. At first glance seeing the top view thumbnail it almost looked painted. Did you have any difficulties with the structural integrity of the wings using so many small plates? Or is it all large plates underneath?
As usual, there's a lot of great and accurate detail here. Especially the angled tail, radar antennae, and engine cowling. I have no problems with the use of a trans stand for balance, but I am curious as to how the real aircraft maintained its balance on the ground. As I'm sure you've researched it, perhaps you could answer that for us?
What's next? Are you planning on doing more of these WW2 aircraft?

Thank you. The advantage of WW-II aircraft is that they tend to have fairly thick wings. They are five plates thick in some places, so there is plenty of space to have fairly long plates inside. Also, because of the wing profile many of the smaller plates partially overlap smaller plates in the layer below. I can lift the model by the wingtips. The difficulty with the camouflage was mainly limited to the nose section and to working out how to make a sufficiently fine-grained pattern. I made a few drawings on graph paper, figuring out a few basic rules that I felt I should stick to. Once I had that worked out, actually building it was fairly straightforward.

On the real aircraft the aircraft engines undoubtedly play a large role in the weight distribution. What also helps is that the tail is largely hollow and relatively light, while mine requires a fair bit of internal structure to give it strength.

I currently have concrete plans for two more WW-II aircraft (for Lego Monster's Intrepid), a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver and a Grumman F6F Hellcat. There are a few more that I am interested in building in the longer run (a B-17 Flying Fortress and a PBY Catalina, for instance) but I have no concrete plans at the moment.

Cheers,
Ralph
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#14 VMLN8R

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 09:53 PM

Oh wow, this is so cool :thumbup: The old dark grey and bley work really well as camoflage. I'd never heard of this plane before, it's certainly a very unique and interesting shape, especially the rear tail. Overall, great MOC and thank you for the educational post!

#15 Mercenary

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 10:07 PM

Very creative. I've loved fighter planes :blush:
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#16 Capt. Stabbin

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 11:29 PM

Another masterpiece!!  Thanks for sharing,  your creations are always a special treat.

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#17 gunm

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 08:11 AM

Nice Uhu!

#18 jaredchan

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 06:10 PM

This is fantastic! I like all the details and the camouflage!
It's so real that I feel like walking into a WWII museum! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

#19 Ralph_S

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 11:35 PM

View PostVMLN8R, on May 9 2010, 09:53 PM, said:

Oh wow, this is so cool :thumbup: The old dark grey and bley work really well as camoflage. I'd never heard of this plane before, it's certainly a very unique and interesting shape, especially the rear tail. Overall, great MOC and thank you for the educational post!
Thank you. Compared to, say, a Messerschmitt Bf-109 or an FW-190 this isn't a particularly famous aircraft, but I liked the look of it from the moment I first saw a picture of one. It's a bit of an odd-ball with that cranked up tail and the weird 'antler' antennae.

View PostMercenary, on May 9 2010, 10:07 PM, said:

Very creative. I've loved fighter planes :blush:
Cheers. Night fighters were a bit of a special category. Most of the ones used by the Germans were modifications of existing designs (Ju-88 and Me-110 in particular). The Uhu was designed specifically for the role, but still enormous compared to regular fighters or some bombers, in fact. I've made a picture showing the Uhu and one of the bombers it was supposed to counter.
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Both models were built to the same scale and they were equally far away from the camera.
  

View PostCapt. Stabbin, on May 9 2010, 11:29 PM, said:

Another masterpiece!!  Thanks for sharing,  your creations are always a special treat.

:jollyroger:
Thanks. I appreciate it.

View Postgunm, on May 10 2010, 08:11 AM, said:

Nice Uhu!
Thank you.

View Postjaredchan, on May 10 2010, 06:10 PM, said:

This is fantastic! I like all the details and the camouflage!
It's so real that I feel like walking into a WWII museum! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
Thanks. Unfortunately there is only a single surviving Uhu in the world, in the Smithsonian annex at Washington Dulles Airport.

Cheers,
Ralph
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#20 Delta 38

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 07:58 AM

Nice. The camouflage pattern is great.
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#21 LEGOMAN132

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 05:35 PM

Very nice I like the cockpit alot. :thumbup:

#22 ImLost

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 09:22 PM

In my childhood, I was huge fan of WW2 aircraft, so this brings back memories. Everything here is perfectly executed, and the transparent struct is a great solution to maintaining the plane's balance. I didn't even notice the strut was there until you mentioned it.

#23 AMK152

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 02:23 AM

that looks awesome!

#24 Ralph_S

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 07:45 PM

View PostDelta 38, on May 11 2010, 07:58 AM, said:

Nice. The camouflage pattern is great.
Thank you.

View PostLEGOMAN132, on May 11 2010, 05:35 PM, said:

Very nice I like the cockpit alot. :thumbup:
Thanks. There were a number of parts/features of the aircraft that I knew would be difficult and had to figure out before building it: the camouflage, the radar antennae, the engine cowl and the cockpit, specifically. The cockpit was one of the first parts I built and it took several hours to find a construction that gave me enough space for the figures and the landing gear.

View PostImLost, on May 13 2010, 09:22 PM, said:

In my childhood, I was huge fan of WW2 aircraft, so this brings back memories. Everything here is perfectly executed, and the transparent struct is a great solution to maintaining the plane's balance. I didn't even notice the strut was there until you mentioned it.
Thanks. From most angles the strut is practically invisible. I would have preferred a solution where the aircraft would have been balanced on its own, but this was the compromise I disliked the least.

View PostAMK152, on May 14 2010, 02:23 AM, said:

that looks awesome!
Thank you. I am glad you like it.

Cheers,
Ralph
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#25 Eínon

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 03:01 PM

One thing that I´ve always admired it´s your capacity to put so much detail into so small MOCs (landing gear, cockpit details, camouflage).
I still have much to learn from you...

Keep with the excellent work!

Eínon



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