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1/72 Airfix Henschel Hs 123

n by Mark Davies

Henschel Hs 123 was designed as the first dive bomber to equip the new Luftwaffe. The prototype was tested in 1935 and entered service in the autumn of 1936. It was used in Spain, Poland, France and Russia. It proved so rugged and reliable in the field that many pilots preferred it over the Ju 87 Stuka. Because of that It lasted longer in service than might have been expected. It remained in active service with the Luftwaffe well into 1944.

At least one Hs 123 was in service with the Spanish Air Force (Ejercito del Aire) after 1945. I decided to model this example, as myself and three of my mates all chose to build this old Airfix kit as a quick bit of fun. They will all build different versions and air arms to add to the interest when we bring them along to our club (IPMS Auckland, NZ).


The Airfix kit dates back to the year 1970, but is still the only readily available kit of this biplane in the 1/72 scale. It was pretty neat for considering its age, with fine raised panel lines and rivets, no cockpit detail, and generally good fit of parts.

My model has quite a bit of scratch-built detail, including cockpit (I used a friend’s unbuilt AmTech kit with Black Box interior as a guide), drop tank, steps, windscreen, engine detail, carburettor intake, gun blast tubes, bomb racks and so on. Other small details like foot pads on the wheel spats, reducing the gun blast tubes, and replacing some struts, thinning prop-blades completed the refinement. The hardest part was probably sanding out the cowl with a Dremel tool, raising some flutes at the rear over the blast tubes and positioning the cowl braces.

I removed all surface detail, and then added rib tapes from decal strip in the correct location.

Decals came from the spares box, and the rather unusual style “5” was made from a reversed “2” cut into four pieces. Currently missing is a small serial on the tail fin which a friend will print for me on his ALPS printer. This build was a lot of fun, and replaces yet another lost model form my childhood days.


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