The Heinkel He 162 Volksjäger (German, “People’s Fighter”) was a German single-engine, jet-powered fighter aircraft fielded by the Luftwaffe in World War II. Designed and built quickly, and made primarily of wood as metals were in very short supply and prioritised for other aircraft, the He 162 was nevertheless the fastest of the first generation of Axis and Allied jets. Volksjäger was the Reich Air Ministry’s official name for the He 162. Other names given to the plane include Salamander, which was the codename of its construction program, and Spatz (“Sparrow”), which was the name given to the plane by Heinkel.
Cyber-Hobby 1/48 Heinkel He 162 A-2 “SALAMANDER” / Volkjager
I have a bunch of Dragon Model kits in my stash but this is the 1st one I put together under the Cyber-Hobby label. This 1/48 He 162A-2 “SALAMANDER” it is marketed under the Cyber-Hobby Orange Value Pack box. It features Photoetched parts that otherwise would be more expensive under the Dragon Models brand. Inside the box, you will find fine surface details. However, fit although not that bad, it is not the best either.
Build starts by the cockpit in small but kind of intensive and time consuming assembly steps. This is not the photo etched parts I’m used to from other model kits. PE parts are made out of some strong steel rather than brass/copper. The kit features PE hinges should you choose to display your model showing the included jet engine. Due to the hardness of the PE parts, the hinge is very limited and almost impossible to bend as per instructions to have ‘real’ working access panels.
After all the trouble I went thru with these parts, they add little visual impact to your model because they can barely be seen once your Salamander is finished. If I had to build this models again, I would rather use the injected static hinges and save some precious model building time.
The model was painted using all acrylic Tamiya and Model Master Acryl colors, and applied with the AZTEK A470 airbrush system and a Paasche D500s air compressor.
There is a reason why I do prefer 1/48 scale models over 1/72. First is details and the quality of the detail, strange for a OOB builder. I will be adding another 1/48 Salamander to my German subjects collection. Will I get another Cyber Hobby? Absolutely not, I have my eyes set on the Tamiya version. While I’m not entirely disappointed at Cyber Hobby, the Salamander along with my current project (1/48 Me262A-1) also from Cyber Hobby, has been a mix of feelings as a model builder.
These is one of those models that might go unfinished for years and as far as I know, Dragon Models are kown to burn modelers. In my humble opinion, and remember, this is my opinion and might differ from yours; I don’t know if these kits are over or under engineered. Most of those Photo Etched detail parts I had to fiddle with and were so time consuming, are within today’s injection molding techniques. One thing is using Photo etched parts to enhance our model kits, another is to use in order to build the kit.