Hermann Goering, WWI Flying Ace

Published: January 3rd, 2014     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Joe LoMusio, IPMS# 45454
Company: MiniArt
Price: $29.00
Product / Stock #: 16034

Background

Hermann Wilhelm Goering (or Goring) is, of course, best known as the infamous commander of the German Luftwaffe during World War Two. Instrumental in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933, he became one of the most powerful men in Germany. He founded the Gestapo in 1933 and became commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe in 1935. He held this position until the final days of World War II. What some may not know is that he was also a decorated pilot of World War I with 22 victories to his credit. As an ace fighter pilot, he was the recipient of numerous medals and awards - The Iron Cross (1st and 2nd Class), the Zaehring Lion with swords, the Friedrich Order, the House Order of Hohenzollern with swords third class, and finally, in May 1918, the coveted Pour le Merite, also known as the "Blue Max". He also has the distinction of being the last commander of Jagdgeschwader 1, the fighter wing once led by Manfred von Richthofen.

Late in the war, he flew an all-white Fokker D.VII with the port side cockpit altered to allow him to get in and out easier due to his injured hip, a war wound from being shot in aerial combat. There is an outstanding short video of Goering in the cockpit of one of his planes that has survived.

The Kit

The 1:16 scale model kit of Goering from MiniArt is the third in their Historical Miniature Figure series that focuses on World War One pilots - Ernst Udet having earlier been released and soon to come Manfred von Richthofen (along with his dog Moritz). MiniArt, from the Ukraine, has long been known for their Historical Miniature figures, including Medieval Knights, Roman Legionnaires and Napoleonic era soldiers.

The box of this kit sports great box art with a posed picture of Goering in front of his white Fokker D.VII. The kit itself is a rather simple one, offering two plastic sprues totaling 25 parts, plus a reddish/brown plastic round pedestal for display. The instruction sheet is one side of one page, measuring 7x10 inches and is in full color. The instruction sheet includes a paint chart at the bottom, listing eight colors in seven different brands of model paint: Vallejo, Testors, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, Mr. Color, and Life Color. At the bottom of the instruction sheet there is also a color reproduction of both the Pour le Merite (Blue Max) and the Iron Cross first class from 1914.

Inspection of the parts reveals crisp and clean moldings in grey styrene plastic with very little flashing noticeable. The upper legs (thighs), upper torso with tunic are in two pieces, but the head, shins/boots, arms and hands are all one piece and this helps a great deal with not having to worry about glue seams. The medals, epilates, and snaps on the hat are separately molded and also help a great deal in painting. The hat itself is in two pieces which allows for the easier painting of the red band as shown in the diagram.

The shin/boots, even though molded in one piece, still have a seam line running on both sides that need to be eliminated. This is true of the one piece head as well.

The most challenging construction of this kit is that of the torso, which is comprised of five pieces and have to be awkwardly held together while gluing. Most curious is the front of the tunic, on the right side there is natural wrinkling but on the left side overlay there is very little wrinkling, with only a little on the upper front shoulder. I added some wrinkling to better match both sides of the tunic, hoping it looked more uniform (then having one side wrinkled and the other side flat).

The tunic also presents a minor design flaw, in my opinion, as the left bottom of the tunic should be thin enough to overlap the right bottom (as in the photo). However, the plastic here is way too thick to create this overlap and would look way out of scale. You have two choices here, one is to significantly thin the inside of the tunic plastic and the other is to have the two edges of the tunic more or less abutt each other. This will allow the thicker left side of the tunic to remain unseen. The button flap seam line running the full length of the tunic is seen in the photo, but is not evident in the plastic molding. You may want to create this ever so subtly.

Construction

After eliminating all the seam lines, the fit of the parts are okay with two notable exceptions. The first is the overlap of the tunic as mentioned above, and the second is the fit of the hands positioned on the hips as shown in the photo. The actual fit of the hands on the hips is a good fit, but the wrists which would be seen coming out of the tunic sleeves are not. They look awkward and not natural. Furthermore, the solid arms do not allow for the sleeves to look thin, and some black paint here will help give the illusion of the inside of the sleeve.

I assembled the entire torso and lower body, but did not glue in the head, leaving that to be painted separately before assembly. Similarly, I left off the two pieces of the hat, painting each of those separately, gluing them together and then setting the hat aside to be glued on top of the head once it was added to the body.

The medals and epilates that are going to be placed on the uniform must be thinned considerably. As is, they are much too thick and will look out of scale. Having them separate aids in their painting, but first lay them underside down on a sanding stick and pressing with your finger slide them back and forth until you thin them down to your liking. Obviously, you can glue them in place once you have painted the body and uniform. The uniform will have a fabric (flat) finish, but the medals should shine, so a gloss coat will work great for them.

As to the painting, after a primer coat of flat black, I used a combination of Tamiya's Grey/Green (XF-65) and Natural Grey (XF-53) for the entire uniform, including the leggings. Touch up was accomplished with Vallejo Air Camo Green (71022). For the skin tones, I used a base coat of Model Master Sand and then covered that with Vallejo Basic Skin tone (70815) and then highlighted with Vallejo Beige Red (70809) and Vallejo Flat Flesh (70955). A slight brushing of Doc O'Brien's White pigment powder, created the subtle highlighting I was looking for. Highlights of the face and especially between the fingers and in the ears was accomplished with a wash of thinned Vallejo Burnt Umber (70941). The instructions did not provide recommendations for the hair color. I choose a lightened Burnt Umber with medium grey beige (70917).

Once painted, the head was inserted into the neck opening of the upper torso. The natural fit of the molded pieces here results in the face to be looking slightly downward. Once the head is in place, you can then glue on the service hat. To my eye, the hat looks somewhat under-scale.

The round red-brown pedestal base needs no painting, but could use a coating of some grass to give a more natural feel to the stance of the figure. The figure is solid and well balanced and does not even need to be glued to stand upright, but I used some craft glue to fix the figure to the base.

And there was Hermann Goering, glaring at me with those beady, penetrating eyes.

Conclusion

Overall the kit is very easy to assemble; is well-molded, and with the need to fix only a few things, it will allow you to produce a nice, large scale figure. The key to figure models is usually the face, and so you will want to have some skill there (a skill that I readily confess I am far from perfecting yet). Someday I hope to add MiniArt's Manfred von Richthofen and Moritz to this collection, and probably my favorite German pilot from WWI, Ernst Udet, as well.

I would like to thank MRC and MiniArt for the kit and also IPMS/USA for the opportunity to build and review this kit.

References

  • Knights of the Black Cross. Terry C. Treadwell. Cerberus Pubishing Limited, 2004, pp. 269-276.
  • Fokker D.VII Aces of World War 1. Norman Franks and Greg VanWyngarden, Osprey Publishing , 2003, pp. 15-17.
  • German Fighter Aces of World War One. Terry C. Treadwell and Alan C. Wood, tempus Publishing Ltd., 2003, pp. 103-105.
  • Hermann Goering
  • Sprues
    Sprues
  • Back
    Back
  • Front
    Front
  • Painted body
    Painted body
  • Hat
    Hat
  • Finished Figure
    Finished Figure

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