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Modeling History: Adam Coleman’s 1/72 Legato Hungarian MÁVAG Héja II

Adam Coleman, a friend I know through IPMS, emailed me this very interesting bit of modeling history, along with photos of his great work on this aircraft. I’ll admit I’d never actually heard about this particular one, so it’s interesting to learn something new through the hobby. Thanks for sharing this with us Adam!

Just finished today is my Hungarian MÁVAG Héja II (“Goshawk”) of the Royal Hungarian Air Force ca.1944. This is marked up and intended to depict a mid-production machine V5+42 based at Matyasfeld, near Budapest. The kit is the Legato release in 1/72 scale from 2005 which apparently can make either the Heja I or Heja II.

The Héja I was a Hungarian fighter aircraft copy of the Italian Reggiane Re 2000.  Following licensing issues with the Italians, the new Héja II (as shown below) was entirely Hungarian built with locally produced airframes, engines and armament. The new fighter differed from the Heja I in a number of ways. Armament was changed to two fixed forward-firing 12.7 mm (0.50 inch)Gebauer guns with 300 rounds in the fuselage nose. Flight endurance was about 2.5 hours. The first MÁVAG Héja II took to the air on 30 October 1942, and in total, MÁVAG built around 70 Héja II’s, all for the Royal Hungarian Air Force. The last aircraft was completed on 1 August 1944 when production ceased. These were primarily used as fighter trainers.

This model is not for beginners!  It is a short run kit with resin and photo etch parts as well as vacuformed canopies.  It requires patience and a knack for understanding dubiously unclear instructions. The kit was not easy, but however I also chose it to give my brand new new Grex airbrush a workout. Replicating the paint scheme was especially fun, and I also enjoyed the research side of this project as well. None survive today, so please enjoy the rare and seldom seen little Héja!