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Found 7 results

  1. 1/48 Junkers Ju 88A-4 WWII Axis Bomber ICM Catalogue # 48237 Available from Hannants for £27.99 The Junkers Ju 88 was a German World War II Luftwaffe twin-engine multirole combat aircraft. Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke (JFM) designed the plane in the mid-1930s as a so-called Schnellbomber ("fast bomber") that would be too fast for fighters of its era to intercept. It suffered from a number of technical problems during later stages of its development and early operational roles but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Like several other Luftwaffe bombers, it served as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter and, during the closing stages of the conflict in Europe, as a flying bomb. Despite its protracted development, the aircraft became one of the Luftwaffe's most important assets. The assembly line ran constantly from 1936 to 1945 and more than 16,000 Ju 88s were built in dozens of variants, more than any other twin-engine German aircraft of the period. Throughout production the basic structure of the aircraft remained unchanged. Without a doubt, the Junkers Ju 88 was one of the most versatile and adaptable aircraft to have been used during WW2. Entering service as the war was literally starting (on the day of the Polish attack), the Ju 88 became successful for its numerous famous and infamous roles, starting out as a light bomber/dive bomber, and when losses started to mount around the time of the Battle of Britain, it was moved into other theatres of war, such as North Africa, and against shipping in the Mediterranean with a torpedo-carrying variant. Where it is perhaps best known are for its roles as both a heavy fighter and night-fighter, in which it excelled. The A-4 was an improved variant. It had a longer wingspan due to redesigned wingtips. It also had a more powerful defensive armament. Power was provided by two Jumo 211 J-1 or J-2 engines (1410 hp) driving wooden bladed propellers. A reinforced undercarriage was also introduced, as was a provision for four external bomb racks. Courtesy of Wikipedia. The kit There has certainly been some mileage seen in the moulds for ICM’s rather sweet Ju 88 kit, with there now being TWELVE incarnations that have been released across the ICM, Hasegawa, Special Hobby and Revell labels, with Special Hobby creating their own resin and injection plastic parts to accompany the base ICM plastic. This particular Ju 88A-4 version was released about April/May of this year. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see more incarnations of this kit in future, hopefully covering a number of the other exotic machines that were derived from the base Ju 88 airframe. In fact, a C-6b night-fighter seems to be slated for later this year. There is of course a reason why we are seeing this kit being given multiple releases and that is simply because it is the definitive tooling of this important aircraft that is currently available, and with so many Ju 88 versions that existed, modellers are going to want to build the one that is specific to their interests, such as the heavy fighter, torpedo aircraft etc. Packaged into ICM’s very sturdy, full corrugated cardboard box, with a colourful and glossy product lid that depicts a Romanian machine at rest on an airfield, this kit consists of a single clear sleeve that holds all EIGHT medium-grey sprues and a single clear one. Around about 250 parts makes up this release. Thankfully, the clear sprue is separately bagged within the main sleeve and all of the others are tightly packed up against each other, so no space for them to jiggle and rub against each other. A 24-page A4 manual is included, and a single decal sheet finalises the contents. I know that some modellers can be driven to frustration by the engineering choices that some companies make, but with this kit, ICM has boxed clever. As we know, it has been designed to accommodate other versions so as to maximise the tooling, but none of this is done to the disadvantage of the modeller. Some very intelligent design work can be seen here, such as the fuselage halves being full length, so no need to graft on different nose versions. The fin is also separate, indicating something from the 88G family, maybe. Wing root fairings are moulded to the fuselage and are tabbed, meaning that the upper wing panels can easily sit on these and provide a positive location point. Another touch of genius is a single piece lower fuse and inboard wing panel section. When this is fitted to the fuselage, and then the wing panels added, the lower seam will be totally hidden under the broad nacelle structure. The nacelles themselves will then locate into the undersides via tabs. If you’ve ever seen the Revell 1/32 kit, you’ll know that there is a sturdy structure within the nacelle that the undercarriage is mounted to. Looking at this model, I think that whilst you may need to fit that mounting structure prior to the nacelle, it appears that you can probably fit the landing gear later, after painting. All control surfaces on this model can be posed, with the rear of the nacelles being separate for this purpose. You may need to fiddle things with this, and I can’t comment further without test fitting this one. Two detailed Jumo211 engines are included in this kit, with the provision to display one/either of them. These really do look very good, with each unit containing around 15 parts per engine, including the firewall and associated plumbing. The engines must be installed within the nacelle before the whole assembly is offered to the wing. You’ll need to make sure your painting and masking regime is good here. Cowl radiator flaps are presented as open only, so to pose these in the more aesthetically pleasing closed position, you will need to do a little surgery. Propellers are supplied as single piece units, and the spinner comprises of the typical back-plate and front section. If you expect a lot from the cockpit area, in terms of detail, then this won’t disappoint. There are already a number of Eduard sets for this, pertaining to the earlier Luftwaffe A-4 release, so there’s always plenty to choose from if you wish to detail this model further. As no seatbelts are included in this kit, you will definitely need to sort out that omission. The office area is very well-appointed, with nicely moulded fuselage sidewall details, superbly equipped radio rear bulkhead, ammunition racks and drums, detailed instrument panel, side consoles with delicately rendered instruments, two-piece control column, rudder pedal assemblies, seats with intricate mounting points etc. I don’t really think there would be much to add in here, with the exception of some colour PE, perhaps. When assembled the cockpit will most certainly be a very busy and visual area. The bola gondola is well-appointed too, and this area is moulded separately to the underside fuselage and can be fitted later in assembly. Surface detail is everything you would expect from a modern-tooled model, with finely engraved panel lines and port details. There are also no rivets at all, so if you do want them, then you’ll have to get out Rosie. Plastic quality here is excellent with no flaws or obtrusive ejector pin marks. Clear plastic parts, both ICM and Special Hobby, are superb, with excellent clarity and nicely defined frame details. Of course, this particular kit does vary in a number of aspects, from previous releases, and looking through the parts maps does indicate a large number of parts that should NOT be used with this particular release. In fact, the original Sprue C has been supplemented with Sprue C1. This contains whole new engine nacelles, propellers, spinners, annular radiator intakes, tabbed fin and rudder, fuselage spine section with dipole etc. Parts not to be used are clearly defined on the parts map by being shaded in pink. Decals An ICM-printed decal sheet contains markings for FOUR marking schemes, with all printing being in solid, authentic colour, with minimal carrier film and also being both nice and thin. Registration is perfect too. As well as markings, a full suite of stencils are included as are instrument decals. The instruments are probably better punched out from the decal and applied individually, so you don’t have to attempt to get the decal to conform to the raised panel details. My only reservation is having to assemble the swastikas on the Finnish scheme, as these are produced with all arms as separate decals. The four schemes in this release are: Ju 88A-4, Grupul 5 Bombardment, Romania, 1944 Ju 88A-4, 3/1 Bombazo szazad of Hungarian Air Force, Russia, 1943 Ju 88A-4, 1/PleLv 44, Onttola, Finland, Summer 1944 Ju 88A-4, 3/PleLv 44, Finland, Summer 1944 Instructions ICM’s instruction manuals are very attractive and easy to follow, with 102 easy-to-follow stages that shouldn’t present any issues with assembly. The first part of the manual highlights the colours needed for completing this model (Revell and Tamiya paints), as well as parts maps of the sprues. The rear of the manual has two pages for the four schemes, printed in colour and with good decal placement notes, plus a page denoting stencil placement etc. Conclusion Another excellent Ju 88 release, and as this is Revell, you know that the price point is spot on. This kit currently retails for around £30 or less in the UK, and I think that relates to excellent value for money when you look at the detail levels that are provided here. The A-4 was a pretty common variant from around the end of the BoB until the latter stages of the war, so doubtless that this specific release will prove to be popular. I certainly hope to see more in future. This kit doesn’t have any PE parts, so for at least the seatbelts, you might want to consider some of Eduard’s aftermarket sets for the other ICM/Revell variants. Most parts will be completely usable in this release. Of course, this is an in-box review, but I am currently building the C-6 version and have found very little in the way of problems, with everything being straightforward and fitting superbly. ICM’s engineering seems to be logical and sensible, and without the annoyances of the earlier, unrelated Dragon releases. Highly Recommended My thanks to ICM for the review sample seen in this article. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  2. 1/48 Junkers Ju 88C-6 ICM Catalogue # 48238 Available from Hannants for £27.99 The Junkers Ju 88 was a German World War II Luftwaffe twin-engine multirole combat aircraft. Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke (JFM) designed the plane in the mid-1930s as a so-called Schnellbomber ("fast bomber") that would be too fast for fighters of its era to intercept. It suffered from a number of technical problems during later stages of its development and early operational roles but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Like several other Luftwaffe bombers, it served as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter and, during the closing stages of the conflict in Europe, as a flying bomb. Despite its protracted development, the aircraft became one of the Luftwaffe's most important assets. The assembly line ran constantly from 1936 to 1945 and more than 16,000 Ju 88s were built in dozens of variants, more than any other twin-engine German aircraft of the period. Throughout production the basic structure of the aircraft remained unchanged. Without a doubt, the Junkers Ju 88 was one of the most versatile and adaptable aircraft to have been used during WW2. Entering service as the war was literally starting (on the day of the Polish attack), the Ju 88 became successful for its numerous famous and infamous roles, starting out as a light bomber/dive bomber, and when losses started to mount around the time of the Battle of Britain, it was moved into other theatres of war, such as North Africa, and against shipping in the Mediterranean with a torpedo-carrying variant. Where it is perhaps best known are for its roles as both a heavy fighter and night-fighter, in which it excelled. The Ju 88C series of standard fighter-bomber versions from the C-2 onwards culminated in the Ju 88 C-6, applying experience acquired with the A-4 bomber, equipped with the same Jumo 211J engines but replacing the "beetle's eye" nose glazing with a smoothly curved all-metal nose, pierced only by the barrels of its forward-firing offensive armament. The C-6 was used mostly as fighter-bomber and therefore assigned to bomber units. As a reaction to the increasing number of attacks on German shipping, especially on U-boats in the Bay of Biscay, from July 1942 it started flying anti-shipping patrols and escort missions from bases in France. V./Kampfgeschwader 40 being formed to operate the C-6. Courtesy of Wikipedia. The kit There has certainly been some mileage seen in the moulds for ICM’s rather sweet Ju 88 kit, with there now being TWELVE incarnations that have been released across the ICM, Hasegawa, Special Hobby and Revell labels. This particular Ju 88C-6 version was released about a month ago from the date of this review, and of course sees the original manufacturer’s progression through some of the key Ju 88 versions. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see more incarnations of this kit in future, hopefully covering a number of the other exotic machines that were derived from the base Ju 88 airframe. There is of course a reason why we are seeing this kit being given multiple releases and that is simply because it is the definitive tooling of this important aircraft that is currently available, and with so many Ju 88 versions that existed, modellers are going to want to build the one that is specific to their interests, such as the heavy fighter, torpedo aircraft etc. Packaged into ICM’s very sturdy, full corrugated cardboard box, with a colourful and glossy product lid that depicts a low flying C-6, possibly over the Bay of Biscay, this kit consists of a single clear sleeve that holds all NINE medium-grey sprues and two clear ones. A total of about 250 parts makes up this release. Thankfully, the clear sprues are separately bagged within the main sleeve and all of the others are tightly packed up against each other, so no space for them to jiggle and rub against each other. A 24-page A4 manual is included, and a single decal sheet finalises the contents. This release sees the addition of three new sprues, catering to the change in nose, equipment and canopy. I know that some modellers can be driven to frustration by the engineering choices that some companies make, but with this kit, ICM has boxed clever. As we know, it has been designed to accommodate other versions so as to maximise the tooling, but none of this is done to the disadvantage of the modeller. Some very intelligent design work can be seen here, such as the fuselage halves being full length, so no need to graft on different nose versions. The fin is also separate, indicating something from the 88G family, maybe. Wing root fairings are moulded to the fuselage and are tabbed, meaning that the upper wing panels can easily sit on these and provide a positive location point. Another touch of genius is a single piece lower fuse and inboard wing panel section. When this is fitted to the fuselage, and then the wing panels added, the lower seam will be totally hidden under the broad nacelle structure. The nacelles themselves will then locate into the undersides via tabs. If you’ve ever seen the Revell 1/32 kit, you’ll know that there is a sturdy structure within the nacelle that the undercarriage is mounted to. Looking at this model, I think that whilst you may need to fit that mounting structure prior to the nacelle, it appears that you can probably fit the landing gear later, after painting. All control surfaces on this model can be posed, with the rear of the nacelles being separate for this purpose. You may need to fiddle things with this, and I can’t comment further without test fitting this one. Two detailed Jumo211 engines are included in this kit, with the provision to display one/either of them. These really do look very good, with each unit containing around 15 parts per engine, including the firewall and associated plumbing. The engines must be installed within the nacelle before the whole assembly is offered to the wing. You’ll need to make sure your painting and masking regime is good here. Cowl radiator flaps are presented as open only, so to pose these in the more aesthetically pleasing closed position, you will need to do a little surgery. Propellers are supplied as single piece units, and the spinner comprises of the typical back-plate and front section. If you expect a lot from the cockpit area, in terms of detail, then this won’t disappoint. Whilst there is no specific Eduard sets for this release at the time of writing, some areas could still use some of the sets designed for the ICM release. As no seatbelts are included in this kit, you will definitely need to sort out that omission. The office area is very well-appointed, with nicely moulded fuselage sidewall details, superbly equipped radio rear bulkhead, ammunition racks and drums, detailed instrument panel, side consoles with delicately rendered instruments, two-piece control column, rudder pedal assemblies, seats with intricate mounting points etc. I don’t really think there would be much to add in here, with the exception of some colour PE, perhaps. When assembled the cockpit will most certainly be a very busy and visual area. The bola gondola is well-appointed too, and this area is moulded separately to the underside fuselage and can be fitted later in assembly. Surface detail is everything you would expect from a modern-tooled model, with finely engraved panel lines and port details. There are also no rivets at all, so if you do want them, then you’ll have to get out Rosie. Plastic quality here is excellent with no flaws or obtrusive ejector pin marks. Clear plastic parts, both ICM and Special Hobby, are superb, with excellent clarity and nicely defined frame details. Of course, this particular kit does vary in a number of aspects, from previous releases, and looking through the parts maps does indicate a large number of parts that should NOT be used with this particular release. In fact, the original Sprue C has been supplemented with Sprue C1. This contains whole new engine nacelles, propellers, spinners, annular radiator intakes, tabbed fin and rudder, fuselage spine section with dipole etc. Parts not to be used are clearly defined on the parts map by being shaded in pink. Another sprue that takes a major hit on unused parts is the engine sprue. Here, you can discount all of the bomb parts, and guns/ammo drums etc. There are THREE new sprues in this particular torpedo bomber version, and it will come as no surprise to find out that two of these, H & H1, contain the reworked gondola with fixed rear facing guns, solid nose with gun apertures, forward fuselage window blanking plates, machine guns, ammunition containers for forward guns, optional exhaust shrouds, etc. Whilst I note that a single MG has been provided for the lowermost nose gun position, the others are simply represented as stubs which fit into the nose apertures. The savvy modeller could possibly work out the remaining details and install them too. One of the new sprues (H) has only one part for use with this release, with the other solid noses and nightfighter aerial arrays being scheduled for a later release. The new clear sprue contains the main canopy area, minus the upper, rear glazed sections which are supplied on the original sprue. Again, clarity and framing definition is excellent. Decals An ICM-printed decal sheet contains markings for FOUR marking schemes, with all printing being in solid, authentic colour, with minimal carrier film and also being both nice and thin. Registration is perfect too. As well as markings, a full suite of stencils are included as are instrument decals. The instruments are probably better punched out from the decal and applied individually, so you don’t have to attempt to get the decal to conform to the raised panel details. No swastikas are supplied. The four schemes in this release are: Ju 88C-6, 11./ZG.26, Mediterranean, Summer 1943 Ju 88C-6, 11./ZG.26, Mediterranean, 1943 Ju 88C-6, 13./KG.40, Lorient, France, November 1943 Ju 88C-6, 4./KG.76, Taganrog, Russia, Fall of 1942 Instructions ICM’s instruction manuals are very attractive and easy to follow, with 96 easy-to-follow stages that shouldn’t present any issues with assembly. The first part of the manual highlights the colours needed for completing this model (Revell and Tamiya paints), as well as parts maps of the sprues. The rear of the manual has two pages for the four schemes, printed in colour and with good decal placement notes, plus a page denoting stencil placement etc. Conclusion Another excellent Ju 88 release. This kit currently retails for around £30 or less in the UK, and I think that relates to excellent value for money when you look at the detail levels that are provided here. The C-6, for me, is one of the more attractive versions of this aircraft and certainly paved the way for the later BMW-powered G versions with their nightfighter prowess. This kit doesn’t have any PE parts, so for at least the seatbelts, you might want to consider some of Eduard’s aftermarket sets for the other ICM/Revell variants. Most parts will be completely usable in this release. Of course, this is an in-box review, and I’ve not looked at the fit of this. I have seen a small number of Ju 88 kits built though, and spoken to modellers who have built others, and they claim no real problems in construction. ICM’s engineering seems to be logical and sensible, and without the annoyances of the earlier, unrelated Dragon releases. Highly Recommended My thanks to ICM for the review sample seen in this article. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  3. 1/32 Junkers D.1 Wingnut Wings Catalogue # 32065 Available from Wingnut Wings for $79.00 plus shipping The Junkers D.I (factory designation J 9) was a monoplane fighter aircraft produced in Germany late in World War I, significant for becoming the first all-metal fighter to enter service. The prototype, a private venture by Junkers designated the J 7, first flew on 17 September 1917, going through nearly a half-dozen detail changes in its design during its tests. When it was demonstrated to the Idflieg early the following year it proved impressive enough to result in an order for three additional aircraft for trials. However, the changes made by Junkers were significant enough for the firm to re-designate the next example the J 9, which was supplied to the Idflieg instead of the three J 7s ordered. During tests, the J 9 lacked the manoeuvrability necessary for a front-line fighter, but was judged fit for a naval fighter, and a batch of 12 was ordered. These were supplied to a naval unit by September 1918, which then redeployed to the Eastern Front after the Armistice. One example survives and is on display in the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, at the Paris–Le Bourget Airport, 11km north of Paris, France. Several replicas have been built, including one on display at the Luftwaffenmuseum Berlin-Gatow. Powered by a 180/200h Daimler-Mercedes D.IIIa/aü, and armed with two Spandau LMG08/15 guns, the D.1 First flew in 1918, only 41 were built before the Armistice. Extract from Wikipedia The kit It seems such a long time since the last Wingnut Wings release, but it was only 5 months ago when the Sopwith Dolphin was put on sale in time for Christmas. Prior to that in 2017, we had the amazing Stahltaub, and Green Tail Trilogy (triple Albatros D.V) release, and exactly a year ago, the quintet of Sopwith Camel kits. We’re certainly in no position to whinge and moan! A few months ago, WNW announced that they were to release the Junkers D.1 and having seen images of the test shot from the Nuremberg show, WNW’s General Manager, Richard Alexander, said that a limited number would initially be available for sale at Scale Models Expo, Upper Hutt, New Zealand. Thankfully, a few were set aside for review samples, and today we have one here to paw over and investigate. The Junkers D.1 is packed into probably the smaller of the kit release boxes such as we saw for the SE.5a etc. and is again adorned with some rather nice and atmospheric artwork, courtesy of Steve Anderson, again edged with an attractive silver frame. This image shows a pretty much full-on side profile of the diminutive looking all-metal fighter aircraft. This particular angle does lend itself to ask where the upper wing is! This was probably as close to state of the art for the time, being a monoplane with ailerons and no wing-warping system…which would have been pretty difficult on a corrugated metal and steel tube wing. Profiles of all FIVE schemes are shown on the box sides. Inside the box, four light grey sprues are supplied in separate clear bags. No clear sprue this time! A single photo-etch fret is packed along with the Cartograf-printed decal sheet. The package is completed with the addition of a 24-page A4 instruction manual. Wingnut Wings spiel for this kit reads as follows: High quality (extra thin) Cartograf decals with markings for 5 colour schemes 124 high quality injection moulded plastic parts Optional fuselage spine corrugations, foot steps, propellers, Daimler-Mercedes 180hp D.IIIa & 200hp D.IIIau engine details and “wings removed” diorama display option Authentically reproduced corrugated Duralumin surface details, lapped panels & hatches and raised rivets 11 photo-etched metal detail parts No interplane struts and (almost) no rigging makes this model the perfect introduction to First World War aircraft modelling. Sprue A As is the norm with Wingnuts kits, this sprue contains the majority of detail parts, with the exception of the engine itself. If you’re technically minded, then this particular model will really provide you with some stimuli. As with Hawker fighter aircraft of a generation further on, the Junkers D.1 is built around a tubular steel centre-section which incorporates the cockpit and engine bearer supports, plus connections onto which the main wing panels would secure (the wings on the D.1 were detachable). Work starts, predictably, on that cockpit, with a centre section that is built upon a central arrangement of sheet metal and various angled tubes. This part is moulded as a single piece in what can only be described as superb engineering on the part of WNW. Onto this fits a firewall with corrugated details and fuel gauges. This also incorporates the ammunition magazines and empty belt box. With this section complete, it is then fitted to a lower fuselage that includes the lower cowl section before the rudder pedal and control column unit are installed. Our pilot is then to be sandwiched in between the square-section cockpit side frames, with more corrugated detail and places for a grease pump, fuel tank pressurising pump and spark advance lever to be fitted. These details, as with the frames, are superb. Although the frames are square, look alongside the edges and you’ll see a fine lip with raised riveting. Very impressive. The little things mean a lot. In some attempt to lighten things overall, the rear bulkhead onto which the pilot’s seat installs, appears to have a fabric covering, with a very faint ripple detected in the surface texture. The seat itself is moulded in two parts, with the lower seat cushion having the mounting framework attached. A small tag in the rear seat locates into the bulkhead, providing a 100% sure system of installation. This is now installed into the cockpit, along with a set of nicely etched PE seatbelts. You’ll notice that the instrument board in the D.1 is a very simple affair and is moulded as a single piece. Unlike other WNW kits though, there are some small PE switches to install to this. Small holes exist to insert these into, but I would recommend drilling them out a little more with a micro drill bit. With this installed, the actual engine bearers are now added to the burgeoning assembly. This sprue also contains a few other key items for the airframe. These include the undercarriage v-struts with superb elastic bungee cord details, axle with a separate corrugated under-sheet, and wheels with separate outer hubs and their delicately tooled CONTINENTAL text. Of particular note here is the LMG08/15 Spandau assembly. Yes…assembly. These aren’t provided as individual guns, but instead they are moulded with their respective breech mounting blocks and just the solid cooling jackets in situ. Various other bits of interconnecting plumbing are included. To use the standard detail version, you must snip the inner barrel from the breech block and install to the aforementioned assembly. If you want to use the high detail option, then you fit the PE cooling jackets to the moulded guns and instead remove the solid cooling jacket from the all-in-one assembly. This model can be built with the wings removed, in case you want to create a workshop diorama etc. In order to do this, tube and frame wing ribs are moulded here, and these will insert to the wing root once the upper corrugated inboard wing panels are installed. Sprue B The very essence of the D.1 can now be seen as we take a first look at that corrugated external skin. This sprue contains the upper and lower wing panels, and the separate ailerons. You’ll see just how deep the wing chord is when you look at these parts. So as to eliminate any compression between the upper and lower panels, stiffening ribs are moulded within the wing and these line up on each panel so cement can be run along them, ensuring a rock solid final assembly. Externally, WNW really has nailed that corrugated detail, but then again, they had plenty of practice with the J.1 which formed one of their first four releases. Rivet lines can be seen running every few corrugations, lining up with what would be the internal rib construction. Each upper panel has a hole into which the aileron actuator rods will disappear. Those ailerons are moulded as single pieces, along with their actuator rods. Care will most definitely be needed here so as not to break them off. Sprue D Here we have all the remaining main airframe components, such as the lower fuselage with integral tailskid, fuselage sides, optional detail fuselage spines, engine cowls, full span stabiliser, full span elevator, and single piece rudder. Details on the lower fuselage are exquisite, with nicely pinched corrugated wing root details and positive rear v-strut undercarriage mounting points. Due to the nature of the open cockpit, it goes without saying that WNW has had to extend the corrugated details into the interior of the fuselage, and this can be seen here. The ejector pin marks in the non-corrugated band will be covered over with the lower inside tubular and corrugated frame part onto which the cockpit is built. Another nice touch designed to make our lives a little easier. I must admit that I find this rather dumpy-looking fighter quick attractive, and those lines are clearly seen with the fuselage halves, moulded with the wing root fairing. Only the very rear of the fuselage isn’t corrugated, with a small amount of flat plate metal seen here. Locating positions for the lifting handles are clearly seen. One of the schemes needs a small section of plastic removing from the forward cockpit coaming area. This is clearly defined and will be an easy task to perform. As previously stated, the engine cowls are separate parts and have corrugated details both inside and outside. Within the fuselage halves, the corrugations continue with smooth lines into which the cockpit side frames will sit, along with those lipped and riveted edges. Corrugations extend into the engine bay, of course. \ Note that this fuselage has a separate spine. This is because there are two slightly different corrugation patterns. I had to look twice to notice, and I’m sure most of us wouldn’t have missed it had WNW not included the option. That goes to show their level of research. These parts are designed to properly locate to the fuselage via tabs that plug into the false spine that runs along the top of the fuselage halves. The stabiliser is provided as a full span part that is moulded as upper and lower panels and although corrugated, has a smooth leading edge that will make the seam easy to remove As for the elevator, this is also moulded full span and as a single piece. The trailing edge on this is superbly thin with a slightly kinked lip where the plated would be riveted together. You can just about feel this on the part. The same effect can be felt on the rudder, which is moulded with an integral rudder post. Sprue E Depending on your scheme, this model can be fitted with either a 180hp Daimler-Mercedes D.IIIa or 200hp D.IIIaü. Apart from a little extra water piping and some over-compression red bands on the cylinders, there is no difference between the two engines. As I always say, the engine is a model in itself, but with this one, ensure you use the correct parts as there aren’t any shaded out on the instructions, and I know there is only one sump option to be used here, for example. Details are again superb, from those detailed crankcase parts, to the cylinders, rocker heads, magneto and ignition conduits. The only thing you might consider adding are the ignition leads, and perhaps even the excellent Taurus spark plugs. I have to say that not much else is really needed as Wingnut Wings standalone engine is just a work of art. Photo Etch Eleven parts are included as PE here, and supplied on a single, bare brass fret. These parts concern the seatbelts, MG cooling jackets and sight reticules (for the high detail option), plus instrument board switches. Production is of a very high standard with thin tags holding the parts in place. Decals A single sheet is supplied with this release, printed by Cartograf. WNW claims that the decals are extra thin is for a reason. Remember, you need to get these to settle into the corrugated skin of this fighter. That thinness is a necessity. Decals supplied here are for the national markings (split for the ailerons), various colour bands and serials. The lower section of this sheet contains the various stencils and instrument decals. Printing really is very thin, and carrier film is at a bare minimum. Colour density is excellent, and registration is perfect. The five schemes in this release are: Junkers D.1, 5185/18, Adlershof, October 1918 Junkers D.1, 5185/18, “Bänder”. Hombeek, Marine-Feld-Jagdgeschwader, November 1918 Junkers D.1, 5184/18?. “Weißer Schwanz”, Hombeek, Marine-Feld-Jagdgeschwader, November 1918 Junkers D.1, 5188/18?, “11”, October 1918 Junkers D.1, Gotthard Sachsenberg (31 victories), Theodore Osterkamp (38 victories) & Josef Jacobs (48 victories), FA 416, September – October 1919 Instructions A 24-page A4 manual is included and is every bit as good as we have come to expect. After a decent history on the type (a part of which briefly introduced this article), followed by a paint chart (Tamiya, Hymbrol and FS codes) and parts map. Construction is via by means of line drawing type illustrations, with good use of shading and coloured ink to denote part/assembly placement, and the drawings are clearly annotated throughout with colour reference and other codes. Some colour assembly illustration is supplied (cockpit, engine etc.) and a number of period photos litter the manual. You will note that some rigging is required, but only in the cockpit area for cables etc. This model is simplicity itself when it comes to this. The last pages of the manual are given over to the five schemes, ably and superbly illustrated by Ronny Bar, with colour reference details and historical notes given. Scheme colour details and decal placement are clear to follow. More period illustrations are supplied too. Conclusion Well, I’m seriously impressed with this release and it really is good to see it finally in a realscale. Details are commensurate with what we have come to expect from WNW, and you’ll certainly not be disappointed, despite the relatively low parts count. This is an important type, directly linked to the future development of the metal monoplane fighter of WW2, and it is captured here splendidly. I really do hope we seen plenty of these being built. This is also one of WNW’s cheaper releases, and I have a feeling that it’ll sell rather well. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Wingnut Wingsfor the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  4. 1/48 Junkers Ju 88A-4/Torp ICM Catalogue # 48236 Available from Hannants for £27.99 The Junkers Ju 88 was a German World War II Luftwaffe twin-engine multirole combat aircraft. Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke (JFM) designed the plane in the mid-1930s as a so-called Schnellbomber ("fast bomber") that would be too fast for fighters of its era to intercept. It suffered from a number of technical problems during later stages of its development and early operational roles, but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Like several other Luftwaffe bombers, it served as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter and, during the closing stages of the conflict in Europe, as a flying bomb. Despite its protracted development, the aircraft became one of the Luftwaffe's most important assets. The assembly line ran constantly from 1936 to 1945 and more than 16,000 Ju 88s were built in dozens of variants, more than any other twin-engine German aircraft of the period. Throughout production the basic structure of the aircraft remained unchanged. Without a doubt, the Junkers Ju 88 was one of the most versatile and adaptable aircraft to have been used during WW2. Entering service as the war was literally starting (on the day of the Polish attack), the Ju 88 became successful for its numerous famous and infamous roles, starting out as a light bomber/dive bomber, and when losses started to mount around the time of the Battle of Britain, it was moved into other theatres of war, such as North Africa, and against shipping in the Mediterranean with a torpedo-carrying variant. Where it is perhaps best known are for its roles as both a heavy fighter and night-fighter, in which it excelled. Perhaps a lesser-known role for the Ju 88 was that of torpedo bomber. The A-4 was modified to carry two LTF5b torpedos, and were used in anti-shipping operations in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. The A-4/Torp was also converted to the A-17, with the ventral gondola removed and a nose housing for the aiming mechanism. This particular machine also had a dedicated torpedo rack instead of the bomb racks used on the A-4/Torp. Courtesy of Wikipedia. The kit There has certainly been some mileage seen in the moulds for ICM’s rather sweet Ju 88 kit, with there now being TEN incarnations that have been released across the ICM, Hasegawa, Special Hobby and Revell labels, with Special Hobby creating their own resin and injection plastic parts to accompany the base ICM plastic. This particular Ju 88A-4/Torp version was released about mid-2017, but I’ve only just managed to get my hands on a sample. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see more incarnations of this kit in future, hopefully covering a number of the other exotic machines that were derived from the base Ju 88 airframe. There is of course a reason why we are seeing this kit being given multiple releases and that is simply because it is the definitive tooling of this important aircraft that is currently available, and with so many Ju 88 versions that existed, modellers are going to want to build the one that is specific to their interests, such as the heavy fighter, torpedo aircraft etc. Packaged into ICM’s very sturdy, full corrugated cardboard box, with a colourful and glossy product lid that depicts a low flying A-4/Torp that has just dropped a single torpedo, this kit consists of a single clear sleeve that holds all TEN medium-grey sprues and a single clear one. A total of about 250 parts makes up this release. Thankfully, the clear sprue is separately bagged within the main sleeve and all of the others are tightly packed up against each other, so no space for them to jiggle and rub against each other. A 24-page A4 manual is included, and a single decal sheet finalises the contents. I know that some modellers can be driven to frustration by the engineering choices that some companies make, but with this kit, ICM has boxed clever. As we know, it has been designed to accommodate other versions so as to maximise the tooling, but none of this is done to the disadvantage of the modeller. Some very intelligent design work can be seen here, such as the fuselage halves being full length, so no need to graft on different nose versions. The fin is also separate, indicating something from the 88G family, maybe. Wing root fairings are moulded to the fuselage and are tabbed, meaning that the upper wing panels can easily sit on these and provide a positive location point. Another touch of genius is a single piece lower fuse and inboard wing panel section. When this is fitted to the fuselage, and then the wing panels added, the lower seam will be totally hidden under the broad nacelle structure. The nacelles themselves will then locate into the undersides via tabs. If you’ve ever seen the Revell 1/32 kit, you’ll know that there is a sturdy structure within the nacelle that the undercarriage is mounted to. Looking at this model, I think that whilst you may need to fit that mounting structure prior to the nacelle, it appears that you can probably fit the landing gear later, after painting. All control surfaces on this model can be posed, with the rear of the nacelles being separate for this purpose. You may need to fiddle things with this, and I can’t comment further without test fitting this one. Two detailed Jumo211 engines are included in this kit, with the provision to display one/either of them. These really do look very good, with each unit containing around 15 parts per engine, including the firewall and associated plumbing. The engines must be installed within the nacelle before the whole assembly is offered to the wing. You’ll need to make sure your painting and masking regime is good here. Cowl radiator flaps are presented as open only, so to pose these in the more aesthetically pleasing closed position, you will need to do a little surgery. Propellers are supplied as single piece units, and the spinner comprises of the typical back-plate and front section. If you expect a lot from the cockpit area, in terms of detail, then this won’t disappoint. Whilst there is no specific Eduard sets for this release at the time of writing, some areas could still use some of the sets designed for the ICM release. As no seatbelts are included in this kit, you will definitely need to sort out that omission. The office area is very well-appointed, with nicely moulded fuselage sidewall details, superbly equipped radio rear bulkhead, ammunition racks and drums, detailed instrument panel, side consoles with delicately rendered instruments, two-piece control column, rudder pedal assemblies, seats with intricate mounting points etc. I don’t really think there would be much to add in here, with the exception of some colour PE, perhaps. When assembled the cockpit will most certainly be a very busy and visual area. The bola gondola is well-appointed too, and this area is moulded separately to the underside fuselage, and can be fitted later in assembly. Surface detail is everything you would expect from a modern-tooled model, with finely engraved panel lines and port details. There are also no rivets at all, so if you do want them, then you’ll have to get out Rosie. Plastic quality here is excellent with no flaws or obtrusive ejector pin marks. Clear plastic parts, both ICM and Special Hobby, are superb, with excellent clarity and nicely defined frame details. Of course, this particular kit does vary in a number of aspects, from previous releases, and looking through the parts maps does indicate a large number of parts that should NOT be used with this particular release. In fact, the original Sprue C has been supplemented with Sprue C1. This contains whole new engine nacelles, propellers, spinners, annular radiator intakes, tabbed fin and rudder, fuselage spine section with dipole etc. Parts not to be used are clearly defined on the parts map by being shaded in pink. Another sprue that takes a major hit on unused parts is the engine sprue. Here, you can discount all of the bomb parts, and guns/ammo drums etc. There are THREE new sprues in this particular torpedo bomber version, and it will come as no surprise to find out that two of these, H1 & H2, contain the torpedoes and bomb racks. The torpedoes themselves are moulded as halves, with separate propulsion impellors and a fin modification unit that is similar to the ones that the Japanese used on their torpedoes at Pearl Harbour, allowing the torpedo to operate very close to the water’s surface. Detail on these is excellent, and laden with two of these, this Ju 88 version should look particularly unusual and menacing. The last new sprue here, G, contains guns for the various flexible mounts, and also optional exhaust shrouds. Decals An ICM-printed decal sheet contains markings for FOUR marking schemes, with all printing being in solid, authentic colour, with minimal carrier film and also being both nice and thin. Registration is perfect too. As well as markings, a full suite of stencils are included as are instrument decals. The instruments are probably better punched out from the decal and applied individually, so you don’t have to attempt to get the decal to conform to the raised panel details. The four schemes in this release are: Ju 88A-4/Torp, 8./KG26, Grosseto, Italy, late 1942 Ju 88A-4/Torp, 1./KG77, Italy, September 1943 Ju 88A-4/Torp, 7./KG77, Orange-Karitat, Southern France, April 1944 Ju 88A-4/Torp, 3./KG26, Bardufoss, Norway, February 1945 Instructions ICM’s instruction manuals are very attractive and easy to follow, with 103 easy-to-follow stages that shouldn’t present any issues with assembly. The first part of the manual highlights the colours needed for completing this model (Revell and Tamiya paints), as well as parts maps of the sprues. The rear of the manual has two pages for the four schemes, printed in colour and with good decal placement notes, plus a page denoting stencil placement etc. Conclusion Another excellent Ju 88 release, and as this is Revell, you know that the price point is spot on. This kit currently retails for around £30 or less in the UK, and I think that relates to excellent value for money when you look at the detail levels that are provided here. The A-4 was a pretty common variant from around the end of the BoB until the latter stages of the war, so I’m pleased to see this rather unusual variant counting itself amongst them. I certainly hope to see more in future. This kit doesn’t have any PE parts, so for at least the seatbelts, you might want to consider some of Eduard’s aftermarket sets for the other ICM/Revell variants. Most parts will be completely usable in this release. Of course, this is an in-box review, and I’ve not looked at the fit of this. I have seen a small number of Ju 88 kits built though, and spoken to modellers who have built others, and they claim no real problems in construction. ICM’s engineering seems to be logical and sensible, and without the annoyances of the earlier, unrelated Dragon releases. Highly Recommended My thanks to ICM for the review sample seen in this article. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  5. 1/48 Junkers Ju 88D-2/D-4 Special Hobby Kit # SH48178 Available from Special Hobby for around €44,73 Without a doubt, the Junkers Ju 88 was one of the most versatile and adaptable aircraft to have been used during WW2. Entering service as the war was literally starting (on the day of the Polish attack), the Ju 88 became successful for its numerous famous and infamous roles, starting out as a light bomber/dive bomber, and when losses started to mount around the time of the Battle of Britain, it was moved into other theatres of war, such as North Africa, and against shipping in the Mediterranean with a torpedo-carrying variant. Where it is perhaps best known are for its roles as both a heavy fighter and night-fighter, in which it excelled. The C version, which is the subject of this kit, saw the glass nose replaced with a sheet metal unit, carrying a lethal punch of four fixed guns (1 x MG FF cannon, and 3 x MG17). This was the version which eventually morphed into the deadly Ju 88G, with its revised fin and night-fighting equipment, including spine mounted, upward firing guns and lack of the bola. Many of the C version machines were built from converted A-1 and A-4 airframes, and still retained the ability to also carry bombs. To deceive enemy fighters, a number of these heavy fighters had their noses painted to represent the glazed nose A variants. The kit ICM seem to be favourites for other companies to re-box at the moment, with this latest Special Hobby kit, along with their recent Ju 88C-4 release, being of Ukrainian origin. ICM’s base kit was first released in 2015, as the A-5, with further subsequent ICM and Hasegawa boxings. However, this is the first time that we’ve seen a ‘D’ version of this kit. This quirk is due to the majority of the kit being ICM, coupled with new injection-moulded and resin parts from Special Hobby themselves. So, if you want a recently new-tooled Ju 88 that is marketed as the Photo Recon/Tropical version, then this is one you may well opt to buy. This kit itself is packaged into a fairly large box with a nice painting of a Ju 88 being pursued by a P-40. The lid is quite a tight fit, but when you get this off, the parts within are packaged into a single clear sleeve, with the clear sprue being separately packed. A cardboard shelf sits over one side of the inner box, with the decal sheet and resin parts securely fastened to it, as well as the brand new Special Hobby clear sprue. An A4 colour-printed instruction manual resides in the bottom of the box. As for the plastic itself, there are SEVEN sprues of light grey ICM plastic and one sprue of ICM clear plastic. This is alongside a single sprue of light grey Special Hobby plastic and one extra clear sprue from this company. There are also 8 extra parts, cast in dark grey resin. I know that some modellers can be driven to frustration by the engineering choices that some companies make, but with this kit, ICM has boxed clever. It is designed to accommodate other versions so as to maximise the tooling, but none of this is done to the disadvantage of the modeller. Some very intelligent design work can be seen here, such as the fuselage halves being full length, so no need to graft on different nose versions. The fin is also separate, indicating something from the 88G family, maybe. Wing root fairings are moulded to the fuselage and are tabbed, meaning that the upper wing panels can easily sit on these and provide a positive location point. Another touch of genius is a single piece lower fuse and inboard wing panel section. When this is fitted to the fuselage, and then the wing panels added, the lower seam will be totally hidden under the broad nacelle structure. The nacelles themselves will then locate into the undersides via tabs. If you’ve ever seen the Revell 1/32 kit, you’ll know that there is a sturdy structure within the nacelle that the undercarriage is mounted to. Looking at this model, I think that whilst you may need to fit that mounting structure prior to the nacelle, it appears that you can probably fit the landing gear later, after painting. All control surfaces on this model can be posed, with the rear of the nacelles being separate for this purpose. You may need to fiddle things with this, and I can’t comment further without test fitting this one. Two detailed Jumo211 engines are included in this kit, with the provision to display one/either of them. These really do look very good, with each unit containing around 15 parts per engine, including the firewall and associated plumbing. One scheme that has standard day splinter camo, will use the plastic kit parts for exhausts. For the other two night schemes, a set of resin exhaust flame dampers are included. It does appear that the rear of the resin flame dampers contains a block that represents the visible connection between the damper and the engine. So, all should be good in opening the cowls with these installed. Check your references. The engines must be installed within the nacelle before the whole assembly is offered to the wing. You’ll need to make sure your painting and masking regime is good here. Cowl radiator flaps are presented as open only, so to pose these in the more aesthetically pleasing closed position, you will need to do a little surgery. Propellers are supplied as single piece units, and the spinner comprises of the typical back-plate and front section. If you expect a lot from the cockpit area, in terms of detail, then this won’t disappoint. Whilst there are no specific Eduard sets for this release at the time of writing, some areas could still use some of the sets designed for the ICM release. I would at least recommend some seatbelts, at least. The office area is very well-appointed, with nicely moulded fuselage sidewall details, accompanied by a superbly equipped radio rear bulkhead. Unlike the previous C-4 nightfighter release, there are no resin ammunition racks and drums, resin instrument panel with this release. However, the model already comes with nicely detailed side consoles with delicately rendered instruments, two-piece control column, rudder pedal assemblies, seats with intricate mounting points etc. When assembled the cockpit will most certainly be a very busy and visual area. The bola is moulded separately to the underside fuselage, and can be fitted later in assembly. Surface detail is everything you would expect from a modern-tooled model, with finely engraved panel lines and port details. There are also no rivets at all, so if you do want them, then you’ll have to get out Rosie. Plastic quality here is excellent with no flaws or obtrusive ejector pin marks. Clear plastic parts, both ICM and Special Hobby, are superb, with excellent clarity and nicely defined frame details. Three options are provided for the rear canopy, with weapon’s placements, and you’ll need to make sure you use the new main canopy provided on the Special Hobby sprue, and not the original ICM part. To convert this model to the D-2/D-4 standard, some surgery will be required. This involved cutting away the plastic at the rear fuselage area of the wing centre section, and grafting into it a new fuselage section that is moulded in clear plastic, incorporating the clear windows for the downward-facing cameras. This unit is built up as a tray, with stanchions and brackets inside onto which are mounted the camera units. The difference between the D-2 and D-4 versions are nil. On the real aircraft, there was a tropicalisation within the engine units, with no external signs of variant change. I suppose the only real way of telling was if the aircraft was in desert camouflage! The resin parts in this kit do more than simply provide the aforementioned conversion parts for the D-2/D--4. They also provide enhancements over general kit detail, such as nicely weighted wheels and new tailwheel and mudguard. Unlike the previous C-4 version, this kit doesn’t supply the replacement main gear doors with internal detail missing on the kit parts. That is a shame, but I’m sure those can be purchased separately. All parts are nicely cast in dark grey resin, with no flaws. Of course, you will need to remove casting blocks, but looking at these pieces, that won’t be too difficult a task for the average modeller. A Cartograf-printed decal sheet contains markings for THREE markings, with all printing being in solid, authentic colour, with minimal carrier film and also being both nice and thin. Registration is perfect too. As well as markings, a full suite of stencils are included as are instrument decals. The three schemes are: Ju 88D-4, 7A+GH, 1.(F)/121, North Africa Ju 88D-2, 4N+FH, 1.(F)/22, Norway Ju 88D-2, F9+15, long-range reconnaissance squadron, Royal Hungarian Air Force Conclusion It’s great to have a modern tool Ju 88D-2/D-4, and one whose base plastic can now put the maligned Dragon versions out to pasture, plus the poorly-executed Hobbycraft release. This kit has everything; a great cockpit, two detailed engines and the excellent camera conversion set. I can’t see anything here that would challenge your average modeller, and the price-point is also very attractive, with this kit retailing for around £38 in the UK (as of time of writing). If you have ever hankered to build a tropicalized version of the Ju 88, then this blend of both ICM and Special Hobby parts should be high on your purchase list. Highly recommended My thanks to Special Hobby for this review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE
  6. 1/48 Junkers Ju 88C-4 Special Hobby Kit # SH48177 Special Hobby for 49,70€ Without a doubt, the Junkers Ju 88 was one of the most versatile and adaptable aircraft to have been used during WW2. Entering service as the war was literally starting (on the day of the Polish attack), the Ju 88 became successful for its numerous famous and infamous roles, starting out as a light bomber/dive bomber, and when losses started to mount around the time of the Battle of Britain, it was moved into other theatres of war, such as North Africa, and against shipping in the Mediterranean with a torpedo-carrying variant. Where it is perhaps best known are for its roles as both a heavy fighter and night-fighter, in which it excelled. The C version, which is the subject of this kit, saw the glass nose replaced with a sheet metal unit, carrying a lethal punch of four fixed guns (1 x MG FF cannon, and 3 x MG17). This was the version which eventually morphed into the deadly Ju 88G, with its revised fin and night-fighting equipment, including spine mounted, upward firing guns and lack of the bola. Many of the C version machines were built from converted A-1 and A-4 airframes, and still retained the ability to also carry bombs. To deceive enemy fighters, a number of these heavy fighters had their noses painted to represent the glazed nose A variants. The kit ICM seem to be favourites for other companies to re-box at the moment, with this latest Special Hobby release also being of Ukrainian origin. ICM’s base kit was first released in 2015, as the A-5, with further subsequent ICM and Hasegawa boxings. However, this is the first time that we’ve seen a solid nose C version of this kit. This quirk is due to the majority of the kit being ICM, coupled with new injection-moulded and resin parts from Special Hobby themselves. So, if you want a recently new-tooled Ju 88 that is a night fighter, then this is one you may well opt to buy. This kit itself is packaged into a fairly large box with an atmospheric artwork of a black 88C at dusk, after an encounter with a Wellington. The lid is quite a tight fit, but when you get this off, the parts within are packaged into a single clear sleeve, with the clear sprue being separately packed. A cardboard shelf sits over one side of the inner box, with the decal sheet and resin parts securely fastened to it, as well as the brand new Special Hobby clear sprue. An A4 colour-printed instruction manual resides in the bottom of the box. As for the plastic itself, there are SEVEN sprues of light grey ICM plastic and one sprue of ICM clear plastic. This is alongside a single sprue of light grey Special Hobby plastic and one extra clear sprue from this company. There are also 24 extra parts, cast in dark grey resin. I know that some modellers can be driven to frustration by the engineering choices that some companies make, but with this kit, ICM has boxed clever. It is designed to accommodate other versions so as to maximise the tooling, but none of this is done to the disadvantage of the modeller. Some very intelligent design work can be seen here, such as the fuselage halves being full length, so no need to graft on different nose versions. The fin is also separate, indicating something from the 88G family, maybe. Wing root fairings are moulded to the fuselage and are tabbed, meaning that the upper wing panels can easily sit on these and provide a positive location point. Another touch of genius is a single piece lower fuse and inboard wing panel section. When this is fitted to the fuselage, and then the wing panels added, the lower seam will be totally hidden under the broad nacelle structure. The nacelles themselves will then locate into the undersides via tabs. If you’ve ever seen the Revell 1/32 kit, you’ll know that there is a sturdy structure within the nacelle that the undercarriage is mounted to. Looking at this model, I think that whilst you may need to fit that mounting structure prior to the nacelle, it appears that you can probably fit the landing gear later, after painting. All control surfaces on this model can be posed, with the rear of the nacelles being separate for this purpose. You may need to fiddle things with this, and I can’t comment further without test fitting this one. Two detailed Jumo211 engines are included in this kit, with the provision to display one/either of them. These really do look very good, with each unit containing around 15 parts per engine, including the firewall and associated plumbing. One scheme that has standard day splinter camo, will use the plastic kit parts for exhausts. For the other two night schemes, a set of resin exhaust flame dampers are included. It does appear that the rear of the resin flame dampers contains a block that represents the visible connection between the damper and the engine. So, all should be good in opening the cowls with these installed. Check your references. The engines must be installed within the nacelle before the whole assembly is offered to the wing. You’ll need to make sure your painting and masking regime is good here. Cowl radiator flaps are presented as open only, so to pose these in the more aesthetically pleasing closed position, you will need to do a little surgery. Propellers are supplied as single piece units, and the spinner comprises of the typical back-plate and front section. If you expect a lot from the cockpit area, in terms of detail, then this won’t disappoint. Whilst there is no specific Eduard sets for this release at the time of writing, some areas could still use some of the sets designed for the ICM release, but you must remember that this model has a number of cockpit changes. Thankfully, Special Hobby has included these as resin parts, so you don’t need to rush to order aftermarket, except for seatbelts, at least. The office area is very well-appointed, with nicely moulded fuselage sidewall details, accompanied by a choice of 2 differently equipped radio rear bulkheads, resin ammunition racks and drums (for the forward guns), resin instrument panel, side consoles with delicately rendered instruments, two-piece control column, rudder pedal assemblies, seats with intricate mounting points etc. The other resin parts within this area relate to the nose weapons pack, including another ammunition box, gunner seat and mount, and the gun unit itself. The latter is mostly made up from parts from the new Special Hobby conversion sprue, as is the solid nose and its firewall. When assembled the cockpit will most certainly be a very busy and visual area. The bola gondola is well-appointed too, with a number of resin parts helping to fit it out. This area is moulded separately to the underside fuselage, and can be fitted later in assembly. ***A quick note here…Special Hobby has incorrectly listed the original gondola parts on Sprue A to be used. This is WRONG! Special Hobby’s new sprue has the parts you SHOULD use. This is backed up on the parts plan at the beginning of the manual, but incorrect numbers are shown on assembly*** Surface detail is everything you would expect from a modern-tooled model, with finely engraved panel lines and port details. There are also no rivets at all, so if you do want them, then you’ll have to get out Rosie. Plastic quality here is excellent with no flaws or obtrusive ejector pin marks. Clear plastic parts, both ICM and Special Hobby, are superb, with excellent clarity and nicely defined frame details. Three options are provided for the rear canopy, with weapon’s placements, and you’ll need to make sure you use the new main canopy provided on the Special Hobby sprue, and not the original ICM part. The resin parts in this kit do more than simply provide the aforementioned conversion parts for the C-4. They also provide enhancements over general kit detail, such as nicely weighted wheels, new tailwheel and mudguard, replacement main gear doors with internal detail missing on kit parts. All parts are nicely cast in dark grey resin, with no flaws. Of course, you will need to remove casting blocks, but looking at these pieces, that won’t be too difficult a task for the average modeller. A Cartograf-printed decal sheet contains markings for THREE markings, with all printing being in solid, authentic colour, with minimal carrier film and also being both nice and thin. Registration is perfect too. As well as markings, a full suite of stencils are included as are instrument decals. The three schemes are: Ju 88C-4, R4+MK, W.Nr.0359, 2/NJG2, Glize-Rijen, May 1941 Ju 88C-4, R4+MT, 9/NJG2, Glize-Rijen, Summer 1942 Ju 88C-4, R4+DL, 3/NJG2, Catania, Sicily, May 1942 Conclusion It’s great to have a modern tool Ju 88C-4 that can now put the maligned Dragon versions out to pasture, plus the poorly-executed Hobbycraft release. This kit has everything; a great cockpit with resin details, two detailed engines and some nice sub-variant options such as the canopy parts. I can’t see anything here that would challenge your average modeller, and the price-point is also very attractive, with this kit retailing for around £45 in the UK (as of time of writing). If you have ever hankered to build the heavy fighter version of the Ju 88, then this blend of both ICM and Special Hobby parts should be high on your purchase list. Highly recommended My thanks to Special Hobby for this review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE
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