|KIT:||Hasegawa 1/32 Ju-87G-2 Stuka|
|PRICE:||¥ 5400 at www.hlj.com|
|NOTES:||New mold kit|
Prior to the invasion of Russia, the Luftwaffe had determined that dive-bombing was the proper way to attack armored vehicles. However, June 26, 1941, Stuka Geschwader 2 attacked 60 Soviet tanks south of Grodno, later discovering that only one had been knocked out. During the rest of 1941 and 1942, the inadequacy of dive-bombing tanks became more and more evident.
In answer to this problem, a Ju-87D-3 was converted in 1942 to carry a pair of 37mm Flak 18 cannon, slung outboard of the main landing gear. This became the Ju-87G-1, Originally, these cannon were detachable, and could be replaced with bomb racks when not used for attacking tanks. The aircraft was tested operationally that summer by several pilots, including Oberleutnant Hans-Ulrich Rudel. In late 1942, a Panzerjaeger staffel was formed within St.G.2, which enjoyed such success that, after October 1943, a similar unit was added to each Stuka Geschwader. The Ju-87G-2, based on the Ju-87D-5 airframe with extended wingtips, replaced the Ju-81G-1s during 1944. This was a dedicated Kannonenvogel, with no secondary dive-bombing capability.
The Ju-87 was already slow and unwieldy before being equipped with the twin Flak 18 cannon, and was easy prey for Soviet fighters. By the fall of 1944, only Rudel’s Schlachtgeschwader 2 still operated the Ju-87D and Ju-87G-2 for daylight operations, together with two Panzerjaeger staffels, 10.(Pz)/SG 2 and 10 (Pz)/SG 77.
During the war, Rudel was credited with the destruction of 519 Soviet tanks while flying the Ju-87G-1 and Ju-87G-2.
Prior to this release, the only 1/32 Stuka available was an excellent all-resin kit by Jerry Rutman. This kit by Hasegawa follows their policy of releasing a solid basic kit, that can be built out-of-the box by the average modeler to result in a good-looking modeler, without lots of “bells and whistles” in terms of kit-provided super-detail.
The molding of the 208 kit parts is crisp, with engraved panel and rivet detail. In reality, the Stuka did not have a flush-riveted airframe, but this is a small point and the completed model will look very good under a coat of paint with this level of surface detail. (Editor's Note: I've shown two of the sprues so you can get an idea of how the kit is molded)
The cockpit is not as detailed as a resin cockpit would be, but there is enough there to have a good-looking result with an out-of-the-box build. The clear canopies are very thin and very clear, and there will be no problem posing them in the open position. The only thing the cockpit lacks are seatbelts, which are easily-obtainable from aftermarket companies.
With a separate engine cowling, as well as separate extended wingtips, it is obvious that other versions of the Stuka will show up down the line, including the earlier Ju-87B/R. In fact, the bomb racks and dive brakes for a Ju-87D are already in the kit, listed in the instructions as “not to be used.”
The kit decals are good and provide markings for a Ju-87G-2 flown by Rudel, and for another SG 2 Stuka. Commendably, they are thinner than previous Hasegawa decals, and the white areas really are white. Using these will be no problem, though I personally plan to use the newly-released decals from Eagle Editions on mine.
The first run of this kit, which can be obtained from HobbyLink Japan, includes white metal figures of Rudel and his Alsatian dog.
This is definitely one of the best 1/32 kits released, and demonstrates that Hasegawa is paying close attention to their major competitor, Trumpeter, in terms of improved surface detail. The kit presents no problems that I have been able to find in test-fitting parts. If you’ve been thinking about trying one of the new 1/32 kits, this would be a good one to pick up. For what you get in the box, the price is more than reasonable. I had to exercise massive self-discipline to keep working on my current review projects and not dive right in to this - it is at the top of the “to do” pile.
Review kit courtesy of HobbyLink Japan - www.hlj.com
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