Revell 1/32 Junkers Ju-88A-1
|PRICE:||11,800 yen at www.hlj.com ($79.00 MSRP US)|
Pilot reports of both prototypes were so enthusiastic that the RLM ordered three more prototypes. In 1938, the RLM added the requirement that the airplane be capable of precision dive bombing, which resulted in the Ju-88-V4, and finally the Ju-88-V6, which represented the first production series, the Ju-88A-1.
When Revell of Germany first announced last year that they would release a Ju-88A-1 that was based on an actual Ju-88A-1 raised from a lake in Norway, modelers were agog at the thought, particularly with the low price of around $45 that was set. That price has increased as international finance has played holy hell with exchange rates, but for what is there, the kit is a major bargain.
Decals are provided for three aircraft, though there are no swastikas.
The only problem is that the kit does not include the four underwing bomb racks, which almost all Ju-88s were equipped with. Fortunately, Jerry Rutman quickly came to the rescue with a set of resin bomb racks that sell for $20, along with three SC 250 bombs and a SC 500 bomb for an additional $15.
While there are no seatbelts and no instrument panel decals provided, Eduard has just released two excellent photoetch sets that include complete seat belts and highly detailed instrument panels.
I began construction by assembling the wings and tail surfaces, including the main bases of the main landing gear, which I then set aside as I proceeded to the daunting task of assembling the cockpit.
While the cockpit is complex, it is
not complicated if you commit the radical act of following the instructions.
I painted all the parts with Xtracrylix
RLM 66 Schwartzgrau before proceeding with
assembly. I also painted the leather padding with Xtracrylix RLM 81
I used the Eduard seatbelts, which really add to the
look of the cockpit.
I did not yet have the instrument panel photoetch sheet,
and so did the instruments with instrument face decals from bits and parts of
other decal sheets.
I would highly recommend the Eduard set, which will
really add to the final look.
Once the cockpit parts were in place, it was time to assemble the fuselage, which comes in four parts, and turns out to be quite difficult to fit. I checked with Brett Green about his experience, and he had the same difficulties. I started by attaching the upper and lower parts to the right fuselage half, which had most of the cockpit, then began fitting the left half, starting with the cockpit and working back an inch at a time, clamping with rubber bands, to the tail. Once this had set up, I applied C-A glue to the really heavy seams, sanded them smooth, then applied Tamiya’s “Mr. Surfacer” substitute, sanded smooth again, and then rescribed the panel lines.
Once this was accomplished, the rest of the assembly was straightforward. I attached the wings and tail surfaces, and the control surfaces - with the elevators “drooped.”
I then assembled and attached the Rutman resin bomb racks, which needed a bit of gap-filling once they were in position on the lower wing surface.
It was time to mask off all that glass. I used Tamiya tape, and the process took several hours over a couple of days to accomplish. I would recommend you get the Eduard pre-cut mask sheet, which will make things much easier.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
After I pre-shaded the panel lines with flat black, the model was painted with Xtracrylix RLM65 Hellblau, RLM70 Schwartzgrun and RLM71 Dunkelgrun. When this was fully dry, I gave the model a coat of Future.
The kit decals need a bit of extra help in settling in, so I used Solvaset on them. The very complete stenciling is a bit difficult to scope out from the decal instructions, but the result is worth the effort. I used swastika decals from an Aeromaster sheet of swastikas.
I washed the model to get rid of decal solvent residue, then applied two coats of Xtracrylix Flat Varnish. When that was dry, I applied exhaust stains with Tamiya “Smoke,” then attached the wheels and props, and the very thin canopy radio antenna mast (which will break if you look at it wrong; be very careful separating it from the parts sprue). I mounted the rear guns in position, and unmasked the canopy glass.
The account of the construction may sound easy, but be forewarned that this is a biiiiiiig project, just by the size of the model. The cockpit is an assembly project all on its own and requires every bit of effort you can put into detail painting. (I wish I had photos of the cockpit during assembly, but I discovered too late that the flash card I was using had been corrupted and the pictures were not useable.) Painting the exterior is right up there with painting a barn with a 12-inch brush as far as how time-consuming it is to get full cover without “holidays.” That said, the end result is a very nice model of the version of the Ju-88 I have always wanted to have in my collection. Any modeler of at least average ability, who has the patience to commit to the effort, can have a very impressive model as a result. Highly recommended.
Review kit courtesy of HobbyLink Japan -
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