Huma 1/72 Ju-287v1

KIT #

5001

PRICE:

$29.00 MSRP

DECALS:

One aircraft

REVIEWER:

Bryan Tucker

NOTES:

Weak, poor fitting landing gear

BACKGROUND

For a look at what's in the box and a brief history, please visit the preview.

CONSTRUCTION

 Like the typical boring aircraft modeler, I started construction in the cockpit.  Care must be taken with Huma’s signature micro plastic (my term) detail parts.  I find these provide as much detail as photo etch, but are much easier to work with.  The parts consist of cockpit side panels, rudder pedals, control column, etc.  Be careful how strong your glue is with these parts as they are delicate and might melt.  The cockpit was painted and assembled per instructions.  The level of detail is more than adequate for 1/72 scale, and is definitely visible through the greenhouse nose.  Super detailers have plenty of room to upgrade if they so wish.  Cockpit instruments are merely decals.  These went on without incident. 

 The completed cockpit was glued into the fuselage, and the halves closed (be sure to add your nose weight!).  Huma has thoughtfully provided separate fuel filler parts along the spine to prevent a nasty seam through the circular recessed panel.  Those of you who have built the Revell-Germany He 177 know what a pain this can be to clean up.  The separate parts fit well and required no filler.  The horizontal stabilizer is a one-piece affair that slides into place in the fuselage.  If you take great care about how you glue this, you should have no glue mess on the part (often a problem with slide-through construction – at least for me).  The wing halves were assembled with no incident, as were the engine pods.   All internal blades, exhaust cones, etc. were painted on the engines before assembly.  The wings were then glues to the fuselage.  The large interlocking tabs fit snugly and prevent misalignment of the wings (bravo Huma!).  The wing joint was so good that no filler was necessary.  Take your time with the installation of the lower front main gear/access hatch plate, as the fit is a bit finicky.  After careful adjustment and use of slow drying glue, a minimal amount of filling was done to fair this into the lower fuselage.  

 Next came the landing gear.  As Scott’s review points out, the landing gear legs appear thin and weak.  I can verify that they are.  The gear was the worst fitting part of the kit.  The wheel fairings would not fit around the wheel/leg assembly (both front and read gear) so considerable filling and sanding had to be done.  Once completed, the main gear will not line up with the mounting holes on the wings.  If you force the supports and legs into the holes on the wing, you will actually distort the shape of the gear leg.  In hindsight, I suggest filling the kit holes and making your own that will work with the parts.  The completed nose gear is so flimsy that I expect them to break every time I pick up and set down the model.  

 With the landing gear debacle done, I moved on to the RATO pods.  The RATO units went together with no fuss, but that is where it ended.  The micro plastic mounting brackets just do not fit the way they are supposed to.  After hours of bending, gluing, breaking parts and swearing I finally got all of them to look average.  And that was just to glue the brackets to the RATO units!  It took even more time to glue the completed assemblies under the engines.  In all honesty, I would leave these off.  The fit and construction of these detail items really soured my enthusiasm for the kit.

CAMOUFLAGE & MARKINGS

All paints were Model Master Acrylics.  This bird is simple.  RLM 71 over RLM 65.  I masked the demarcation line as the real aircraft had a pretty hard edge between the colors.  Initially, I used Future Acrylic Floor Polish for my gloss coat.  However, the Future did something strange on the lower left wing.  It built up into blobs across most of the lower surface of the wing, and did not dry completely (this was the only area, perhaps mold release agent?).  I had to sand this off, which removed the RLM 65 as well.  After repainting, I shot it with Model Master Gloss with no trouble.  I used all of the kit decals, which reacted fine with Solvaset.  I chose to use aftermarket swastikas.  A shot of dullcoat, and installation of the rear fuselage camera and the kit was complete.

CONCLUSIONS

This is another interesting Luftwaffe aircraft.  Many people do not know that the Germans pioneered the forward-swept wing design with decent results (not bad for 1945!).  The core of the kit is easy to assembly, but beginners will run into trouble with the landing gear and RATO pods.  I recommend this kit to Intermediate modelers who can deal with these construction issues.

REFERENCES

 

The Monogram Painting Guide to German Aircraft 1939-1945, Creek and Hitchcock 

Warplanes of the Third Reich, William Green

Bryan "Tuck" Tucker

January 2003

 If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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