Mach 2 1/72 Ju-352




$59.98 MSRP  ($50.98 at Squadron)


one aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Short run injected plastic kit


One thing that the Luftwaffe suffered from throughout the war was a distinct lack of air transport capability. While in the beginning it may have been sufficient (and based almost entirely on the Ju-52), losses in Norway, North Africa and especially during the disastrous showing on Crete, severely depleted the transport forces. One way that this was somewhat alleviated was by using captured aircraft and those of allied forces, but it still was not enough. Meanwhile, the now obsolete Ju-52 was still being produced and was barely able to keep up with needs.

In early 1939, Deutche Lufthansa was looking for a Ju-52 replacement. While the Ju-52 was a reliable and efficient aircraft, the faster Douglas transports were the darling of other continental airlines. Therefore Junkers was asked to produce a new plane. They responded with what was basically a smoothed out Ju-52: the Ju-252. It did away with the corrugated skin, had retractable undercarriage and a pressurized interior. It also used Jumo 211F liquid cooled engines in cowlings similar to those used on the Ju-88. First flying in 1941, Lufthansa ordered 25 planes. It later cut that order down to 14 and then supplied all of the to the Luftwaffe.

As useful as the Ju-252 was, it was an all metal aircraft and by 1943 it was decreed that non offensive aircraft (transports and trainers) would use as little aluminum as possible. This meant the use of heavier wood and steel in as much of the airframe as possible. The Ju-352 was developed with this philosophy. It had a mixed steel and wood construction with fabric covering wherever possible. It also has squared off flight surfaces and was powered by BMW air-cooled engines instead of the liquid-cooled Jumos.  Approximately 35 were built with production ceasing in September 1944, by which time, long range transport was not required.



This is another new release from Mach 2. This time, the kit is molded in a medium green plastic. Detailing is quite well done with nice engraved panel lines. As with other short run kits, it suffers from flash and edge roughness, though none of it is too bad and should be easy to clean up. There are a number of ejector pin marks and stubs that will need to be removed, none of them appear to be in any hard-to-remove locations. Some of the thicker parts also have sink marks. On my example, the right fuselage half had a number of sink marks opposite where ejector pin stubs were located so will require quite a bit of filler to smooth out. The rest of the large parts were in good shape.

All of the sprue attachment points are large and I recommend using a razor saw to remove the pieces from the sprue to avoid damage. I saw no short shot parts in this kit. The clear parts are pretty distorted and show some stress fracture lines. There are also not enough window inserts so you'll have to rely on alternate methods. I also found some surface imperfections in the form of little lumps of plastic, but not as many as on previous kits. Clean up of these should be very easy with just a swipe of sandpaper to do the trick. The plastic itself did not feel as rough as on earlier kits. One thing that is not included is a cabin, so if you want one, you'll have to scratchbuild it. Another oddity is that the box art shows a dual main wheel plane, which was used on the very similar, all-metal Ju-252.  The kit provides the proper single main wheel version for the Ju-352.

The instructions are the same extremely basic ones that appear to be typical of Mach 2 in that they only show subassemblies and other construction areas that are not intuitive. One thing that is given is a painting guide for the exterior splinter scheme of RLM 70/71/65 that was typical for transport and bomber aircraft. There are decals for one aircraft and it includes swastikas. They are a bit thick, and the white seems to disappear against the decal background, but they should work well. 



Once again, Mach 2 has provided a kit of a very interesting subject that will probably never be done by a mainstream injected plastic manufacturer. It is another subject driven kit. It won't be an easy build, but if you want to have an injected Ju-352, then this is your only option. I recommend having a few short run kits under your belt before tackling this one. We can thank Mach 2 for providing these interesting subjects to us.

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