|KIT:||AIMS 1/72 Ju-88G-6|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Resin multimedia kit.|
By the time that late 1943 had come around, it was pretty obvious that the air war wasn't going as easily as expected. The USAAF was increasing its day raids and the RAF had stepped up the night bombing campaign. It was the night campaign that stretched resources as most night fighters were not specifically designed as such. This brought about an influx of new designs for planes specifically for the night job.
Though there were single seat fighters performing night attack, the job actually required a larger aircraft. This was due to the need to carry a radar set and its operator, as well as the need to be on station for many hours. It was also pretty much a requirement for the plane in question to have a rather heavy armament so that the bomber could be brought down in one pass. Several new designs such as the Ta-154, and He-219 were developed, but the majority of the night fighters were actually developments of existing designs, such as the Bf-110G-4
Earlier Ju-88s had been used as night fighters as well and with some success. This encouraged the development of an all new Ju-88 variant, specifically for the night role and that was the Ju-88G. It was developed with both BMW 801 radials and Jumo 213 water cooled engines. The airframe was the recipient of a larger fin and rudder to handle the additional power and all the armament was placed in a belly pack or in the 'Schrage Musik' array or both. In this latter installation, cannon were placed in the fuselage aimed up at about 60 degrees. The idea here was for the plane to fly under the bomber and rake the underside with cannon fire. It was a most successful and devastating method of attack.
The Ju-88G version was quite successful but the truth is that by the time the plane saw widespread service in 1944, the writing was already on the wall. The combination of too many Allied bombers, too few really experienced aircrews, and an ever increasing lack of fuel meant that there was no way to really stem the tide. Many Ju-88Gs were found on airfields all across Germany and Denmark at the end of the war. To my knowledge, only one has survived to this day.
Where to start as there is just so much to this kit. Well, it is resin and has a lot of cast metal parts. There is also an Eduard etched metal fret for the Ju-88 Night Fighter included as well as AIMS own decal sheet on the Ju-88G-6. There are also a pair of superb Falcon crystal clear vac canopies.
The resin itself is well done with engraved panel lines. I did find air bubbles in the trailing edges of the flight surfaces, but nothing major and easy to clean up. The resin parts are also on rather large stubs so quite a bit of time will be needed to remove them. This is true of the smaller bits too. I'm used to thin wafers of resin for these thin parts and these have quite thick resin areas behind them, making part removal a rather tedious job. Detailing on the inside of the cockpit section is really very well done. This cannot have been easy to mold and overall I like this method better than the separate side walls as it is one less thing to mess up!
There are quite a few cast metal pieces in this kit. These are for things like prop spinners, prop blades, flap hinges, gun barrels, seats, and landing gear. I'm particularly glad that the gear are in cast metal as it is about the only substance that won't sag under the weight of the kit. I have some resin kits with resin landing gear that in less than a year have deformed under the kit's weight so it is really imperative that resin makers provide landing gear in metal. The quality of the metal parts is generally good, though a few of them (like some of the prop blades) have some minor pitting.
All the transparencies are vacuformed and quite clear as you'd expect from Falcon. They are also quite thin so care will be needed to cut them.
Instructions are most extensive as you might expect from a multi-media kit such as this. It has a good parts layout so you can be sure all your bits are there. The construction sections provide any detail information you might need for the particular variant you are doing. Generally speaking, the instructions are mostly a batch of detail drawings for various sections of the kit rather than a step by step building sequence. This is perfectly OK as by the time one gets to where one can build a kit like this, basic building sequences are pretty much rote. One thing not provided is any interior color information. For this particular aircraft, the interior color of RLM 66 would be the most appropriate. Exterior color information is provided in the decal sheet.
I've already gone over the decals in a previous review so you know what's available. Any one of the five options provided will make for a most interesting looking aircraft as Ju-88G night fighters carried some nice camo schemes.
Now I know that you are going to say that AMT already did a G night fighter and that is true. However, that kit is rife with inaccuracies and this one has been superbly researched and provided with all the correct bits and pieces. The end result of building this kit will be an accurate representation and the finest model of the type you can build in this scale.
Thanks to AIMS for the review kit. You can find this and other products on their website.
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