|KIT:||Eduard 1/144 Ju-52/3m|
|PRICE:||$20or so MSRP|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Ju-52 was to the European Axis powers (specifically Germany) what the C-47 was to the Allies. It was the standard transport of the Luftwaffe throughout the war with nearly 5,000 built from the early 1930s through the war and after as the French built a number of them post war, as did the Spanish. Unfortunately for the Germans, it wasn't built in the numbers that the C-47 enjoyed. Large numbers were expended in the parachute invasion of Crete in 1941 and during North African resupply missions. So many that their loss was keenly felt when the aircraft was needed for future operations and there just were not any available. Despite the attrition, many survived and a few are still in the air.
This really is a nicely done kit. The corrugations are very well prosecuted as is the rest of the surface detail. There is a rudimentary cockpit and an empty cabin area, but this is not a problem as the clear bits are a little on the thick side so not much will be seen in there. Since there are several variants of this kit (this one being the standard version), there are many possible holes to open in the bottom of the wing for either the floats or the degaussing ring of other boxings. This particular kit offers either standard wheels or skis and so one needs to make up one's mind early on this. The long aileron/flaps are separate bits as are the elevators so one could position those dropped if one wanted to. The mounting posts for these are sturdy looking so there should be no surprises.
Though not shown, there is an etched fret with most of the interior detail and a few other parts. Masks are also included for the clear bits, which is a very nice touch.
Markings are provided for four aircraft and the markings guide is printed in color. One is a winter camo'd plane in white over RLM 65. This is a wheeled variant from KG 40 in 1942/43. Next is on in what seems to be a prewar camo with lots of yellow on the cowlings, lower wing tips, rudder and elevators for the Greek invasion. In the same colors. In standard RLM 70/71/65 is one with sand yellow blotches over the upper surfaces for the Crete campaign. Finally, another winter scheme in white over RLM 65 but with skis this time. Yellow fuselage band and upper cowling. The decal sheet is well printed and should work well.
The instructions are well drawn and provide the necessary color info in Gunze, RLM, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, Testors and generic references. A comprehensive masking diagram is also given and it looks to be most complete.
Though this isn't a new kit, it has been out of the public eye for a while and is one that looks superbly molded and engineered. I've seen some of these built up and they are little gems. One I can clearly recommend for the really small scale modeler.
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