Hasegawa 1/72 Ju-88D-1
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Junkers Ju 88 was a World War II Luftwaffe twin-engine, multi-role aircraft. Designed by Hugo Junkers in the mid 1930s, it became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. The Ju 88 suffered from a number of technical problems during the later stages of its development and early operational roles. Like a number of other Luftwaffe bombers, it was used successfully as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter, and even as a flying warhead during the closing stages of conflict. Despite its protracted development, the aircraft became one of the Luftwaffe's most crucial assets. There were 15,000 Ju 88s built during World War II, more than any other twin-engined German aircraft of the period.
The Ju-88D-1 and subject of this kit, was a long range reconnaissance version and as such, had the aft section of the bomb bay set aside for cameras. Often as not, the forward section of the bay was either empty or had a fuel tank. To extend the range even more, long range drop tanks were carried on the underside bomb racks. Despite being a recce plane, the D-1 was also capable of carrying bombs should the need arise, and when working in the Eastern Front, the need often did.
It will come to the surprise of few that this kit is pretty much basic Ju-88A-4 with a few additional pieces to do the D-1 variant. Specifically, that means the long range drop tanks and a clear bomb bay section that has camera windows in the aft section. The rest is just like the standard kit.
That means a nicely done cockpit with decals for over the instrument panel and consoles, nicely done seats, rudder pedals, control yoke and other bits. As with most Ju-88 kits I've seen in the last 30 years, the nose section is separate from the rest of the airframe so that different versions can be modeled. The detail on this kit is superb and those of you hoarding AMT or Italeri kits would be looking to pick up this one as a replacement. I particularly like that Hasegawa has provided wing spars to help get the wings properly aligned. I'm also glad to see that they have gotten away from the separate prop blade thing. From the look of things, the landing gear seems to be the most complex part of the build with a number of parts making up each side.
Instructions reference Gunze paints, which may be a problem for some in the US, though the lacquers are being imported so that could be an option. Fortunately, RLM references are also provided. Both markings options are from the same unit in Russia and both are in winter camo. One, as shown on the box art, has it well weathered so that will require it to first be painted in RLM 70/71/65 before adding on a thin, streaky wash. The other has a fresh coat. As mentioned, both are from the same unit, 2./Aufkl. Gr. 22. These have yellow lower wing tips, lower engine cowlings, and a yellow fuselage band (this being provided as a decal). The sheet is well printed and provides all the various markings that you'll need for either aircraft.
I'm not sure how well these are selling for Hasegawa, but I do know that many of us have a real fondness for the Junkers 88, especially because of all the interesting schemes and the multiplicity of variants. If the 88 is something you like as well, then this is a kit you should seriously consider.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com
for the preview kit. Get yours at your favorite shop or on-line store.
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