Hasegawa 1/72 Ju-88A-8 w Balloon Cable Cutter

KIT #: 01999
PRICE: $35.57 on sale ($72.99 SRP)
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Includes photo etched parts. 2012 boxing


The Junkers Ju 88 was a World War II German Luftwaffe twin-engine, multi-role aircraft. Designed by Hugo Junkers' company in the mid-1930s to be a so-called Schnellbomber which would be too fast for any of the fighters of its era to intercept, it suffered from a number of technical problems during the later stages of its development and early operational roles, but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Affectionately known as "The Maid of all Work" (Mädchen für Alles), the Ju 88 proved to be suited to almost any role. 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 bomb during the closing stages of conflict.

Despite its protracted development, the aircraft became one of the Luftwaffe's most important assets. The assembly line ran constantly from 1936 to 1945, and more than 16,000 Ju 88s were built in dozens of variants, more than any other twin-engine German aircraft of the period. Throughout the production, the basic structure of the aircraft remained unchanged.

One of those specialized variants was the Ju-88A-8. This was a standard Ju-88A-4 that was fitted with the large and somewhat cumbersome balloon cable cutter device that ran from wing tip to wing tip and was supported by large struts. It severely affected the center of gravity of the aircraft so a considerable amount of weight was placed in the tail section to balance things outs. This set up also reduced the speed of the plane making it an easy target for defending fighters. Despite these drawbacks, the system was effective in cutting cables of all sizes or shunting them around the airframe.


This is pretty well the standard Hasegawa Ju-88A-4 with the addition of a single photo etch fret containing the cable cutter assembly. To refresh your memories;

Hasegawa couldn't have picked a better aircraft in terms of the ability to do subtypes. The Ju-88 has to have been used in more different roles than just about any other German WWII aircraft. This is particularly obvious when one looks at the sprues and notes the myriad of parts and inserts that are provided.

Molded in Hasegawa's usual medium grey plastic, this one is just as superbly molded as one would expect from Japan's premiere model airplane maker. Some things we have come to expect are a nicely done but somewhat Spartan interior than relies on decals for instruments. There there are optional seats for the pilot, one of them being armored. It is not surprising that the nose and aft fuselage are separate as often times the difference in types is with different noses. In addition to the cable cutter bits, the photo etch fret includes gun sights for the defensive machine guns and a pair of small rack style antennas under the fuselage. The instructions suggest building up the model and painting it prior to attaching the cable cutter and I would agree with that assessment as it is easier to touch up paint than to paint around the photo etch.

This version has the liquid cooled Jumo engines and you have the option of shrouded exhaust, depending on the decal option. Also separate are wing tips, again to take into account the different variants. This kit has four under wing bomb racks  with bombs. There are also different antenna options. The lower fuselage gondola comprises four parts in clear plastic. Dive brakes are also provided as all A-4 versions were supposed to have this capability. The main cabin has a number of transparencies as well. This kit contains the dual rear guns so the cockpit glass is in three parts to more accurately mold the rather complex aft section's shape. There are also four small clear bits to attach before the 'beetle nose' front piece. Masking all this will take a bit of time and personally, I'd attach the clear bits prior to gluing on the wings so that masking will be a bit easier to do.

Instructions are the standard Hasegawa fare with Gunze paint references. Markings are for two planes painted in RLM 70/71 uppers with black undersides. The box art plane is from 5./KG 30 and has standard markings and codes. The other may be fictitious and is with 8./KG 76. This one has all of the insignia painted out. Decals are nicely done and include the instrument decals for the interior.


The inclusion of the photo etch balloon cutter makes for an interesting addition to this kit and also takes it out of the realm of many modelers and into that of the experienced modeler. Attaching the photo etch will be quite a challenge, however the instructions are quite good and provide several construction steps to help in this area. The end result will be a very nice model that will be unique amongst your collection.



June 2013

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