|KIT:||Italeri 1/72 Ju-87G-2 'Kanonvogel'|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The history of the Ju-87 has been well documented in Modeling Madness as well as on various sites in the Internet. Designed to provide the German Army with a precision dive bomber, it worked well when air superiority was established. Against a strong fighter defense, the Stuka was nothing more than an easy target. This was painfully discovered during the opening stages of the Battle of Britain. The result is that the aircraft was pulled from combat and used in areas where the Luftwaffe could maintain the cover that was needed.
This made the aircraft perfect for campaigns in North Africa and Russia where it was quite possible to maintain local air superiority. Because it was found to be so useful in Russia, the type was kept in production and improved. Probably the more famous of the types were those which were designed specifically as gun ships with 37mm cannon. These aircraft were quite effective against Soviet armor and wreaked havoc where ever they were brought into action.
Molded on two sprues of grey plastic, this kit provides the ability to build the G-2 variant, and only that version. The G-2 had no dive brakes so those are not included. The aircraft often operated from muddy fields so had the lower wheel pants removed to keep them from being clogged with mud. This is duplicated in the kit. Also included are the twin 37mm cannon pods. The cockpit is well outfitted for the scale with a pilot's and gunner's seat, control column and an instrument panel for the two of them with raised detailing.
Since the wing is also used on other Italeri Stuka kits, holes on the underside need to be opened up to accept the guns and wing radiators. The canopy is three parts, and while the gunner's section is closed it appears that the pilot's canopy may be able to be posed in the open position. A nice touch is that the exhaust are molded separately so they can be painted and installed in the final steps. I should mention that the engraving is well done though perhaps a bit heavy for some tastes. No flash or sink areas were found during initial inspection, nor were there any really difficult ejector pin marks to have to deal with.
Instructions are well done providing nine nicely drawn construction steps. Paint colors are provided with generic, Model Master and FS 595 references. Actually having RLM references would have been nice, but Stukas were generally painted RLM 70/71/65 so for most of us this won't be a problem. Markings are for two aircraft. One is from 10./StG 3 in 1944 and is shown on the box art. Unusually, it has no yellow theater bands. The second is from 2./SG 3 also in 1944. It has the yellow theater markings and is covered with a winter white wash, though this appears to be a bit on the streaky side. The back of the box has this set of markings in full color. The small decal sheet is well printed and should work just fine. Naturally, no swastika is included so you'll have to raid your spares box for this feature.
Overall, a very nice model from Italeri. The only others available in this scale are from Revell, Academy, and Fujimi. The Revell kit is ancient, the Academy has some real shape issues and the Fujimi kit isn't bad at all, though some comment that it is too short. Depending on where you live, you'll find the Italeri kit to be a good value for the money or overpriced. Still, it is a very nice kit and you should seek it out if you are looking to do a gun-toting Stuka.
My thanks to Hugh Neilson for the review kit
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