|KIT:||Special Hobby 1/72 Ju-87A Stuka|
|PRICE:||$28.00 from GreatModels|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run with resin and photo etched parts|
Smitten by the dive bombing capabilities of the Curtiss Hawk biplanes, German aviator Ernst Udet used his influence to have a dive bomber type be one of the earliest types developed for the new Luftwaffe. Several companies vied for the contract, but it was Junkers, whose abilities to build sturdy planes was well known, that eventually won what turned out to be a very lucrative deal.
The initial prototypes were plagued by stability problems, but removing the twin tails and replacing it with a standard type cured that. The A model was also underpowered. As a result, in order to carry the full bomb load, the rear gunner/radio operator had to be left behind. Not exactly the perfect situation when going into hostile territory.
The first planes rolled off the assembly line in 1937 and were soon sent to units. A number were also sent to the Condor Legion in Spain during 1938 where it proved itself to be quite a capable army support aircraft. Its pinpoint delivery often allowed bombs to be placed just where they were needed. By the time WWII broke out, the A had pretty well been relegated to training units where it continued to serve until the end of the war.
This is MPM/Special Hobby's second A model Stuka, the first being one of their very early releases. Though that kit does make into a nice model, the truth is that it is not an easy build and is a tad on the 'clunky' side when it comes to some of the smaller parts.
This is an entirely new mold and is up to MPM/SH's current standards of detailing and parts crispness. Not to say that it is not going to take some modeling skills, just not as many as the earlier kit. I'd like to encourage the folks at MPM/SH to continue to use these nice resealable bags. Much better way to keep from losing bits when one opens up the contents.
Resin is relegated to just a few small interior bits and the photo-etch sheet has things like dive brakes, belts and rear gunner's seat along with a number of other small interior bits. Speaking of small, there are quite a few small parts with this kit. A number of them are for the flap/aileron attachments as well as the dive brake mounts. Should be a rather fussy construct. I'm also less that looking forward to building up the pitot tube out of three different bits, including one photo-etch. Thankfully the prop blades are in one piece. One odd omission is that there are not any bombs. You'd think at least one 250kg bomb for the centerline would be included, but it is not. The canopy is injected plastic so those of us who don't like vac canopies will be pleased. It is a single piece, but quite clear so any interior work will be visible.
Markings are for three planes. The box art version from SG 102 in Bohemia/Moravia in 1943/44 with yellow fuselage band and lower wing tips. The second is from a stuka school in 1940, also with yellow lower wing tips. Both of these are in RLM 70/71/65. The third option is prewar in RLM 61/62/63/65 at attached to 4./StG 165 in mid 1938. Decals are well printed and have the two part swastika. Instructions are well done and provide Gunze paint references.
If you have wanted a more detailed 1/72 Ju-87A, now you have it. This brings the type up to modern MPM/SH standards and should make into an excellent model. A bit more fussy than the original, but probably a bit less fixing of things as well. I'd not be surprised to see another boxing or perhaps two of this one.
You can find this and other neat kits and accessories at GreatModels
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has over 350,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page