|KIT:||Italeri 1/72 Lufthansa Ju-52|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Ju-52 can rightly be called Germany's DC-3. Though based on WWI technology and Junkers' corrugated skinning, it was the Ju-52 that made up most of Lufthansa's local and longer range passenger flights throughout Europe and overseas. Such was the toughness of the aircraft that it found ready customers in many nations as far flung as South Africa and South America.
Of course, it didn't hurt that the aircraft was also easily militarized and the Ju-52 was also the fledgling Luftwaffe's first effective bomber, even supplanting those aircraft specifically designed for the purpose. Like the C-47 of the Allies, the Ju-52 eventually fought on all front and also like the C-47, there were never enough of them. The last military Ju-52 retired from the Swiss Air Force in the late 1980s.
When you open the box, you will find three large sprues and one smaller one that holds the clear bits. The corrugated effect on the parts is excellent and my example was free of flash. I did find a rather troublesome sink area in the upper rear fuselage section where you'd cut out a section for the rear gunner in the military version. There were also some ejector pin marks on some of the smaller bits, but then, this is not a new mold so that is to be expected.
Also expected is that the sprues are exactly the same as with the military Ju-52 kit with the inclusion of a number of parts that won't be used for the airliner. The kit includes a full cockpit and better yet, a full cabin, with all the seats and windows that are expected in an airliner. There is a difference in cargo doors, so the builder will have to decide which livery will be used rather early in the build process. Also you have different antenna suites and the option to not use the wheel pants.
Instructions are quite well done with all the color information provided by generic name and not tied in to any paint line. The markings and placement guide provides for four specific aircraft and the possibility of a fifth. Two of these are Lufthansa planes in light grey and black. There are also two Swiss AF options, one in a winter white with green markings. I'm thinking this latter was for use in the movie "Where Eagles Dare". A fifth set of markings is provided for an SAS aircraft, for which there is a photo of one on floats. I'm relatively sure this SAS aircraft would have had large wing registration but those are not supplied. I also noticed that the first Lufthansa option seems to have two registrations; D-AQUI in large letters and a smaller D-CDLH. Apparently this is for a restored aircraft, with the current registration being the latter of the two. I've also been told that to be correct, the aircraft will have to be retrofitted with three bladed props and a modernized interior. The very large decal sheet provides well printed markings. The decals are quite matte and I hope will react well to setting solutions in order to snuggle down into all those corrugations.
The only other 1/72 Ju-52 kits are by Heller and Airfix, and this is the best of the bunch. The civil version has been out of production for several years, but I notice that it is on the reissue listing for this year so it will be nice to have this one back in circulation.
Thanks to me for providing this one for you.
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