|KIT:||Italeri 1/72 Ju-86 (Civil)|
|PRICE:||$? Not in current (2004) catalogues|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Ju-86 was, of course, developed primarily as a bomber. But in the climate of the 1930s, it was best for the Luftwaffe to have the pretense of the aircraft being a civil transport. This was basically an open secret as anyone familiar with aircraft design could see that these were not really what they were purported to be. Nonetheless, the Ju-86 was developed as a transport and as German airliners go, it was relatively successful, though not to the same degree as the company's Ju-52.
One of the more interesting developments was the use of diesel engines as the main power source. These engines put out a respectable amount of power, but were somewhat unreliable, and eventually the Ju-86 switched over to air cooled reciprocating engines. These diesel powered airliners were operated by both Lufthansa and by Swiss Air.
Italeri's kit basically uses the sprues from the Ju-86D bomber and incorporates a new fuselage for the civil airliner. The kit is of the raised detail gang, which does matter to some, but really, it is nicely done and should not detract in any way from the completed model. In addition, there is a new section to the clear sprue in the form of cabin windows. There is no cabin interior and the cockpit consists of a single seat, control column, and instrument panel with decal. In other words, what you get with the bomber kit. It seems to me that perhaps the civil version might have had a co-pilot and dual controls.
You'll need to install and fill in the bomb bay doors and lower gun position. All the gunners and guns will be surplus to requirements for this one. In general the kit is free of flash but does suffer somewhat from ejector pin marks in places that will be difficult to remove. There are also a few sink areas on thicker parts, but fixing those should be a breeze.
Instructions are quite good and well drawn with seven major construction steps. There are no options. Markings are for two aircraft, both in overall silver. The Lufthansa one has black engines while the Swiss Air version has red prop spinners. No swastika is provided on the decal sheet so you'll have to scrounge that from a spares sheet. Decals are well printed and very matte.
Having built one of the various bomber versions of this kit many years back, I can tell you that it goes together well with minimal problems. Now with the airliner option, those who don't normally do military aircraft, or those looking for something a bit different will have a nice model to add to their shelves.
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