|KIT:||Revell AG 1/144 Junkers G.38|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
At one time, the Junkers G.38 was the world's largest land based aircraft. It used the Junkers' patentened 'deep wing' design which originally had all the passengers, fuel and engines contained within the wing's airfoil. This was modified by Junkers and the resulting aircraft, the G.38 was finished in October of 1929. First flight was was in November of that year and the test pilot was pleasantly surprised with the ease of handling of this large aircraft.
Powered by four Junkers L88 liquid cooled engines, it was capable of rather stately top speed of 125 mph, however, this was enough to allow the aircraft to set several world records for speeded and endurance while carrying a five ton cargo. Originally built with 13 passenger seats, such was the demand that when turned over to Lufthansa, the aircraft was converted to carry 30 passengers. Such was the success of the aircraft that Lufthansa had a second one built, this one increasing seating to 32 passengers.
The two aircraft gave exemplary service and were quickly the most popular aircraft with the paying public. In 1934 the aircraft were re-engined with Junkers diesels. One was written off in 1936 following a crash during a post maintenance test flight. The other served in regular service until the start of WWII. It was then taken over by the Luftwaffe and provided its usual trouble-free service until destroyed in an air raid on the newly conquered Athens airfield in 1941.
This kit has an original mold date of 1996 stamped on the inside of one wing so it is not a new mold. However, it is superbly done as I could not find any molding glitches in terms of sink areas or unwanted ejector pin marks. The corrugations are exquisitely molded with doors and hatches done in recessed lines. This isn't a huge kit and so there are not a ton of parts. I found that having all the seats and cockpit components molded onto one part was just right for 1/144 and it shows that if a manufacturer wants to provide this level of detail, it is easy enough to do.
Because of the corrugations, the fuselage is molded in four sections. This means very careful construction will be needed so that no filler is required. Adding filler and the consequent sanding that follows would ruin the surface detail. As this is a Junkers aircraft, the ailerons and flaps stand proud of the wing as it does on a Ju-87. Attachment points seem quite solid, but again, one needs to be careful with the cement. Transparencies are a bit thick but very well molded and should provide no traumas when it comes to attaching them. Revell even includes the seats that are set into the wing's leading edge.
Instructions are what we have now come to expect from Revell AG. Well done but still relying on only Revell paints for colors. At least the newsprint instructions are a thing of the past. Markings are given for the two aircraft that were built. The decals are very well printed and quite matte. A nice touch is the inclusion of the canopy framework decals in black for the nose and wing leading edge. Sure saves on masking those items. Naturally, no swastika is supplied so it is off to the spares box for that. You'll also have to paint on the red band, but the white circle is provided. Those that want something a bit different could paint this in wartime Luftwaffe markings. You'll have to do your own research to come up with that scheme.
While not an aircraft that is readily recognizable to most Americans, it is a plane that was important to the growth of European air travel. What's more, it is an interesting design and will fit right in with any airliner collection.
Thanks to me for providing this one.
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