AMtech 1/72 Ju-88S-3/T-3
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Back about 20 years ago, there was a company called AMtech. They released one kit of their own design, the 1/48 Ta-183 and a bevy of kits that were AMT tooling of variants that AMT never got around to releasing before they quit doing airplane model. When you first look at the sprues, you'd think it was an Italeri kit, but that is not the case. AMT released new tool Ju-88G and Ju-88C-4/6 kits before they stopped doing airplane kits. The Ju-88S/T-1/3 were in the planning stage and tooling had been cut for these versions. AMtech simply popped the kit, did the box art and researched the markings. This variant was produced in two boxings. One was the radial engine Ju-88S/T-1 while the other is this boxing, the Jumo 213 powered Ju-88S/T-3.
As I mentioned, this kit looks very much like the Italeri kit and it actually builds pretty much the same way. Of course, the Zvezda and Hasegawa kits also have basically the same engineering as there are only so many ways to tool a specific airframe.
The cockpit area is on a par with the Italeri kit and while nicely done, isn't as detailed as those from Hasegawa or Zvezda. One thing of note is that you are given a small slab to stick in the wing roots as you close the fuselage halves. This provides an anchoring point for the wings. Clear parts are nicely done and would benefit from a mask set. Engines are nicely done with the exhaust molded in place. Wings are upper and lower halves with the holes for the bomb racks already drilled out. You'd probably want to fill those for the photo recon option.
When one builds the lower engine nacelles, a section for the main gear is installed. Landing gear has a separate oleo scissor and the wheels are two piece. Gear doors will need to be cut to separate unless you are doing a gear up model. Single piece horizontal stabs and a two piece fin/rudder fit into the rear section and one then attaches the wings and engine/nacelle pieces. An addendum tells you to do a bit of filing when attaching the engines otherwise they are not straight when done. The bomb racks have ant-sway braces, and there are four huge bombs that you can use. Personally, I'd look for something smaller.
Instructions are well done and provide generic and RLM paint references. There are three markings options. You have two S-3 versions. One with KG66 in RLM 75 over RLM 76 with heavy wave mirror camo on the fuselage side in RLM 74. This shade is also used in large dots on the underside while the upper surface has these dots in RLM 77 (a very light grey). This plane has no insignia, just an aircraft number. The other S-3 variant is with KG6 and is RLM 76 upper with black undersides. This aircraft has no unit markings or codes. Upper dots are in RLM 74. The T-3 is in standard RLM 70/71/65 splinter and is fairly bland with no unit markings or codes. The fairly large decal sheet is printed by Microscale and has all the insignia and codes for both the S/T-1 and S/T-3 kits.
This and the BMW-801 powered kit are both fairly nice. If you have built any of the other 1/72 Ju-88s, this one will not really be any more difficult. Probably the bigges drawback about this particular kit is the rather complex camo scheme and the real lack of insignia or codes. To my knowledge, no one has picked up any of the AMtech kits so if you want the final variants of the Ju-88, this is where you will need to come. To show you how the other boxing turned out, I've included a photo.
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