ProModeler 1/48 Ju-88C-6 Night Fighter
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Reboxed Dragon kit|
The Junkers Ju 88 is a German World War II Luftwaffe twin-engined multirole combat aircraft. Junkers Aircraft and Motor Works (JFM) designed the plane in the mid-1930s as a so-called Schnellbomber ("fast bomber") that would be too fast for fighters of its era to intercept. It suffered from technical problems during its development and early operational periods but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Like a number of other Luftwaffe bombers, it served as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter and at the end of the war, as a flying bomb.
Despite a protracted development, it became one of the Luftwaffe's most important aircraft. The assembly line ran constantly from 1936 to 1945 and more than 15,000 Ju 88s were built in dozens of variants, more than any other twin-engine German aircraft of the period. Throughout production the basic structure of the aircraft remained unchanged.
The Ju-88C series was originally developed as a heavy fighter. It was based on the Ju-88A bomber with the earlier versions being converted from the A-1 and A-5 variant. The C-6 was the most numerous and converted from the A-4 bomber. Many of these were additionally converted into night fighters where their heavy armament and long loiter time proved useful.
Back in the 90's, after Revell USA bought Monogram, they developed the ProModeler line and put it under the Monogram label. Some kits were new or revised tooling while others were older kits with additional bits and yet others were reboxings of other company's kit. This one falls into the latter category, being a reboxed Dragon Ju-88C. Dragon did a night fighter version of this so there are, as far as I can tell, no additional parts included. What is included is a smaller bag with the night fighter bits to go along with the standard C-6 kit.
When this kit was released in 2001, Dragon already had a fairly full series of Ju-88s in 1/48. These kits are nicely detailed, though they do take a bit of care when building them. I found when I did a Ju-88A that the area of greatest concern was the wing tips. These are separate items to take into account the differences in length between some variants. These are difficult to get perfectly straight so one has to be quite cautious and it might be worthwhile to attach each tip half to their respective wing half before joining the wings.
Main landing gear are fairly complex as well, but quite sturdy once assembled. They can be attached after the airframe is painted, but it will take a bit of work to get them installed during that time. As you'd expect, there are quite a few inserts that will also have to be carefully installed. One might also want to hold off installing the radar antennas and other easily broken airframe bits until after the airframe is painted.
Instructions are well done, providing both generic and RLM paint references. Two options are provided. The box art plane is in RLM 02/74 over 02. Yes, that sounds odd to me as well, but that is what it says. The other is in RLM 71/79 over 76. The decal sheet is nicely done and even after all this time, should still be good.
One may ask why get this kit when Dragon already produced one. Well, ProModeler kits were frequently less expensive and came with better decals. This is true even today when you look on the second hand market. Well worth picking up if you like large scale Ju-88s.
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