Trumpeter 1/32 Ju-87A Stuka

KIT #: 03213
PRICE: $60.00 or so
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2014 release


The second prototype had a redesigned single vertical stabiliser and a 610 PS (601.7 hp; 448.7 kW) Jumo 210 A engine installed, and later the Jumo 210Da. The first A series variant, the A-0, was of all-metal construction, with an enclosed cockpit under a "greenhouse" well-framed canopy; bearing twin radio masts on its aft sections, diagonally mounted to either side of the airframe's planform centreline and unique to the -A version. To ease the difficulty of mass production, the leading edge of the wing was straightened out and the ailerons' two aerofoil sections had smooth leading and trailing edges. The pilot could adjust the elevator and rudder trim tabs in flight, and the tail was connected to the landing flaps, which were positioned in two parts between the ailerons and fuselage. The A-0 also had a flatter engine cowling, which gave the pilot a much better field of vision. In order for the engine cowling to be flattened, the engine was set down nearly 0.25 m (9.8 in). The fuselage was also lowered along with the gunner's position, allowing the gunner a better field of fire.

The RLM ordered seven A-0s initially, but then increased the order to 11. Early in 1937, the A-0 was tested with varied bomb loads. The underpowered Jumo 210A, as pointed out by von Richthofen, was insufficient, and was quickly replaced with the Jumo 210D engine.

The A-1 differed from the A-0 only slightly. As well as the installation of the Jumo 210D, the A-1 had two 220 l (58 US gal; 48 imp gal) fuel tanks built into the inner wing, but it was not armoured or protected. The A-1 was also intended to be fitted with four 7.92 mm (0.312 in) MG 17 machine guns in its wings, but two of these—one per side—were omitted due to weight concerns; the pair that remained were fed a total of 500 rounds of ammunition, stored in the design's characteristic transverse strut-braced, large-planform undercarriage "trousers", not used on the Ju 87B versions and onward. The pilot relied on the Revi C 21C gun sight for the two MG 17s. The gunner had a single 7.92 mm (0.312 in) MG 15, with 14 drums of ammunition, each containing 75 rounds. This represented a 150-round increase in this area over the Ju 87 A-0. The A-1 was also fitted with a larger 3.3 m (11 ft) propeller.

The Ju 87 was capable of carrying a 500 kg (1,100 lb) bomb, but only if not carrying the rear gunner/radio operator as, even with the Jumo 210D, the Ju 87 was still underpowered for operations with more than a 250 kg (550 lb) bomb load. All Ju 87 As were restricted to 250 kg (550 lb) weapons (although during the Spanish Civil War missions were conducted without the gunner).

The Ju 87 A-2 was retrofitted with the Jumo 210Da fitted with a two-stage supercharger. The only further significant difference between the A-1 and A-2 was the H-PA-III controllable-pitch propeller. By mid-1938, 262 Ju 87 As had been produced, 192 from the Junkers factory in Dessau and a further 70 from Weser Flugzeugbau ("Weserflug" – WFG) in Lemwerder near Bremen. The new, more powerful, Ju 87B model started to replace the Ju 87A at this time.


The Ju-87 has been a fairly popular modeling subject since the first plastic kit was released by Frog back in 1940. The first mass market version in styrene was Airfix's 1957 release. Since then, pretty much all major kit producers have released this aircraft in all scales. However, the A model was not a variant that was very popular, and other than vacuform kits, a proper injection molded kit, albeit a short run kit, was done by MPM in the mid 1990s.

Trumpeter's 1/32 A model was released in 2014 and is based on their 2010 Ju-87B release, as many of the same airframe parts could be used. As you might surmise, this is not a small kit, the Ju-87 being a fairly large single engine aircraft.

You are provided with a full engine, though you will not see much of it once the fuselage halves are closed. It is required that you at least build up the engine block as you need a place to mount the exhaust. Note that these do not stick out much past the cowling so it would be wise to pre-paint that area if you can. The engine block is also needed to mount the chin radiator assembly. Trumpeter has you build up the complete power egg along with the prop before setting it aside to build up the interior.

As you'd expect on a kit of this scale, you get a fairly well appointed interior. Though you get a p.e. fret, you don't get any seat harness/belts, which is a bit of an odd omission. There are aftermarket, but these should have been included. You do get a decal for the main instrument panel if you wish to use it. Once the interior is built up, it is trapped in the main fuselage halves. At this time, Trumpeter wants you to attach the tail gear, but you can wait until later for this. You are provided rubber/vinyl tires, a bit of a hold-over from their early large scale kit designs.

At least they quit doing the metal control hinges, which were a real pain. All of the control surfaces are separate, but you are limited to posing them in the neutral position. This is because the small actuating rods are not molded in anything but that position and prevent you from posing them otherwise. Wings are in seven major sections. The inner section includes the lower forward fuselage and holds the two large wing spars. There are two inner stub wing sections that fit atop this. Then the outer wings are built up and slotted over the spars with the fuselage being attached atop that.

The greenhouse comes in two 'flavors. One is with all the parts closed. The other has additional bits in place of the two canopy sections and are molded open. The rear section and windscreen are the same for both. Ailerons and flaps, like the elevators and rudder, can only be posed in the neutral position because of the control actuating rods. At this time the nose section is attached. I find it odd that the dive brakes appear to be only able to be posed in the lowered position. Looking at period photos of this plane on the ground, all show the brakes raised. For loads, you have a single large bomb for the centerline and on wing racks smaller bombs, gun pods, or fuel tanks. I'd leave off ALL the outer wing loads as the A model could really only carry a single bomb due to its underpowered engine.

Instructions are the landscape booklet type and offers insufficient painting information using Gunze paints. There are two markings options. One is the box art plane in RLM 70/71/65. The other is painted in the four color pre-war scheme. From what I gather, both planes are with training squadrons. Both markings options seem to have been taken from a web site called 'War Thunder' that features profiles. Decals seem to be pretty good as I've had little issue with Trumpeter decals in the past.

Despite not building all that many Ju-87s, I have done several in the smaller scales. I like the early Stuka and hope to be able to build this one in the near future.


July 2021 

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