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1:32 Ju-88 Spy Profimodeller Catalogue # 32217 Available from Profimodeller for € 73,50 Introduction I can hear you think: ‘A Spy plane??’. Well ofcourse we mean the recon variant of the Ju-88. The Ju-88 was the logical choice in search for a successor of the Do-17 reconnaissance variant. It was fast, could fly at high altitudes and was able to carry quite some load. A versatile, stable platform. A series of trials were performed with the A-variant (A-1’s and A-5’s), which came into service in 1940, just in time to be pushed into service for the Battle of Britain. These early A-trials carried three camera’s in the rear bomb bay. The dive brakes and WTC bomb racks were removed (not needed for recon missions!) and an extra hand operated camera was installed in the nose, in the former bombardier’s position. This all lead up to a standardized set-up of three camera’s, positioned behind the rear bomb-bay (so that bomb carrying capability was not compromised) and neither were the fuselage fuel tanks (so not to compromise range). This was the D-variant. From this D-variant a whole range of dedicated recon versions were born (D-0 to D-5). The real deal, with the external fuel tanks loaded and camera ports visible: Make sure you pick your scheme and corresponding D-variant (or A) wisely and check where your camera’s are properly positioned, what engines you need (Jumo or BMW), etc, etc… This set offers an impressive range of schemes to choose from, but more on that later. The set Profimodeller packs their kits and sets in sturdy tight fitting boxes. Upon lifting the box top a neat array of golden smaller boxes, decals, photo etch and booklets greet you. The golden boxes are also a common with Profimodeller and ensure the resin inside doesn’t shift around the box during transport. The two long range external tanks are solid resin and are the only resin parts not packed inside the two golden boxes, due to their sheer size. So let’s look at these giant chunks of resin first. They are actually the same as set: P32215. So if you only need the external fuel tanks for the Ju-88, you might want to grab this set. The fuel tanks themselves feature a small step in the resin due to shifting of the mould. You will need some filler and sanding paper to get the front of the tanks smooth. No biggie. Another tip: these tanks are heavy! So you might want to drill some holes in them and add some metal rod to reinforce the attachment to the plane. When we open the golden boxes, an overwhelming amount of yellow and black resin comes out. The black resin is typical for Profimodeller, and to this day I’m not exactly sure what it is. It feels like plastic, but it cuts and sands like resin. I’m also not sure why certain parts are casted in it and others in standard yellow resin. It may have to do with the strength, but looking at some of the smaller parts in black, that doesn’t make sense. One bag carries the ETC racks. Four of them in total. Why four?? Because it takes two of these racks to carry one giant external fuel tank. That’s why! If you look at the construction sequence of the tanks, you see a lot of Photo etch clads the exterior, along with a extra carrying band that wraps it to the two ETC racks. STILL I urge you to drill a whole through the resin part that contains the fuel line and enters the wing, and stuff a metal rod right through it, into the tank. Just for extra measure. This part got harmed in transit. Easy fix though: The second bag contains the bulkhead, side walls of the camera compartment and outside of the hull with the three camera ports. The detail on the sidewalls is delicate and something you want to show off! The same goes for the rivets and other detail on the bulkhead. Superior stuff. One small piece of electronics in this bag however lost a small bit during transport. I found this inside the bag and is an easy fix. It shows that even these separate golden boxes, can’t protect the delicate resin from my parcel delivery man ‘Mohammed’… The camera mounting frame: The third bag gives us the black resin I was talking about. Just look at this second bulkhead. Great stuff… Also in this bag we find the camera housings, electronics and camera’s. All perfectly casted, without any flaws. The black strips with lightening holes are the top fuselage frames that will be visible from the bottom, IF you leave the camera doors open and place the model on a mirror. A wise way of displaying all this added detail! Another stunning spectacle are the sheets of photo etch. Daunting? Yes! But patience and persistence will guide you through. Two large sheets and one small. The small sheet holds parts for the external fuel tanks. The two large sheets contain the parts for detailing of the camera, insides of the camera-bay doors, reinforcement plates, hinges, etc… The instruction booklet is actually quite clear and compact, which could create the illusion that building this set is a breeze. I however would not recommend it to the novice modeler. Close up: Close up: The small sheet for the external fuel tanks: The Instructions: The schemes (12 in total!!): A• Junkers Ju-88D-5, 1.(F)/120, Norway, 1943 B• Junkers Ju-88D-1, 3.(F)/Aufkl.22, Dno, USSR, 1943 C• Junkers Ju-88D-1, T5+DL, 3.(F)/ObdL., Gosstkino, USSR, 1942 D• Junkers Ju-88D-2, 4T+GH, Westa 51, Nantes, France, 1944 E• Junkers Ju-88D-1, T5+GL, 3.(F)/AufkL. Gr. ObdL., Luga, USSR, 1942 F• Junkers Ju-88D-2, 7A+NH, 1.(F)/121, Sicily, Italy, 1942 G• Junkers Ju-88D-5, GM+CA, Luftbildstaffel 1, Derna, Lybia, 1942 H• Junkers Ju-88D-1, 7A+MH, 1.(F)/121, Fuka, Egypt, 1942 I• Junkers Ju-88D-1, 7A+GH, 1.(F)/121, Fuka, Egypt, 1942 J• Junkers Ju-88D-2, 4U+GK, 2.(F)/123, Siciliy, Italy, 1942 K• Junkers Ju-88D-2, 4U+EK, 2.(F)/123, Crete - Italy, 1942-43 L• Junkers Ju-88D-1, D7+LH, Westa 1./ObdL., Bad Zwischenahn, Germany, 1942 M• Junkers Ju-88A-1(F), 4U+DH, 1. Staffel, 1. Gruppe, Aufkl. Gr. 123, France (BoB) The decal sheets: Verdict When we look at the quality of the product, I would rate this set an 8. No air bubbles are found, only a few small steps in the surface, that can be fixed. The photo-etch is of the highest qualities around and the decals register and are well printed with no grain showing up in the colours. The amount of schemes to choose from, the top, bottom and side views of the schemes, clear instructions, make this set worth the money. The Ju-88 kit itself isn’t expensive at all, so you have no excuse to spend a little extra in order to create a bit more exotic version. As I've said before: these sets are no breeze. You need some serious skills to do the set right. But I know that with the proper amount of research, patience and persistence, you will have a unique stunner on your hands, that will attract all the camera's at the show (apart from the three that are in it's belly My sincere thanks to Profimodeller for providing the review sample. To buy this set directly, click here. Kind regards, Jeroen Peters