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Found 16 results

  1. I've been home for a couple weeks now after my triple bypass surgery. Last week I made it back to the bench but I've been finding it a bit of a struggle to stay focused. Part of that is I'm easily tired which is not what I expected. Everyone says it's normal after major surgery but I've no reference so it's kind of new to me. Which is a good thing I guess. Anyways I started working on a resin Zero kit I have. I thought it wouldn't be too bad. The parts count was low and it seemed simple enough. I ran afoul of trying to do the chipping needed for the finish and having to use wire to peg the individual fingers. Setting that aside, I started on a Hasegawa 1/32 Stuka G2. The problem I ran into there was I have too much AM and it was dragging me down. I started working on fitting bits but trying to make all these bits fit was too much. Maybe down the road... So that led me to this kit. There's a couple reasons for this choice. 1- It has almost no rigging 2- I don't have any AM for it so it'll be 100% OOB 3- It should go together (hopefully) without hiccups. Unless they're self induced. 4- It has almost no rigging So here's the box contents. And here's where I've managed to get today. I've painted and started assembling a number of cockpit bits. Painting around the brass fuel tank isn't 100% perfect but I'm happy with it. I know there will probably end up being some faults and possible corner cutting on this build but I'm fine with that. I just want to feel like I'm enjoying things and not getting bogged down. The interior is primarily NMF so I'm just using Matt aluminum for that. I haven't come across any wood that needs to be done so that's an added bonus. A big thanks to Ernie who sent this kit to me last year as part of the Christmas raffle. Carl
  2. Hi everyone, This one will fit in just right for this group build, AIMS Ju388 L1 conversion set for the Revell Ju88. Surely I will finish my Me410 first as I've said many times before. It's just that I'm rebuilding my man-cave at the moment and can't build models in the mean time. Anyway, the finish line is in sight on that project, so I hope the be modelling again soon. I will make a post in the general forums on the new man-cave in the 'show us your workbench' sub-forum. Seeing that I still have a year from now on, I'm confident that I will be able to pull of this conversion in time for this GB. This will be the starting point . Cheers, Wouter
  3. 1/48 Junkers Ju 88A-4 WWII Axis Bomber ICM Catalogue # 48237 Available from Hannants for £27.99 The Junkers Ju 88 was a German World War II Luftwaffe twin-engine multirole combat aircraft. Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke (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 a number of technical problems during later stages of its development and early operational roles but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Like several other Luftwaffe bombers, it served as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter and, during the closing stages of the conflict in Europe, as a flying bomb. Despite its protracted development, the aircraft became one of the Luftwaffe's most important assets. The assembly line ran constantly from 1936 to 1945 and more than 16,000 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. Without a doubt, the Junkers Ju 88 was one of the most versatile and adaptable aircraft to have been used during WW2. Entering service as the war was literally starting (on the day of the Polish attack), the Ju 88 became successful for its numerous famous and infamous roles, starting out as a light bomber/dive bomber, and when losses started to mount around the time of the Battle of Britain, it was moved into other theatres of war, such as North Africa, and against shipping in the Mediterranean with a torpedo-carrying variant. Where it is perhaps best known are for its roles as both a heavy fighter and night-fighter, in which it excelled. The A-4 was an improved variant. It had a longer wingspan due to redesigned wingtips. It also had a more powerful defensive armament. Power was provided by two Jumo 211 J-1 or J-2 engines (1410 hp) driving wooden bladed propellers. A reinforced undercarriage was also introduced, as was a provision for four external bomb racks. Courtesy of Wikipedia. The kit There has certainly been some mileage seen in the moulds for ICM’s rather sweet Ju 88 kit, with there now being TWELVE incarnations that have been released across the ICM, Hasegawa, Special Hobby and Revell labels, with Special Hobby creating their own resin and injection plastic parts to accompany the base ICM plastic. This particular Ju 88A-4 version was released about April/May of this year. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see more incarnations of this kit in future, hopefully covering a number of the other exotic machines that were derived from the base Ju 88 airframe. In fact, a C-6b night-fighter seems to be slated for later this year. There is of course a reason why we are seeing this kit being given multiple releases and that is simply because it is the definitive tooling of this important aircraft that is currently available, and with so many Ju 88 versions that existed, modellers are going to want to build the one that is specific to their interests, such as the heavy fighter, torpedo aircraft etc. Packaged into ICM’s very sturdy, full corrugated cardboard box, with a colourful and glossy product lid that depicts a Romanian machine at rest on an airfield, this kit consists of a single clear sleeve that holds all EIGHT medium-grey sprues and a single clear one. Around about 250 parts makes up this release. Thankfully, the clear sprue is separately bagged within the main sleeve and all of the others are tightly packed up against each other, so no space for them to jiggle and rub against each other. A 24-page A4 manual is included, and a single decal sheet finalises the contents. I know that some modellers can be driven to frustration by the engineering choices that some companies make, but with this kit, ICM has boxed clever. As we know, it has been designed to accommodate other versions so as to maximise the tooling, but none of this is done to the disadvantage of the modeller. Some very intelligent design work can be seen here, such as the fuselage halves being full length, so no need to graft on different nose versions. The fin is also separate, indicating something from the 88G family, maybe. Wing root fairings are moulded to the fuselage and are tabbed, meaning that the upper wing panels can easily sit on these and provide a positive location point. Another touch of genius is a single piece lower fuse and inboard wing panel section. When this is fitted to the fuselage, and then the wing panels added, the lower seam will be totally hidden under the broad nacelle structure. The nacelles themselves will then locate into the undersides via tabs. If you’ve ever seen the Revell 1/32 kit, you’ll know that there is a sturdy structure within the nacelle that the undercarriage is mounted to. Looking at this model, I think that whilst you may need to fit that mounting structure prior to the nacelle, it appears that you can probably fit the landing gear later, after painting. All control surfaces on this model can be posed, with the rear of the nacelles being separate for this purpose. You may need to fiddle things with this, and I can’t comment further without test fitting this one. Two detailed Jumo211 engines are included in this kit, with the provision to display one/either of them. These really do look very good, with each unit containing around 15 parts per engine, including the firewall and associated plumbing. The engines must be installed within the nacelle before the whole assembly is offered to the wing. You’ll need to make sure your painting and masking regime is good here. Cowl radiator flaps are presented as open only, so to pose these in the more aesthetically pleasing closed position, you will need to do a little surgery. Propellers are supplied as single piece units, and the spinner comprises of the typical back-plate and front section. If you expect a lot from the cockpit area, in terms of detail, then this won’t disappoint. There are already a number of Eduard sets for this, pertaining to the earlier Luftwaffe A-4 release, so there’s always plenty to choose from if you wish to detail this model further. As no seatbelts are included in this kit, you will definitely need to sort out that omission. The office area is very well-appointed, with nicely moulded fuselage sidewall details, superbly equipped radio rear bulkhead, ammunition racks and drums, detailed instrument panel, side consoles with delicately rendered instruments, two-piece control column, rudder pedal assemblies, seats with intricate mounting points etc. I don’t really think there would be much to add in here, with the exception of some colour PE, perhaps. When assembled the cockpit will most certainly be a very busy and visual area. The bola gondola is well-appointed too, and this area is moulded separately to the underside fuselage and can be fitted later in assembly. Surface detail is everything you would expect from a modern-tooled model, with finely engraved panel lines and port details. There are also no rivets at all, so if you do want them, then you’ll have to get out Rosie. Plastic quality here is excellent with no flaws or obtrusive ejector pin marks. Clear plastic parts, both ICM and Special Hobby, are superb, with excellent clarity and nicely defined frame details. Of course, this particular kit does vary in a number of aspects, from previous releases, and looking through the parts maps does indicate a large number of parts that should NOT be used with this particular release. In fact, the original Sprue C has been supplemented with Sprue C1. This contains whole new engine nacelles, propellers, spinners, annular radiator intakes, tabbed fin and rudder, fuselage spine section with dipole etc. Parts not to be used are clearly defined on the parts map by being shaded in pink. Decals An ICM-printed decal sheet contains markings for FOUR marking schemes, with all printing being in solid, authentic colour, with minimal carrier film and also being both nice and thin. Registration is perfect too. As well as markings, a full suite of stencils are included as are instrument decals. The instruments are probably better punched out from the decal and applied individually, so you don’t have to attempt to get the decal to conform to the raised panel details. My only reservation is having to assemble the swastikas on the Finnish scheme, as these are produced with all arms as separate decals. The four schemes in this release are: Ju 88A-4, Grupul 5 Bombardment, Romania, 1944 Ju 88A-4, 3/1 Bombazo szazad of Hungarian Air Force, Russia, 1943 Ju 88A-4, 1/PleLv 44, Onttola, Finland, Summer 1944 Ju 88A-4, 3/PleLv 44, Finland, Summer 1944 Instructions ICM’s instruction manuals are very attractive and easy to follow, with 102 easy-to-follow stages that shouldn’t present any issues with assembly. The first part of the manual highlights the colours needed for completing this model (Revell and Tamiya paints), as well as parts maps of the sprues. The rear of the manual has two pages for the four schemes, printed in colour and with good decal placement notes, plus a page denoting stencil placement etc. Conclusion Another excellent Ju 88 release, and as this is Revell, you know that the price point is spot on. This kit currently retails for around £30 or less in the UK, and I think that relates to excellent value for money when you look at the detail levels that are provided here. The A-4 was a pretty common variant from around the end of the BoB until the latter stages of the war, so doubtless that this specific release will prove to be popular. I certainly hope to see more in future. This kit doesn’t have any PE parts, so for at least the seatbelts, you might want to consider some of Eduard’s aftermarket sets for the other ICM/Revell variants. Most parts will be completely usable in this release. Of course, this is an in-box review, but I am currently building the C-6 version and have found very little in the way of problems, with everything being straightforward and fitting superbly. ICM’s engineering seems to be logical and sensible, and without the annoyances of the earlier, unrelated Dragon releases. Highly Recommended My thanks to ICM for the review sample seen in this article. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  4. 1/48 Junkers Ju 88C-6 ICM Catalogue # 48238 Available from Hannants for £27.99 The Junkers Ju 88 was a German World War II Luftwaffe twin-engine multirole combat aircraft. Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke (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 a number of technical problems during later stages of its development and early operational roles but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Like several other Luftwaffe bombers, it served as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter and, during the closing stages of the conflict in Europe, as a flying bomb. Despite its protracted development, the aircraft became one of the Luftwaffe's most important assets. The assembly line ran constantly from 1936 to 1945 and more than 16,000 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. Without a doubt, the Junkers Ju 88 was one of the most versatile and adaptable aircraft to have been used during WW2. Entering service as the war was literally starting (on the day of the Polish attack), the Ju 88 became successful for its numerous famous and infamous roles, starting out as a light bomber/dive bomber, and when losses started to mount around the time of the Battle of Britain, it was moved into other theatres of war, such as North Africa, and against shipping in the Mediterranean with a torpedo-carrying variant. Where it is perhaps best known are for its roles as both a heavy fighter and night-fighter, in which it excelled. The Ju 88C series of standard fighter-bomber versions from the C-2 onwards culminated in the Ju 88 C-6, applying experience acquired with the A-4 bomber, equipped with the same Jumo 211J engines but replacing the "beetle's eye" nose glazing with a smoothly curved all-metal nose, pierced only by the barrels of its forward-firing offensive armament. The C-6 was used mostly as fighter-bomber and therefore assigned to bomber units. As a reaction to the increasing number of attacks on German shipping, especially on U-boats in the Bay of Biscay, from July 1942 it started flying anti-shipping patrols and escort missions from bases in France. V./Kampfgeschwader 40 being formed to operate the C-6. Courtesy of Wikipedia. The kit There has certainly been some mileage seen in the moulds for ICM’s rather sweet Ju 88 kit, with there now being TWELVE incarnations that have been released across the ICM, Hasegawa, Special Hobby and Revell labels. This particular Ju 88C-6 version was released about a month ago from the date of this review, and of course sees the original manufacturer’s progression through some of the key Ju 88 versions. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see more incarnations of this kit in future, hopefully covering a number of the other exotic machines that were derived from the base Ju 88 airframe. There is of course a reason why we are seeing this kit being given multiple releases and that is simply because it is the definitive tooling of this important aircraft that is currently available, and with so many Ju 88 versions that existed, modellers are going to want to build the one that is specific to their interests, such as the heavy fighter, torpedo aircraft etc. Packaged into ICM’s very sturdy, full corrugated cardboard box, with a colourful and glossy product lid that depicts a low flying C-6, possibly over the Bay of Biscay, this kit consists of a single clear sleeve that holds all NINE medium-grey sprues and two clear ones. A total of about 250 parts makes up this release. Thankfully, the clear sprues are separately bagged within the main sleeve and all of the others are tightly packed up against each other, so no space for them to jiggle and rub against each other. A 24-page A4 manual is included, and a single decal sheet finalises the contents. This release sees the addition of three new sprues, catering to the change in nose, equipment and canopy. I know that some modellers can be driven to frustration by the engineering choices that some companies make, but with this kit, ICM has boxed clever. As we know, it has been designed to accommodate other versions so as to maximise the tooling, but none of this is done to the disadvantage of the modeller. Some very intelligent design work can be seen here, such as the fuselage halves being full length, so no need to graft on different nose versions. The fin is also separate, indicating something from the 88G family, maybe. Wing root fairings are moulded to the fuselage and are tabbed, meaning that the upper wing panels can easily sit on these and provide a positive location point. Another touch of genius is a single piece lower fuse and inboard wing panel section. When this is fitted to the fuselage, and then the wing panels added, the lower seam will be totally hidden under the broad nacelle structure. The nacelles themselves will then locate into the undersides via tabs. If you’ve ever seen the Revell 1/32 kit, you’ll know that there is a sturdy structure within the nacelle that the undercarriage is mounted to. Looking at this model, I think that whilst you may need to fit that mounting structure prior to the nacelle, it appears that you can probably fit the landing gear later, after painting. All control surfaces on this model can be posed, with the rear of the nacelles being separate for this purpose. You may need to fiddle things with this, and I can’t comment further without test fitting this one. Two detailed Jumo211 engines are included in this kit, with the provision to display one/either of them. These really do look very good, with each unit containing around 15 parts per engine, including the firewall and associated plumbing. The engines must be installed within the nacelle before the whole assembly is offered to the wing. You’ll need to make sure your painting and masking regime is good here. Cowl radiator flaps are presented as open only, so to pose these in the more aesthetically pleasing closed position, you will need to do a little surgery. Propellers are supplied as single piece units, and the spinner comprises of the typical back-plate and front section. If you expect a lot from the cockpit area, in terms of detail, then this won’t disappoint. Whilst there is no specific Eduard sets for this release at the time of writing, some areas could still use some of the sets designed for the ICM release. As no seatbelts are included in this kit, you will definitely need to sort out that omission. The office area is very well-appointed, with nicely moulded fuselage sidewall details, superbly equipped radio rear bulkhead, ammunition racks and drums, detailed instrument panel, side consoles with delicately rendered instruments, two-piece control column, rudder pedal assemblies, seats with intricate mounting points etc. I don’t really think there would be much to add in here, with the exception of some colour PE, perhaps. When assembled the cockpit will most certainly be a very busy and visual area. The bola gondola is well-appointed too, and this area is moulded separately to the underside fuselage and can be fitted later in assembly. Surface detail is everything you would expect from a modern-tooled model, with finely engraved panel lines and port details. There are also no rivets at all, so if you do want them, then you’ll have to get out Rosie. Plastic quality here is excellent with no flaws or obtrusive ejector pin marks. Clear plastic parts, both ICM and Special Hobby, are superb, with excellent clarity and nicely defined frame details. Of course, this particular kit does vary in a number of aspects, from previous releases, and looking through the parts maps does indicate a large number of parts that should NOT be used with this particular release. In fact, the original Sprue C has been supplemented with Sprue C1. This contains whole new engine nacelles, propellers, spinners, annular radiator intakes, tabbed fin and rudder, fuselage spine section with dipole etc. Parts not to be used are clearly defined on the parts map by being shaded in pink. Another sprue that takes a major hit on unused parts is the engine sprue. Here, you can discount all of the bomb parts, and guns/ammo drums etc. There are THREE new sprues in this particular torpedo bomber version, and it will come as no surprise to find out that two of these, H & H1, contain the reworked gondola with fixed rear facing guns, solid nose with gun apertures, forward fuselage window blanking plates, machine guns, ammunition containers for forward guns, optional exhaust shrouds, etc. Whilst I note that a single MG has been provided for the lowermost nose gun position, the others are simply represented as stubs which fit into the nose apertures. The savvy modeller could possibly work out the remaining details and install them too. One of the new sprues (H) has only one part for use with this release, with the other solid noses and nightfighter aerial arrays being scheduled for a later release. The new clear sprue contains the main canopy area, minus the upper, rear glazed sections which are supplied on the original sprue. Again, clarity and framing definition is excellent. Decals An ICM-printed decal sheet contains markings for FOUR marking schemes, with all printing being in solid, authentic colour, with minimal carrier film and also being both nice and thin. Registration is perfect too. As well as markings, a full suite of stencils are included as are instrument decals. The instruments are probably better punched out from the decal and applied individually, so you don’t have to attempt to get the decal to conform to the raised panel details. No swastikas are supplied. The four schemes in this release are: Ju 88C-6, 11./ZG.26, Mediterranean, Summer 1943 Ju 88C-6, 11./ZG.26, Mediterranean, 1943 Ju 88C-6, 13./KG.40, Lorient, France, November 1943 Ju 88C-6, 4./KG.76, Taganrog, Russia, Fall of 1942 Instructions ICM’s instruction manuals are very attractive and easy to follow, with 96 easy-to-follow stages that shouldn’t present any issues with assembly. The first part of the manual highlights the colours needed for completing this model (Revell and Tamiya paints), as well as parts maps of the sprues. The rear of the manual has two pages for the four schemes, printed in colour and with good decal placement notes, plus a page denoting stencil placement etc. Conclusion Another excellent Ju 88 release. This kit currently retails for around £30 or less in the UK, and I think that relates to excellent value for money when you look at the detail levels that are provided here. The C-6, for me, is one of the more attractive versions of this aircraft and certainly paved the way for the later BMW-powered G versions with their nightfighter prowess. This kit doesn’t have any PE parts, so for at least the seatbelts, you might want to consider some of Eduard’s aftermarket sets for the other ICM/Revell variants. Most parts will be completely usable in this release. Of course, this is an in-box review, and I’ve not looked at the fit of this. I have seen a small number of Ju 88 kits built though, and spoken to modellers who have built others, and they claim no real problems in construction. ICM’s engineering seems to be logical and sensible, and without the annoyances of the earlier, unrelated Dragon releases. Highly Recommended My thanks to ICM for the review sample seen in this article. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of this article.
  5. 1/32 Junkers D.1 Wingnut Wings Catalogue # 32065 Available from Wingnut Wings for $79.00 plus shipping The Junkers D.I (factory designation J 9) was a monoplane fighter aircraft produced in Germany late in World War I, significant for becoming the first all-metal fighter to enter service. The prototype, a private venture by Junkers designated the J 7, first flew on 17 September 1917, going through nearly a half-dozen detail changes in its design during its tests. When it was demonstrated to the Idflieg early the following year it proved impressive enough to result in an order for three additional aircraft for trials. However, the changes made by Junkers were significant enough for the firm to re-designate the next example the J 9, which was supplied to the Idflieg instead of the three J 7s ordered. During tests, the J 9 lacked the manoeuvrability necessary for a front-line fighter, but was judged fit for a naval fighter, and a batch of 12 was ordered. These were supplied to a naval unit by September 1918, which then redeployed to the Eastern Front after the Armistice. One example survives and is on display in the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, at the Paris–Le Bourget Airport, 11km north of Paris, France. Several replicas have been built, including one on display at the Luftwaffenmuseum Berlin-Gatow. Powered by a 180/200h Daimler-Mercedes D.IIIa/aü, and armed with two Spandau LMG08/15 guns, the D.1 First flew in 1918, only 41 were built before the Armistice. Extract from Wikipedia The kit It seems such a long time since the last Wingnut Wings release, but it was only 5 months ago when the Sopwith Dolphin was put on sale in time for Christmas. Prior to that in 2017, we had the amazing Stahltaub, and Green Tail Trilogy (triple Albatros D.V) release, and exactly a year ago, the quintet of Sopwith Camel kits. We’re certainly in no position to whinge and moan! A few months ago, WNW announced that they were to release the Junkers D.1 and having seen images of the test shot from the Nuremberg show, WNW’s General Manager, Richard Alexander, said that a limited number would initially be available for sale at Scale Models Expo, Upper Hutt, New Zealand. Thankfully, a few were set aside for review samples, and today we have one here to paw over and investigate. The Junkers D.1 is packed into probably the smaller of the kit release boxes such as we saw for the SE.5a etc. and is again adorned with some rather nice and atmospheric artwork, courtesy of Steve Anderson, again edged with an attractive silver frame. This image shows a pretty much full-on side profile of the diminutive looking all-metal fighter aircraft. This particular angle does lend itself to ask where the upper wing is! This was probably as close to state of the art for the time, being a monoplane with ailerons and no wing-warping system…which would have been pretty difficult on a corrugated metal and steel tube wing. Profiles of all FIVE schemes are shown on the box sides. Inside the box, four light grey sprues are supplied in separate clear bags. No clear sprue this time! A single photo-etch fret is packed along with the Cartograf-printed decal sheet. The package is completed with the addition of a 24-page A4 instruction manual. Wingnut Wings spiel for this kit reads as follows: High quality (extra thin) Cartograf decals with markings for 5 colour schemes 124 high quality injection moulded plastic parts Optional fuselage spine corrugations, foot steps, propellers, Daimler-Mercedes 180hp D.IIIa & 200hp D.IIIau engine details and “wings removed” diorama display option Authentically reproduced corrugated Duralumin surface details, lapped panels & hatches and raised rivets 11 photo-etched metal detail parts No interplane struts and (almost) no rigging makes this model the perfect introduction to First World War aircraft modelling. Sprue A As is the norm with Wingnuts kits, this sprue contains the majority of detail parts, with the exception of the engine itself. If you’re technically minded, then this particular model will really provide you with some stimuli. As with Hawker fighter aircraft of a generation further on, the Junkers D.1 is built around a tubular steel centre-section which incorporates the cockpit and engine bearer supports, plus connections onto which the main wing panels would secure (the wings on the D.1 were detachable). Work starts, predictably, on that cockpit, with a centre section that is built upon a central arrangement of sheet metal and various angled tubes. This part is moulded as a single piece in what can only be described as superb engineering on the part of WNW. Onto this fits a firewall with corrugated details and fuel gauges. This also incorporates the ammunition magazines and empty belt box. With this section complete, it is then fitted to a lower fuselage that includes the lower cowl section before the rudder pedal and control column unit are installed. Our pilot is then to be sandwiched in between the square-section cockpit side frames, with more corrugated detail and places for a grease pump, fuel tank pressurising pump and spark advance lever to be fitted. These details, as with the frames, are superb. Although the frames are square, look alongside the edges and you’ll see a fine lip with raised riveting. Very impressive. The little things mean a lot. In some attempt to lighten things overall, the rear bulkhead onto which the pilot’s seat installs, appears to have a fabric covering, with a very faint ripple detected in the surface texture. The seat itself is moulded in two parts, with the lower seat cushion having the mounting framework attached. A small tag in the rear seat locates into the bulkhead, providing a 100% sure system of installation. This is now installed into the cockpit, along with a set of nicely etched PE seatbelts. You’ll notice that the instrument board in the D.1 is a very simple affair and is moulded as a single piece. Unlike other WNW kits though, there are some small PE switches to install to this. Small holes exist to insert these into, but I would recommend drilling them out a little more with a micro drill bit. With this installed, the actual engine bearers are now added to the burgeoning assembly. This sprue also contains a few other key items for the airframe. These include the undercarriage v-struts with superb elastic bungee cord details, axle with a separate corrugated under-sheet, and wheels with separate outer hubs and their delicately tooled CONTINENTAL text. Of particular note here is the LMG08/15 Spandau assembly. Yes…assembly. These aren’t provided as individual guns, but instead they are moulded with their respective breech mounting blocks and just the solid cooling jackets in situ. Various other bits of interconnecting plumbing are included. To use the standard detail version, you must snip the inner barrel from the breech block and install to the aforementioned assembly. If you want to use the high detail option, then you fit the PE cooling jackets to the moulded guns and instead remove the solid cooling jacket from the all-in-one assembly. This model can be built with the wings removed, in case you want to create a workshop diorama etc. In order to do this, tube and frame wing ribs are moulded here, and these will insert to the wing root once the upper corrugated inboard wing panels are installed. Sprue B The very essence of the D.1 can now be seen as we take a first look at that corrugated external skin. This sprue contains the upper and lower wing panels, and the separate ailerons. You’ll see just how deep the wing chord is when you look at these parts. So as to eliminate any compression between the upper and lower panels, stiffening ribs are moulded within the wing and these line up on each panel so cement can be run along them, ensuring a rock solid final assembly. Externally, WNW really has nailed that corrugated detail, but then again, they had plenty of practice with the J.1 which formed one of their first four releases. Rivet lines can be seen running every few corrugations, lining up with what would be the internal rib construction. Each upper panel has a hole into which the aileron actuator rods will disappear. Those ailerons are moulded as single pieces, along with their actuator rods. Care will most definitely be needed here so as not to break them off. Sprue D Here we have all the remaining main airframe components, such as the lower fuselage with integral tailskid, fuselage sides, optional detail fuselage spines, engine cowls, full span stabiliser, full span elevator, and single piece rudder. Details on the lower fuselage are exquisite, with nicely pinched corrugated wing root details and positive rear v-strut undercarriage mounting points. Due to the nature of the open cockpit, it goes without saying that WNW has had to extend the corrugated details into the interior of the fuselage, and this can be seen here. The ejector pin marks in the non-corrugated band will be covered over with the lower inside tubular and corrugated frame part onto which the cockpit is built. Another nice touch designed to make our lives a little easier. I must admit that I find this rather dumpy-looking fighter quick attractive, and those lines are clearly seen with the fuselage halves, moulded with the wing root fairing. Only the very rear of the fuselage isn’t corrugated, with a small amount of flat plate metal seen here. Locating positions for the lifting handles are clearly seen. One of the schemes needs a small section of plastic removing from the forward cockpit coaming area. This is clearly defined and will be an easy task to perform. As previously stated, the engine cowls are separate parts and have corrugated details both inside and outside. Within the fuselage halves, the corrugations continue with smooth lines into which the cockpit side frames will sit, along with those lipped and riveted edges. Corrugations extend into the engine bay, of course. \ Note that this fuselage has a separate spine. This is because there are two slightly different corrugation patterns. I had to look twice to notice, and I’m sure most of us wouldn’t have missed it had WNW not included the option. That goes to show their level of research. These parts are designed to properly locate to the fuselage via tabs that plug into the false spine that runs along the top of the fuselage halves. The stabiliser is provided as a full span part that is moulded as upper and lower panels and although corrugated, has a smooth leading edge that will make the seam easy to remove As for the elevator, this is also moulded full span and as a single piece. The trailing edge on this is superbly thin with a slightly kinked lip where the plated would be riveted together. You can just about feel this on the part. The same effect can be felt on the rudder, which is moulded with an integral rudder post. Sprue E Depending on your scheme, this model can be fitted with either a 180hp Daimler-Mercedes D.IIIa or 200hp D.IIIaü. Apart from a little extra water piping and some over-compression red bands on the cylinders, there is no difference between the two engines. As I always say, the engine is a model in itself, but with this one, ensure you use the correct parts as there aren’t any shaded out on the instructions, and I know there is only one sump option to be used here, for example. Details are again superb, from those detailed crankcase parts, to the cylinders, rocker heads, magneto and ignition conduits. The only thing you might consider adding are the ignition leads, and perhaps even the excellent Taurus spark plugs. I have to say that not much else is really needed as Wingnut Wings standalone engine is just a work of art. Photo Etch Eleven parts are included as PE here, and supplied on a single, bare brass fret. These parts concern the seatbelts, MG cooling jackets and sight reticules (for the high detail option), plus instrument board switches. Production is of a very high standard with thin tags holding the parts in place. Decals A single sheet is supplied with this release, printed by Cartograf. WNW claims that the decals are extra thin is for a reason. Remember, you need to get these to settle into the corrugated skin of this fighter. That thinness is a necessity. Decals supplied here are for the national markings (split for the ailerons), various colour bands and serials. The lower section of this sheet contains the various stencils and instrument decals. Printing really is very thin, and carrier film is at a bare minimum. Colour density is excellent, and registration is perfect. The five schemes in this release are: Junkers D.1, 5185/18, Adlershof, October 1918 Junkers D.1, 5185/18, “Bänder”. Hombeek, Marine-Feld-Jagdgeschwader, November 1918 Junkers D.1, 5184/18?. “Weißer Schwanz”, Hombeek, Marine-Feld-Jagdgeschwader, November 1918 Junkers D.1, 5188/18?, “11”, October 1918 Junkers D.1, Gotthard Sachsenberg (31 victories), Theodore Osterkamp (38 victories) & Josef Jacobs (48 victories), FA 416, September – October 1919 Instructions A 24-page A4 manual is included and is every bit as good as we have come to expect. After a decent history on the type (a part of which briefly introduced this article), followed by a paint chart (Tamiya, Hymbrol and FS codes) and parts map. Construction is via by means of line drawing type illustrations, with good use of shading and coloured ink to denote part/assembly placement, and the drawings are clearly annotated throughout with colour reference and other codes. Some colour assembly illustration is supplied (cockpit, engine etc.) and a number of period photos litter the manual. You will note that some rigging is required, but only in the cockpit area for cables etc. This model is simplicity itself when it comes to this. The last pages of the manual are given over to the five schemes, ably and superbly illustrated by Ronny Bar, with colour reference details and historical notes given. Scheme colour details and decal placement are clear to follow. More period illustrations are supplied too. Conclusion Well, I’m seriously impressed with this release and it really is good to see it finally in a realscale. Details are commensurate with what we have come to expect from WNW, and you’ll certainly not be disappointed, despite the relatively low parts count. This is an important type, directly linked to the future development of the metal monoplane fighter of WW2, and it is captured here splendidly. I really do hope we seen plenty of these being built. This is also one of WNW’s cheaper releases, and I have a feeling that it’ll sell rather well. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Wingnut Wingsfor the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  6. 1/48 Junkers Ju 88A-4/Torp ICM Catalogue # 48236 Available from Hannants for £27.99 The Junkers Ju 88 was a German World War II Luftwaffe twin-engine multirole combat aircraft. Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke (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 a number of technical problems during later stages of its development and early operational roles, but became one of the most versatile combat aircraft of the war. Like several other Luftwaffe bombers, it served as a bomber, dive bomber, night fighter, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance aircraft, heavy fighter and, during the closing stages of the conflict in Europe, as a flying bomb. Despite its protracted development, the aircraft became one of the Luftwaffe's most important assets. The assembly line ran constantly from 1936 to 1945 and more than 16,000 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. Without a doubt, the Junkers Ju 88 was one of the most versatile and adaptable aircraft to have been used during WW2. Entering service as the war was literally starting (on the day of the Polish attack), the Ju 88 became successful for its numerous famous and infamous roles, starting out as a light bomber/dive bomber, and when losses started to mount around the time of the Battle of Britain, it was moved into other theatres of war, such as North Africa, and against shipping in the Mediterranean with a torpedo-carrying variant. Where it is perhaps best known are for its roles as both a heavy fighter and night-fighter, in which it excelled. Perhaps a lesser-known role for the Ju 88 was that of torpedo bomber. The A-4 was modified to carry two LTF5b torpedos, and were used in anti-shipping operations in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. The A-4/Torp was also converted to the A-17, with the ventral gondola removed and a nose housing for the aiming mechanism. This particular machine also had a dedicated torpedo rack instead of the bomb racks used on the A-4/Torp. Courtesy of Wikipedia. The kit There has certainly been some mileage seen in the moulds for ICM’s rather sweet Ju 88 kit, with there now being TEN incarnations that have been released across the ICM, Hasegawa, Special Hobby and Revell labels, with Special Hobby creating their own resin and injection plastic parts to accompany the base ICM plastic. This particular Ju 88A-4/Torp version was released about mid-2017, but I’ve only just managed to get my hands on a sample. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see more incarnations of this kit in future, hopefully covering a number of the other exotic machines that were derived from the base Ju 88 airframe. There is of course a reason why we are seeing this kit being given multiple releases and that is simply because it is the definitive tooling of this important aircraft that is currently available, and with so many Ju 88 versions that existed, modellers are going to want to build the one that is specific to their interests, such as the heavy fighter, torpedo aircraft etc. Packaged into ICM’s very sturdy, full corrugated cardboard box, with a colourful and glossy product lid that depicts a low flying A-4/Torp that has just dropped a single torpedo, this kit consists of a single clear sleeve that holds all TEN medium-grey sprues and a single clear one. A total of about 250 parts makes up this release. Thankfully, the clear sprue is separately bagged within the main sleeve and all of the others are tightly packed up against each other, so no space for them to jiggle and rub against each other. A 24-page A4 manual is included, and a single decal sheet finalises the contents. I know that some modellers can be driven to frustration by the engineering choices that some companies make, but with this kit, ICM has boxed clever. As we know, it has been designed to accommodate other versions so as to maximise the tooling, but none of this is done to the disadvantage of the modeller. Some very intelligent design work can be seen here, such as the fuselage halves being full length, so no need to graft on different nose versions. The fin is also separate, indicating something from the 88G family, maybe. Wing root fairings are moulded to the fuselage and are tabbed, meaning that the upper wing panels can easily sit on these and provide a positive location point. Another touch of genius is a single piece lower fuse and inboard wing panel section. When this is fitted to the fuselage, and then the wing panels added, the lower seam will be totally hidden under the broad nacelle structure. The nacelles themselves will then locate into the undersides via tabs. If you’ve ever seen the Revell 1/32 kit, you’ll know that there is a sturdy structure within the nacelle that the undercarriage is mounted to. Looking at this model, I think that whilst you may need to fit that mounting structure prior to the nacelle, it appears that you can probably fit the landing gear later, after painting. All control surfaces on this model can be posed, with the rear of the nacelles being separate for this purpose. You may need to fiddle things with this, and I can’t comment further without test fitting this one. Two detailed Jumo211 engines are included in this kit, with the provision to display one/either of them. These really do look very good, with each unit containing around 15 parts per engine, including the firewall and associated plumbing. The engines must be installed within the nacelle before the whole assembly is offered to the wing. You’ll need to make sure your painting and masking regime is good here. Cowl radiator flaps are presented as open only, so to pose these in the more aesthetically pleasing closed position, you will need to do a little surgery. Propellers are supplied as single piece units, and the spinner comprises of the typical back-plate and front section. If you expect a lot from the cockpit area, in terms of detail, then this won’t disappoint. Whilst there is no specific Eduard sets for this release at the time of writing, some areas could still use some of the sets designed for the ICM release. As no seatbelts are included in this kit, you will definitely need to sort out that omission. The office area is very well-appointed, with nicely moulded fuselage sidewall details, superbly equipped radio rear bulkhead, ammunition racks and drums, detailed instrument panel, side consoles with delicately rendered instruments, two-piece control column, rudder pedal assemblies, seats with intricate mounting points etc. I don’t really think there would be much to add in here, with the exception of some colour PE, perhaps. When assembled the cockpit will most certainly be a very busy and visual area. The bola gondola is well-appointed too, and this area is moulded separately to the underside fuselage, and can be fitted later in assembly. Surface detail is everything you would expect from a modern-tooled model, with finely engraved panel lines and port details. There are also no rivets at all, so if you do want them, then you’ll have to get out Rosie. Plastic quality here is excellent with no flaws or obtrusive ejector pin marks. Clear plastic parts, both ICM and Special Hobby, are superb, with excellent clarity and nicely defined frame details. Of course, this particular kit does vary in a number of aspects, from previous releases, and looking through the parts maps does indicate a large number of parts that should NOT be used with this particular release. In fact, the original Sprue C has been supplemented with Sprue C1. This contains whole new engine nacelles, propellers, spinners, annular radiator intakes, tabbed fin and rudder, fuselage spine section with dipole etc. Parts not to be used are clearly defined on the parts map by being shaded in pink. Another sprue that takes a major hit on unused parts is the engine sprue. Here, you can discount all of the bomb parts, and guns/ammo drums etc. There are THREE new sprues in this particular torpedo bomber version, and it will come as no surprise to find out that two of these, H1 & H2, contain the torpedoes and bomb racks. The torpedoes themselves are moulded as halves, with separate propulsion impellors and a fin modification unit that is similar to the ones that the Japanese used on their torpedoes at Pearl Harbour, allowing the torpedo to operate very close to the water’s surface. Detail on these is excellent, and laden with two of these, this Ju 88 version should look particularly unusual and menacing. The last new sprue here, G, contains guns for the various flexible mounts, and also optional exhaust shrouds. Decals An ICM-printed decal sheet contains markings for FOUR marking schemes, with all printing being in solid, authentic colour, with minimal carrier film and also being both nice and thin. Registration is perfect too. As well as markings, a full suite of stencils are included as are instrument decals. The instruments are probably better punched out from the decal and applied individually, so you don’t have to attempt to get the decal to conform to the raised panel details. The four schemes in this release are: Ju 88A-4/Torp, 8./KG26, Grosseto, Italy, late 1942 Ju 88A-4/Torp, 1./KG77, Italy, September 1943 Ju 88A-4/Torp, 7./KG77, Orange-Karitat, Southern France, April 1944 Ju 88A-4/Torp, 3./KG26, Bardufoss, Norway, February 1945 Instructions ICM’s instruction manuals are very attractive and easy to follow, with 103 easy-to-follow stages that shouldn’t present any issues with assembly. The first part of the manual highlights the colours needed for completing this model (Revell and Tamiya paints), as well as parts maps of the sprues. The rear of the manual has two pages for the four schemes, printed in colour and with good decal placement notes, plus a page denoting stencil placement etc. Conclusion Another excellent Ju 88 release, and as this is Revell, you know that the price point is spot on. This kit currently retails for around £30 or less in the UK, and I think that relates to excellent value for money when you look at the detail levels that are provided here. The A-4 was a pretty common variant from around the end of the BoB until the latter stages of the war, so I’m pleased to see this rather unusual variant counting itself amongst them. I certainly hope to see more in future. This kit doesn’t have any PE parts, so for at least the seatbelts, you might want to consider some of Eduard’s aftermarket sets for the other ICM/Revell variants. Most parts will be completely usable in this release. Of course, this is an in-box review, and I’ve not looked at the fit of this. I have seen a small number of Ju 88 kits built though, and spoken to modellers who have built others, and they claim no real problems in construction. ICM’s engineering seems to be logical and sensible, and without the annoyances of the earlier, unrelated Dragon releases. Highly Recommended My thanks to ICM for the review sample seen in this article. To purchase directly, click THIS link.
  7. 1/48 Junkers Ju 88D-2/D-4 Special Hobby Kit # SH48178 Available from Special Hobby for around €44,73 Without a doubt, the Junkers Ju 88 was one of the most versatile and adaptable aircraft to have been used during WW2. Entering service as the war was literally starting (on the day of the Polish attack), the Ju 88 became successful for its numerous famous and infamous roles, starting out as a light bomber/dive bomber, and when losses started to mount around the time of the Battle of Britain, it was moved into other theatres of war, such as North Africa, and against shipping in the Mediterranean with a torpedo-carrying variant. Where it is perhaps best known are for its roles as both a heavy fighter and night-fighter, in which it excelled. The C version, which is the subject of this kit, saw the glass nose replaced with a sheet metal unit, carrying a lethal punch of four fixed guns (1 x MG FF cannon, and 3 x MG17). This was the version which eventually morphed into the deadly Ju 88G, with its revised fin and night-fighting equipment, including spine mounted, upward firing guns and lack of the bola. Many of the C version machines were built from converted A-1 and A-4 airframes, and still retained the ability to also carry bombs. To deceive enemy fighters, a number of these heavy fighters had their noses painted to represent the glazed nose A variants. The kit ICM seem to be favourites for other companies to re-box at the moment, with this latest Special Hobby kit, along with their recent Ju 88C-4 release, being of Ukrainian origin. ICM’s base kit was first released in 2015, as the A-5, with further subsequent ICM and Hasegawa boxings. However, this is the first time that we’ve seen a ‘D’ version of this kit. This quirk is due to the majority of the kit being ICM, coupled with new injection-moulded and resin parts from Special Hobby themselves. So, if you want a recently new-tooled Ju 88 that is marketed as the Photo Recon/Tropical version, then this is one you may well opt to buy. This kit itself is packaged into a fairly large box with a nice painting of a Ju 88 being pursued by a P-40. The lid is quite a tight fit, but when you get this off, the parts within are packaged into a single clear sleeve, with the clear sprue being separately packed. A cardboard shelf sits over one side of the inner box, with the decal sheet and resin parts securely fastened to it, as well as the brand new Special Hobby clear sprue. An A4 colour-printed instruction manual resides in the bottom of the box. As for the plastic itself, there are SEVEN sprues of light grey ICM plastic and one sprue of ICM clear plastic. This is alongside a single sprue of light grey Special Hobby plastic and one extra clear sprue from this company. There are also 8 extra parts, cast in dark grey resin. I know that some modellers can be driven to frustration by the engineering choices that some companies make, but with this kit, ICM has boxed clever. It is designed to accommodate other versions so as to maximise the tooling, but none of this is done to the disadvantage of the modeller. Some very intelligent design work can be seen here, such as the fuselage halves being full length, so no need to graft on different nose versions. The fin is also separate, indicating something from the 88G family, maybe. Wing root fairings are moulded to the fuselage and are tabbed, meaning that the upper wing panels can easily sit on these and provide a positive location point. Another touch of genius is a single piece lower fuse and inboard wing panel section. When this is fitted to the fuselage, and then the wing panels added, the lower seam will be totally hidden under the broad nacelle structure. The nacelles themselves will then locate into the undersides via tabs. If you’ve ever seen the Revell 1/32 kit, you’ll know that there is a sturdy structure within the nacelle that the undercarriage is mounted to. Looking at this model, I think that whilst you may need to fit that mounting structure prior to the nacelle, it appears that you can probably fit the landing gear later, after painting. All control surfaces on this model can be posed, with the rear of the nacelles being separate for this purpose. You may need to fiddle things with this, and I can’t comment further without test fitting this one. Two detailed Jumo211 engines are included in this kit, with the provision to display one/either of them. These really do look very good, with each unit containing around 15 parts per engine, including the firewall and associated plumbing. One scheme that has standard day splinter camo, will use the plastic kit parts for exhausts. For the other two night schemes, a set of resin exhaust flame dampers are included. It does appear that the rear of the resin flame dampers contains a block that represents the visible connection between the damper and the engine. So, all should be good in opening the cowls with these installed. Check your references. The engines must be installed within the nacelle before the whole assembly is offered to the wing. You’ll need to make sure your painting and masking regime is good here. Cowl radiator flaps are presented as open only, so to pose these in the more aesthetically pleasing closed position, you will need to do a little surgery. Propellers are supplied as single piece units, and the spinner comprises of the typical back-plate and front section. If you expect a lot from the cockpit area, in terms of detail, then this won’t disappoint. Whilst there are no specific Eduard sets for this release at the time of writing, some areas could still use some of the sets designed for the ICM release. I would at least recommend some seatbelts, at least. The office area is very well-appointed, with nicely moulded fuselage sidewall details, accompanied by a superbly equipped radio rear bulkhead. Unlike the previous C-4 nightfighter release, there are no resin ammunition racks and drums, resin instrument panel with this release. However, the model already comes with nicely detailed side consoles with delicately rendered instruments, two-piece control column, rudder pedal assemblies, seats with intricate mounting points etc. When assembled the cockpit will most certainly be a very busy and visual area. The bola is moulded separately to the underside fuselage, and can be fitted later in assembly. Surface detail is everything you would expect from a modern-tooled model, with finely engraved panel lines and port details. There are also no rivets at all, so if you do want them, then you’ll have to get out Rosie. Plastic quality here is excellent with no flaws or obtrusive ejector pin marks. Clear plastic parts, both ICM and Special Hobby, are superb, with excellent clarity and nicely defined frame details. Three options are provided for the rear canopy, with weapon’s placements, and you’ll need to make sure you use the new main canopy provided on the Special Hobby sprue, and not the original ICM part. To convert this model to the D-2/D-4 standard, some surgery will be required. This involved cutting away the plastic at the rear fuselage area of the wing centre section, and grafting into it a new fuselage section that is moulded in clear plastic, incorporating the clear windows for the downward-facing cameras. This unit is built up as a tray, with stanchions and brackets inside onto which are mounted the camera units. The difference between the D-2 and D-4 versions are nil. On the real aircraft, there was a tropicalisation within the engine units, with no external signs of variant change. I suppose the only real way of telling was if the aircraft was in desert camouflage! The resin parts in this kit do more than simply provide the aforementioned conversion parts for the D-2/D--4. They also provide enhancements over general kit detail, such as nicely weighted wheels and new tailwheel and mudguard. Unlike the previous C-4 version, this kit doesn’t supply the replacement main gear doors with internal detail missing on the kit parts. That is a shame, but I’m sure those can be purchased separately. All parts are nicely cast in dark grey resin, with no flaws. Of course, you will need to remove casting blocks, but looking at these pieces, that won’t be too difficult a task for the average modeller. A Cartograf-printed decal sheet contains markings for THREE markings, with all printing being in solid, authentic colour, with minimal carrier film and also being both nice and thin. Registration is perfect too. As well as markings, a full suite of stencils are included as are instrument decals. The three schemes are: Ju 88D-4, 7A+GH, 1.(F)/121, North Africa Ju 88D-2, 4N+FH, 1.(F)/22, Norway Ju 88D-2, F9+15, long-range reconnaissance squadron, Royal Hungarian Air Force Conclusion It’s great to have a modern tool Ju 88D-2/D-4, and one whose base plastic can now put the maligned Dragon versions out to pasture, plus the poorly-executed Hobbycraft release. This kit has everything; a great cockpit, two detailed engines and the excellent camera conversion set. I can’t see anything here that would challenge your average modeller, and the price-point is also very attractive, with this kit retailing for around £38 in the UK (as of time of writing). If you have ever hankered to build a tropicalized version of the Ju 88, then this blend of both ICM and Special Hobby parts should be high on your purchase list. Highly recommended My thanks to Special Hobby for this review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE
  8. 1:32 Junkers Ju 87G-2 Stuka Trumpeter Catalogue # 03218 Available from Hannants for £52.99 The Stuka is hardly an unknown amongst us modellers, and until recently, we only had the Revell/Hasegawa kits to choose from in 1:32, with the exception of the not-so-easy-to-source Ju 87B/R from 21st Century Toys. If you wanted to build the later, and sexier looking Gustav, then it was the Hasegawa and Revell (ex-Hasegawa) that were the order of the day. However, over the last three years, Trumpeter have stepped up to the plate and have released a whole range of Stuka versions, including the more unusual ‘Anton’, and also a skis-fitted machine. After a little extra parts tooling and re-jigging, the latest incarnation of this sees the only alternative ‘Gustav’ to the Hasegawa/Revell release, and of course offers a fully detailed engine, unlike the other releases. Let’s take a look under the hood of this one and see what exactly we get. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTS686z0Cbo This kit is packed into one of the rather sturdy and typical Trumpeter boxes that is constructed from corrugated card, and has a high gloss finish. I’ve always quite liked Trumpeter’s artworks, and this is no different, capturing the lines of the Ju 87G over a winter landscape. Lifting the lid shows a compartmented interior, with a number of smaller weapons sprues, vinyl tires and two small PE frets packed into there. The larger compartment of course holds the main part of the kit, instructions, a glossy colour scheme sheet, and a single decal sheet. There are a total of FOURTEEN sprues of light grey plastic here, that are mostly packed separately, plus another two clear sprues that are again separate, and also protected further by being wrapped in thin foam. SPRUES A & P The unusual nomenclature here obviously shows that earlier alphabet labels applied to the previous releases in the Stuka range. Both of these sprues though, are mainly concerned with the outer wing panels and other wing elements. Those main, outer wing panels are connected to their inboard counterparts by means of two spars that not only create some extra rigidity, but also ensure the correct angle is attained. External wing panel detail is excellent, with rivet and fastener detail only along the main panel lines. The various ports are neatly scribed too and look very good. Note that the wingtips are separate parts, presumably indicating a later release of the extended-wing D-5 version. Seems pretty logical to me. Both gun bays are moulded so they can display the weaponry within. Those gun bays are also more than reasonable for an out of box experience. They comprise of a detailed floor with stringer detail, separate sidewall parts, MG17 gun breeches, breech plates, ammunition feeds and stub barrels. Inboard upper wing panels have the characteristic stiffening strakes on their exterior too. Please note that to fit the external gun pods, you will need to open up a series of predetermined holes within the inside of the lower wing panels. Other parts on these sprues include the stabiliser struts, main wing spars, wingtips, and inner and outer flaps. SPRUEs C1 & C3 These two sprues are physically connected and concern the Jumo 211 engine. Together, they contain over 30 parts, all of which look like they are to be utilised here. Looking at photos of a 211, and referencing both detail and shape, I don’t think there’s really too much to complain about here. It’s just a pity that Trumpeter make no actual provision for displaying the engine in the model, unless you leave off the entire forward cowling sections, moulded as halves in this kit. SPRUE M This is a newly tooled sprue that is so far only specific to this particular G-2 release. Here we can see some of the sleekness of this particular version in the fuselage and cowl sections. The fuselage is moulded without any nose cowl sections, and also has a separate rudder. As with the wing panels, you’ll notice that the rivets run along the panel lines only. I get the impression that this has been more to negate Trumpeter’s criticism of employing too many rivets, as photos I have seen of the Ju 87 do indeed show more rivets than are represented here. Hey, I’m no river-counter, ironically, and I do indeed like how Trumpeter has tackled this. Other external detail is also very good, such as engraved ports, and also a recess for the lower end of the tail strut to sit within. Also note that the upper forward fuse (instrument panel area) and section to immediate rear of gunner, are also moulded separately, and included on this sprue. The engine cowl halves are also very good and superbly detailed. It’s a real pity that they are supplied as they are instead of the separate upper and lower sections that would comprise this in reality. That’s my only real ‘downer’ on this kit, but fixing it isn’t impossible. There is no detail within the fuselage halves, as like Hasegawa, Trumpeter has moulded the internal side walls as separate parts; included here. Again, detail really is very good, and I can’t complain about what’s on offer here. With the other detail attached, only a little wiring would be needed to make this really pop. SPRUE N Trumpeter designed this kit so that the wing and fuse are built first, and then connected. To facilitate this, the lower wing section incorporating both inboard panels and lower fuse, is a single part here, including section for bomb launch mechanism, window and wing radiator points. This sprue predominantly contains parts for the cockpit, including instrumentation, panels, cockpit floor, seats, radios, control stick etc. etc…..basically, everything that you would expect to see, and Trumpeter have made an excellent job of this. A separate piece of head armour is included on Sprue Q, Here are a selection of photos showing the cockpit detail parts. You decide for yourself. I do feel the instrument panel is a little average, and the dial faces are too small. Again, this is fixable with a sanding stick and some Airscale PE bezels/instrument decals. It’s what I will use when I come to build this. Other parts on this sprue include the radiator parts. Unfortunately, the cooling flaps can’t be posed without surgery. Also on this sprue are the single-piece ailerons and antennae mast, as well as a small number of non-cockpit parts. SPRUE Q I’ve heard some criticism of some of the spats on the previous Trumpeter Stuka kits. I really don’t know if these are correct or not, but spending time looking at various photos and profiles, they do look very good, and nothing jumps out as being incorrect. Even though there is no provision for displaying the gear without the spats, the legs themselves are very reasonable, and if you’re willing to take out a saw and do a little work, then you can indeed display the struts. You would need to check the wheel hubs though, as they seem rather simple. This sprue is a real mish-mash of parts, with engine bearers, bomb carrier, engine firewall, chin radiator etc. being seen here. Also moulded here are the prop and spinner parts. I’m not totally convinced by the prop blades, if I’m honest. They seem rather flat in section, but the shape itself looks reasonable. Where this kit would benefit is from new exhausts. The kit parts are so scrawny that there is barely anything to hollow out. SPRUE R My first observation here are some plates that appear to be external armour. I can’t see any use of these in this release though. Now, onto the serious business here; namely the under-wing 37mm guns. These comprise the interior guns themselves, that are beautifully detailed, plus the external pod cases. These are moulded as handed here, whereas they were actually identical. I’m pretty sure these can be fixed with a little plasticard, filler and ingenuity. Just a pity that Trumpeter took the eye off the ball here. Still, not all is bad. The barrels are slide moulded, meaning the muzzles are hollow. You will need to drill out the series of holes in this though, or change the part for a barrel set from MASTER. SPRUE S This sprue predominantly contains the parts for the stabilisers and separate elevators, and here I see a slight faux pas …..and I mean slight. The elevator mass-balance has been moulded integrally with the curved section that is fitted to the stabiliser tip. It’s no biggie I suppose, as the elevator actuators are moulded with them being set to ‘neutral’. I would look at cutting those parts and making them separate for more realism. Externally, the flying surfaces have restrained rivets and subtle engraving. As well as the flying surfaces, you will also find ammunition drums, wheel hubs, wing gun bay doors, and a good number of small detail parts. SPRUES WA, WB(x2), WD, WE These five sprues contain the various under-wing load-outs. These are clusters of bombs, fuel tanks with ETC racks, 50kg bombs with optional percussion rods, an unidentified machine gun pod, and lastly the centreline 500kg bomb. All of these are to be optionally located to the outboard wing mounting point, with the exception of the centreline bomb, of course. The larger bombs have separate fins or at least a separate part that slots over the main moulded one. SPRUES X & Y Lastly, we come to the clear parts. We actually have a number of options here, such as two different parts for the windscreen and pilot’s sliding hood. There are actually two parts supplied for the gunner’s hood, although only one is shown in the assembly. However, that part isn’t included in the ‘unused parts’ list, so I really don’t know where the omission lies. The parts themselves are superbly clear and have great framing definition that will make masking a pretty easy job. A nice touch is that one of the forward pilot hoods also has separate side windows that can be posed either open or closed. PHOTO ETCH Not all parts here are to be used. The largest parts are for the ammunition feeds for the 37mm guns. Other used parts are for pilot rear mirror and internal canopy handle, gunner MG reticule parts, fuel tank straps etc. Quality is excellent, although I have to question why Trumpeter didn’t include seatbelts. Whilst I prefer fabric ones, there should have been something here for the modeller to use instead of having to buy aftermarket. VINYL TYRES Love them or loathe them, they are included. There also aren’t any options for a plastic alternative, so if you don’t like them, you’ll have to hope you can source something that will fit. Personally, I don’t like them. DECALS This single sheet has no indicator where they are printed. I think they are probably Chinese, and are certainly not as good as Cartograph, in some respects. Printing quality and register is perfect, but there is more carrier film than I would have liked to see. The glossy surface is also a little pocked where the protective paper had stuck to it. Some stencils are included too, as it a decal for the instrument panel. I don’t really care for the latter though. The schemes supplied here are for: Junkers Ju-87G-2, Stab/SG 2 <-+-, W.Nr. 484110 Junkers Ju-87G-2, Stab/SG 2 <-+-, W.Nr. 494193 INSTRUCTIONS Certainly no problems here with easy to follow, clear illustrations that also have some colour call-outs supplied. Optional parts are also easily identified. Conclusion I must admit, I really do like the Ju 87, otherwise I wouldn’t have ordered in this review kit. Am I disappointed in anyway? Well, not really. I think the only thing I would have liked to have seen here are removable engine cowls and under-wing cannon pods that aren’t handed. It’s no deal breaker though, as Trumpeter really seem to have captured the lines of the Ju 87G very well. I’m not going to say ‘perfectly’, as I can’t substantiate that due to lack of 1:32 profiles that I can check this against. Where this kit does excel over the Hasegawa kit is that engine, and also the inclusion of the wing gun bays. Trump has done a more than admirable job of replicating the cockpit too, and it should certainly keep detail fans happy, despite the AM companies doubtless jumping in to provide refinements. The kit also comprises over 340 parts too, so you’ve certainly got plenty of work to do to create your masterpiece. In all, I have to say I really like this one, and may just invest in the ‘Anton’ too. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Pocketbond for this review sample. To purchase directly, head over to Hannants and splash the cash.
  9. 1/48 Junkers Ju 88C-4 Special Hobby Kit # SH48177 Special Hobby for 49,70€ Without a doubt, the Junkers Ju 88 was one of the most versatile and adaptable aircraft to have been used during WW2. Entering service as the war was literally starting (on the day of the Polish attack), the Ju 88 became successful for its numerous famous and infamous roles, starting out as a light bomber/dive bomber, and when losses started to mount around the time of the Battle of Britain, it was moved into other theatres of war, such as North Africa, and against shipping in the Mediterranean with a torpedo-carrying variant. Where it is perhaps best known are for its roles as both a heavy fighter and night-fighter, in which it excelled. The C version, which is the subject of this kit, saw the glass nose replaced with a sheet metal unit, carrying a lethal punch of four fixed guns (1 x MG FF cannon, and 3 x MG17). This was the version which eventually morphed into the deadly Ju 88G, with its revised fin and night-fighting equipment, including spine mounted, upward firing guns and lack of the bola. Many of the C version machines were built from converted A-1 and A-4 airframes, and still retained the ability to also carry bombs. To deceive enemy fighters, a number of these heavy fighters had their noses painted to represent the glazed nose A variants. The kit ICM seem to be favourites for other companies to re-box at the moment, with this latest Special Hobby release also being of Ukrainian origin. ICM’s base kit was first released in 2015, as the A-5, with further subsequent ICM and Hasegawa boxings. However, this is the first time that we’ve seen a solid nose C version of this kit. This quirk is due to the majority of the kit being ICM, coupled with new injection-moulded and resin parts from Special Hobby themselves. So, if you want a recently new-tooled Ju 88 that is a night fighter, then this is one you may well opt to buy. This kit itself is packaged into a fairly large box with an atmospheric artwork of a black 88C at dusk, after an encounter with a Wellington. The lid is quite a tight fit, but when you get this off, the parts within are packaged into a single clear sleeve, with the clear sprue being separately packed. A cardboard shelf sits over one side of the inner box, with the decal sheet and resin parts securely fastened to it, as well as the brand new Special Hobby clear sprue. An A4 colour-printed instruction manual resides in the bottom of the box. As for the plastic itself, there are SEVEN sprues of light grey ICM plastic and one sprue of ICM clear plastic. This is alongside a single sprue of light grey Special Hobby plastic and one extra clear sprue from this company. There are also 24 extra parts, cast in dark grey resin. I know that some modellers can be driven to frustration by the engineering choices that some companies make, but with this kit, ICM has boxed clever. It is designed to accommodate other versions so as to maximise the tooling, but none of this is done to the disadvantage of the modeller. Some very intelligent design work can be seen here, such as the fuselage halves being full length, so no need to graft on different nose versions. The fin is also separate, indicating something from the 88G family, maybe. Wing root fairings are moulded to the fuselage and are tabbed, meaning that the upper wing panels can easily sit on these and provide a positive location point. Another touch of genius is a single piece lower fuse and inboard wing panel section. When this is fitted to the fuselage, and then the wing panels added, the lower seam will be totally hidden under the broad nacelle structure. The nacelles themselves will then locate into the undersides via tabs. If you’ve ever seen the Revell 1/32 kit, you’ll know that there is a sturdy structure within the nacelle that the undercarriage is mounted to. Looking at this model, I think that whilst you may need to fit that mounting structure prior to the nacelle, it appears that you can probably fit the landing gear later, after painting. All control surfaces on this model can be posed, with the rear of the nacelles being separate for this purpose. You may need to fiddle things with this, and I can’t comment further without test fitting this one. Two detailed Jumo211 engines are included in this kit, with the provision to display one/either of them. These really do look very good, with each unit containing around 15 parts per engine, including the firewall and associated plumbing. One scheme that has standard day splinter camo, will use the plastic kit parts for exhausts. For the other two night schemes, a set of resin exhaust flame dampers are included. It does appear that the rear of the resin flame dampers contains a block that represents the visible connection between the damper and the engine. So, all should be good in opening the cowls with these installed. Check your references. The engines must be installed within the nacelle before the whole assembly is offered to the wing. You’ll need to make sure your painting and masking regime is good here. Cowl radiator flaps are presented as open only, so to pose these in the more aesthetically pleasing closed position, you will need to do a little surgery. Propellers are supplied as single piece units, and the spinner comprises of the typical back-plate and front section. If you expect a lot from the cockpit area, in terms of detail, then this won’t disappoint. Whilst there is no specific Eduard sets for this release at the time of writing, some areas could still use some of the sets designed for the ICM release, but you must remember that this model has a number of cockpit changes. Thankfully, Special Hobby has included these as resin parts, so you don’t need to rush to order aftermarket, except for seatbelts, at least. The office area is very well-appointed, with nicely moulded fuselage sidewall details, accompanied by a choice of 2 differently equipped radio rear bulkheads, resin ammunition racks and drums (for the forward guns), resin instrument panel, side consoles with delicately rendered instruments, two-piece control column, rudder pedal assemblies, seats with intricate mounting points etc. The other resin parts within this area relate to the nose weapons pack, including another ammunition box, gunner seat and mount, and the gun unit itself. The latter is mostly made up from parts from the new Special Hobby conversion sprue, as is the solid nose and its firewall. When assembled the cockpit will most certainly be a very busy and visual area. The bola gondola is well-appointed too, with a number of resin parts helping to fit it out. This area is moulded separately to the underside fuselage, and can be fitted later in assembly. ***A quick note here…Special Hobby has incorrectly listed the original gondola parts on Sprue A to be used. This is WRONG! Special Hobby’s new sprue has the parts you SHOULD use. This is backed up on the parts plan at the beginning of the manual, but incorrect numbers are shown on assembly*** Surface detail is everything you would expect from a modern-tooled model, with finely engraved panel lines and port details. There are also no rivets at all, so if you do want them, then you’ll have to get out Rosie. Plastic quality here is excellent with no flaws or obtrusive ejector pin marks. Clear plastic parts, both ICM and Special Hobby, are superb, with excellent clarity and nicely defined frame details. Three options are provided for the rear canopy, with weapon’s placements, and you’ll need to make sure you use the new main canopy provided on the Special Hobby sprue, and not the original ICM part. The resin parts in this kit do more than simply provide the aforementioned conversion parts for the C-4. They also provide enhancements over general kit detail, such as nicely weighted wheels, new tailwheel and mudguard, replacement main gear doors with internal detail missing on kit parts. All parts are nicely cast in dark grey resin, with no flaws. Of course, you will need to remove casting blocks, but looking at these pieces, that won’t be too difficult a task for the average modeller. A Cartograf-printed decal sheet contains markings for THREE markings, with all printing being in solid, authentic colour, with minimal carrier film and also being both nice and thin. Registration is perfect too. As well as markings, a full suite of stencils are included as are instrument decals. The three schemes are: Ju 88C-4, R4+MK, W.Nr.0359, 2/NJG2, Glize-Rijen, May 1941 Ju 88C-4, R4+MT, 9/NJG2, Glize-Rijen, Summer 1942 Ju 88C-4, R4+DL, 3/NJG2, Catania, Sicily, May 1942 Conclusion It’s great to have a modern tool Ju 88C-4 that can now put the maligned Dragon versions out to pasture, plus the poorly-executed Hobbycraft release. This kit has everything; a great cockpit with resin details, two detailed engines and some nice sub-variant options such as the canopy parts. I can’t see anything here that would challenge your average modeller, and the price-point is also very attractive, with this kit retailing for around £45 in the UK (as of time of writing). If you have ever hankered to build the heavy fighter version of the Ju 88, then this blend of both ICM and Special Hobby parts should be high on your purchase list. Highly recommended My thanks to Special Hobby for this review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE
  10. I believe this build will qualify, as KG 26 was using the Ju 188 as a torpedo carrier, pretty much to the very end of the war, even though they sustained some pretty heavy losses in those final months. It is my understanding that elements of II and III Gruppen handed over their aircraft to the British, in Norway, at the end of the war (which is what I have read that the photograph below actually depicts). I believe most of those aircraft were destroyed, soon afterwards. However, there was at least one or two that survived, if only for a couple years, to be reviewed and tested by the RAF before being scrapped (one reference stated that a particular 188 from this unit was kept until 1947 before meeting it's fate). I've built a couple of Ju 188s before, both of them being from the DML kits in 1/48 scale. The first was about 20 years ago and was an E. The second, which I completed earlier this year, was an A and was done as a study for this build, actually. However, at the time, I was leaning towards a night-flying pathfinder of KG 6, as found by the British in Belgium, late in the war. As mush as I enjoyed building that one and was pleased with the outcome, overall, there was yet another scheme that had been pulling at my heartstrings, for most of my life, actually. Ever since I was a kid, it seemed that every time I went looking for information on the Ju 188, there was one photograph that kept popping up. Almost every generic "Aircraft of WW2/the world/Luftwaffe" would have this picture in it, somewhere. So, it's a familiar photo for most Luftwaffe fans, yet I haven't seen a lot of models built depicting it, especially in larger scales. This is believed to be a D-2 and, if you look closely, you'll notice that it still has the mounts for the Fug 200 "Hohentwiel" radar on the nose and, therefore, is also lacking the nose mounted MG 151/20 cannon (unless it was also removed like the dorsal cannon, but most radar equipped aircraft didn't have the nose gun). Given the activity record of III/KG 26 leading up to the time that this photo was taken, it can also be assumed that this aircraft most likely had pylons/racks mounted for torpedoes. I'm not sure yet if I want to depict it exactly as it appears in the photos, or install the radar (AIMS has a PE set that would work). I'm kind of leaning towards the latter. Even though it will be more work, I think the overall presentation would be more impressive with the radar attached. The base kit is going to be Revell's Ju 88A-4 and the conversion is AIMS models' 188A/D set. For my main references, I have copies of the two Ju 188/388 books by AJ press (Polish versions, however) and have also obtained a copy of Hikoki's "Luftwaffe Aerial Torpedo Aircraft and Operations in World War Two". The Hikoki book is a great reference for specific units, giving an operational diary, including that of KG 26. It will probably be some time before I can start this build, as I'm trying to get started on another commisisoned project and hope to get that finished, first (but if I can start picking away at this at any point in the meantime, should I have some down time from that build, I will certainly do so!). Cheers, John
  11. 1:32 Junkers Ju 88A-4 with bombs Revell Catalogue # 03988 Has it really been SIX years since Revell released their much-lauded 1:32 Ju 88A-1? I really don't know where time goes. What perhaps isn't too forgivable, giving that time span, is the length of time it's taken Revell to finally launch the A-4 boxing of this kit. The A-1 parts break down did pretty much indicate that we would indeed see other variants of this iconic aircraft, but why so long to deliver? Never mind, for me, I'm just pleased to say that we finally have this kit here on our desk for inspection. Revell, you are forgiven. If you've seen the previous A-1 boxing of this kit, you won't be surprised to know that the A-4 occupies the same size packaging, this time adorned with superb artwork. Inside that slightly flimsy top-opening box, THIRTEEN sprues of light grayish-blue styrene, and TWO sprues of clear plastic are supplied. With the exception of the clear sprues which are packaged individually, the remaining sprues are packed in a combination of separate packets, with a number of them doubled up – notably those for which sprue multiples are supplied. This kit isn't simply a reworked A-1 with a handful of different parts. Yes, there are a good number of parts which are indeed common to the previous release, but not all. Some sprues have been replaced with newly-tooled ones which are specific to the A-4, whilst we also have new parts which weren't included in the first release, namely a set of external bombs and ETC racks. This is the summary of changes/inclusions in this the Ju 88A-4 kit. SEVEN sprues common to Ju 88A-1 kit, including new radio set part on sprue C, omitted in A-1 kit FIVE newly tooled sprues, specific to this release TWO sprues deleted from A-1 variant. So, in total, more plastic included in this release. Let's take a fresh, new look at this release in more detail. You'll notice a break in the sprue lettering sequence due to deleted sprues and newly included ones. SPRUE A Being the first, common sprue to the previous A-1, you'll not be surprised to see this one carries key airframe components for this build, namely the fuselage halves and wing upper and lower panels. The beautifully detailed exterior surfaces to both wings and fuselage contain some very refined panel lining and port access detail. As is common with Revell design, there are no rivets to be found anywhere. A few fasteners here and there, yes, but apart from that, the surfaces are a blank canvas for those who perhaps want to add these themselves. I'd much rather add rivets than want to remove excessive divots seen on some kits. All moulding is exceptional, with no defects, next to no flash anywhere, and no trouble with ejector pin marks in the cockpit area due to the interior walls being separate parts. The spine and lower forward fuselage are provided, as before, as separate parts. Slots in the wing roots exist for the interior formers with their integral wing spars to pass through. SPRUE C Here we find more parts which are common to the previous release, namely the two internal formers with their integral wing spars, rear engine nacelle sections, where there bisect the wing leading edge, and also the large rear nacelle underside section, with the gear doors moulded in situ in a closed position. For the tail area, we have two more spars which insert within the rear fuselage, and give a positive locating point for the large horizontal tail surfaces. There are also the two tail root fairings included here. The interior walls for the cockpit are included on this sprue, but will be fitted out slightly different for the A-4 version. These are superbly moulded, with plenty of sharp detail, and look great when painted and assembled. Lastly, a new part for the upper radio bank panel is included. This was snipped off from the previous A-1 release so as not to confuse it with a similar part which was included on the deleted sprue B. SPRUE D Another common sprue. The Ju 88A-4's horizontal tail surfaces were common to its earlier incarnation, and you'll find them moulded here, complete with their separate elevators. The remainder of this sprue is given over to the rather chunky undercarriage legs with moulded gaiter, undercarriage support structures and also dive brakes. Going back to the undercarriage legs, these are moulded as halves, which for me, was always a weakness in their design when it comes to supporting a large and heavy model. Still, this does at least allow you to add a steel pin within them in order to make them a little more rigid.You'll notice just how warped this sprue is. Nothing in the packaging seemed to have caused this, so I can only assume the sprue was perhaps too soft when being handled from the mould. SPRUE F (x2) This sprue contains a mish-mash of parts, from the two part, un-weighted wheels, and numerous other parts associated with the u/c, such as scissor forks and hydraulic rams, to the aileron horns and sealing strips which allowed unbroken airflow when aileron angle was changed. My experience of the earlier version showed that these need to be trimmed to their correct length before installation. SPRUE G Revell have spilt the ailerons over two sprues, with the upper halves being included here. The common cockpit parts, such as internal canopy 'roll frame', radio wall, etc are superbly moulded, with fine, sharp detail. Here, you will also find the lower, forward fuselage section, the exterior panel to the front of the windscreen, as well as numerous parts concerning assembly of the tail wheel fork. SPRUE H This is the last of the regular, common sprues, and again contains a variety of parts from a number of airframe areas. Apart from the lower aileron halves that I mentioned were separate to those parts on sprue G, included here are the gondola shell itself, cockpit floor, consoles and seat/seat frames etc, fuel dump parts, and a series of formers which install into the tail wheel bay. Just as an aside, if you are a super-detailer, then there is an upgrade pack from Profimodeller which replaces the tail wheel bay parts with a completely detailed interior. See our review here. SPRUE I Although this clear sprue is common to the A-1 variant, the instructions rightly shadow out the use of the rear facing canopy part, with it's single MG installation point. Also not for use are the round window panes through which the MG would fit, despite there being two moulded. They are not the correct pattern for the A-4. The gondola rear MG glazing is also redundant. Parts which can be used of course, are the forward canopy, side window panels, and lower forward glazing, and the glass nose. Other parts here are for the bomb aimer position, and forward gondola etc. All glazings are beautifully clear and frame lines have sharp edges, unlike those of the later He 111 kit. SPRUE J We nip over to a newly tooled sprue now, in its light grey/blue plastic, matching the rest of the kit. Now perhaps you can get an idea as to why Revell engineered this model with a separate spine and wingtips. The A-4 variant had a span which was around 5 feet longer than the A-1, and those extended wingtips, and the resultant lengthened ailerons are moulded here. Not only where the wings slightly different, but so was the vertical fin. As well as being a slightly different shape, the rudder also had a tab which notched into the fin at the top of the section. All parts are included on this newly tooled sprue. Now what about that spine? The A-4 spine is slightly different too, housing the Funkgerät‎ dipole aerial and the clear cover which sits atop it. Some panel lining is different too, indicating a slight change in the position of the dinghy stowage position. The remainder of the parts on this sprue concern the cockpit of the A-4, and its different 'fitting out', including new ammunition boxes and MGs, and an entirely new instrument panel which also differed to the previous release. The panel is excellent, and individual decals are supplied for the instruments. SPRUE K This newly tooled sprue contains the external ETC bomb racks and swing braces. Prior to this release, you had to pay for such parts from AM companies, but now, you can save yourself a few £/$/€. The racks also don't disappoint, being detailed enough for most modellers. SPRUE L (x2) The A-4 variant called for a new cowling, and these are supplied over two new Sprue L additions. These have been designed so the channel section which sits below the cowl, is a separate part, so no seam to remove here. There are also newly shaped prop blades, new exhausts, spinners and hubs too. Revell have chosen to add the undercarriage doors to this sprue too, as they did on the equivalent, deleted sprue E SPRUE M (x2) Bomb racks need bombs, of course. Revell have provided two 50lb bombs and two 100lb bombes for this purpose. Moulded as halves, with separate tail fins and fin strengthening rings. There will of course be seams to remove on those bomb cases, but that's pretty unavoidable. SPRUE N Now we have the very last of our sprues, and again, another new one. Containing seven clear parts, this covers the new 'bug-eye' rear facing canopy, with its twin MG installation, and also the dipole cover, rear gondola glazing, and also an internal forward canopy-mounted gun sight. This sprue was cracked in my review sample, but Revell quickly rushed another one out to me for this article. Great service! Again, all parts are superbly clear, and frame definition is excellent. Plastic summary There are a few traces of flash on some parts, but nothing really out of what you would expect from most mainstream injection moulded kits. The kit is free from any troublesome sink marks, and ejector pin marks are thoughtfully placed. A few seams will need to be removed, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary. INSTRUCTIONS You either like Revell instructions, or hate them. Oddly enough, I quite like them. They're fairly retro and remind me of my misspent youth. They almost look like drawn images, and not the usual CAD-rendered sort we commonly see today. The paper they are printed on is not the best grade either. For me, I find them easy enough to follow, and they also show colour call-outs for the various parts and assemblies. This booklet has 18 A4 pages, and there are 113 constructional stages, with two more stages given for the two schemes supplied with this release. DECALS A single, large sheet, printed by Cartograf, is included. Printing is exactly what we have come to expect from this manufacturer, with nice thin decals, minimal carrier film, and perfect registration. Colours aren't too vivid either, so no need to tone things down. As Revell is a German company, no swastikas are included, so you'll need to source your own. A tail band is included for one version, but I would mask and spray this as you're sure to get a more pleasing result. A full set of stencils is included, as well as those cockpit instrument decals etc. Two schemes are included, and these are: Ju 88A-4, 4./KG54, Catania, Sicily, April 1943 Ju 88A-4, 3./Kü.Fl.Gr 506, Leeuwarden, Netherlands, April 1942 Conclusion A lot of modellers have been waiting for this version for a long time. Of course, there have been conversions for the earlier A-1 release, but that does indeed cost extra, and in this day and age, perhaps an extra expense that some modellers can ill afford. Revell have produced a superb kit, with those new parts being every bit as good as those from the original release from 2008. You now have a world of new schemes at your fingertips too, with decal releases from the likes of Eagle Editions. Thankfully, Revell have chosen not to mould seatbelts on the parts in this release, as they did with the He 111 and Bf 109G kits. Their belt renditions are bloody awful, to be honest. If you want belts for this set, consider the textile sets now available from both HGW and Eduard. In all, this is a superb release! Very highly recommended James H Our sincere thanks to Revell for the review sample. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit www.revell.eu
  12. Hello, sorry for the delay in getting anything uploaded but I only get one day a week to work on the model (running my pub takes up the other 6!) I originally posted in Say Hello: http://forum.largescalemodeller.com/topic/1421-hi-guys/ and promised some progress so here it is. As I said, I'm starting modelling again after a 20 year layoff so your comments on how it's looking would be appreciated. I hadn't realised how much the old eyes go in artificial light when you hit 50. Cockpit is well under way and should be finished in next couple of sessions. I've added Airscale Luftwaffe harness and some of their generic decals on the right hand sidewall. Also made an oxygen bottle from a bit of sprue and run blue wire as an oxygen pipe. At the rear I've wound some copper wire around the drum of the retractable antenna for a bit of realism and replaced the plastic spent cartridge bag with one made of masking tape Few bits of wire between the transmitters and receivers add a bit of interest. I've also been working on the engine and that's well on too. I painted it a dark gray base coat then added a wash of metallic gunmetal gray to give a slight metallic shimmer. Some chipping (stilllearning on that one) and some glossy oil runs and dry brushing and it looks like this though not complete yet. Hopefully will have the engine and cockpit ready to go in the fuselage in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime any critisisms or comments will be greatly appreciated and absorbed. Cheers
  13. 1:32 Junkers Ju 88 bomb bay Profimodeller Catalogue # 32070 Available from Profimodeller for 1 490,00 CZK It's been quite a while since we looked at our last Profimodeller sets, designed for Revell's 1:32 Ju 88 kit, and we're pleased to have several more, more recent sets here that have been sent onto SP&R HQ. The first one up is designed to create an entire bomb bay for this model. When you bear in mind that the Revell kit supplies nothing in the way of this in plastic form, you'll see that this is both an ambitious and complicated undertaking. However, Profimodeller have done just that, and produced the detail-laden set we are about to look at here. The box for this release is a fairly reasonable size, and pretty packed out with both resin and photo etch parts. I warn you that this detail set isn't for the faint-hearted, and I advise both patience and care when it comes to planning and installing it. That rather sturdy, top-lid opening box has a glossy label on it depicting an exploded view of the bay, and inside, two zip-lock bags are chock full of creamy yellow colour resin. There is a distinct whiff of some sort of solvent/chemical too, indicating the presence of mould release agent. Whilst the bags are dry internally, the parts do seem to have a slight slippery residue which you'll need to carefully clean away before assembly. A large sheet of photo etch is also included, as is a series of instruction sheets with a LOT of constructional stages. More on that soon, but we'll look at the resin parts first, starting with the bag with the largest components. Same bulkheads, opposite side Revell designed their kit to incorporate two bulkheads from which wing spars protrude. One of these forms the rear cockpit wall, without any detail to the rear of it, where the bomb bay would be. Ironically, the rear bulkhead whose internals are completely hidden, includes some rudimentary detail as if Revell perhaps did originally intend to produce a bomb bay? What perhaps also gives this away is its location, which is in exactly the correct position for the middle bulkhead in the bomb bay. It's with this great start that Profimodeller have designed this new set. Interior side walls This kit contains brand new, highly detailed bulkheads and protruding spars to replace the kit parts. You still need to remove the hollow spars from the Revell parts and fit them over the resin spars, as a sort of sleeve. This is done so that the wings still hang onto something both plastic and rigid, unlike resin which can be more brittle. With these installed, you still have an entirely plastic to plastic contact surface on the outside. There is actually a third spar-less bulkhead which fits at the rearmost position of the bay, produced in high detailed resin. You now have, effectively, two bomb bay chambers. Some bulkheads have what looks like connectors for pipes/conduits in the roof area, but nothing here is mentioned. I'll have to check references to clarify whether they need, and indeed can be piped up. These bulkheads will be detailed further with a combination of PE wiring loom and other PE parts, resin parts and also lead wire, of which you need to avail yourself. Work begins by dry-fitting the newly plastic-sheathed bulkhead/spar parts into the fuselage slots, and then marking their inner wall positions with a pencil. You now remove these until work on them is complete and the bay is assembled externally. In between these pencilled areas you will fit the interior walls, complete with former and stringer detail, as well as a little wiring and piping which will again be supplemented by wire and photo etch parts, as well as some secondary photo etch cap strips for the vertical formers. All in all, very impressive. Two wall pieces, at first, looked to have been thinly cast from the rear, but investigation shows that these thin areas need to be removed, as it coincides with the blisters in the external skin. As far as the interior walls go, there was a little damage to some cast wiring detail, but nothing that can't be fixed within a few minutes with some 0.2mm lead wire. Of course, the inner ceiling needs some detail, and two parts are designed to fit onto the underside of the upper spine. Details here coincide with that on the plastic exterior, and is very good indeed. The various structures within the bay are constructed from a combination of photo etch and resin, such as the ceiling gantries, bomb racks and other devices within the bays. You have to know at this point that there are no bombs supplied in this kit, but I think to include them would detract, and most definitely hide, all that detail which you'll work hard to install. Some surgery will be needed in order to cut the lower fuselage belly so that the bomb bay can be displayed. This is perhaps one area which is a little unclear on the instructions. Whilst you can see where the cut needs to be made, no reference is made to any curvature which needs to be induced in the photo etch bomb bay doors. These doors are connected by tabs, and also have the operating rods which will need to be attached, using styrene rod (described as wire in the instructions). As well as those doors needing to be curved, the outer ones also don't appear to sit exactly on the junction from where the old plastic belly used to sit. This you will need to carefully measure up when it comes to installing the bay, and preferably before you cut that belly apart to use this bay. You might need to use the curved outer edges of the belly, alongside the metal bay doors, if a gap results between the doors and fuselage sides. A large, bare brass PE fret is included which contains many key parts of this structure, such as former cap rips, wiring, bay doors, gantry parts and bomb rack fixing plates etc. Production quality is excellent. An ELEVEN page construction manual is supplied, with 36 sequences to follow, and I do warn you that you really need to concentrate on this and acquaint yourself with the construction before you glue anything together. It's also advisable to get some photographic reference of this area too. I'll try to do this for you too, and publish on Large Scale Modeller's walkaround area. All drawings are in line drawing format, with most stages and areas being relatively straightforward after some study. Other areas are perhaps a little more ambiguous, but may well become more relevant during construction itself. Colour call-outs are given in general word terms, with the interior seeming to be grey. I need to check this again, as I believed that it could well have been a metallic-looking yellow colour which was the result of the electrolytic process the metal underwent to protect it from corrosion. Conclusion Well, what a set! This is probably the ultimate, and certainly most complicated detail set that I have ever seen for the Ju 88, but the finished result should look simply amazing. There is a lot of work to undertake here, and it's not going to be a walk in the park when it comes to getting everything to fit together, but patience should be extremely rewarding. Highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Profimodeller for this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link. Watch out for more Ju 88 sets from Profimodeller, to be reviewed here soon James H
  14. 1:32 Ju 88A-4 detail sets Eduard Catalogue # See article for code and price Available from Eduard Join Bunny Fighter Club for further discounts It took some time, but Revell eventually got there. Releasing the Ju 88A-4 variant of one of their best kits, that is. Almost from the time that the A-1 was released, we more or less knew that the A-4 was coming, due to the kit break-down and by leaked word of mouth. Still, it took five years though. The original kit was very well catered for with regards to aftermarket, and Eduard have now stepped up to the plate to release some initial photo etch sets for this superb kit. Today we take a look at two of these sets, and also a new canopy masking set, specifically for this variant. 32352, Ju 88A-4 exterior, 18,75 € 32800, Ju 88A-4 interior S.A, 25,95 € JX160, Ju 88A-4 masks, 11,25 € 32352, Ju 88A-4 exterior A few months ago, Eduard began to produce all of their non-colour PE sets without the nickel plated surface, as they do their armour sets. I know for many, this was a welcome step, as it makes park removal and clean-up easier. They are also easier to solder (should the need arise) and I find that CA also adheres a little better. This set is one such 'bare brass' finish product, and consists of a single, relatively large fret containing around NINETY-TWO parts. 'Exterior' basically means anything that isn't cockpit-related, so here, you will find everything from upgraded main wheel bay detail, such as structural formers and gear door upgrades, right through to the tail, where a rather nice replacement for the fuel dump is supplied. If we look at the undercarriage again though, detail is supplied for the legs themselves, such as brake lines, axle shaft end plates and access plates, and also a tail wheel mud guard, omitted totally from the Revell kit. Some detail is provided to replace and refine the plastic moulded detail, such as the lug on the rear tail wheel. In the real aircraft, this was actually used for the bomb loading system cables. Other detail supplied in this set includes the Funkgerät dipole beam for the upper fuselage spine, engine radiator and outboard instrument detail, and also refinements to trim tab actuators. A little surgery will be required for in order to install all items on this set, but in all fairness, nothing that anyone should find even the little bit taxing. 32800, Ju 88A-4 interior S.A. Firstly, S.A. stands for 'self-adhesive', and refers to one of the color-printed frets containing various instruments and the multi-layer instrument panel. This set has THREE photo etch sheets. Two of these are colour-printed, with the last, and larger one being a bare brass fret. Starting with the aforementioned first colour fret, the detail on here is designed to replace just about all cockpit instrumentation. The instrument panel, as mentioned, is built from two main layers. These are a lower part containing just instrument detail, and an upper fascia forming the main panel, complete with bezels and other detail. Extra detail is supplied to attach to this also. All console detail, compass, radio set, and some data plate detail is also included. A second colour fret continues this theme, with yet more instrumentation and data plate/placard material included, as well as console levers and switches etc. Between the two colour frets, you will find approximately ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIVE parts. Colour printing detail is excellent, with solid colour. The RLM66 representation looks very good on the instrument panel and consoles, but you'll have to see how it matches the shade of the specific interior paint you'll be using. The largest bare brass fret is given over to structural detail and those internal areas which were either missed by Revell, or were in need of more than a little Eduard refining in order to make them look acceptable. A replacement etch part with wood grain texture is supplied to entirely sheath the plastic bomb aimers floor location. Other key upgrades include ammunition box detail and support frames, canopy former fascia and associated detail, gondola internal structure framing, ammunition belt feeds, and MG detail, as well as many numerous other parts associated with the gondola and internal canopy framing (grab handles etc). This set will require quite a lot of work to install, and again, some surgery will be needed to implement some parts of it, including both removal of detail and dissection of actual kit parts. As hefty as that might seem, very little of the work is difficult. You will need to roll the occasional part, so some small drill bit should be ideal for that. JX160, Ju 88A-4 masks A release such as the Ju 88 is going to need a comprehensive set of masks, and that's what we have here. There are two Kabuki masking sheets included in this release, both of which are sharply cut. I've had a lot of success with Eduard masks with regards to them fitting perfectly, so I'm sure that this would be the same. This set is specific to the A-4 version and as obvious as it might sound to the majority of us, it isn't suited to the A-1 due to major differences in the glazings concerned with the upper rear cockpit and the twin MG mounts of the A-4 version. Some liquid mask is called for on some panes due to just the inner frame outlines being supplied. If you use Klear or similar on your clear parts, I advise against this as liquid mask is usually ammonia-based, and will turn your canopy cloudy. Instead, use fragments of the mask sheet to infill any open areas. Masks are also included for the wheel hubs. Instructions The instruction sheets for these releases are typically Eduard in style, being line drawings and easy to follow with their graphical keys, shading and annotation. I envisage no problem in anyone following them whatsoever. Conclusion I have the Ju 88A-4 kit right here, and I will most certainly be using these sets in their entirety. There's nothing included here that seems superfluous or unnecessary, so in it all goes! Photo etch quality is up to Eduard's usual high and exacting standards, and the masks are a serious time saver for those of us with less than any ability to mask canopies with any refinement. I'm seriously guilty of that. The glazing areas on the Ju 88 are numerous, so it's a real bonus. Very highly recommended James H My sincere thanks to Eduard for the review samples seen here. To purchase directly, click the links in the review. Consider joining the Bunny Fighter Club for discounts on these and all other Eduard releases, as well as exclusive offers.
  15. Hi there, Here's my Junkers J.1. A great kit to start ww1 subjects with. A few tricky parts, but overall a pleasant build. I only added Master barrels and HGW seat belts. I also used lead foil to enhance the ridge that cover the ailerons. These were quite distorted in real life. Also fixed the issue with the gap between the aileron and wing. Cheers, Jeroen
  16. For anyone building the Me 262 here is a cool video on YouTube of close up shots all around the engine. This might help detailing your engine. Paul
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