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1/32 Ju87 B-2 Correction Set


nmayhew
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1/32 Ju87 B-2 Correction Set


Trumpeter Ju87 B-2 and R-2 kits
Fawcett Models and Patterns
Available direct from Fawcett Models and Patterns for £38.50 + £4.50 shipping (UK)

 

cover.jpg

 

Introduction

The Trumpeter Ju87 B-2, and its R-2 cousin, embody for me the frustrations of the large scale modeller: for decades all we had was the ancient Revell kit; whilst inexplicably none of the mainstream manufacturers wanted to touch what is probably one of the top four most famous aircraft of World War Two. Then along come Trumpeter to answer all our prayers...except not! What could so easily have been a very good - verging on the excellent - kit straight out of the box, is actually one which will only satisfy the "looks like a [insert subject name here] to me..." crowd.

 

Now whilst there is nothing wrong with belonging to this school, not everyone is a member; and for those who want something a little more, the Trumpeter Ju87 was a huge opportunity missed. On the plus side, the kit is broadly accurate from the firewall aft, and includes excellent surface detail; it fits together well, and can be found online at a fairly reasonable price. It has three main problems, however: the bottom of the spats do not have the required kink in their bottom edge when viewed side on; the entire section from the firewall onwards is grossly undersized; said nose is a mish-mash of B-1 and B-2 variants, and just plain wrong.

 

01-IMG_7905.JPG
Big bag of resin

 

The Correction Set

This set has been a while in the making, and for many months 99% of the modelling community did not even know it was a live project. But now it is here, so let's have a look...The set is resin only, but there is a lot of it. It addresses the three main problems listed above, and can be broken down itself into three sub-sets: nose correction; new spinner and choice of propeller blades; spats and replacement wheels. At the Fawcett Models and Patterns (FMP) site, an online guide to assembly is provided which includes pictures of the assembly process, and also a list of which kit parts to use, and so on.

 

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Nose

 

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Spinner and props

 

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Spats and wheels

 

1. The Nose

First, the nose correction, which is the largest of the three sets. This is dominated by the two new nose halves, and complemented by rear radiator cowling, new radiator and grill, oil cooler and accompanying flap, and finally replacement exhausts. There are some quite chunky tabs which need to be snipped off the two halves, but importantly the parts have been cast with locating pins. As a result, I was able to test fit not only the nose halves with each other, but also see how they would mate with the kit fuselage (which is after all the whole object of the exercise).

 

05-IMG_7909.JPG
FMP parts top left and bottom right – much larger

 

Before we go further into fitting the set, a few words about shape, quality and accuracy. As you can see from the comparison shots, the new nose is considerably larger than the kit one: my own comparison to both photos and plans confirms the look and general feel - basically much better. When viewed front on, I think the sides of the radiator housing could perhaps be a bit straighter, or at least straighter for longer, but I do not think this significant. The cowling at the rear of the radiator has the correct louvers which are absent from the kit, and the oil cooler intake's asymmetric fairings have been captured well in my view. My overall impression of the quality of the casting is "ok": the chunky tabs can be removed easily enough if you are careful, but the surface detail is not as sharp as that of the kit. Whereas the kit has very nice and quite subtle rivets and panel lines, the latter are rather vague and not 'CAD sharp', whilst the former are absent altogether. Once the resin and kit parts are mated, these differences will only be accentuated by their proximity. I would suggest that you will need to add some rivets and accentuate some panel lines to stop your Stuka looking a bit 'chop shop' (MDC or Radu Brinzan rivet tools and scribers at the ready!).

 

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The two halves of the nose taped together; tabs removed, but little / no other surface clean up

 

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As to the details of the nose, the exhausts are pretty good, and hollowed out as you would expect. I have some Quickboost examples for later Stuka marks which I can differentiate (sharper casting), but I think these are still decent enough, and I would use them. The surface detail on both the radiator and oil cooler is crude (or maybe it hasn't come out correctly, but the result is much the same). I have not yet test fit them, but I would strongly suggest trying to use the radiator and oil cooler surfaces from Eduard's Exterior Detail Set – reviewed here - as an overlay. The louvered grill is I appreciate a tough part to cast (it is also a very tough part to use from the Eduard set) but the FMP part does look a little toy-like when comparing to close up photos of the real thing. Finally, the louvered cowl at the rear of the radiator: I can't help but compare this with Barracuda Studios He219 engine cowlings; the Stuka part just isn't as nice I'm afraid.

 

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This will require a LOT of clean up to look respectable

 

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I will try to overlay Eduard's parts as the surface detail is not good on the radiator and oil cooler

 

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Some of the dividing lines between louvers are neither straight enough or sharp enough

 

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Exhausts look decent enough

 

Now to test fitting...I did not use the radiator insert, which I am sure once glued will help steady things, but even so the two halves went together well enough. With a little more clean up, I do not think too much filling and sanding should be required. Just to get a feel for how the nose would mate with the kit fuselage, I placed the firewall / bulkhead kit part into the recess at the rear of the nose; the fit was nice and snug and should ensure that the nose has something to 'bite' onto. I taped up the kit fuselage, adding only the gull wing centre section and the panel just forward of the pilot's windscreen. Despite holding this all together with one hand, and taking the picture with the other, I was fairly pleased with the results. For me this one action confirmed the whole set as being a 'goer'. It will fit, and it will make a massive difference to how your Stuka looks.

 

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The kit firewall resting on the trailing edge of the FMP nose – the fit will be snug which means a good connection between resin and kit fuselage

 

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It fits, and looks good!

 

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Kit cowling – note surface detail

 

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Equivalent FMP part – surface detail will need to be added

 

2. Spinner and Prop Blades

Because the new nose is that much larger than the kit's, the Trumpeter spinner and base plate will be too small – I checked and they don't really fit. The kit comes with what are meant to be the wider VS5 (?) blades, but they just do not look right. The FMP set comes with both corrected VS5 blades and a set of thinner VDM blades. Both sets of blades look good, although there was a little roughness and miscasting at the end of one VDM which will require clean up. The majority of B-2s I have seen seem to mount the VS5s, but I am sure the VDM blades will come in handy. The spinner is rather blunt and does not look correct to me. When considering the spinner and prop, it needs to be benchmarked against the designated Ju87 VS5 blade and spinner set produced by Henri Daehne, which is quite simply exquisite (if you see these, or his He111 VS11 prop sets on eBay I strongly advise you to snap them up). Whilst the FMP blades look good, the Daehne ones are sharper; the spinner – in addition to being the correct shape – is on a different level as regards detail. The good news if you are using the FMP nose is that the Daehne set was designed to be correct to scale, rather than fit the Trumpeter kit. A quick test fit showed that the two will match up ok; if anything the FMP nose is just a tad large for the Daehne spinner base, but it should work – I will certainly be using this combination.

 

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FMP vs Daehne spinner: no contest

 

3. Wheels and Spats

The kit spats, when viewed side on, lack the distinctive kink on their bottom edge. The FMP ones correct this, and look very good. Like the nose parts, they come with locating pins, and my test fit showed they go together nicely. The kit comes with 'rubber' tyres, which are not most people's cup of tea, so FMP thoughtfully provided resin replacements. The tread pattern looks correct but seems rather overdone, and some lines are either not as sharp as they should be, or not straight. The 'weighted' nature of the tyres seems over the top to me. I have not had confirmation from FMP, but these look virtually identical to those sold by Mastercasters as MST32070 (the exhausts look the same too, so my guess is they are one and the same). Basically the wheels are alright, but nothing more; they could have been better. They are not up to Barracuda Studios' standards, whom I consider the benchmark for resin wheels.

 

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FMP (left) against kit part: the resin replacement is a much better representation

 

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Close up of spat: rivet detail probably needs adding here to in order to match the rest of the kit

 

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Ok, but not great; too flat for my liking

 

Conclusion
I have mixed feelings about this set. When benchmarked against the likes of Barracuda Studios or Henri Daehne, the quality of casting and sharpness of detail is definitely a notch or two lower. The spinner shape error was surprising. Getting the surface detail up to the level of the kit will require care – not everyone is happy to rivet and (re-)scribe panel lines, which may put people off. On the plus side, the FMP nose and spats are vast improvements in terms of shape - they will make your Stuka look 'right'. Moreover, the nose will fit the fuselage without too much aggravation.

 

All of these pros and cons need to be weighed against two further considerations: price, and competition. As regards the latter, well, it's a classic case of 'the only game in town' if you don't want a Stuka with a nose that is just way too small. The spinner is a different matter: I would always opt for the Daehne product, unless I absolutely had to have VDM props, and even then I would use theDaehne hub, as the FMP spinner is too blunt. Price: I review products as if I had paid for them myself, and priced at £43 shipped, this is expensive (I am not using the price relative to the kit price, but rather as a number on its own). As price increases, so does my quality threshold, and likewise my tolerance for 'alright' and 'ok' goes down quite dramatically. I think the price for the whole set will put some off, and that many would prefer just the spats / wheels combination. In modelling terms, this is certainly the easiest option – and I have suggested as much to FMP.

I hesitate to give this set a one word yeah or nay, because it is a bit more complicated than that: it is not fantastic value for money, and quality could be better, so I can't say "highly recommended"; but, it does have key elements that you simply cannot get elsewhere and are unlikely to see from anyone else if we are realistic. I hope that this review provides enough information for readers to make an informed decision of their own.

 

With sincere thanks to Brian Fawcett of FMP for the review sample.

 

Nicholas Mayhew

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I would be interested in getting the spats as separate items... The nose shape does look good, but the it price is kinda putting me off... Once I convert it back to NZ $ and then I have to add on Shipping too!

 

Hoes does the Eduard Intake match to the Resin parts? Can it be done?

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ok just a few pics to answer some questions - apols for crappy quality 

 

to confirm, the HD spinner and HD spinner base plate fit fine on the FMP resin nose

 

IMG_7953.jpg

 

and front on

 

IMG_7954.jpg

 

HD base plate almost wafer thin in comparison

 

IMG_7955.jpg

 

no the grills

 

fit is pretty good - and probably better than a certain company's own etch for its own kit parts (ahem...)

 

IMG_7956.jpg

 

IMG_7957.jpg

 

now if only someone will churn out an accurate bomb cradle (the kit one is woeful), i think we are pretty much there aren't we?

 

cheers

 

EDIT:

Derek Bradshaw is doing one - cooooool!!!

see here: http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=46449&p=494129

Edited by nmayhew
news of Derek B upgrade
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