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1:32 Junkers Ju 88 bomb bay


James H

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1:32 Junkers Ju 88 bomb bay
Profimodeller
Catalogue # 32070
Available from Profimodeller for 1 490,00 CZK

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

 

 

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What do you use to bond the brass to the plastic?

 

I use regular Loctite CA, but if you want a little extra time to move things, try CA gel as it gives a few seconds before bonding.

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Oh wow I just finished my Ju88. I may have to do another one with all that I've learned here in the past few days, lol!!

 

 

AND....we have THREE more upgrade/detail sets being reviewed in the next 2 weeks. ;)

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I have been looking at this set to purchase. I haven't been able to find any good photo's of the detail until now.  Thank you very much.  This is helped me immensely in deciding whether to purchase or not.  I'd like to put this in my Ju 88A-0 whenever I get to it. 

 

Nicholas

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