The builds are coming together, construction is almost complete. Time to compare some of the smaller components. First up is a shot of the defensive weapons, Hasegawa in the darker plastic, Revell in the light grey. The Hasegawa guns are more crisply molded, and have the spent case collection “funnels” attached. The Revell guns have the hooded sights as fitted to the later A-4s. My preference is for the ring and bead sights, something about the hooded sights just doesn’t look right to me. The MG 81Zs are molded differently as well, Hasegawa has a separation between the barrels, Revell has them touching.
This picture illustrates the subtle differences between the propeller assemblies. The spinners are dimensionally the same, but have a different contour. Interestingly, drawings in the three primary references I’m using (Trojca, Aero Detail, and Kagero) all disagree as to which is most correct. One thing which is noticeably off looking at photographs is the size of the openings for the prop blades – the Revell openings are too large. I have cast copies of the Hasegawa spinners to correct this, the extra hub detail on the Revell props will be hidden. Another difference is the spinner base is a separate piece on the Hasegawa kit, Revell has molded this as part of the engine nacelle face. This will determine the prop position, and may make painting more difficult for some schemes.
The Ju 88 had four doors on the main gear bays – two large doors at the aft end of the engine nacelle which were normally closed, and two smaller doors forward where the gear legs came out. The gear rotated 90 degrees on retraction, laying flat in the nacelle similar to the P-40. What this means is that between the small opening, doors, and struts, not much is visible inside the bays. The main wheels in both kits come in two pieces, leaving a seam down the middle. A few minutes with a file eliminates the seams, a few more with a razor saw restores the treads. The main gear legs are proportioned differently by each manufacturer, as you can see in the photo. As illustrated in the previous post, the attachment points within the nacelles are engineered differently on each kit, so I am waiting to see if these require modifications to achieve the proper “sit”. Hasegawa provides the rocking lever at the top of the leg, and also the “tripod” structure on the retraction assembly. While the tripod is overstated, Revell omits both pieces. Moving on to the doors, Revell’s are finer with better detail, while Hasegawa’s have ejector pin marks on each which must be removed. Revell’s tailwheel is slightly smaller, and they also provide a forward bulkhead within the tail wheel well. Again, my drawings are contradictory regarding the size of the tailwheel.
The construction crew verifying wing dihedral measurements. Even though I got the pictures a bit crooked, I tried to place the blue “horizon” line across the wingtips to provide a visual reference. Both kits check out OK. If you look closely at the Hasegawa kit, there is a slight gull wing effect between the fuselage and the engine nacelles, the line should be straight from the roots to the tips.
Here’s a shot comparing plan views. There are differences, but both look like a Ju 88 when built up. The putty shows the fit of the kits, pretty good overall, but some work was needed on the wingtips. I wouldn’t expect that would be much of a challenge to get right, but both kits needed a little extra work to get this joint smooth.
Canopies are a bit fiddly on both kits, but the Eduard masks ease the pain. Make sure you get the mask set intended for your kit, as each are framed slightly differently – CX 159 for Hasegawa, CX 309 for Revell. Each upper canopy consists of three pieces, each gondola consists of four. Hasegawa molds the four small windows aft of the nose transparency as separate pieces, Revell uses a single piece. I rarely get frustrated with assembly, but I had to walk away from the Hasegawa kit twice. The gondola is a royal pain, but I’ll save you some frustration. The parts are tabbed to give a more solid attachment point, but the thickness of the parts is different. This results in a pronounced step between pieces. Once I realized what the problem was (I’m a bit slow at times), I cut off the tabs and life got easier. The four small windows were also quite frustrating. The first gleefully offered itself up as a sacrifice to the carpet gods, the second and third did not fit well, and the last I couldn’t fit at all because the wiring detail I added was in the way. In the end, I decided that MicroScale Crystal Clear was going to be my friend. Revell definitely takes this round, just on frustration alone!
Part IV here: