2020 Year in Review

“May you live in interesting times.” – ancient Chinese curse

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2020 in the form of a gingerbread house.

Oddly for a method of telling time, the positioning of our new year is arbitrary from a physical perspective and should have no actual bearing on earthly events, but here’s hoping for a better 2021 anyway!

I’ll look for the “win” here even if it is minor: We modelers are fortunate to have an inherently solitary hobby in these times.  Overall modeling appears to have picked up, Hornsby (parent company of Airfix) is reporting profits for the first time in years.  Modeling podcasts have come into their own and make bench time even more enjoyable.

The biggest void from a modeling perspective in my opinion is the cancellation of the shows.  I usually attend half a dozen per year and they are always a fine day out, with friends, new kits, and getting to see the work of hundreds of fellow modelers.  Also missing was the Half Price Books annual clearance sale where literally semi-truck loads of books are sold at ridiculously low prices at the state fairgrounds.

On a different note, perhaps the most interesting story of the year received very little attention – the U.S. government admitted that it was studying materials retrieved from vehicles of extraterrestrial origin.  Another commentary on the year 2020.

Blog Statistics and News

2020 was the second complete year for the Inch High Guy blog.  I am happy to report that I again managed to make a post each day, so 366 posts due to the leap year.  The blog received 73,992 views and 26,731 visitors, up from 27,174 views and 7,303 visitors last year.  The most popular post was “Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Interior Colors Part I” with 1,857 views, followed by “The B-17E and the Myth of the Bendix Ventral Turret” with 1,116 views.  Forts appear to be popular around here!

Link:  https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/b-17-flying-fortress-interior-colors-part-i/

Link: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2018/11/18/the-b-17e-and-the-myth-of-the-bendix-ventral-turret/

I am still struggling with the counter-intuitive Word Press editor, and that was only made worse with the introduction of the Word Press “Block Editor” in September.  This eliminated some useful functions while re-naming and moving others, with no apparent improvements on the user end.  On a more positive note, I did finally locate the tagging function and busied myself adding tags to all posts old and new.

I have linked several posts on ScaleMates, where the walk-around posts of museum aircraft have proved to be the most popular.  The Women Warriors posts have found a following with wargamers over on The Miniatures Page, among others.  I had intended for these pictures to tell their own stories, but there have been a few requests for captions.  Easier said than done with the modern-era photos as information ranges from obvious to impossible-to-determine, but there may be hope for the historical pictures.

Models Built in 2020

Forty-seven completions, twenty-nine aircraft and eighteen vehicles.  In addition I painted fifteen figures (plus one dog) and constructed three diorama bases. Everything was built to 1/72 scale as is my preference.  The mosaic has a picture of each build, if you want to see more finished pictures or the construction posts just follow the tags at the bottom of this post or enter the descriptions in the search bar in the upper right column.

Hasegawa Kawanishi Kyofu (Rex) x 2

Tamiya Kawanishi N1K1 Shiden (George)

Aoshima Kawanishi N1K1 Shiden (George)

MPM Kawanishi N1K1 Shiden (George)

Hasegawa Kawanishi Shiden Kai (George) x 2

Hasegawa Mitsubishi Raiden (Jack)

Fujimi Aichi B7A1 Ryusei (Grace)

LS Yokosuka K5Y Akatombo (Willow)

AZ Yokosuka K5Y Akatombo (Willow)

Special Hobby Curtiss P-40 Warhawk x 5

Tamiya Republic P-47D Thunderbolt

Airfix Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress conversion to B-17E x 2

RPM Hotchkiss H35 French Light Tank

RAF Bomber Supply Set x 2 (6 vehicles)

IBG Chevrolet C15A Personnel Lorry

Monogram Boeing F4B-4 x 2

Rare Bits Boeing F4B-1 Conversion

Monogram Curtiss F11C-2 Goshawk

Matchbox Boeing P-12E x 2

Czech Master Resin Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

Plastic Soldier StuG III Ausf. G Assault Gun x 3

Trumpeter StuG III Ausf. G Assault Gun

Revell Heinkel He 177A-5 Greif

Revell Junkers Ju 88P-1 Conversion

Hasegawa Heinkel He 111H-20

Italeri 15 cm Field Howitzer sFH 18

Trumpeter Sd.Ah.116 Tank Transporter

Zvezda Panzer IV Ausf. H

Planet Models Resin Sd. Kfz. 9 FAMO Halftrack

Revell Sd. Kfz. 9 FAMO Halftrack

Trumpeter Sd. Kfz. 9 FAMO Halftrack

Forward

Arma hobby has just announced a P-51 B/C Mustang in 1/72. The computer renders look good and show areas such as the wing leading edge and wheel well openings which have given other manufacturers problems appear to have been rendered properly. Here’s hoping! Every previous B/C in 1/72 scale has had some major shape issue so an accurate new tool kit has been at the top of many modeler’s wish lists for many years now. The early Mustangs, if done well, are sure to be a hit and a license to print money for Arma so here’s wishing for a successful release!

In more local news Ms. Inch High put a Creality LD-002R 3-D resin printer under the Christmas tree this year. These are very useful if you know what you’re doing, which I don’t at this point. Hopefully I will soon though, and I look forward to printing something useful. It is an amazing technology to have sitting on the bench. For all the talk of “Death of the Hobby” in some circles, I have yet to see any hint of it from here.

I have enjoyed putting this together, and have enjoyed hearing from other modelers and discovering other blogs.  A big thank you to all who have visited here, commented, followed, and especially those who have posted links.  

May you all live long enough to build every model in your stash!

Revell Junkers Ju 88P-1 in 1/72 Scale

This is a conversion of Revell of Germany’s excellent Junkers Ju 88C-6 kit into a cannon-armed P-1 version using an Aimes conversion set.  This set consist of a vacuformed gondola, resin nose and canopy combing, brass gun barrel, and decals – a nice package.

The Ju88P-1 carried a 7.5 cm PaK 40L semi-automatic Bordkanone in a large gondola under the fuselage.  It was intended for use against ground targets and as a long-range bomber destroyer.  Forty Ju-88P were produced, but the heavy cannon affected both speed and maneuverability making the aircraft vulnerable to interception.

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Junkers Ju 88 P-1

Revell Junkers Ju 88P-1 Conversion Build in 1/72 Scale Part III

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The Ju 88P-1 was given a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000 to check the seamwork and any problems addressed. This aircraft had yellow recognition panels under the wings and a yellow fuselage band. The undersides are painted in the standard RLM 65.

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The upper surfaces carried an RLM 70 / 71 splinter pattern. Making tape is from the hardware store, nothing fancy.

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Here the basic painting is complete. I post these pictures with the paint jars used to help me remember the paint colors later.

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The entire model was sprayed with a coat of acrylic Future (Klear) to seal in the decals prior to applying the panel line wash.

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After the wash I glued most of the fiddlybits in place. The pitot tube was made from Albion Alloys tube with a 0.004” Nitenol tip. All these details will be painted before the final flat coat is applied so they look uniform.

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Here is a close-up of the canopy, it is clear enough to see much of the interior detail. I have gotten into the habit of looking at the instructions through the clear pieces before beginning construction to determine how much detail will be visible on the finished model. If I can read the instructions I know that the effort required to dress up the interior will not be wasted.

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The finished model, and another odd Ju 88 variant for the collection. The Revell kits are gems and there are several variants and camouflage schemes from which to choose. A word of caution though, Revell’s old tool kit is still in circulation and is crude by comparison so check Scalemates to make certain you’re getting the new tool.

Revell Junkers Ju 88P-1 Conversion Build in 1/72 Scale Part II

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The Revell Ju 88 kits go together without any drama. The fuselage spine is molded as a separate piece which allows all the filler cap detail to be molded in. Kits with a more traditional fuselage split cannot capture that detail because of the mold angle.

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A little surgery is needed for the P-1 conversion, the white area here is plastic card to fill the hole where the bomb sight was removed. The Aims conversion kit has resin replacement pieces for the nose, but I chose to use the C-6 kit parts with gun ports filled for ease of assembly.

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The location for the gun gondola under the fuselage was marked off with a Sharpie and the black extended over the mating area. I find this prevents the edges of the clear parts from reflecting light, and the Sharpie ink will allow for a solid glue bond instead of lifting off like paint will do. The bomb bay doors have been filled and a new hatch opening scribed in.

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The gondola is a clear vacuformed piece. It is thick so it took some time to separate from the sheet. I trimmed it until the fit was close then fixed it in place with Superglue. The seam was cleaned up with Perfect Plastic Putty.

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The defensive armament is glued in place from the inside, I have cut off the barrels and will re-attach them at the end of the build. Sun curtains are made from masking tape and glued in place with Micro LiquTape.

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The canopy seam was filled with more PPP. I like the PPP for delicate work as it won’t craze the clear parts and can be smoothed out with a wet cotton swab.

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I like to fix the landing light covers in place before painting and fill any seams with superglue. This is easy to sand down at this point in the construction and buff back to clarity with an 8000 grit sanding cloth.

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Before priming the clear parts received a coat of the interior RLM 66 color from the outside.

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Here is the ventral gondola under a coat of RLM 66.

Revell Junkers Ju 88P-1 Conversion Build in 1/72 Scale Part I

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This is Revell of Germany’s excellent Junkers Ju 88 kit which was first issued in 2011 as an A-4 version. The Ju 88C-6 was issued two years later, and an A-1 variant suitable for the Battle of Britain has just been released this year. This is a beautiful kit with some clever engineering but unfortunately the A-4 and C-6 versions have gone out of production and are difficult to locate.

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The main sprues feature recessed panel lines and fine engraving on the detail parts. The cockpit is a real gem and builds up into a very intricate assembly. These are the best Ju 88 kits on the market in my opinion.

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The parts breakdown allows Revell to issue just about any of the numerous versions of the Ju 88 by substituting parts for each specific version. For reasons beyond my comprehension Revell has not maximized the utility of this mold and in so doing has left a lot of money on the table.

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Aims has stepped up with a very nice conversion set to modify the Revell kit to a P-1 version armed with a 75 mm gun for anti-tank work. I couldn’t resist!

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The Revell cockpit builds up nicely and is quite detailed straight out of the box. I forced contrast in the overall RLM 66 cockpit by spraying on lightened mixes from directly above.

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I had acquired Yahu instrument panel for this kit at some point and past me had left it in the box where I could find it again in time for this build (which is not always the case). The Yahu panels look great and are inexpensive, well worth the investment if they can be seen on the finished model.

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Here is the cockpit with a black wash and some drybrushing to bring out the details. The problem with the RLM 66 paint is everything can be lost in a black hole.

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Seatbelts are a must because the contrasting colors will show through even the thickest of canopies. These are photoetch belts from Eduard.

Captured Junkers Ju 88A-4 of the 79th Fighter Group

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In October 1943 the 79th Fighter Group moved to Salsola (Foggia #3), one of a complex of former Luftwaffe airfields located around Foggia, Italy.  There they discovered Junkers Ju 88A-4 Wk.Nr. 4300227.  Keeping with the 79th’s obsession for restoring captured Axis aircraft, work soon began in hopes of adding the Junkers to the inventory of the Group’s 86th Fighter Squadron as a hack.  Here the 86th’s new prize shows off her original Luftwaffe camouflage (likely 70/71/65 with 76 wellenmuster) with the Hakenkreutz painted out on the tail and American insignia applied over most of the fuselage Balkenkreutz.

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Ground crews took only six days to restore the Junkers to flight-worthy condition using components salvaged from other aircraft.  It was the focus of much interest, 12th Air Force commander Lieutenant General Jimmy Doolittle even took a turn at the controls.  Here the commander of the 86th Squadron, Major Fred Borsodi congratulates a mechanic while Major Pete Bedford looks on.  The censor has removed the squadron insignia from the flight jackets of both men.

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The aircraft was named “The Comanche” and was painted with the 86th FS Comanche insignia on the port side of the nose.  The insignia was designed by Major Borsodi, seen here smiling from the cockpit for photographers.

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The Army Air Force brass had bigger plans for “The Comanche”, and ordered the 86th to give up their prize.  After 130 combat missions and 3 aerial victories, Major Borsodi had completed his combat tour and volunteered to fly the Junkers back to the United States, along with Major Bedford.  The pair left Italy on 19OCT43.  Here you can see The Comanche in full U.S. markings with an RAF fin flash and yellow high visibility panels on the wings, tail, and fuselage.  Spinners and cowlings are in red.

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They arrived at Wright Field on 05NOV43 via the South Atlantic route.  An alert air raid warden recognized the silhouette of the Ju 88 and reported it as an enemy aircraft as it crossed over Florida.  Note the propeller tips are painted in the U.S. standard yellow.

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A nice color photograph of the Comanche markings on the nose, with yellow stenciling further aft.  The aircraft was assigned Foreign Aircraft number FE-106 while at Wright Field.  This was later changed to FE-1599, although photographs do not show either number actually being applied to the aircraft.

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On the starboard side of the nose the Junkers wore the insignia of the 79th Fighter Group, an Egyptian Horus Hawk on a green field.  In Egyptian mythology Horus was the son of Osiris, who was killed by the sun god Set.  Horus avenged his father by killing Set and became the king of Egypt.  The first member of the 79th to die in combat was its Commanding Officer, Colonel Peter McCormick.  The insignia represented the 79th’s resolve to avenge their commander.  Note that the starboard cowling and spinner are no longer red and lack the wellenmuster “squiggles”, likely indicating an engine change.

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This photograph shows off the wellenmuster well.  It also shows the yellow identification markings on the upper wing covered the entire outer panels, not just bands behind the insignia as depicted in some profiles.

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Back in the U.S. the aircraft was used in War Bond drives.  The U.S. insignia was painted over and spurious German markings were applied.  In this view the port engine has also been replaced although the red spinner was retained.

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Another color photograph, likely taken at Freeman Field, Indiana.  The red spinner on the port engine has been replaced with an RLM 70 one by this time.

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During her War Bond tour, The Comanche was flown to Los Angeles in April 1945.  There it was towed into the city for public display where it was struck by a street car and damaged.  Fortunately the damage was not severe and the aircraft was repaired.

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The Comanche was retained at Freeman Field after the war in flight worthy condition.  Eventually it was flown to Arizona for storage, where it was ultimately scrapped.

Junkers Ju 88 Comparison Build in 1/72 Scale, Hasegawa and Revell of Germany Kits Part IV

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Done!  Here’s a picture showing the stance of the two kits in a nose-to-nose comparison.  The Hasegawa kit is on the left in the North African scheme, the Revell kit is on the right in the standard European finish.  As you can see, the Revell kit sits slightly higher than the Hasegawa.  I test fit both main gear legs, both measured out at 19mm from the well to the axle, Trojka’s drawings show 20mm.   The next build, I’ll remove about 1.5 mm from the Revell legs between the retraction strut attachment and the upper oleo scissors.

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Both kits together.  Both build up nicely, and look like Ju 88s when done.  Decals are from Techmod sheet 72111, which provides markings for six aircraft.  I also used the stencils from the Revell kit, and there certainly are a lot of them.  The transparencies have a little less distortion on the Revell kit, revealing a more of the interior.  Still, it is difficult to make out much detail during casual viewing due to the dark gray used in German cockpits.

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Here are the undersides.  The bomb fins are molded as separate pieces on both kits, and they are too thick for scale.  Rather than sand down all those fins, I mounted four spare SC 250s on the Hasegawa kit, and replaced the fins on the two Revell SC 500s with spare PE parts.  This shot also shows off the ventral MG 81Z on the Revell kit, which was replaced by a spare Hasegawa gun.  Pitot tubes and the ventral landing system antennas were replaced with wire on both kits.  Dive brakes are PE.

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Revell of Germany Junkers Ju 88A-4

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Hasegawa Ju 88A-4

The bottom line:

Both kits are certainly buildable, and make nice representations of Ju 88s when finished.  I would not hesitate to build either again, and plan to do additional variants of each.  The clear parts are a bit fiddly on both, most likely this is due to limitations of the molding process in capturing the many bulges and curves.  Canopy masks are a big help.  There are several other aftermarket parts for Ju 88s already on the market, so lots of additional detail can be added for those who want to do so.

The main strength of the Hasegawa mold is the number of variations issued – the last time I counted, there were eight different boxings in their catalog, and many of those provide Jumo and BMW engines in the same box for multiple types.  Given Hasegawa’s history, we can likely expect more variants for years to come.  Even though it is a solid kit, there are some inaccuracies which most modelers will want to correct, such as the gear placement within the nacelles, opening the gaps in the nacelle faces,  and removing the cockpit floor.  We will just have to live with the bend in the wing between the fuselage and the nacelles, but from most viewing angles this is not noticeable.  The kit also has its share of technical issues – fit problems with the engine nacelles, ventral gondola, and small nose windows, plus several ejector pin marks in bad locations are examples.  Fixable yes, but also avoidable.  The Hasegawa kit was more work to build, I felt I was playing catch-up to the Revell throughout construction.

Revell has issued a nice kit at a nice price.  It is definitely more refined than some of their earlier kits which I have built (Ju 290, He 177, Ho 229 to name a few).  Parts are finely detailed, thinly molded, and free of flash and ejector pin marks.  Fit is excellent.   Engineering is well thought out, an example of this is the separate upper fuselage piece which allows the filler cap detail to be captured, and which fit beautifully.  There are a few nagging bits which bothered me enough to correct, such as the spinners, guns, bomb fins, antennas, and (upon reflection) the main gear legs.  No insurmountable issues, and no sub-assembly which was fraught with errors.  A good solid kit, and a great value at the price.  This is the better of the A-4s.  Revel has issued a C variant which is unfortunately now hard to come by, and has announced an A-1 version.

 

 

Junkers Ju 88 Comparison Build in 1/72 Scale, Hasegawa and Revell of Germany Kits Part III

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Junkers Ju 88 Comparison Build in 1/72 Scale, Hasegawa and Revell of Germany Kits Part II

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This is a shot of the inside of the noses, showing the wiring added.  This area will be visible through the nose glazing.  I didn’t try to replicate every wire and brace, just enough to give it a busy look.  Messy!

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This view shows the instrument panels.  The panel for the Hasegawa kit (left, dark plastic) was too small for the opening, and a problem to fit.  If I were starting again, I would thin the upper nose from the inside, and scratch a panel to fit.  The Revell panel was fitted to a separate upper nose, and the assembly just snaps into place.  The fuselage decking at the rear of the canopy will need some clean up on both kits.

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Here’s a shot of the fuselage sections from above.  The Revell kit has a separate insert for the upper deck, which allows them to mold all the filler access caps.  The Hasegawa kit makes an attempt at most of the caps, but they are very, very faint due to the mold angle, and will be sanded off when removing the seam in any case.  Some of the AIMS decal sheets for the Ju 88 have the caps as a decal for those who want to go that way.  The DF array is handled differently by each manufacturer.  Both have decals for the antenna itself, it will be interesting to compare the final appearance.  Revell also provides clear parts for the FuG 10 and FuG 16 antenna deployment ports on the upper fuselage.  The Hasegawa kit has two spars to support the wings, these are each a single piece which is continuous through the fuselage, and results in a very solid assembly.  This view also shows a correction needed to the Hasegawa kit – the underside of the fuselage under the cockpit on the starboard side is molded solid.  This area was cut out with a Dremel tool, as it should be open to the gondola below.

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There is a great deal of difference in the level of detail on the engine nacelles, the Revell is much finer.  The Hasegawa kit has the cowl flaps molded open, but the forward nacelle is quite fiddly to assemble.  Also, I found a better fit was achieved for the entire nacelle when the locating ridge molded into the wing / nacelle fillet was removed and filed smooth.  The Revell kit fit without any difficulty.  On the plus side, a nice option in the Hasegawa kit is the shrouded exhaust, which I will fit after painting.

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The wheel wells are engineered differently on each kit.  On the Revell, the gear supports are molded into the underside of the upper wing, on the Hasegawa they are separate parts.  This is fortunate, as the main supports for the Hasegawa gear sit too far aft when installed.  Here I have added Plastistruct tubing to improve the position the forward gear legs.  A better solution would have been to cut the support piece in half before installation and correct the spacing then, but I didn’t catch the problem in time.  Hopefully you will be better prepared!

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The Jumo 211 engines were inlines, and had an annular radiator mounted to their fronts giving them the appearance of radials.  The radiators were not continuous, but had open sections to provide air for other uses.  The Revell faces have these openings molded in, but the Hasegawa faces are solid.  Here I have cut the openings in the Hasegawa pieces, but in the process I managed to ruin one and had to cast a resin replacement.  Oy!  Revell has the carburetor inlet duct already molded in the left side opening, the smaller duct on the right sides were added with Plastistruct.

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One on-line review mentioned ejector pin marks in the dive brakes.  The review was in error, the oval depressions are actually part of the structure.  The dive brakes in both kits are narrower than the drawings in Trojca’s Junkers Ju 88 vol 1.  Both kits have the brakes molded solid instead of slatted.  The picture shows PE brakes intended for the old Italeri Ju 188 for comparison.

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Last is a shot comparing the tails.  There is a pronounced knuckle at the top of the Hasegawa tail, but a few passes with a file should fix that.  The Revell tail is slightly wider at the base, off by about 1 mm compared to the drawings in Trojca.  Both have really nice detail, as can be seen.

Junkers Ju 88 Comparison Build in 1/72 Scale, Hasegawa and Revell of Germany Kits Part I

The Ju 88 is a very interesting aircraft.  It operated wherever the Luftwaffe went, in a wide variety of variants, roles, and markings.  The opportunities for modelers are seemingly endless.  Fortunately for 1/72 scale modelers, there are several kits on the market from which to choose, and lots of aftermarket accessories.  Life is good!  Since I am planning to eventually build several Ju 88’s, I decided to build two newer tool Ju 88 A-4’s and compare the differences.

The Hasegawa kit 00555 (E25) is one of several variants offered.  The tool is designed to facilitate everything from the A-1 through the 188s, I suspect we will be seeing limited releases of sub-types and marking options for the next few decades.  These are nice kits, and have all the typical strengths and weaknesses we are all familiar with from Hasegawa.  Cost here in the US is in the $40 – $50 range.  I got lucky and scored one for $20 (including Eduard masks) and the Columbus IPMS show.  Don’t you just love it when the vendors’ area is big and the regular guys show up to thin out their stash?

The Revell of Germany (RoG) kit is the newer of the two Ju 88s, having been released in 2011.  The new tool is kit 04672 and runs about $25, but be careful because Revell’s old tool is still in their catalog for about half the cost – it is much cruder by comparison (think 1970’s).  If you are used to building Revell’s other recent Luftwaffe kits you will be pleasantly surprised by this one.  The parts are more detailed, thinner, and more finely engraved.  Revell has really kicked it up a notch with their Ju 88.  More good news is that the design of the tool facilitates additional variants, so hopefully we’ll see more releases in the future.

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The boxings in question.  Be  careful to make sure you’re getting the new tool Revell kit and not a re-boxing of the one from the 1970s!

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Here is a comparison of the main cockpit sections, Hasegawa (dark plastic) on top, and RoG on the bottom.  The RoG parts are very finely done and much more detailed.  Another way to look at it is the Hasegawa kit has about twelve parts in the cockpit, but the RoG kit has twelve construction steps in the instructions.

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This is a comparison of the starboard sidewall, if you look at the Hasegawa part you can see several ejector pin marks if you look closely.

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These are the seats, along with casts from the CMK interior kit on the bottom.  The RoG seats are almost as thin as the CMK set.  There were several different seat styles fitted into the various sub-types of Ju 88s, be sure to check references to determine which seats were used when and in what versions.

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The results of a half hour or so spent with various small bits of Plastistruct dressing up the Hasegawa cockpit and the CMK seats, using the RoG parts as a guide.

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Here are the cockpits under three shades of RLM 66.  While I love the detail of the RoG cockpit, I am hoping it will still be visible after almost everything being painted grey and placed under a closed canopy.  To enhance the detail, I have forced the contrast by thinly spraying lightened shades of 66 from directly above.  The paint only hits the horizontal surfaces, leaving the verticals slightly darker.

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More detail has been added, and a thin black wash was applied to accent the recesses even further.  The radios and other switches are drybrushed with white to bring out the engraved details.  Belts are tape, and the control column wiring is some very fine copper wire from a set of headphones.

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This is a comparison shot of the instrument panels with kit decals, Hasegawa on top and RoG on the bottom.  I’ll be adding the compass to the Hasegawa part.  Both decals seemed to react well to Walthers’ Solvaset.  Hasegawa also provides decals for the side consoles, which are black boxes with white details.  I elected to omit them from my build as the detail definition looked a little too soft to be noticeable through the canopies.

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