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.
Dive Bomber & Ground Attack Units of the Luftwaffe, A Reference Source, Volume 1
By Henry L. de Zeng IV and Douglas G. Stankey
Hardcover in dustjacket, 208 pages, profusely illustrated
Published by Crecy Publishing November 2009
Dimensions: 9.0 x 0.8 x 12.0 inches
This book is billed as a reference source, and it is exactly as it claims. It is not intended to be a design history or a typical unit diary, although there are elements of both present. It is organized in the same format as the authors’ previous works on Luftwaffe Bomber Units.
The first chapters are devoted to the development of the dive bomber and ground attack concepts in the German Luftwaffe. This was promoted by Ernst Udet using two Curtiss F-11C-2 Hawks which were brought to Germany from America, and interest in the dive-bombing concept resulted in the design of the Ju 87 Stuka. Jabo tactics and bomb loads used against various types of targets during the Second World War are then described. Factory drawings and detail photographs are presented to familiarize the reader with two of the more important types, the Junkers Ju 87 and Henschel Hs 129.
The remainder of the book consists of individual unit histories. These are broken down by period or major action, and catalog the activities and losses of the unit. Specifics of targets and losses are given along with dates. Sources, both published and unpublished, are given at the end of each chapter. These sections are well illustrated and captioned. Unit badges are presented as color artwork, these and other markings are frequently the subjects of the photographs. There are also short biographies of notable figures presented with their units.
Most of the units in Volume 1 were equipped with the Stuka, although there are a few units which utilized the Henschel Hs 123 biplanes and twin engined Hs 129. While not a casual read, there is a wealth of information here for the researcher, and it is well worth picking up by the Luftwaffe enthusiast for the photographs and unit badges.
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.
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.