Junkers Ju 88H-4 Führungsmaschine Conversion in 1/72 Scale

The Führungsmaschine was a Luftwaffe long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft which was ordered into production during the last months of the war but was never built.  Conceptually it was based on the Mistel composite aircraft, but in this case the Fw 190A-8 parasite fighter was intended to separate to defend the parent aircraft.

The model is a conversion using the Revell of Germany Junkers Ju 88A-4 kit, lengthened by inserting plugs fore and aft of the wing to lengthen the fuselage.  The fighter is the Hasegawa Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-7 with the dopplereiter over-wing fuel tanks.

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Revell of Germany Junkers Ju 88A-4 in 1/72 Scale

The Revell of Germany (RoG) kit is a relatively recent release, but is getting to be a little hard to find.  The new tool A-4 is kit 04672, but be careful because Revell’s old tool is still in their catalog for about half the cost but is much cruder by comparison (think 1970’s).  There is also a boxing of a new tool C model which is even harder to find.  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.  This is the Ju 88 A-4, in the markings of III / KG 30 as flown by Oberst Werner Baumback, 1942.

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Hasegawa Junkers Ju 188A-2 in 1/72 Scale

I’ve always liked the looks of the Ju 188, and the Hasegawa Junkers Ju 188 is a very nice kit.  It is on the expensive side here in the U.S., and it can be hard to find.  It is a lot of fun to build and give a nice representation when done, much better than the old Italari offering.  Like most German bombers, a canopy mask set is well worth the investment.  This is a Ju 188A-2 in the markings of II/KG 6 at Melsbrook, Belgium in 1945.

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Ju 88 Aces of World War 2 Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 133 Book Review

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Ju 88 Aces of World War 2

By Robert Forsyth, Illustrated by Jim Laurier

Series: Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 133

Paperback, 96 pages, illustrated, 30 color profiles

Published by Osprey Publishing January 2019

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1472829212

ISBN-13: 978-1472829214

Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.3 x 9.8 inches

This volume follows the standard format which will be familiar to any reader of Osprey’s previous Aircraft of the Aces volumes.  Author Robert Forsyth provides a historical overview of the development of the Junkers Ju 88 and Luftwaffe’s employment of the versatile aircraft in various capacities.  Illustrator Jim Laurier presents thirty beautifully rendered side profiles of the aircraft, many of which are depicted here for the first time.

The inclusion of this book in Osprey’s Aces series is a bit of a misnomer.  One generally thinks of an ace as a fighter pilot with five or more kills, or in case of the Luftwaffe, Experten with ten or more kills.  While there are night fighter aces included here, there are also chapters on bomber aces, anti-shipping aces, train busters, and night intruders – virtually any of the many roles which the Ju 88 was adapted to fill during the war.  There is even a section on the Mistel composite aircraft.  Some of these roles have been described in greater detail in other Osprey volumes.  One has to wonder if this volume doesn’t try to cover too much ground in too broad a manner, thus potentially limiting the possibility of future volumes going into each role in more detail.

This is a good effort though, and provides much modeling inspiration in the beautiful profiles, and much background information to go along with them.  Recommended to all fans of the versatile Ju 88.

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Mistel 2 Conversion in 1/72 Scale

This is the Mistel 2, a glide bomb made from a Junkers Ju 88G-1 with a warhead and aimed by a Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8.  For this project the Revell of Germany Ju 88A-4 was converted to G-1 standard using BMW 801D engines from a Hasegawa kit.  The warhead is AMT.  Tailplanes are modified with casts from a Hasegawa G-6 nightfighter.  The Fw 190A-8 is from Hasegawa built with enhancements to the cockpit and wheel wells, still an accurate representation and a relatively painless build.

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Junkers Ju 88H-1 Conversion in 1/72 Scale

The Junkers Ju 88H-1 was an extended range maritime reconnaissance aircraft operated in small numbers by the Luftwaffe’s Fliegerfuhrer Atlantik.  The length of the fuselage was extended forward and aft of the wing to provide additional fuel tanks, giving the aircraft a range of 3,200 miles.  It carried a FuG 200 search radar in the nose and three camera in the rear fuselage.  Defensive armament was augmented by a pod under the nose known as a Waffentropfen for two MG 131s.  These faced to the rear, and were sighted by the pilot using a periscope.

The base kit for this conversion is Revell of Germany’s excellent Ju 88A-4.  The fuselage was cut and resin extensions were inserted fore and aft.  Engines were replaced with spare BMW 801D’s from a Hasegawa kit.  The Waffentropfen was made from two bomb halves from the Revell kit and some Evergreen, filed to shape.  The nose radar is Aimes PE, canopies are vacuforms from Squadron.

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Junkers Ju 88S-3 Conversion in 1/72 Scale

Here is a Junkers Ju88S-3 of I / KG66.  This is a conversion using the Revell of Germany Ju 88A-4 kit. The engines have been changed using castings of the Jumo 213s from a Hasegawa kit.  The gondola under the nose has been deleted and the opening plated over.  Transparencies were replaced with Falcon vacuform parts.

This aircraft carries an interesting spotted camouflage on the upper surfaces and a meander “squiggle” on the lowers.  All markings were deleted except for the individual aircraft designator “B”, which is repeated on the fuselage sides and the leading edges of the wings.  There are three photographs of this aircraft taken after it came to grief in a creek which provide excellent documentation of her unusual paint job.

 

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Junkers Ju390 V2 Conversion in 1/72 Scale

Here are completed pictures of my Ju 390 in 1/72 scale.  The model was constructed using two Revell of Germany Ju 290 kits.  It represents the Ju 390 V2 developmental aircraft serving FaG 5  at Mont de Marsan in France during the Spring of 1944.  Even in 1/72 scale this is a large model with a 27.5 inch (69.9 cm) wingspan.  Research and construction notes are posted in this blog.

 

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Junkers Ju 390 Build in 1/72 Scale, Part II

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Here’s a look inside the tail gunner’s position.  The thick kit seat and support was discarded, and a more delicate assembly fashioned from plastic stock, as was the “wooden” floorboard.  The ammo box is a kit part, but it is one of the choices called out to be located inside the main fuselage.  The tail gunner should have ammo too, so one of the boxes was placed here.  The two smaller boxes on the bulkhead are scratch bits.
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The rear plate for the nacelles is a problem.  The forward edge of this piece is stepped, which results in a trough about 2 mm wide which isn’t on the real aircraft.  Also, while a few later Ju 290’s had exhaust stubs which were covered, the majority of photographs show aircraft with the exhaust stubs protruding from the rear of the cowling.  Here is the kit part on the left, the modified part on the right has had the trough sawed off with a razersaw, and the inside whittled out with an Exacto knife, leaving just the ring.
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The kit propeller spinners look really undernourished.  On the right is a replacement cast from an Fw 190 spinner.  Also the tips of the prop blades have been filed down to make them pointier, to better represent what can be seen in photographs.
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One thing missing entirely is the armored ring on the front of the cowling.  The front of each kit cowling was filed down and the opening enlarged until they would accept a casting of the armored ring, again copied from an Fw 190.  This is a subtle fix, but I knew it would bother me knowing it was supposed to be there if I left it off.
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And here’s the finished product!  A little extra work, but the nacelles look alot better, and the Quickboost exhausts add just the right amount of detail.  I wound up building all eight nacelles from both kits, and mounting the six which looked best when complete.
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Out of the box, the kit canopy is covered with rather bulky framing which makes it very difficult to see anything inside.  The framing is raised (really raised!), and is about twice as wide as it should be.  I whittled away all the molded frames, and then filed and sanded the canopy until it was smooth again.  A quick dip in Future (Klear) restored the shine and transparency.  The glass area was then masked off and blended into the fuselage.
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After painting, the framing was restored using decal film.  One thing I noticed late in the build was just how high the forward 20 mm gun position sat off the fuselage.  If you compare this picture to the previous one, you can see how much material was filed down to lower the turret.  The barbette was cut down a little more than half, this really improves the appearance of the model.  Also, this is a good illustration of the delicacy of the PE FuG 200 radar antenna.  These are from Aimes, part PE72001, and they are beautiful!  They are also some of the more fiddly and delicate detail bits I’ve ever put on a model.  One day I hope to have all the antennas lined up straight and square at the same time!
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The tail codes and Werknummer used on the model require some explanation, as there is no hard data as to what was actually carried.  The Ju 390 V2 wore the factory codes RC + DA when built, but there is no direct evidence that it was ever repainted in FaG 5’s codes when delivered.  I have presumed it was for this model, and applied FaG’s 9V squadron code and badge.  The LH is a bit more speculative.  In Luftwaffe Codes, Markings & Units 1939 – 1945, Rosch lists FaG 5 Ju 290 A-5s and A-7 as having the codes A9 + xH and A9 + xK.  Since “L” was not taken, my Ju 390 became 9V + LH.  Similarly, The Monogram Close-Up lists W. Nr. 0181 as the first Ju 290 A7, and W. Nr. 0186 as the second, with 0182 – 0185 unused.  0182 became the W. Nr. for my model.  Pure guesswork.  All these codes are obtainable using the Revell A-7 kit decal sheets.
The grouping of the codes at the rear of the fuselage is accurate, but the more I look at it the more I wish I would have chosen to duplicate another option seen in photographs and spread the codes out more along the fuselage.  It’s not necessarily wrong this way, but on my next Ju 390 I’ll do it differently.

 

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The camouflage pattern is an extrapolation of the RLM design for Ju 290 maritime patrol aircraft.  Since the 390 is a stretched 290, I simply stretched the areas covered by the splinters, while keeping the pattern pretty much the same.  Happily, the demarcation of the camo scheme intersects the line of windows along the fuselage, which make painting much easier.