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In-Box Review
132
Junkers Ju 88A-4
Junkers Ju 88A-4 with Bombs
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Introduction
The following text is the introduction provided by Revell of Germany on the instruction booklet;
The Ju 88 was initially designed in 1936 as a fast bomber. They also however served as dive bombers, high level bombers and was just an successful as torpedo bombers against surface shipping and even as a night fighter. They could be used as tank busters and train hunters, as mine-layers and reconnaissance aircraft. In their last days they also carried the Bf 109 or Fw 190 as part of the Mistletoe bomb carrier duo. The Ju 88 was still in full production at the end of the Second World War and up to that point in time more Ju 88’s had been built than all the other Luftwaffe bombers put together; over 15000 aircraft. Designed and built as a fast bomber, the Ju 88 soon set the world’s first speed record over a 1000 km (621 mile) course. In March 1938 it reached a speed of 517km an hour (321 Miles); a speed that fighters of the time could not achieve!
The first production version the Ju 88A-1 entered service with combat wing 25; later renamed combat wing 30 “Eagle Wing” which on the 1st September had 1939 aircraft able to take part in the hostilities. Only in March 1940 did combat wing 30 become the first operational unit to be fully equipped with the Ju 88. At the same time Junkers began work on a new wing, as well as a larger wingspan it also a rounded wing tip. Up to this point the wing tips and ailerons of the Ju 88A-1 completely open at their extremities. The new wing was immediately incorporated into the production line and fitted retrospectively to aircraft which had the old wing.
The Battle of Britain, which began on the 8th August 1940 with ‘Adlertag’ (Day of the Eagle) was the first real test of the Ju 88. As well as KG 30 only part of KG 51 was then equipped with the Ju 88. Combat experience led to the fitting of stronger defensive armament. Instead of the current four Mg 15’s the more modern MG 81 was used; mostly fitted in the twin MG 81Z mount. At the same time stronger armour was fitted to protect the crew. With mass production at full pace (in 1940 2208 aircraft), more ‘wings’ could be completely converted to the Ju 88 including training wing No 1.
The Ju 88 was now the Luftwaffe standard bomber and carried the brunt of the attacks against enemy ground and maritime targets in all theatres of war from Norway to Africa. The The Ju 88 was able to notch up exceptional successes against marine shipping. With the addition of bomb racks under the wings it was able to take on the role of dive bombing, a distinct advantage when attacking pin-point targets. Mass production of the Ju 88 did not cease until the end of 1944. In all, a total of 5501 A-4 versions were built.

Contents
The model is supplied packaged in a card tray and lid box. The sprues are packaged in a number of clear plastic bags that are sellotaped closed, this method has in this example prevented damage to the mouldings. The mouldings break down as follows;
  • 16 light grey sprues
  • 2 clear sprues
  • A decal sheet
  • An instruction booklet
  • A warning pamphlet

Review

Parts Overview
When first opening the box and taking the sprues out of their bags, you cannot help but be impressed with the size of the model and the included detail for the price of the kit. The mouldings are free of flash and sink marks as far as I can see; there are a large number of ejection pin marks of various sizes, but I believe these will not be seen after construction, that said I cannot be 100% sure until the model is built. First impressions are very positive of this large model of the Ju 88A-4. My only gripe at this point is that some of the gates between the sprues and molded parts are on the large size.

Cockpit
Despite the large number of Ju 88’s in museums around the world, due in part to the huge number of 88’s built in its various guises, the cockpit is one area where it is hard to be 100% certain of the accuracy. I should add at this point that there is an addendum printed in the front of the instruction for the cockpit area due to one side of the cockpit not being covered in the relevant area.
The layout of the cockpit would appear to be correct, with a very good amount of detail included in the model. The biggest weakness with the cockpit is the lack of seat harness detail; I am sure you will not be shocked to hear that Eduard has a full set of printed harnesses for this specific model, and of course they have some other detail sets for this model; the set that caught my in addition to the harness set is the instrument panel set, that will make a good finish easier to achieve. Despite the lack of harness detail the pilot’s seat is very well replicated, in particular the foot pedals and yoke. The side wall, radio sets and seat details will give the cockpit a very busy look and I believe a pleasing one. It is almost a pity that all of this glorious detail will be covered up. It is worth mentioning for the scratch builders out there, that the cockpit layout remained nearly unchanged over the various versions of this aircraft; that makes this model suitable for alterations to various variants and for the detail to remain accurate.
The defensive MG81 and MG81Z machine guns supplied with the kit are a mixed bag, general detail is good, if a little bulky. It is the barrels of the these machine guns that lets them down, this is due to no slide moulding having been used to hollow the muzzle of the barrels; this issue could be improved by a careful hand and a small drill, you could also look at replacing the barrels with turned brass offerings from a company like Master which will greatly improve the finished look.
I suspect some of you are thinking “why should I have to purchase aftermarket goods for this kit?” well the truth is you don’t, but for the more serious modeller who craves detail, these items will give your finished model a lift and the low cost, or what I consider a low cost of this model from Revell of Germany, makes these aftermarket products affordable when considering the overall cost.

Fuselage
The fuselage is made up of a number of parts, but the majority of it is the usual two halve split centre top and bottom. The fine recessed panel lines and rivet detail matches my reference detail very well, but there is some minor rivet detail that will need to be added if you want your detail spot on. The finish of the fuselage has a very subtle textured surface, so subtle in fact that I can see it but not feel it. The ‘emergency supplies storage’ on the left hand side of the fuselage looks a little large when compared to my reference. There are three small elongated ovals on both side of the fuselage just behind and slightly above the bulge behind the cockpit, this detail is not depicted on all aircraft and I am drawing a blank as to what these are for.
The upper surface of the fuselage is another area that is a great match for my reference. The radio direction finder used on late models of the Ju 88, has been well replicated by Revell of Germany, as has the refuelling ports along the top of the aircraft. The underside of the fuselage again appears accurate, with the gunner’s station appearing to have the correct profile. The vertical stabilizer and rudder of the aircraft are supplied in the kit as separate parts, these parts are accurate for late model Ju 88A-4’s but not early A-4s. The rudder on the late A4’s is stepped into the vertical stabiliser at the top, it is however slightly more stepped in to the tail than it should be, I believe.

Wings and Tail
The wings have a good level of detail, with good recessed panel detail. All of the detail is present on the upper wing, this detail is subtle and accurate in how it is portrayed, but a lot of this detail does not match my reference in where it is placed. It should be considered that this conclusion has been made using schematic drawings, and these drawings can vary as regards accuracy, it should also be remembered that due to the large number of variants of the Ju 88, the drawing and Revell of Germany have it right, but it is from an aircraft of a different time period. The lower wing matches my reference very well with the exception of the wing tip. This area has a mix of good accurate panel lines and what looks to be omitted panel lines; this applies particularly to the area where the aileron butts up against the wing tip. The tail plane look to be very accurate with the exception of two elongated ovals on the lower surface which are not present in my reference.

Engines
The engine cowlings look to have been faithfully reproduced by Revell of Germany, in particular the nacelles that protrude below the cowling of the Ju 88A-4 have been nicely reproduced. The radiator detail is also a very good match for my reference and with some careful painting could make for some eye catching detail. The engine exhausts are correctly depicted with differing numbers of exhausts on each side of the cowling. Moving onto the propellers and spinner we are again offered what I believe to be accurately portrayed items. The blade profile matches examples in my reference very well and the same goes for the spinner.

Undercarriage
The main undercarriage legs are an especially good area of the model as regards accuracy. My observations indicate that the main wheel legs are as near as damn it perfect replicas of the real thing, there is of course some scratch work that can still be done in the wheel bay and brake lines added to the legs. The tyre tread depicted is accurate for one pattern I have seen in my reference and the hubs are also nicely detailed. The tail wheel is also accurate as regards what is supplied, however a strut that is inside the body of the aircraft towards the front of the aircraft has been omitted, and there is also a lot of detail in the bay that is not supplied. This of course is not a big deal for most of us, but for those who like their detail to be just so there is some great reference in print that I will list at the end of this review. The only thing I do not like about the undercarriage is that each leg is split in two halfs, this will make filling any seam lines difficult.

Glazing
The clear parts of this model are a reasonable thickness, this makes for good clarity and a lack of distortions. The framing detail is a mix of accuracy, the nose and gondola frames appear to be completely accurate, as does the pilot and bomb aimers glazing panel with the exception of side glazed panel on both sides that should have a horizontal spar as that window is a sliding window. The framing on the twin bulged canopy does not match any of my reference, so I believe Revell of Germany may have made an error here.

Instructions and Decals
The instruction booklet is a loose leafed offering which uses black and white line drawings to guide you through construction of the model. Revell of Germany has included detail painting callouts during construction stages which is a good inclusion. There is the addendum at the start of the instructions which was mentioned earlier, but otherwise everything looks to be correct.
The decal sheet looks to have a good mix of generic and specific decals for the model. The colours and thickness of the decals is good, but there is excessive carrier film on some of the offerings. Revell of Germany has provided two finishing options for the model which are;
Junkers Ju 88A-4 of 4/KG54, Catania, Sicily, April 1943
Junkers Ju 88A-4 of 3/KU.FL.Gr 506 Leeuwarden, Netherlands, April 1942
As this is a late Ju 88A-4, due to the instep at the top of the rudder, I have doubts about the 1942 finishing option being accurate.

Conclusion
My impressions of this model prior to assembly are for the most part very good, in fact I would say it is the second best model I have seen from Revell of Germany, running a close second to the Arado Ar 196 they released in 1/32nd scale. Detail and accuracy throughout is very good, sure there are a few minor issues but no model is 100% perfect. The glazing is the one area that I cannot think of a way to correct and will require a hunt of the aftermarket providers for a correct part. Perhaps the thing I like about this model the most is that it makes for a great base model for a large number of variants, perhaps with luck we can look forward to more offerings of the JU 88 from Revell of Germany.

Related Reviews
German aircraft machine gun MG 81 and MG 81Z Live links

Reference Used
Depending on what you are looking for in your reference material the first two titles here, are good for a basic introduction, the third title listed is a fantastic reference source, that includes pictorial, schematics and walk arounds.

Junkers Ju 88 in Action part 1 by Squadron ISBN 0-89747-201-2
Junkers Ju 88 in Action part 2 by Squadron ISBN 0-89747-258-6
Aero Detail 20 Junkers Ju 88 ISBN-13: 978-4499226790

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en, @RevellGermany or facebook.com/Revell

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
SUMMARY
Highs: This model has in my opinion a great level of detail, which will please a large number of modellers and is also a great base for the super detailing fraternity.
Lows: The glazing accuracy issue will be difficult to correct without resorting to aftermarket providers.
Verdict: If you want a large scale model of the Ju 88A-4 this kit is for you and at a great price as well.
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: 03988
  Suggested Retail: £49.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 28, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.40%

Our Thanks to Revell of Germany!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

A very readable review, Darren. Well done. Considering a value vs. quality ratio, Revell is certainly right up there. I'm just sad to see the main gear is split the way it is; photo 51 proves how difficult the cleanup will be. It will be interesting to see if a certain AM manufacturer 'lip-sync's' this as well.
MAY 28, 2014 - 01:02 AM
Cruel: all these high quality "1/32 dream models" coming out and I'm running out of time and space! Glad to see ''Mädchen aller Arbeit'' (Maid of all work) in this scale. Looks like it can be a satisfying model.
MAY 28, 2014 - 04:18 AM
Ben; Thank you for your comments. On the subject of the undercarriage, it is something that RoG have done in everyone of the large sxale kits I have been lucky enough to look at. I believe they do this as it would otherwise have ejection pin marks if they were single piece. Fred I would really like to see more aircraft in the JU 88 line from RoG and I live in hope. The Spitfire from RoG in 1/32nd scale will be out soon as well and I look forward to seeing what sort of job they have done.
MAY 28, 2014 - 05:54 AM
Hi, I have read this reviews with interest, i got a half way built Ju 88 A-1 on the way . These kits are very nice to built, great detail and a relative good fit ( may be me )! The clean up of the gear struts will be a challenge, but it can be done. The real problem is it`s size,WW II fighter planes in this scale are right in size, but this kit is huge.And it is relative small, compared with a He 219 or a B-17. My next step on my kit is to paint it. Pictures follows. Bernd
MAY 28, 2014 - 07:24 AM
Bernd in the belief that your version of JU 88 is as good as this version of it, I think you will be very happy with it.
MAY 28, 2014 - 09:56 AM
   

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