The Second World War has many symbols. In the ground warfare it is represented by the Mauser rifle, Willys Jeep, Tiger, Sherman or T-34 tanks. The air war has of course its own representatives: P-51 Mustang, Bf-109, Spitfire, B-17 Flying Fortress, C-47. One more aircraft which should appear on this list was already in service long before the outbreak of war and remained in use until the last shots were fired. It was used by the Luftwaffe, the crews gave it a name of “Tante Ju” (“Auntie Ju”).
One of the user's of the Ju-52/3m before the war was the Polish Airlines “LOT”, it was just one machine. It was of course a civil modification of the airplane. Some of the major differences in the look of that machine in comparison with the military version was the lack of the large loading door on the right fuselage side, wheels drop-shaped fairings, three bladed Hamilton Standard propellers, nacelles covering Jupiter engines instead BMWs and the lack of the machine gun on the fuselage spine of course. Polish “Tante” was in the natural aluminum colour with the black engine nacelles on the wings, front of the fuselage and wheels fairings. It had a civil registrations of SP-AKX.
Although we have few kits of the Ju-52 in the 1:72 or 1:48 scales on the market in 1:144 there are only two kits available: Eduard's is in one of the three military configurations or the civilian version from Welsh Model's. Welsh Model is the vac-formed kit with metal parts in the British Airways and Lufthansa configurations. Eduard's model is the kit these decals are dedicated too. The Czech company has designed the kit as military version so the modelers who would like to create a civilian version will have to scratch build all the necessary details and differences. This is the reason why the decals set is marked with the “EMS logo” - EMS is an abbreviation of the Experienced Modelers Set. The situation is more complicated because there is no aftermarket set for this conversion, everything has to be done by the modeler himself. Fear not dear Readers. PDT has kindly supplied us with the detailed instruction and description on how and what to do, and which materials to use, everything is shown step-by-step. Even the templates of the parts (wheel fairings) which have to be cut-out from the plastic cards with the required sheet thickness are given in the instruction. Everybody with some experience and proper ambition should be able to do this scratch-building job.
Because the kit is in the 1:144 scale it is small itself so the decal sheet is not big either. It is just 13x4cm in dimension. It has all the required stencils of “Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT” (which means “Polish Airlines LOT”) in different sizes and, what is interesting, different spelling of the word “LINIE/LINJE”. LINJE is an old-fashioned spelling of this word which was is use 70-80 years ago, and probably even earlier. You have to watch the instruction carefully and see when and where to use it on the model. You can also find black stripes for the wings leading edges, logotypes for the propellers, “LOT” logotypes and few smaller stencils or placards on the decal sheet.
The quality is typical for the PDT, very high of course. Thin carrier film, no miss-alignment of the prints, sharp edges of the letters. As usual the instruction provides general directions of the decals application and the painting colours of the model which are taken from the Gunzes Mr.Hobby range.
To summarize I am pretty sure that many modelers will be happy having this set available, especially in Poland. Polish Ju-52/3m has been often considered as “must-have” by many of them but mostly in the 1:72 or 1:48 scale. This time the small-scalers have the chance to make their desires true. It is a bit pity that the Eduard kit is rather difficult to get nowadays, I am afraid that only the secondhand kit are still available. This decals gives a good opportunity to dig out the kit from the stash if somebody has been waiting for other decals than the boring military scheme.
Many thanks to Polish Decal Team for providing the review sample.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on Aeroscale.
Highs: Very good quality of the decal sheet itself, interesting and awaited scheme.Lows: Dedicated to the very hard too get kit, experience needed for the necessary conversion of the model.Verdict: A very good set for the civilian airplanes modelers, interesting choice of the painting scheme.