Junkers JU88S-1/3 KG66
Series: Limited Edition
Hasegawa now releases their modular Ju 88 model as the high-performance S-series. This limited edition kit features new nose canopy and bombsight parts, and includes KG 66 pathfinder decals and markings for LG 1.
By 1942 OKL (Oberkommando der Luftwaffe) realized that regardless of how many extra guns they ladened their bombers with, even the superb Ju 88 was doomed if intercepted. After branching out the design with the Ju 188 and Ju 388 series, the Ju 88 was refined into the high-powered streamlined Ju 88S model. They replaced the "fly eye" nose glazing with a rounded canopy, removed the ventral gondola, whittled down defensive weapons to a single MG 151, and powered the bomber with the same BMW 801 engines that drove the formidable Fw 190. Ridiculously, they often bolted performance robbing external bomb pylons under the wings. Regardless, Junkers created a bomber capable of speeds that taxed contemporary day fighters and exceeded most nightfighters.
KG 66 (Kampfgeschwader 66
- Bomber Group 66) and LG 1 (Lehrgeschwader 1
- "Demonstration Wing 1") used these swift bombers as pathfinders.
In the box
Hasegawa decorates the mid-weight two-piece lid-tray box with art depicting a Ju 88S on a night mission over a burning city. Inside the box are 171 parts in four plastic bags, one containing two clear sprue and four vinyl caps, the other holding two dozen sprues of gray parts. Decals are packed loose as are the accordion-fold instructions.
The many gray sprues include the modular airframe parts, engine nacelles for Jumo or BMW engines, different wheel types, and interior and weapons parts. Hasegawa tooling created a model injection molded crisply with sharp detail and relatively small parts. Parts are attached to the sprues with small attachments, thus it's easy to remove the parts cleanly. I found few noticeable ejector circles (in the cockpit), little flash or mold seams, and no sink marks. Most surface detail is recessed and the surface is smooth. Except for the separate ailerons, all other control surfaces, flaps, and panels are molded integrally with the airframe. Hasegawa engineered the wings to attach to spars seated within the fuselage. This should easy the mating of the wings to the fuselage.
The modular airframe components are the rear fuselage, the forward fuselage containing the cockpit, vertical stabilizer, wingtips, engine nacelles and cowlings, propellers, cockpit and nose canopies. Different exhaust pipes are included for the different engines. External bomb rack pylons are separately molded from the wings, and have individual anti-sway arms.
The clear parts are clear with no distortion. They have fine molded framing detail.
Even the Ju 88S had a big greenhouse and thus one can see into the cockpit. Hasegawa provides the cockpit floor, several crew seats, an instrument panel, control yoke, a rear bulkhead with a rack of radios, and the MG 151. Seats for different Ju 88 variants are provided and are overly thick for scale. Rudder pedals are separate and consist of four parts.
The instrument panel, pilot flight control consoles and radio faces have raised detail. You can paint them if you desire, however Hasegawa provides decals for the detail. However, lack of molded seat belt detail is not solved with decals. A decal that is used in lieu of a part is the EZ6 DF antenna on the rear fuselage. The decals goes on the clear lens over the gizmo.
Further detail is molded onto the inside of the cockpit walls. The detail is slight and merely representational. This detail is marred by distracting ejector circles.
The landing gear struts have sharp detail but there really isn't any noteworthy gear well detail except for the tail wheel. The gear doors have basic interior detail.
Two single-piece BMW 18-cylinder 801 engines are included. They have fair detail and should appear sufficiently detailed when closed up in the cowling.
Your spare parts box will profit from the extra machine guns and other parts not used for the Ju 88S.
Instructions, decals, and painting guidance
More than a dozen steps take you through several sub-assemblies to build this model. I think the instructions are well organized and easy to read. The sheet includes a schematic of all the sprues, with unused portions shaded out. A small list of paints show you what colors you will need, and the colors for specific parts are shown in the instructions.
Two decal options are:
1. Ju88S-1: Luftwaffe 1./KG66 Code: Z6 LH, France, Sep., 1944
2. Ju88S-3: Luftwaffe LG1 Code: white H, Dec., 1944
The decals are thin and sharply printed. You have a good amount of stenciling to add to your Junkers, and to the SC bombs. Surprisingly, swastikas are provided in full form! Perhaps this model is not meant to be released in Europe?
I think this is a good looking model. It is cleanly molded to a high standard. Fine recessed detail represents major surface components without overdoing it.
The cockpit should satisfy right out of the box. However, it definitely can be improved and no doubt there will be some aftermarket sets in the future.
Decals are also high-quality and plentiful; all Nazi national insignias are provided.
My complaints are the ejector marks in the cockpit, and the thick seats.
Finally, you will have several good parts left over for the spare parts bin. I think this will build into a fine model of the fast Ju 88S straight out of the box. I happily recommend it.
Please remember to tell vendors and manufacturers that you saw this model here - on Aeroscale.
Tony Wood/Bill Gunston. Hitler's Luftwaffe. A pictorial history and technical encyclopedia of Hitler's air power in World War II.
Salamander Books Ltd. 1977.