Junkers 87 stuka

Kit: Junkers Ju 87D-5/D-8 Scale: 1:72

Kit type: Injection moulded Decal options: (three) D-5, Stab/l./SG 5, Russia, 1944; D-5, l./SG 3, Russia, 1944; and D-8, l./NSGr 9, Italy, 1944

UK price: £6.50 Website: www. mailorderex-press. com/hobbycompany/hob bycompany. html
This must be one of the model manufacturers’ favourites; the list of Stuka kits offered is endless, but it is some time since I built one – another Ju 87B variant, in fact – and it was interesting to see what Italeri made of the type.
As one would expect from this company in the 21st century, the kit is flawlessly cast with incised panel lines. The starting point is the cockpit interior, consisting of a floor with moulded detail onto which are fixed the seats for the pilot and gunner. Between the seats is a bulkhead. Also included is the control column and instrument panel. After painting, this assembly was fixed to one side of the fuselage, which incidentally comes complete with vertical tail surfaces but stops at the firewall. I could now join the fuselage halves and turn my attention to the cowling. This is split vertically, and before assembly the armoured radiator is fitted from the inside. The propeller is designed to rotate using a pin through the front of the cowling and cemented into the rear of the spinner assembly. Since I prefer to add the propeller at the last possible moment, the pin was not cemented to the back plate and the propeller and spinner were assembled as a single unit to be fitted later. After fixing the nose in place I moved on to the wings. The lower half is a single moulding, complete with control surfaces. The wings were cemented together after punching through various locating holes. The wings were then dropped into place, followed by the rear of the fuselage radiator and the wing radiators. The wheel spats are split, so the wheels need painting at this stage; the undercarriage then fits into recesses in the lower wing. After cementing the horizontal stabilisers in place, I added the dive brakes and wing guns; there are two versions of the latter (with or without muzzle brakes) depending on which variant is chosen.

Of the three schemes in the kit I chose the D-5 of l./SG 3 with its winter finish. As this was a temporary distemper, which weathered very quickly, I painted it by dry-brushing white over dark green.
The decals are well printed and fit with no trouble, but no Swastikas are provided: a quick raid of my decal bank rectified the situation. The last task was to add the propeller and canopy; the latter item comes in three sections and is engineered so that it can be fitted in the open position.
This kit fitted together like a dream and had no vices, needing just a little filler here and there. If you have just finished a model that was a bit of a trial, then this is the perfect therapy.

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