1/48 Junkers Ju88 A-4 courtesy of Revell
Revell 1/48 Junkers Ju88 A-4
Germany’s most successful multi-role combat aircraft
One of the greatest German combat aircraft of all time, the Ju 88 was successful in every role it was ask to serve, from bomber to night fighter or anti-shipping to reconnaissance. Born in 1934 at the same time as the ‘Stuka’, the RLM, at first requested a multi-role aircraft, but realised that this could compromise the whole design, so focus was placed on produced a lightly or unarmed Schnellbomber (as per the Mosquito four years later) instead, capable of travelling at over 300mph, able to climb to 22,960ft in 25 minutes and carry a 1,764lb bomb load over a distance of 1,200 miles; Zindel and his experienced design team had the answer.
The story of this amazing aircraft began with two design projects, one designated as the Ju 85 and the other the Ju 88. The former differed by having a twin fin and rudder tail unit, while the latter had a single fin and rudder. The latter, of which construction was begun in May 1936, was a very neat, low-wing, twin-engined monoplane. A crew of three were accommodated well forward under a fully glazed canopy and the lower part of the nose was also glazed although this was expanded to the entire nose on later aircraft. The wing was the most conventional design to date by Junkers, comprising standard ailerons and flaps rather than a double-wing system. Power was provided by a pair of 1,000hp DB 600A liquid-cooled engines, neatly enclosed in streamlined nacelles, cooled by annular radiators.
The initial production variant, the Ju 88A, introduced more powerful engines over two variants and the A-4 had longer span wings and new bombing equipment. Only a few Ju 88Bs were built featuring a completely redesigned, all-glazed cockpit, which was developed into the Ju 288. The Ju 88E was equally as rare and with BMW 801ML engines evolved into the Ju 188E. The Ju 88S, based on the A-4 series, was designed for speed and the Ju 88S-2 recorded a maximum of 384mph at 32,800ft.
Originally required by the RLM for August 1935, protracted development did not see the prototype Ju 88V-1, D-AQEN take to the air until December 21, 1936. Several prototypes followed, until in 1939, the first production aircraft began to leave Dessau. Service trials were carried out by Ekdo 88 who took the Ju 88A-1 into action during the Polish campaign. From January 1940 onwards, approximately 200 Ju 88s per month were being built and, as a result, the Luftwaffe began rapidly re-quipping including Kg 30, which saw action in Norway.
The early production machines saw action during the Battle of France and Battle of Britain although losses were beginning to mount during the latter campaign. It was not until late 1940 that the best of the A-series, the A-4 entered service. The Ju 88A was extensively used on the Eastern Front with Kg 1, 51, 76 and 77 although a lack of Ju 87s in the theatre saw the Ju 88 being used as a dive bomber and many were brought down by relentless ground fire. The A series of Ju 88 was developed up to the torpedo-carrying A-17 but the majority of all versions saw service throughout the entire war. The Ju 88S saw service the Pathfinder unit KG 66 from early 1944 and KG 200 up to April 1945.
The Ju 88A was in continuous production from 1939 to 1944, peak production being reached in 1942 when 2,270 were built. Three prototype Ju 88Bs and ten pre-production Ju 88B-0s were built; one Ju 88E-0 and approximately 150 Ju 88S.
New from Revell in 2017 is this re-box, which includes updated and new parts of the Ju 88A-4 which was originally produced by the company back in 1998 but has its roots in a Dragon kit released five years earlier. However, this is actually a rebox of the ICM kit, once again given away by the logo on the sprues, which was only released last year. Anyway, that’s the kits pre-history out of the way; hope that all makes sense!
With this pedigree behind it you can expect this to be a good quality kit and you will not be left disappointed. Having 266 parts justifies this as a Level 4 on the Revell skill scale and I would say that is about right as this is a reasonably challenging aircraft to build. Its big as well, the Ju 88 was a large machine and in 1/48 the wing span is almost 42cm; so make sure you’ve got plenty of space before you go shopping. The main parts, in grey plastic are securely held on seven sprues and an eighth holds an array of clear parts. The now standard full-colour A4 portrait instruction manual has 22 pages, contains a comprehensive 90-stage build and at the rear features four multi-view colour schemes and decal positioning. The latter, researched and designed by AirDOC is a large sheet; 245mm x 140mm jammed with every decal you will need apart from the swastikas. The key areas of detail for an aircraft kit such as cockpit, engines, control surfaces and undercarriage have been produced to a high standard and as always, you have multiple options as to whether you have everything hanging down and open or cleaned up in flight. A really nice example of one of the Luftwaffe’s greatest aircraft of the Second World War.
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en.
Product: Construction kit
Price: £29.99 (Hannants)
|Revell 1/48 Junkers Ju88 A-4|
By Martyn Chorlton
by Martyn Chorlton
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