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Ju 88

DML 1/48 Ju 88G-6 Nachtjäger Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review January 2008 Manufacturer DML
Subject Ju 88G-6 Nachtjäger Scale 1/48
Kit Number 5509 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-etch
Pros A popular German subject with great detail Cons No swastika marks provided
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $44.95

First Look

Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88

The Junkers Ju 88 was undoubtedly one of the most successful war machines of Germany during WWII and this is proved in its production figure exceeding 15,000 including all variants. This is the largest record of all the twin-engined bombers in the world, and the third largest figure among the Luftwaffe warplanes next to the famous Bf 109 and the Fw 190 series of fighters.

The development of this great airplane started in 1935, according to the Schnell-bomber (fast bomber) specification issued by the RLM (German Ministry of Aviation) in the same year. The Ju 88 evolved into a multi-role bomber, ground-attack aircraft, reconnaissance bomber, various day fighters and night fighters, and finally a pilotless bomb (mistel).

Production of the G series aircraft (subject of this kit), definitive  night fighters, started in 1943, with it’s first model being the G-1. In the previous night fighter variants, C series and R series, the general appearance was rather similar to the earlier A series bombers, except for the solid nose instead of the glass nose of the A series. However, in the G series, the tail planes were replaced by the enlarged ones with a square tip. Further, a large belly gun pack housing four 20 mm cannons was attached, while the nose gondola was removed.  These modifications gave a quite new appearance to the G series aircraft. The G-6 was the second and the last production model powered by a pair of Junkers Jumo 213A liquid-cooled engines, driving VS-111 paddle-bladed propellers instead of the BMW 801 radial engines of the G-1.

The Ju 88G-6 played the most important role in night air defense in the final stage of the war.

The kit comes in a large tray and lid type box. The box art shows a Ju88G-6 in the markings of 5/NJ54, 1945, Denmark. It carries the code 3C + PN, with the P being in red and the rest in black. It is shown attacking a formation of British Lancasters. One is going down in flames. A side panel of the box shows photos of the finished model in the same markings as the box art. These are a top and bottom view and a view of the nose. Another side panel has a single paragraph history of the Ju88 in 6 languages, including English.

Inside the box are seven parts trees molded in medium gray, two clear parts trees, the decal sheet and the instructions.

There is a cardboard shelf, stapled to one end of the tray with a brass PE fret in a cello Scotch taped to it.

The instructions consist of  a large sheet that accordion folds out into eight pages of 8¼” x 14” format.

Page 1 of the instructions begins with a black and white repeat of the box art. This is followed by the history of the Ju88, in 6 languages – including English.

Page 2 begins with CAUTIONS (in the same 6 languages), followed by international assembly symbol explanations, a paint listing of Gunze Sangyo and Italeri paints, and the first 2 assembly steps.

Pages 3 through 5 give a balance of a grand total of 13 assembly steps.

Page 6 is a 4-view illustration of the paint and marking scheme for 3c + PN (already described from the box art. It is in overall light blue with a dark gray mottle camouflage. It carries the werk number 620643 stenciled on it’s rudder.

Page 7 gives another 4-view of a Ju88G-6 of 7/NJG2, 1945, Germany. It carries the all black fuselage code 4R + BR. It has the werk number 622830 stenciled on it’s rudder. Paint scheme is light blue with a mottle of dark gray and green. It carries 26 kill bars on the rudder with the white letters LA below that.

Large letter A parts tree holds: the rear fuselage halves, alternate wing tip parts, main landing gear struts and supports, tail wheel struts and doors, a machine-gun, cabin interior consoles, a boarding ladder etc. (51 parts). One of these parts is shaded out on the parts tree drawings as being excess and not needed to complete the kit.

Large letter B parts tree holds the top and bottom wing halves. (4 parts) Large letter C parts tree holds: alternate horizontal tail surface parts, forward fuselage halves, the belly weapons gondola etc. (25 parts).

There are two identical medium sized letter D parts trees. These hold: exhaust pipes and their flame-dampening cover pieces, cowling parts etc. (21 parts per tree). Two parts on each of these trees are shaded out on the parts tree drawings as being excess.

There is no letter E parts tree.

There are two identical medium sized letter F parts trees. These hold: propellers, propeller spinners, main wheels, antenna, oblique cannon barrels etc. (36 parts per tree). Four parts on each of these trees are shaded out on the parts tree drawings as being excess.

Small letter G tree holds clear lens parts (8 parts)

Small letter H tree holds the cockpit transparencies (3 parts)

The brass PE fret is MA tree. It holds the sights for the flexible machine-gun in the rear of the cockpit area and it’s ammo chute, the DF (direction finding) antenna etc. (18 parts). I looked, and looked all over the instructions, but never found where 4 circular PE parts (no. MA 1) go on this model. They are not blued out on the parts tree drawings as being excess either.

The large decal sheet completes the kit’s contents. This sheet is missing the needed swastikas to go on the rudder of the aircraft. You will have to go to your spare decal cache for some the right size.

There are no crew figures in the kit. The kit is flash free and the detail is engraved and very well done.