Eduard 1/144 Ju 52 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2012||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Kit Number||4424||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Versatile kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$22.95|
The Junkers Ju 52 was a transport aircraft scaled up from the earlier W33. The type was first flown in the early 1930s and was produced between 1932 and 1945. These early Junkers transports, like the Ford Tri-Motor, relied on corrugated metal skin to provide greater strength with less weight - a flying Quonset Hut.
During the early 1930s, the Ju 52 was used extensively in commercial air transport with Lufthansa and exported to other countries as well. The first Ju 52s were actually single-engined aircraft which were later denoted as Ju 52/1m (one motor) while the most-widely produced version was the trimotor Ju 52/3m.
The Ju 52 was inducted into military service in 1935 and went into combat during the Spanish Civil War as both a bomber and a transport. The type became one of the principal airlifters of the Luftwaffe throughout the war, though like the C-47, the Ju 52 was neither fast nor maneuverable, and was therefore a target in areas where enemy fighters could be found. One good example of this was near the end of the North African campaign where 24 Ju 52s were shot down and another 35 seriously damaged by allied fighters during the 'Palm Sunday Massacre'. JG 27 was tasked to cover the transports, and they only claimed one kill in return.
While most of the Ju 52s were destroyed by war's end, the type was so versatile that Amiot of France produced the aircraft as the AAC1 Toucan after the war. CASA of Spain also produced the aircraft after the war as the CASA 352.
Eduard has reissued what I believe was the first Ju 52/3m kit produced in 1/144 scale. This kit was a beauty when it was first released nine years ago and it remains an outstanding kit today. Molded in RLM 02 colored styrene, this kit is presented on three parts trees plus one tree of clear parts.
Out of the box, this kit represents the standard airlifter configuration though snow skis are included in the box though they're not used in this release. In previous releases of this kit, Eduard also provided the snow ski version, a floatplane version, and even a mine sweeping version. We may see these again in the future.
You'll note that there is no photo-etched parts provided in the box. Eduard has produced a separate photo-etched set should an AMS modeler be interested in a color-printed photo-etched cockpit, sling seats in the main cabin, and various airframe enhancements. For the average modeler, these parts were left out of the basic kit to keep the assembly simple and the retail price low.
One thing Eduard did provide in this kit is a set of window masks so you won't lose your will to live trying to mask off the greenhouse cockpit enclosure in 1/144 scale. Thanks Eduard!
This release provides markings for four examples:
- Ju 52, 4V+EU, 1./KG zbV 172, Tripoli, North Africa, 1942
- Ju 52, 4U+NH, Operation Merkur, Crete, May 1941
- Ju 52, 1Z+BF, IV./KGr zbV 1, South Italy/North Africa, 1941-43
- Ju 52, 3U+MT, 9./ZG 26, France, 1940
I missed this kit during its first release so I'm glad to have an opportunity to see this kit now. The Ju 52 had many different camouflage schemes for the various theaters it supported and in this scale, it provides the modeler with an opportunity to capture one or more of those schemes without taking up much display space in the process.
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!