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Stuka

Trumpeter 1/32 Junkers Ju 87B-2 Stuka Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2012 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Junkers Ju 87B-2 Stuka Scale 1/32
Kit Number 3214 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Simple build Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $89.95

First Look

Stuka
Stuka
Stuka
Stuka
Stuka
Stuka
Stuka

The Junkers Ju 87 first flew in 1935 as result of a competition for a new dive bomber. The unsuccessful contenders included Arado, Hamburger, and Heinkel. Like Willy Messerschmitt's Bf 109 prototype, the Ju 87 prototype was powered by the Rolls Royce Kestrel engine. And like the early Bf 109, the early Ju 87s were shipped off to serve in the Spanish Civil War to receive its baptism of fire to work out any bugs in the design.

Nicknamed the Stuka, the aircraft formed an essential part of Hitler's Blitz across Europe with its precision bombing capability. The Ju 87, like the American SBD, employed dive brakes to allow for near vertical dives on a target, the steep angles all but assuring a direct hit every time. As allied air superiority took hold in the west, the Stuka was too slow to remain a viable combat aircraft, but the Luftwaffe still reigned over the skies over the Soviet Union.

Until now, I had placed the title of best Stuka in any scale (less than 1:1) with Hasegawa for their outstanding 1/32 kits. These are beautifully detailed models from contemporary tooling, but they did lack a few options such as positionable flight controls. Trumpeter has stepped up with this release and they not only picked up where Hasegawa left off, they also did what Trumpeter does best, added lots more details.

This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 13 parts trees, plus one tree of clear parts, one fret of photo-etched details, and one set of rubber tires. There is no sign of over-engineering in this kit nor of the mad riveter.

Among the details and options of this kit:

  • Nicely laid out front cockpit with lots of separately molded details
  • Instrument panel has good relief detail but uses decal for overlay
  • Detailed rear cockpit with lots of ammo stowage for rear gun
  • Positionable canopies
  • Photo-etched radiator grilles
  • Detailed Jumo 211D engine
  • Cowling panels can be removed
  • Choice of open or closed cowl flaps
  • Positionable elevators
  • Positionable rudder
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable dive flaps
  • Solid front and rear mainspars for wing strength
  • Detailed wing gun bays
  • Gun bay doors can be made removable
  • Detailed landing gear
  • 500 kg bomb on centerline trapeze
  • Choice of bomb types and pylons for under wing stations
  • Optional drop tanks for under wing stations
  • Optional gun pods for under wing stations

As you can see from the images and features, this will be a straightforward build without any complexities and even a modeler with basic skills can tackle this kit with the only need for cyano being the installation of the photo-etched radiator inserts.

Markings are included for three examples:

  • Ju 87B-2, T6+CK, 2./St.G 2, Russian Front, Sept 1941
  • Ju 87B-2, L1+AU, 10./L.G 1, Tramecourt, France, July 1940
  • Ju 87B-2, 6G+CC, Stab II./St.G 1, Russian Front, Dec 1941

Trumpeter has done a really exceptional job on this kit. It has lots of details where you'll see them but not to the extent where assembly will be difficult. While the kit offers more detailing and options than the Hasegawa kits, assembly will be very straightforward. Even the use of photo-etched parts is constrained where this kit would also be a nice choice for the Luftwaffe modeler who wants to step up to try their first multimedia project. My vote for best Stuka in any scale (less than 1:1) resides with this Trumpeter tooling. Nice job!

My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order and Stevens International for the review samples!

References:

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