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Ju 87

21st Century Toys 1/32 Ju 87B/R Stuka Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2007 Manufacturer 21st Century Toys
Subject Ju 87B/R Stuka Scale 1/32
Kit Number 22105 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice detailing; ease of assembly; bargain price! This kit is all about bringing fun back into the hobby Cons Not for the detail-oriented modeler
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

Ju 87
Ju 87
Ju 87
Ju 87

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.

The next release from the secret workshops of 21st Century Toys in a 1/32 Ju 87B/R Stuka. Like the F4U-1 Corsair we reviewed here, this kit is available through Wal-Mart stores in the US currently. It is my understanding that these kits should be available through other retail sources within the next few months. Like the F4U, this kit retails under $15 and while some detail-oriented modelers might scoff at the kit in light of Hasegawa's beautiful new tooling of the Stuka (reviewed here), the question for modelers becomes simple - is the Hasegawa kit more than three times better? Compare the Wal-Mart price of under $10 to the Hasegawa kit price of $35. For some modelers, the Hasegawa kit is the better choice while others will go for the 21st Century Toys release. The point here is that we do have a nice choice!

The kit comes in a solid cardboard box and the parts are packaged so well that it would take some serious work to damage the kit in transit. The way each major part of group of minor parts is heat sealed into compartments in each bag is very similar to the high-end resin kits like those from Anigrand Craftswork. Very nice!

Speaking of the kit box, when was the last time you saw swastikas on the box art? While this boxing isn't being sold in Germany or outside the US for that matter, it is nice to see political correctness set aside for historical fact for a change.

The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented free of parts trees, and while this may have been originally designed as a pre-assembled/pre-finished replica before, you can see in the images that it doesn't lack for details.

The kit has a nice cockpit, front and back, that can be tweaked and detailed as desired. The canopy sections are individually molded so the canopy can be positioned open front and/or back.

A very nice sheet of decals are included for three examples:

  • Ju 87B-2, 9./StG 51, 6G+AT, Norrent-Fontes France, August 1940
  • Ju 87B-2, 5./StG 77, S2+LN, Graz-Thalerhof Austria, Spring 1941
  • Ju 87B, 6./StG 2, T6+DP, Libya, Africa, August 1941

Make no mistakes, these are not stickers, these are nice decals which you might want to keep the extras for that Trumpeter project.

You can slap one of these kits together in a weekend or take a little extra time to make a model that would be fun to park next to a Hasegawa 1/32 Ju 87 on an IPMS contest table. Either way, the decals and color schemes offered in this kit are such that you could afford to build all three schemes for the price of one Hasegawa kit.

I applaud 21st Century Toys for developing these new inexpensive kits as a proper segue for new modelers to get interest in our unique craft or to recapture a former modeler back into the hobby. In either case, once these new modelers have a few of these kits under their belts, they will aspire to greater challenges and broaden the market for those detailed kits that the rest of us love.

My sincere thanks to 21st Century Toys for this review sample!