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Ju 87G-2 Stuka/JS-2

Academy 1/72 Ju 87G-2 Stuka/JS-2 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2016 Manufacturer Academy
Subject Ju 87G-2 Stuka/JS-2 Scale 1/72
Kit Number 12539 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice details, simple construction Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $42.00

First Look

Ju 87G-2 Stuka/JS-2
Ju 87G-2 Stuka/JS-2
Ju 87G-2 Stuka/JS-2
Ju 87G-2 Stuka/JS-2
Ju 87G-2 Stuka/JS-2
Ju 87G-2 Stuka/JS-2
Ju 87G-2 Stuka/JS-2

The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was a weapon of terror because it not only had the ability to dive-bomb targets with a high degree of accuracy, it also had 'Jericho trumpet' mounted in each of the main wheel struts which produced a wailing sound that sent people running for cover. While highly effective in the early days of the war, the slow Stuka soon became easy targets for the RAF and the Luftwaffe reassigned these aircraft to the eastern Front. As the Soviets improved the armor protection of its tanks, the Stuka was fitted with 37mm anti-tank guns modified into self-contained gun pods mounted under the wings allowing a Stuka pilot to 'plink' Russian tanks. While these aircraft were effective against Russian armor, their slow airspeeds made them vulnerable to improving Soviet airpower and soon this threat was swept aside.

The KV series of heavy tanks suffered from reliability problems and these were replaced by a new series of heavy tanks named after the Soviet premier, Josef Stalin. These so-called Stalin tanks had improved armor protection, improved firepower, and improved mobility. The first production version to enter service was the IS-2 (JS-2) which was available in time to spearhead the final assault into Berlin.

Academy first released the 1/72 Ju 87 series in 2002 and remains one of the nicer Stuka kits in this scale. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on four parts trees, plus one small tree of clear parts and one tree of black parts. Among the features of this kit:

  • Basic cockpit details
  • Basic rear gunner position
  • Choice of one-piece or sectioned canopy segments
  • Positionable canopies
  • Optional display stand for depicting the Stuka in flight

The kit provides a nice set of markings to render one subject:

  1. Ju 87G-2, Kommodore SG2, Russia, 1944, as flown by Maj Hans-Ulrich Rudel

This kit is also paired with a 1/72 Iosef (Josef) Stalin (IS-2) tank which is produced by Zvezda, also molded in gray styrene and presented on two parts trees plus lower hull, and one tree of black vinyl parts (tracks). The Zvezda JS-2 is actually a snap-together kit though it doesn't seem to sacrifice details to make the model easy for assembly. By the time you get this gem painted and weathered, you won't notice how the kit originally assembled.

The decal sheet also provides generic tactical markings used by Soviet forces at the end of World War 2.

While the basic 1/72 Ju 87 kit is nice, this release puts a bit of history in the box as it brings together two combatants at the battle of Berlin. You'll appreciate the nice details as you build the land tank and its flying tank counterpart.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!