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Ju 87G-1

Academy 1/72 Ju 87G-1 Stuka 'Tank Buster' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2006 Manufacturer Academy
Subject Junkers Ju 87G-1 Stuka 'Tank Buster' Scale 1/72
Kit Number 1641 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed tank plinker in this scale Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $9.95

First Look

Academy Ju 87G-1
Academy Ju 87G-1
Academy Ju 87G-1

The Ju-87 was designed in the 1930s as a precision dive-bomber. Its design allowed for steep dive angles that essentially allowed the pilot to place a bomb on whatever was under the nose of his aircraft. The swing-arm bomb release mechanism would swing the bomb clear of the aircraft (if the bomb was simply released from under the fuselage without the swing-arm, the bomb would fall through the turning propeller!).

One of the innovations in the design of the Stuka was an automatic dive recovery system that would continue to pull the nose up from the steep dive should the pilot black out from the high G-forces. Someone else came up with the bright idea to stick whistles on the landing gear fairings to create what would become the frightening sound that made the Stuka 'famous'.

While an essential part of the early Blitzkrieg, the Ju 87 proved vulnerable to air attack during the Battle of Britain and was relegated to operations where the Luftwaffe had better air superiority - the Russian Front. One noteworthy version of the Stuka was the Ju 87G which sported a pair of 37mm Flak guns in pods under the wings. From a comfortable dive angle, the firepower of these guns could easily punch through the armor of Soviet tanks at their weakest point - from the top.

This kit is a re-issue of the Hobbycraft/Canada 1/72 scale Ju 87G. The kit is molded in light gray plastic and is nicely detailed in this scale. The parts are supplied on five trees (with an additional tree for the nicely clear canopy parts). In addition to the gunpods, the kit features your choice of closed (one-piece) canopy or open (four parts).

Details are finely scribed and will really contribute to an attractive model. Assembly appears to be straightforward, with no problems in construction evident. Since this version of the Stuka was a dedicated tank plinker, the bomb(s) and centerline swing arm are not present in this kit. Instead, we have the 37mm Flak gunpods that are mounted just outboard of the main gear.

The kit retains the rear gunner station to provide the aircraft with some measure of self-protection. I don't know if the opportunity ever arose, but a nosy fighter would not do well against those 37mm guns.

Markings provided for two examples:

  • Ju 87G-1, Pz.J.Sta/St.G2 as flown by Hans Ulrich Rudel
  • Ju 87G-1, 1/SG.1

Note that there are no swastikas included on the decal sheet, so you're on your own for these markings.

This kit is a simple build, with more time required to mask and paint the splinter camouflage than assembly. This kit is recommended for all modelers. Recommended!

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!