Anigrand Craftswork 1/144 Ju 352-V2 Herkules Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||November 2010||Manufacturer||Anigrand Craftswork|
|Subject||Ju 352-V2 Herkules||Scale||1/144|
|Kit Number||4052||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||Beautiful casting, nice test-fit||Cons||Noting noted|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$90.00|
The Ju 252 was designed as a cargo aircraft to replace the venerable Ju 52 in commercial service. As the war in Europe errupted, the Ju 252 development was taken over by the Luftwaffe for military service. While the Ju 252 was a significant improvement over the Ju 52, it required access to strategic materials for construction that were already scarce to support other military programs. The Ju 252 construction was halted at 15 examples as the designed was to be revised again into the Ju 352.
The Ju 352 was similar in appearance to the Ju 252, though the wings were mounted further aft. The Jumo 211 engines of the Ju 252 were in high demand elsewhere, so the Ju 352 was allocated BMW Bramo 323 engines instead. Most of the metal structure of the Ju 252 was replaced by wood in the Ju 352.
The Ju 352 first flew in October 1943, and while it also had superior performance over the Ju 52, it was definitely not an improvement over the Ju 252. While 50 examples were built through mid-1944, the program was cancelled as the war worsened for Germany.
Anigrand Craftswork has returned with a new-tool rendition of the Junkers Ju 352-V2 Herkules. Unlike many of the previous releases in this series, this kit is one of the few that did enter production and was cancelled after 50 examples were built. Like the previous releases though, this kit includes four aircraft that weren't so lucky.
Cast in tan resin, the Ju 352 kit is laid out in standard Anigrand fashion with hollow-cast fuselage halves, plug-in wings and tail, engine nacelles, and resin landing gear. The clear resin parts have improved significantly as these parts are crystal clear.
Take a close look at the images to the right. This is the first release from Anigrand that features fully cast propellers! Gone are the painful tasks of gluing individual 1/144 propeller blades onto a tiny propeller hub (unless you break one). This new casting breakthrough will be welcomed by one and all!
Among the other four kits included in this release:
Me 609 - Here is an interesting subject that remained on paper with the fall of Germany, the twin Me 309. Like the P-82 Twin Mustang, the Me 609 was a single-seat fighter that consisted of two Me 309 airframes built together. The result was a long-range fighter that could carry lots of firepower and still have multi-engine reliability.
Bv 141 - The Blohm and Voss Bv 141 reconnaissance aircraft did see service in the war with 38 examples built. While very successful performance-wise, the design used an engine that was in demand for the Focke Wulf 190 and the program was terminated in favor of another Kurt Tank design - the Fw 189.
Fw 226 - This was another unique design from the Focke Wulf drawing boards and bears a strong resemblance to the British Vampire. This single-seat, single-engine jet fighter could have caused some shift in airpower had the war lasted longer, though by that time, this design would likely have faced off against another formidable design, the Lockheed P-80.
Fl 256 - This would have been an outgrowth of the Fl 184 autogyro that featured wing rotors and a larger engine.
Markings are provided for these five aircraft:
- Ju 352-V2, 2, Prototype
- Ju 352, A3+AB, KG 200
- Fw 226, generic
- Bv 141B, NC+QZ
- Me 609, generic
- Fl 265, TK+AN
Anigrand continues to turn out some interesting subjects to fill in the gaps of aviation history for those aircraft that didn't get past flight test. Congratulations on this nice Ju 352 Herkules kit!
My sincere thanks to the US importer, Nostalgic Plastic for this review sample!