Italeri 1/48 Ju 87B-2/R-2 'Picchiatello' Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Ju 87B-2/R-2 'Picchiatello'
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.
Italeri has reissued their 1/48 Ju 87B-2 Stuka kit which was first released in 2010. If you haven't been paying attention, Italeri shifted their kit design emphasis from minimal detail/complexity to much more intricate/detailed offerings. This Stuka kit is a great example of the 'newer' Italeri. The cockpit layout reminds me of Accurate Miniatures, but only the cockpit as this kit also provides impressive details under the cowling as well. This kit will build up into a detailed model straight out of the box. Let's take a closer look:
The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees plus one clear tree and one fret of photo-etched details. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Choice of B-2 or R-2 variants
- Beautifully detailed front and rear cockpits
- Choice of styrene or multi-layer photo-etched instrument panel
- Crew restraints provided with photo-etched parts
- Positionable canopies
- Detailed Jumo engine
- Positionable cowling panels
- Positionable elevators
- Positionable rudder
- Optional Jerico Trumpets on main gear
The kit provides a mix of external stores options:
- 2 x underwing external fuel tanks
- Choice of two types of centerline bomb
- 4 x underwing bombs
Markings are provided to replicate one of the following five subjects:
- Ju 87B-2, 239a Squadriglia, Regian Aeronautica, Mediterranean, April 1941
- Ju 87B-2, 237a Squadriglia/97 Gr., Regian Aeronautica, Galatina, November 1940
- Ju 87B-2, 236a Squadriglia/96 Gr., Regian Aeronautica, Comiso, September 1940
- Ju 87R-2, 236a Squadriglia/96 Gr., Regian Aeronautica, Libya, September 1941, captured by RAF
- Ju 87R-2, 6./StG 2, T6+DP, Luftwaffe, Libya, 1942
This kit is a beauty straight from the box, and given the variety of options produced by Eduard during their release of this kit, even the AMS modeler will be happy with this AM gem.
My sincere thanks to Italeri USA for this review sample!