Revell 1/32 Bü 131D Jungmann Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||August 2019||Manufacturer||Revell|
|Subject||Bü 131D Jungmann||Scale||1/32|
|Kit Number||3886||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice kit||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$36.00|
Bücher Fluzeugbau GmbH was a small aircraft company founded in the early 1930s and specialized in training aircraft. Their first production aircraft was the Bü 131 Jungmann, which was Germany's last production biplane. Like the de Havilland Tiger Moth was for the RAF, the Bü 131 was used to train a new generation of pilots for the new Luftwaffe as well as be pressed into a variety of roles during World War II. And like the Tiger Moth, the Bü 131 would survive the war and enter civilian aviation where airworthy examples can be found today.
Here is a new-tool 1/32 scale biplane trainer kit of German origin, and though it comes from Revell (Germany), it is a rebox of the previously released kit produced by ICM. This kit represents the Bü 131D, though ICM's first version was the Bü 131A. This is a nicely done kit molded in gray styrene and presented on two parts trees plus one small tree of clear parts (not shown). While the box indicates that this is a level 5 kit (the most complex level), the kit itself is going to be an easy build, the complexity will come with rigging the aircraft.
The Bü 131 is a fabric-covered aircraft over tubular steel framed fuselage, and the surface detailing is very nicely done. The cockpit area provides separately molded tubular frame details which also extend out to the motor mounts. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Nicely detailed cockpits
- Positionable entry doors
- Nicely detailed Hirth engine
- Positionable cowling panels
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable elevators
- Positionable rudder
Markings are provided for two examples:
- Bü 131D, P2+RN, 5(H)/21, Rama-Ruska, Russia, 1941
- Bü 131D, BG+CW, FF5(A)43, Crailsheim, 1944
In addition to the distinctive marking options, the decal sheet also provides instrument faces for the front and rear cockpits as well as pilots' restraints.
As usual, Revell's kit instructions are among the best on the market, and indeed, they have 14 pages that carefully walk you through the assembly process. Where these instructions really fail is on the final page. Where they provide nice step-by-step illustrations for assembling plastic, they have two VERY busy diagrams illustrating the rigging of the aircraft. Had these rigging illustrations been broken up into steps as well, this wouldn't be a level 5 kit, and while the rigging isn't going to be difficult for the experienced biplane modeler, this kit could have been an entry-level biplane project if given the proper instructions. I don't know if these are the same diagrams from the ICM kit, but this was a missed opportunity by Revell.
Instructions aside, this is a very nice kit and I'm looking forward to building this project sometime in the near future. Now if only someone (ICM?) would render the Tiger Moth in this scale as well. While we've got the venerable Matchbox/Revell 1/32 kit 'out there', we're overdue for a kit of comparable quality as this gem.