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Ju 88

Revell 1/32 Ju 88A-1 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2009 Manufacturer Revell
Subject Ju 88A-1 Scale 1/32
Kit Number 4728 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Best JJu 88 in any scale Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) About $35.00 (in the UK)

First Look

Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88
Ju 88

The RLM issued a requirement for a high speed bomber in the mid-1930s. Junkers submitted a design from which several prototypes were produced. The first examples were powered by two Daimler Benz DB 600 engines each, followed by further test articles powered by the Jumo 211. Jumo power was selected for the production variants of the Ju 88 and the engineering team worked out a number of teething problems with the aircraft.

The first production version was the Ju 88A series that was configured as a bomber. The Ju 88C series was the night fighter/fighter-bomber version. The Ju 88D series was configured for long-range reconnaissance. The Ju 88B introduced a new nose that led to the parallel development of the Ju 188. The Ju 88G was a night fighter that was based upon the longer fuselage of the Ju 188. The Ju 88H was a reconnaissance platform also based upon the longer Ju 188 fuselage. The Ju 88P was a cannon-armed tank hunter. The Ju 88S and Ju 88T were the final versions with the long fuselage and higher performance engines.

I was fascinated to hear that Revell/Germany was producing the Ju 88 in 1/32 scale. Early photos of the test shots were even more fascinating in that Revell was advancing the level of detail in their kits, not to the extreme like some of the Chinese companies, but certainly far ahead of their norm. When I saw that it was due to arrive at Hannants, I couldn't resist ordering one for a look for myself!

As you might expect for a 1/32 scale twin-engined bomber, the box is quite large. The trees inside were well packaged and Hannants had taken the addition precaution of packing my new Revell 1/48 Mosquito inside the Ju 88 box which did prevent any of the sprues from bouncing about in shipment whilst saving me some extra shipping costs in the process.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 13 parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. The test shot photos were right, there is a lot of detail in this kit and you can see that the parts breakdown is more prototypical with subassemblies not unlike what you'd find on a hangar floor during a major overhaul.

The instructions are well laid out and have roughly 11 illustrated steps per page. To give you an idea of the level of detail, the cockpit interior take three pages - 30 steps! Even after that, there is still more fuselage interior work before the fuselage halves come together. The fuselage finally does come together midway through page 5. The interesting part about all of this is that all of the detail that you're building into the model is visible, so you aren't wasting time worrying about detail that won't be seen after assembly.

Like their recent Mosquito kit, Revell has engineered some structural strength into this larger model including some hefty main spars on the wings and similar spars for the horizontal stabilizers. Even the vertical stabilizer has a pre-molded stub on the fuselage halves for strength and alignment.

The engine nacelles are nicely done, though there isn't an option for an open nacelle with a Jumo engine inside. You'll have to wait for the aftermarket folks to put that option together.

Wings, landing gear, and lots of windows round out the assembly process and you're ready for final paint in step 92. Whew!

You'd better be prepared to do some serious window masking as there are quite a few individual panes that will need protection prior to painting. Hopefully Eduard, Montex, or someone will have some nice pre-cut masks to make this part of the job easier!

Markings are provided for three examples:

  • Ju 88A-1, 7./KG 54, B3+DR, France, Sep 1940, 'Battle of Britain'
  • Ju 88A-1, 3./KG 30, 4D+FL, France, 1940, 'Battle of Britain'
  • Ju 88A-1, Unknown Test Unit, U4-TK, Norway, 1940

In addition to the three sets of distinctive markings, there is also a set of maintenance stencils included.

Revell has raised the bar for kit detail in their own releases and this kit rivals what we might see from China. The kit is intricate in its detail, but not to the extent of being over-engineered and unbuildable. Given the number of parts in the box, I wouldn't recommend this to a beginner, but modelers with experience won't have any issues with the kit. AMS modelers will have a field day as there is little left in the box (aside from some engines) that will need to be added, just lots of detail painting. Perhaps a color photo-etch set from Eduard for the instruments and placards...