by: Andy Brazier [ ]
Originally published on:
History The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka (from Sturzkampfflugzeug, "dive bomber") was a two-man (pilot and rear gunner) German dive bomber and ground-attack aircraft. Designed by Hermann Pohlmann, the Stuka first flew in 1935 and made its combat debut in 1936 as part of the Luftwaffe's Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War.
The aircraft was easily recognisable by its inverted gull wings and fixed spatted undercarriage, upon the leading edges of its faired maingear legs were mounted the Jericho-Trompete ("Jericho Trumpet") wailing sirens, becoming the propaganda symbol of German air power and the blitzkrieg victories of 1939Ė1942. The Stuka's design included several innovative features, including automatic pull-up dive brakes under both wings to ensure that the aircraft recovered from its attack dive even if the pilot blacked out from the high acceleration. Although sturdy, accurate, and very effective against ground targets, the Ju 87, like many other dive bombers of the war, was vulnerable to modern fighter aircraft. Its flaws became apparent during the Battle of Britain; poor manoeuvrability and a lack of both speed and defensive armament meant that the Stuka required heavy fighter escort to operate effectively.
With the G variant, the aging airframe of the Ju 87 found new life as an anti-tank aircraft. This was the final operational version of the Stuka, and was deployed on the Eastern Front. The reverse in German military fortunes after 1943 and the appearance of huge numbers of well-armoured Soviet tanks caused Junkers to adapt the existing design to combat this new threat. The Hs 129B had proved a potent ground attack weapon, but its large fuel tanks made it vulnerable to enemy fire, prompting the RLM to say "that in the shortest possible time a replacement of the Hs 129 type must take place."
Hans-Ulrich Rudel, a Stuka ace, had suggested using two 37 mm (1.46 in) Flak 18 guns, each one in a self-contained under-wing gun pod, as the Bordkanone BK 3,7, after achieving success against Soviet tanks with the 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon. These gun pods were fitted to a Ju 87 D-1, W.Nr 2552 as "Gustav the tank killer". The first flight of the machine took place on 31 January 1943, piloted by Hauptmann Hans-Karl Stepp. The continuing problems with about two dozens of the Ju 88P-1, and slow development of the Hs 129 B-3, each of them equipped with a large Bordkanone BK 7,5 cm (2.95 in) cannon in a conformal gun pod beneath the fuselage, meant the Ju 87G was put into production. In April 1943, the first production Ju 87 G-1s were delivered to front line units. The two 37 mm (1.46 in) cannons were mounted in under-wing gun pods, each loaded with a six-round magazine of armour-piercing tungsten carbide ammunition. With these weapons, the Kanonenvogel ("cannon-bird"), as it was nicknamed, proved spectacularly successful in the hands of Stuka aces such as Rudel. The G-1 was converted from older D-series airframes, retaining the smaller wing, but without the dive brakes. The G-2 was similar to the G-1 except for use of the extended wing of the D-5. 208 G-2s were built and at least a further 22 more were converted from D-3 airframes.
Info from Wikipedia
In the box Its not often Eduard release a 1/144th scale kit, and this boxing dates back ten years to its original release in 2004. The difference with this boxing is the decals options.
Packed in the end opening box, the kit has two identical injected plastic sprues, one sheet of photo etch, a set of masks and the instruction sheet. A small sealed bag holds the two clear canopies.
The sprues are free from flash and ejector pin marks are few and far between.
Exterior detail is very good with fine recessed panel lines. Although the lines have been exaggerated in this scale, they do look nice.
The wings are moulded in one piece for each wing, but do have separate dive flaps.
The propellers are supplied as separate blades, which mount into the spinner, so care will have to be taken in positioning the blades at the correct angle.
The exhausts are moulded into the fuselage sides and would ideally have to be painted after the main camo has gone on.
Interior detail for the cockpit is nonexistent, as there isnít one, as the "hole" is faired over, which given the nature of the Stuka's greenhouse canopy is a bit unusual.
The undercarriage legs are moulded in one piece but there does seem to be a moulding imperfection on one side of the wheel fairing which will need attention.
Armament for this aircraft is two Bordkanone BK 3,7, 37 mm under wing cannons, and the rear facing machine guns for the gunner.
A single bomb is supplied on the sprue, but is not used in this kit.
The sheet of Photo etch have an incredible 15 parts for each model, and due to the size might be fiddly to attach. Spares are supplied as the carpet monster will no doubt be well fed lol.
The etched parts contain the two magazines for the cannons, tail-plane struts, pitot, crew access steps, and the rear facing machine guns.
The set of masks are for the very small wheel hubs, the fuselage band and two strips for the wingtip band markings. No masks are supplied for the canopy, which considering the amount of masks that would be needed to mask the greenhouse canopy, is hardly surprising, and who in their right mind would want to spend the better part of the day actually applying them lol.
The clear parts are in one piece, quite thin and pretty translucent for a part this size. The frames have some very fine raised framing lines, which will have to be hand painted, as previously stated no masks are supplied.
Instructions, decals and markings The instruction booklet is A4 size with the build sequence taking place over four sections.
The build is easy to follow in the black on white line drawing style. The gluing surfaces for each part in each section is highlighted in blue, which is a nice touch.
A page is dedicated to the application of the masks, with any liquid masking agent that need to be used (not supplied) highlighted in purple.
The three marking options are,
A - Junkers Ju 87G-2 Stuka
404193, Hans Ulrich Rudel, SG 2, Luftwaffe
B - Junkers Ju 87G-2 Stuka
491216 / T6 BU, SG 2, Luftwaffe
C - Junkers Ju 87 G-2 Stuka
F, Versuchskommando fur Panzerbekanpfung, Luftwaffe
The full page camo and decal guide is full colour with the paint guide for the Gunze range of Aqueous and Mr Colour range of paints.
The decals are thin, with little carrier film and in register.
A few stencils are supplied and under a magnifying glass are readable, well if you can read German lol.
A decal is supplied for the white spiral for the spinner, which is probably going to be the hardest one to apply.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.