Airfix 1/48 Ju-87B-1 Stuka

A new release from Airfix for January 2017 is their newly tooled kit of the Stuka in 1/48.  It established a reputation for itself as an accurate, tactical ground support aircraft from use in the Spanish Civil War, as well as the opening stages of WW2 as it dived steeply, able to bomb accurately and with installed sirens to add a 'scream' during the dive to make it even more scary for those on the receiving end.  When it came to the Battle of Britain it was found to be too slow and cumbersome to compete with fighters like the Spitfire and Hurricane.  Despite those failures the Stuka remained in use, and saw service in North Africa, Italy and on the Eastern Front during the remainder of the war.

The kit represents an early mark of Stuka and with marking options for either one from Kampfgruppe 88 of the Condor Legion in Spain during 1938.  The alternative is for a Luftwaffe machine from II./Sturzkampfgeschwader 2, based at Bonn-Hangelar in Germany during the Spring of 1940.  Both feature the common splinter camouflage on the upper surfaces and pale blue undersides.

The kit is very nicely done, and has some options that make it necessary to go through the instructions and decide on your build choices before you start building.  One of these is whether or not you want to have it on the ground, with the engine on display, such as in a maintenance scene.  If not, the alternative is to make it with the cowlings in place and of course leaving you with a engine left over, perhaps for inclusion in another diorama.  The cockpit tub has some nice detail, including the stowed ammunition drums for the machine gun fitted in the back of the canopy.  If you do choose to make it up in a ground maintenance scene, you can also cut out the access panels in the wings for the guns, so these can be seen as well.  The other thing to pay attention to if it is to be on the ground, is how the wheels are set in the spats, whether the suspension is compressed or not and whether or not the flat moulded on the tyre is used, or hidden inside the spat for an aircraft in flight.

With the large, clear canopy so the cockpit interior will be clearly on display.  The detail in the kit is not bad, but it is worth noting that there is already a detailing set available for the kit from Eduard, which includes their super pre-printed instrument panels, a feature which will add something special to this kit I think.  Good value for money in the kit itself, and one with bags of detail included in it, and all nicely done.

Robin