TopDrawings #16: Junkers Ju 88 bomber variants
Author: Maciej Noszczak
Kagero Publishing keeps releasing good references. Amongst releases issued in October we can find a very useful item for scale modelers booklet with detailed scale plans of a famous German bomber. The sixteenth issue of the Topdrawings series, which is a subject of this review, is dedicated to the bomber variants of the Junkers Ju 88.
This is a second presentation of the Ju 88 in this series. In volume #6 Kagero have presented all variants of the same plane. This time we get the drawings of bomber variant only based on the A-type version.
The publication's first page is very brief, just a few sentences long, brief history of the construction and technical details like dimensions and basic performance data. Main content is only the scale drawings. Drawings in 1:72 scale are printed on the traditional pages of the book. Ju 88 is still a twin-engine bomber so 1:72 drawings were the only drawings suitable to be printed inside the book due to their size. The 1:48 and 1:32 scale plans, which of course are also provided, are printed on the separate folded sheets and printed on both sides.
On the additional sheets we can find the following drawings:
- One sheet in A3 format with top and bottom views of A-1 and A-4 versions in 1:72 scale
- One sheet in A2 format with the views from all sides of the A-4 version in 1:48 scale
- Two sheets in more-less A1 format (slightly bigger than double A2) with 1:32 scale drawings of all sides of A-1 and A-4 versions.
Side drawings are not the only one present. We can find here also presentation of some characteristic details of particular versions or equipment (e.g. propellers, belly gondola, glazing of tail gunner position, different noses with radar antennas). Between the profiles we are given a lot of fuselage section views and wings profiles.
Scale profiles are quite detailed. What I like a lot is the presence of distinct riveting schemes. If you take a closer look you can notice that authors provide the lines of rivets with different density and size. Those who like to enhance the surface of their scale kits will be delighted as a large variety of riveting tools will be required at this step. In comparison to some previous issues of Topdrawings series, where the rivets were barely visible, this time they made a major step forward and improved the quality a lot.
- Junkers Ju 88 A-1; W.Nr. 7036, coded '9K HL' of 3./KG 51, Bexhill, Sussex, UK, 28th July 1940
- Junkers Ju 88 A-11 (A-4 trop); coded 'L1 OK' of 2./LG 1, North Africa, 1942
- Junkers Ju 88 A-4; coded '(3Z) KS' of 8./KG 77, MTO, 1943
- Junkers Ju 88 A-5; coded 'B3 EX' of 10.(Erg.)/KG 54, MTO, 1943
Paint schemes are almost the same as in the sixth issue of the series. The only new scheme, which was not reproduced in the previous volume, is the A-1 version coded '9K HL'. All individual markings for machines listed above are provided in 1:32, 1:48 and 1:72 scales. What is not obvious for all producers around the world, you can find here decals of German swastikas, seen on the the real planes. The decal sheet is quite large, due to the size of 1:32 decals, and is close in dimension to A4 format. As usual for Kagero over the past few years, they are printed by Italian Cartograf. Quality is great, I don't see any error or flaw here.
In summary all I have to say is that this is another very useful and handy reference for scale modelers. It answers a lot of questions of the plane's size, dimensions of scale models or overall kit proportions. Different types presented inside correspond well with the variety of model kits available on the market. If you're also looking for an inspiration or interesting painting scheme you can find it here as well. Personally I like it very much.
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