|KIT:||Special Hobby 1/72 Junkers W34Hi|
|PRICE:||$27.15 from www.greatmodels.com|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run with resin exhaust|
Junkers W 34 was a German-built, single-engine, passenger- and transport aircraft, that was developed in the 1920s and was taken into service in 1926. The passenger version could take a pilot and five passengers. The aircraft was developed from the liquid cooled engined Junkers W 33. Further development of the aircraft led to the Junkers Ju 46.
One Junkers W 34 be/b3e managed to break the current altitude record on May 26, 1929 when it reached the altitude of 12,739 meters. That aircraft carried the markings D-1119 and it was equipped with a Bristol Jupiter VII engine. The airplane was flown by Friedrich W. Neuenhofen.
Junkers W 34 was manufactured in many different versions, most differing by the air cooled radial engine that it used. The total production numbers for the civil market were around 1,000, a further 2,024 "hi"'s and "hau"'s were built on license for the RLM and Luftwaffe. The unit price was between 65,000 and 70,400 RM. The difference between the Hi and the Hau was the engine. The former had a BMW power plant and the later had a more powerful Bramo engine.
On January 31, 1944, the Luftwaffe still had 618 W 34 hi's and 516 W 34 hau's in service, the majority were used by flight schools. Apart from being extensively used by Germany itself, the W 34 was exported to several nations, among them: Canada 9where it was used by bush pilots, China, Finland, Norway, New Guinea (at the time, part of the Dutch East Indies or an Australian protectorate, depending on what part of the island), Spain, Sweden and South Africa.
Special Hobby did a good job on this one. It isn't easy to do corrugated surfaces, and the Junkers abounds with them. Unfortunately, many of the pieces are marred by sink areas. Thanks to those corrugations, filling these depressions will pretty well be impossible. These are particularly noticeable on the ailerons, horizontal stabilizers, and the lower fuselage section. The sprue gates also encroach onto the corrugations, making clean up of these areas difficult.
From the look of things, several different versions can be done with the same sprues as there are multiple props and two different engine/fuselage mounts provided. The injected exhaust supplied are not to be used. Instead a nice set of cast resin exhaust are provided. Clear bits are well done and quite clear. The kit supplies no cabin aside from two ledges, but does have a fairly well done cockpit. From the way that the rudder pedal piece is designed, it almost looks like the pilot pushes on it to move the rudder one way and the co-pilot pushes to go the other! The engine has a lot of flash between the cylinders and will also need careful clean-up.
Instructions are well done with Gunze color call-outs as well as generic color information and RLM codes where applicable. Three markings options are given. One is the box art version in 'dark green' over 'light blue'. Probably RLM 71 over RLM 65, though I can't believe these planes weren't in an RLM 70/71 splinter scheme on the upper surface. Next is a Finnish AF version, also in 'dark green' over 'light blue' with yellow lower wing tips and fuselage band. I'm thinking that this may be in the Finnish AF shades. The final aircraft is a post war aircraft flying for the air force of Czechoslovakia. it is in light grey with a black cowling, and probably the easiest one to do in terms of painting. The large decal sheet is well printed with the Finnish AF swastikas in pieces as is the fin marking for the German one. It appears quite thin and should work well. I'd use some setting solution to be sure it snuggled into all the corrugations.
Along with the FW-58, the W.34 was an important secondary aircraft that was used throughout the war and an important part of the Luftwaffe's training program. Nice to have a kit of it for those that like second-line aircraft.
Wikipedia and other internet sources.
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