Special Hobby 1/72 Ju-87A "Legion Condor"

KIT #: 72123
PRICE: $29.70 at GreatModels
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Limited run kit with photoetch fret.


Smitten by the dive bombing capabilities of the Curtiss Hawk biplanes, German aviator Ernst Udet used his influence to have a dive bomber type be one of the earliest types developed for the new Luftwaffe. Several companies vied for the contract, but it was Junkers, whose abilities to build sturdy planes was well known, that eventually won what turned out to be a very lucrative deal.

The initial prototypes were plagued by stability problems, but removing the twin tails and replacing it with a standard type cured that. The A model was also underpowered. As a result, in order to carry the full bomb load, the rear gunner/radio operator had to be left behind. Not exactly the perfect situation when going into hostile territory.

The first planes rolled off the assembly line in 1937 and were soon sent to units. A number were also sent to the Condor Legion in Spain during 1938 where it proved itself to be quite a capable army support aircraft. Its pinpoint delivery often allowed bombs to be placed just where they were needed. By the time WWII broke out, the A had pretty well been relegated to training units where it continued to serve until the end of the war.


This is MPM/Special Hobby's second molding of the A model Stuka in 1/72, the first being one of their very early releases. Though that kit does make into a nice model, the truth is that it is not an easy build and is a tad on the 'clunky' side when it comes to some of the smaller parts.

This is an entirely new mold and is up to MPM/SH's current standards of detailing and parts crispness. Not to say that it is not going to take some modeling skills, just not as many as the earlier kit. I'd like to encourage the folks at MPM/SH to continue to use these nice resealable bags. Much better way to keep from losing bits when one opens up the contents.

There is no resin though there is a nicely done photo-etch sheet has things like dive brakes, belts and rear gunner's seat along with a number of other small interior bits. Speaking of small, there are quite a few small parts with this kit. A number of them are for the flap/aileron attachments as well as the dive brake mounts. Should be a rather fussy construct. I'm also less that looking forward to building up the pitot tube out of three different bits, including one photo-etch. Thankfully the prop blades are in one piece. One odd omission is that there are not any bombs. You'd think at least one 250kg bomb for the centerline would be included, but it is not. The canopy is injected plastic so those of us who don't like vac canopies will be pleased. It is a single piece, but quite clear so any interior work will be visible.

Markings are for four very similar aircraft, all with the Condor Legion in Spain during 1937/38. These differed only by the last number of the plane's code, and two of them had markings on the wheel spats. During this time, the Luftwaffe used a four color pattern with the three upper colors, of RLM 61/62/63 in a splinter. This pattern often interchanged the three colors offering six distinct variants. Two are shown in the markings sheet. The underside in all cases was RLM 65. You can easily interpolate that other options if you so wish. Decals are well printed and since they are all Spanish, no swastika worries. Instructions are well done and provide Gunze paint references.


It is quite unlikely that we will see a 'mainstream' injected Ju-87A from anyone else. Besides, this newer mold MPM/Special hobby kit is actually quite nicely done. If you have a bit of short run kit experience, you'll be able to handle this one without any worries.



October 2009

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