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CarLos

Junkers Ju 52/3m kit comparison

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The recent thread by Mikemx made me bring the kits I had stocked in the garage to have a closer look. I always enjoyed the Ju 52 and I intend to do several, all civil, including a conversion to a single engined one. The Airfix box is shown bellow only for curiosity, as it belongs to an older league. It still allows to build a model that looks like a Ju52 but is very crude in the details and there is no reason to use it for an accurate model having access to other kits.

Ju52Kits_sm.jpg

The older Italaerei box includes more or less the same plastic than the newer Italeri one (and probably the Revell reboxings) with some detail differences, apart from the obvious inclusion of floats in the older box and individual seats on the newer one. But my intention is to compare the main parts - fuselage, wings and control surfaces - of the kits to allow the modeller to use the better kit for his model or to correct the main inacuracies. Knowing that there are many different versions that varies in several details I will concentrate in the common.

As written in the above thread, Bill Matthews wrote a comparison both in Mushroom Monthly and Scale Models. I have the MM pages, if someone could refer the issue of SM in which the other article apeered I would be grateful. At least in the one I have it is a text-only article and I'll try to illustrate with photos the differences.

Having several books on the subject, for me the best single reference for the modeller on the Tante Ju is the monograph by Wolfgang Miertsch in the "Vom Original zum Modell" series. I only have the volume related with the civil versions, but there is other on the military versions. The AJaKs book has tons of good looking scale drawings but I would approach them carefully. A good number of manuals and brochures can be found on the net, and these contain several drawings that are interesting to enlighten some aspects of the aircraft. The "Hugo Junkers Home Page" is also a great source for every Junkers, in this case mainly in the identication of the sub-types - it is now hosted at http://hugojunkers.pytalhost.com/ju_home.htm, but as it changes too often it's better to google for it the link is broken.

VOZM.jpg

This is a work in progress; I will start with the fuselage and leave the wings for later, as I need info on some details. I'll use as a guide the drawing bellow, from the Miertch book, as it has many useful dimentions.

Ju52Drw_sm.jpg

If you tape the fuselage of both kits and sit them on their nose you'll notice that the distance from nose (without the engine) to the trailing edge of the fin is exactly the same - and correct according to the dimensions listed in the drawing. The distance from the back of the cockpit (the forward edge of the cabin) to the base of the fin is also the same. The width and hight of the cabin are also similar in both kits, and they agree with the measures in the drawing. There is where the similarities end. (Heller kit in light grey, the Italeri plastic in less green that in the photos)

ItHeFuseComp2sm.jpg

ItHeFuseComp1.jpg

The Heller kit has one milimeter more in the fin's chord at the base compensated by Italeri nose being longer by 1 mm. The Heller rudder is taller by 1.6 mm and has almost 2 mm more in chord. The Italeri rudder is dimensionally correct. However, the rudder should be noticeably thicker at the base (in line with the fuselage thickness) and the Heller kit is the only correct in this.

HeItRuddersm.jpg

The windows dimensions are incorrect in both kits; In the Heller kit they are too small in both dimensions, in the Italeri kit they are too big. The correct dimension should be 5.49 mm x 7.92 mm. Images bellow show Heller windows:

HeWLsm.jpgHeWHsm.jpg

And the Italeri ones:

ItWLsm.jpgItWHsm.jpg

The profile of the fuselage is not correct in the Italeri kit: It should have the slight curvature of the wing under surface, instead it is flat. The photo bellow shows the difference. This means that the wing profile is uncorrect in the Italeri kit... The Heller kit seems to be correct in this.

HeItUndWingCurvesm.jpg;

Although I only noticed it for this review, wroting the contrary elsewhere, the Heller kit captures well the 2 degrees "twist to port" of the fin. The Italeri kit is wrong being straight.

HeFinsm.jpg;ItFinsm.jpg

The wing leading edge should be in line with the edge of the cabin; However, in the Italeri kit the wing is 1 mm to the back. It is hardly noticeable at the leading edge, but as the port door should be in line with the wing's trailing edge that brings the door to "above" the wing. I know that there are many variations of doors, but they should "obbey" to the frame at the trailing edge of the wing.

HeItNosesm.jpg

The corrugations period is wrong in both kits, but it is much closer to the reality in the Heller one. The more spaced corrugations should have a period of 30 mm in the real; in 1/72 this means 4.17 mm for each 10 corrugations and I measured 7.45 for the Heller kit and 10.03 for the Italeri one.

ItHeCorrComp.jpg

The Italeri civil kit has a different fuselage top without the gun opening; If you want to make a civil model from the Heller kit you must fill the gunners place and redo the corrugations. The same applies to the cargo door; the Italeri kit has replacements, when you are by yourself in the case of the Heller kit. The hatch arrangement in the underside of the fuselage is different in both kits, but there are so many different versions that both may be correct for different aircraft.

The Italeri canopy is much better in plan view; the Heller one is more "pointy".

CanopyComp_2sm.jpg;CanopyComp_1sm.jpg

In general the Heller fuselage is better than the Italeri one. It has a finer detail and better general dimensions if you exclude the fin and rudder problem, although the 1mm differences in the Italeri kit are not very important. The fin and rudder is easier to correct in the case of the heller kit than in the case of the base of the Italeri one, as the fin and rudder in the heller kit are in two halfs. We can cut the trailing edge to the correct dimension and sand from the inside to restore the profile preserving the corrugations. In the case of the Italeri one, enlarging the base implies cutting in halg the lower part of the single piece of the rudder and sandwich a piece of plastic card. You must also twist the Italeri fin. The windows in both kits must be corrected; I think it's easier to reduce the Italeri windows than to enlarge the Heller ones - and you can also modify the transparent parts to fit, something that you can't do in the case of the Heller one. If you can, borrow an Italeri canopy to use in the Heller kit (or mould a new one according with plans). The nose of the Italeri kit tapers too much in side view, but with the engine in place it is less noticeable.

I'll try to compare the remain later this week, but I need to watch many photos before...

I hope this helps someone wanting a better Tante Ju in 1/72.

Carlos

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Great stuff. I will be following this thread.

A Swedish modeller (I don't remember his name) built a Ju 52/3m floatplane some years ago, and if I recall his conclusions right he stated that to build an accurate model you will probably have to combine several kits. But which to use is of course dependent on which version you are building. The Heller kit is the most accurate when it comes to general shape and corrugation.

Miertsch's book is great. Highly recommended!

Nils

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As written in the above thread, Bill Matthews wrote a comparison both in Mushroom Monthly and Scale Models. I have the MM pages, if someone could refer the issue of SM in which the other article apeered I would be grateful. At least in the one I have it is a text-only article and I'll try to illustrate with photos the differences.

The actual kit comparison in Scale Models is also text only (the only photos in the article show a Heller Ju-52 built as a Hungarian WWII airliner; kit comparison without photos of the actual kits? Go figure!!!). :rolleyes: Unfortunately my copy is about 30 Km from where I am at the moment, but from memory it must have come out in the late 90s.

In any case I don't think it's actually worth bothering with, especially since Mr. Matthews also published his comparison in MM. Presumably the text would be the same??? :unsure:

Edited by Panoz

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Very interesting thread which I will watch with interest. I have built the Italeri kit 4 times and the Airfix once, with one more Airfix, 2 more Italeri and a pair of Hellers to come, so be intrigued about changes you make to the various ones to match the real thing.

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Thank you for sharing your conclusions with us.

I thought I have corrected EVERY mistake on my Heller model, but clearly missed the canopy and side window errors.

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Definitely will be following this one! Some time back, I did quite an extensive search on the net and all I could find at the end of the day was that Heller's kit was considered to me the more accurate 1/72 Ju.52 around. Your findings have certainly validated this. I am thinking that one might even want to kit bash the 2 to end up with something even more accurate (the canopies for example).

Could use the Italeri rudder as a guide and perhaps touch up the Heller one, even.

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Great information...now to build one.....

Cheers,

ggc

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Thanks, CarLos - good, useful stuff.

I recently scored a Bird Models/White Cat Models resin set to convert the Italeri kit to a diesel-engined Ju 52/3m ho (appropriate, given that I used to be owned by a fine feline named White Cat ...). I don't have an Italeri kit, so I'll be using the Heller kit that I've had in the stash for far too long. It has the military freight door in the rear starboard fuselage - any suggestions as to an easy way to civilianise it?

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The SM issue is October '96 - not sure how it differs to the MM version.

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If anyone should have a spare Ju52 fin/rudder please let me know as I'm looking for an easy way to make a late F.13. The partially enclosed canopy is also a problem but I'll try to fiddle something if I can get a fin/rudder for it.

Thanks,

Ross

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Would anyone happen to know what colour scheme the Swiss Air Force JU-52s where in .

I beleive one machine A-701 was painted light grey FS or BS ref for the grey would help.

Kind Regards

Craig

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The windows dimensions are incorrect in both kits; In the Heller kit they are too small in both dimensions, in the Italeri kit they are too big. The correct dimension should be 5.49 mm x 7.92 mm.

The window dimensions you state (following the drawings above) are 395 x 570 mm.

Today I have measured the windows of ex-Portuguese AF example sold by IWM Duxford to the Polish Aviation Museum last year and they are a little bigger at 410 x 590 mm, which makes 5.70 x 8.19 mm in 1/72 scale.

So the Italeri windows are almost spot on, although generally I still prefer Heller kit.

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The window dimensions you state (following the drawings above) are 395 x 570 mm.

Today I have measured the windows of ex-Portuguese AF example sold by IWM Duxford to the Polish Aviation Museum last year and they are a little bigger at 410 x 590 mm, which makes 5.70 x 8.19 mm in 1/72 scale.

So the Italeri windows are almost spot on, although generally I still prefer Heller kit.

I must investigate this. Unfortunately the Ju52 in the Portuguese museum sits to high to be measured by a visitor.

The Portuguese aircraft came in three batches:

- 10 Ju-52/3m ge acquired in Germany arrived by 23 December 1936;

- 2 Ju-52/3m g8e were received from Norway in 1951, ex- captured wartime aircraft;

- 15 ex-French Air Force Amiot A.A.C. 1 Toucain were received in 1961.

I guess that there were detail differences between the aircraft, being the size of the windows one of them. Do you know the original constructor number of the one in the Polish Museum?

Carlos

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Surely it's the French Amiot-built Tucain, but at the moment I'm unable to recall the c/n.

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Sorry for reviving the old topic, but I found it while browsing for data about Ju 52. I am curious why did your comparison stop without going on wings and other components? I would be very interested in the rest of this analysis. Thanks.

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In my opinion Heller wings are far better shape-wise than Italeri ones, as only they feature forward swept rear spar

http://karopka.ru/upload/iblock/4/6/6/3/4/photo_6_1303404347.jpg

(as does the full-size Ju-52),

https://d-w24.ppstatic.pl/g2/4d/1c/03/309317_1405958598_4679_p.jpeg

http://www.warbirdphotographs.com/LCBW12/Ju52-130f-s.jpg

http://s268.photobucket.com/user/John_C_R/media/Flying%20Legends%202012/Ju52.jpg.html

while messrs Italeri executed this spar perpendicular to the fuselage centreline :(

http://www.mojehobby.pl/zdjecia/7/7/0/1124_1_ita0150_3.jpg

However I hadn't put any of them against the drawings and dimensions.

Cheers

Michael

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Michael, it's interesting that the window size of Italeri corresponds to "your" Toucain, when it would seem very logical the Heller kit would be based on one of those, too. So perhaps there were different series of the Toucain (with different windows) ?

Another reference I'd like to add is a small booklet by Bruno Lange, whose title I'll add when I have located it...Edit: Tante Ju - Alles über die Ju 52, I bought mine cheaply on ebay.de. Do not pay more than 10 € incl. s&h, there are some incrdibly expensive offers out there.

Koku Fan had one of their "files" on the 52, but again I'd have to find it to be precise (I guess in the 1984 to 87 bracket).

Edited by tempestfan

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Very interesting comparison I vote for Heller with blind eyes

but that's not the experienced 52 year old modeller talking it's just the nostalgic kid,

remembering his humble Humbrol & Heller-fix first kits. Dinky's and Corgi's being too

expensive for my modest piggy box, all my kits would become toys,

they had this double life ; first as kits to build then as toys to play with and only rarely would they

end up their operational career on the shelf...

So, dear Carlos don't forget once you've finished this beautifull bird to pick it up in your hand

and fly it around the room before landing it on it's shelf... airplane models like to pretend they fly...

Congratulations for this excellent build of a difficult model and thank you for bringing back the good memories ! :goodjob:

:hobbyhorse::pilot::wow:

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