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Bucker Bu 131D (32030) - 1:32 ICM


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 Bucker Bu 131D (32030)

1:32 ICM




The Bu 131 was designed by Carl Bucker and Anders Anderssen after Bucker Flugzeugbau was established in Germany in 1932. This was to be the last biplane built in Germany. The aircraft is a conventional two seat trainer with a fuselage made of steel tubes, and wings made of wood; everything being fabric covered. A Hirth HM60R 60hp engine was fitted. The aircraft was, and still is praised for its handling characteristics against even modern aircraft. 


The aircraft was before and druring WWII the basic promary trainer for the Luftwaffe. It was also selected in this role by the Japanese Army (Kokusai Ki-86), The Japanses Navy (Kyushu K9W), and the Spanish Air Force (CASA Production). In deed CASA continued manufacturing the aircraft well into the 1960s. Additonal licensed production also took place in Switzerland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. A further 21 aircraft were produced in 1994 in Spain using the CASA jigs.  The aircraft is still being produced today by Air Res Aviation in Poland.



The Kit

The kit arrives on two main sprues, and a small clear sprue. Like the real aircraft construction is pretty straight forward. The build starts with the main lower wing. This is of conventional construction with a single pat lower and split left/right upper. The centre of the wing will also form the bottom of the front cockpit. A section of framing for this cockpit must be placed in once the wing is completed. The ailerons are seperate parts and can be added at this stage as well. 




Construction then moves onto two parts side by side. The rest of the cockpit steel tube famrework is added to both the fuselage halves, at the sametime the aircrafts engine is also made up and added to its bearers. Once the cockpit frames are in the fuselage can be joined up. The fixed parts of the tailplanes are added at this stage also. the fuselage can then be joined to the lower wing.




Moving back to the fuselage the coamings for both cockpits are made up and the instrument panels are added. Instruments are provided as decals. The seats are then added along with the forward fuselage metal panels and the engine firewall. The engine can then be mounted and its covers added. The prop and its housing can then be added at the front.  Next up the two part upper wing is also made up and added. Again the ailerons are seperate parts. The interplane strusts are then added to the upper wing. Once done this can be mounted to the lower wing. To finish up the  under carridge is made up and added along with a few external parts  A basic rigging diagram is provided in the instructions, this is not too clear to be honest and the modeller would be recomended to check their references. 






There are four decal options included in the box, The swastikas are not present so the modeller will have to source them elsewhere.  From the box you can build one of the following:


  • 2./JG54, Russia, March 1942, white winter camo over Dark Green RLM71 / Blue RLM65
  • 2./JG54, Russia, Summer 1942, Dark Green RLM71 over Blue RLM65
  • Stab III/NJG 1, Germany 1943, Overall Grey RLM02
  • Training Unit Bad Aibling, Germany 1944, Overall Grey RLM02


Decals are printed by ICM, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.




It is good to see an important trainer aircraft kitted in a larger scale, which for the aircraft still wont be a massive model. The quality of the kit is up there with ICM's latest releases, and really could only do with a set of seatbelts to imporove on whats in the box. 


Very highly recommended.


Review sample courtesy of


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