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Mike

Junkers Ju.88C-6B German WWII Night Fighter (48239) 1:48

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Junkers Ju.88C-6B German WWII Night Fighter (48239)

1:48 ICM via Hannantss

 

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The Ju-88 was designed as a schnellbomber in the mid 30s, and at the time it was faster than current fighter designs, so it was predicted that it could infiltrate, bomb and escape without being intercepted.  That was the theory anyway.  By the time WWII began in the west, fighters had caught up with the previously untouchable speed of the 88, and it needed escorting to protect it from its Merlin equipped opponents.  It turned out to be a jack of all trades however, and was as competent as a night fighter, dive bomber or doing reconnaissance as it was bombing Britain.  They even popped a big gun on the nose and sent it against tanks and bombers, with variable success.

 

The C series aircraft were supposed to be primarily heavily armed fighters or ground attack, fitted with a collection of extra guns in a metal nose.  Once Allied bombers started popping up over Germany however, they were quickly retasked with nightfighter duties, in which they found their ultimate role.  The specification retained the gondola under the nose, but this was often removed in the field to reduce weight and increase top speed, all of which gave them an edge over an unmodified airframe.  After design was completed, the C-4 was the first to enter production, with 120 made, split between new builds and conversions of the A-5 on which they were based.  With the addition of radar the C-6 took over from the C-4, and with a solid nose and radar "whiskers" it was found to be a capable night fighter.  The C-6b was fitted with either FuG 202 Lichtenstein BC or later a  FuG 212 Lichtenstein C-1 radar, and was replaced later by the 6c that also sported the deadly Schräge-muzik upward firing 20mm cannons.

 

 

The Kit

This is another retool of ICM's new line of Ju.88s, and they seem intent on providing us with all the variants we could ever need, which has got to be good news.  This one uses the earlier Ju.88A-11 as a base, which we reviewed here, using seven of its sprues plus the main clear sprue, and adds two new sprues, with an additional canopy sprue to give us the C-6b Night fighter, so essentially it has the same plastic in the box as the earlier C-6 that we reviewed here.  In case you don't feel like doing the calculations for yourself that's nine sprues of grey styrene, two of clear, a sheet of decals and a glossy instruction booklet.  As you can probably imagine, there will be a number of parts left in the box after you have completed your model, and these are marked out in red on the map inside the front cover.

 

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The major differences centre around the solid nose, exhaust flame hiders, and inside there is a difference in the seating layout due to the absence of a bomb aimer, and there is a fighter-style gunsight mounted on the instrument panel for obvious reasons.  In the nose are a set of ammo boxes to feed the guns, while the wings and tail are identical for our purposes, as is the landing gear.  The gondola under the cockpit is repurposed as a gun pack as per the daytime C-6, with slight changes to the housing parts, and an insert for the two guns, while the glazing is still used.  The rear of the gondola has an optional redundant single gun mount glazing, and unused Zwilling twin-mount glass, or it can be populated with a pair of machine guns depending on your decal choice, with the glazing in the front present as well.

 

ICM provide two inline Jumo 211J engines, which have plenty of detail moulded in and just need a bit of wiring to complete them if you plan to show them off.  They are installed in the nacelles against a bulkhead, with separate cowling panels to allow you to display the engine and pose the cooling flaps open or closed.  A set of tubular flame hiders are provided to cover up the exhaust stubs, which prevent the pilot from having his night vision ruined, and makes it more difficult for enemy aircraft to spot them.

 

Now we get to the nose.  There are two solid nose cones on the new sprues, so take care when selecting which one to use, as the there are others lurking nearby.  There are four guns in the nose of each option, but only the bottom one is depicted fully, which has a breech cut from the provided parts glued inside the nose.  All the muzzles are separate sections that are glued from the outside, and they don't have hollow muzzles, partly due to their small size.  The earlier radar fit has a profusion of smaller dipoles on its straight whiskers that project from the front of the cone, while the later ones have fewer larger dipoles with L-shaped mounting arms that begin at the sides of the nose to space them out.  The new canopy has no mounting for the forward firing machine gun, and this is then joined with the two part aft glazing, which has a pair of bulged mounts for more machine guns, so is moulded in two parts.  Using a non-melting glue such as GS-Hypo cement will save you from any canopy fogging due to glue being absorbed into the previously clear parts.

 

 

Markings

There are four decal options from the box, with the common stencils for them noted on each drawing due to lack of space to devote a full page to them this time.  The decals have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin semi-gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas, with instrument panel decals on the sheet.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • Junkers Ju-88C-6b, pilot – Lt. Wilhelm Beier, 10./NJG1, Leeuwarden, Oct 1942
  • Junkers Ju-88C-6b, pilot – Maj. Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, Stab.IV/NJG5, Orel (Russia), Spring 1943
  • Junkers Ju-88C-6b, 3./NJG4, Mainz, March 1944
  • Junkers Ju-88C-6b, 6./NJG2, Kassel, Spring 1944

 

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Conclusion

Another smashing boxing of this long-lived and successful type that was a true multi-role aircraft, and night fighters are definite draw, especially for me.  Detail and ease of construction is there, along with a selection of different markings that should please a lot of people.

 

Highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of

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Quite a nice kit and well reviewed.

We have much in for an earlier C-4 nightfighter like the early engines without the bulge for the C-6 ( A-4, D-1.. ), clear parts and the early gun mount in the ventral C stand, rudder and the thinner metal blade propellers but the kit lacks the armored windscreen seen on many later C-6 nightfighter it lacks also the armored single gun mount for the B stand and the fitting aft canopy.

May this configuration fits the depicted aircrafts.

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The Special hobby C-4 does have correction parts for the rear wall of the cockpit. Why ICM haven't corrected this is beyond me. They seem to have a philosophy of not correcting their mistakes. This is very disappointing considering they a fantastic in every other way.

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1/48 ICM via Hannantss ?

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6 hours ago, Mick4350 said:

1/48 ICM via Hannantss ?

Yess 🐍 and :hbd:

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Q:

Has anybody ever tried to adopt the front fuselage of the DML/Dragon kit to the ICM fuselage?

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Thanks for this review. I am looking at getting one of these and this was perfect.

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