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Mike

The Junkers Ju.87 Stuka – Airframe & Miniature #14

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The Junkers Ju.87 Stuka – Airframe & Miniature #14

Valiant Wings Publishing

 

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The Stuka was infamous during WWII for its indiscriminate dive-bombing attacks on civilians, as well as military targets, equipped with sirens called Jericho Trumpets to instil fear in their prey, a noise that is still being used as sound effects for any diving or crashing aircraft in movies.  It was a pre-war design that was perfectly suitable for its task and performed well during the Spanish Civil War and conquest of Europe thanks to its almost vertical dive profile, the terrifying sirens and automatic dive-recovery system, but showed its weaknesses once they began to attack the British Isles, where they encountered faster Spitfires and Hurricanes.  This resulted in horrible losses of highly trained Stuka pilots, and thereafter they were deployed with a substantial escort of fighters such as the Bf.109 or Bf.110, which itself needed escorting before too long.  Various improvements were made to the airframe after the prototype period, resulting in the B, with subsequent changes taking them up to the G and beyond, including change of role turning it into a ground-attack aircraft armed with cannons.

 

Its flexibility kept it in the Nazi inventory longer than its relatively low speed warranted, and it fitted into various niches where speed wasn’t so much of an issue, but when the tide of war turned against them, production was scaled back.  Production eventually ceased allowing the factory to concentrate on other types until it was destroyed in 1944.  The remaining airframes soldiered on as they dwindled away to the end of the war.

 

The Book

The book is perfect-bound with 240 pages on glossy paper, tons of photographs, diagrams and profiles, the modern pictures being in colour, while the contemporary content is black and white due to that being the predominant film format of the day.  It is of course written by Richard A Franks, with profiles by Richard J Caruana, isometric drawings by Jurej Jankovic and models by a group of fine modellers. If you're familiar with the series, you'll know that the pages are broken down into the Airframe section that deals with the 1:1 real thing, and the miniature section that covers the scale models and has a number of builds, plus a host of photographic detail that will be of great help to the modeller. 

 

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The chapter breakdown in more detail is as follows:

 

Airframe Chapters

1. Evolution – Prototypes & Ju.87A Series

2. Evolution – Ju.87B & R Series

3. Evolution – Ju.87D & G Series

4. Evolution – Ju.87C, E, F, H & Ju.187

5. Camouflage & Markings and Colour Profiles

 

Miniature Chapters

6. Ju.87 Kits

7. Building a Selection

8. Building a Collection

9. In Detail: The Ju.87

  • Fuselage
  • Engine
  • Oil, Fuel, Coolant & Hydraulic Systems
  • Wings
  • Tail
  • Undercarriage
  • Armament
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Miscellaneous Equipment

 

Appendices

I. Ju.87 Kits

II. Ju.87 Accessories and Mask List

III. Ju.87 Decals

IV. Bibliography

 

Two concertina sheets of 1:48 Scale plans captive in the rear cover (equivalent to 8 pages printed on both sides)

 

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The scale plans are nicely thought out, and fold out sideways with the left-hand edge captive to the inside cover, and the isometric drawings by Jurej Jankovic that pick out the differences between variants and sub-variants are a dream for anyone like me that struggles to remember the details that separate the marks.  As usual with the photographs in these titles, they're excellent for the most part, and as good as they can be for the occasional slightly grainy one that is all that remains of this or that variant.  Afterall, there's only so much that modern photo editing software can do.  The builds by Libor Jekl and Steve A. Evans are all first-rate too, with three in 1:72, two in 1:48 and one in 1:32, all of which wouldn't look out of place on competition tables at the highest level.

 

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Conclusion

This book is brimming with interest and information, with something for everyone – the modeller, the aviation enthusiast or history buff.  My personal favourite parts are the variant isometrics as previously mentioned, but there is so much to enjoy and it’s all good.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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