Jump to content

Ju 88 A-1 (sort of)***FINISHED***


Recommended Posts

As we all know the Ju 88 series of bombers, recce planes and fighters were a considerable success, but the initial development was convoluted and rather slow. Stemming from a Schnellbomber specification issued by the RLM in 1935, Focke-Wulf, Henschel, Junkers and Messerscmitt were invited to submit designs. Focke-Wulf declined, Messerschmitt decided to produce a machine broadly based on their 110 which became the Me 161 and 162, and both Henschel and Junkers started new designs which would become the Hs 127 and the Ju 88. The RLM selected the Ju 88 and the first metal was cut in May 1936. According to Green, the designers Evers and Gassner had gained considerable experience in light metal stressed skin construction whilst working in the USA and the result was a much sleeker and cleaner looking machine than the opposition.

 

Construction of numerous prototypes started with the V1 flying in December 1936 but development was a bit slow, not helped by the change to include dive bombing in the spec, and the first real production model, the A-1 did not enter service until September 1939. The A-2 was an A-1 with provision for rocket assisted take off and the A-3 was a trainer. The next major version was due to be the A-4 which had several changes including a longer wing, and modified engine nacelles with a bulge underneath for a improved cooling system for the more powerful engines. The prop blades were made broader, and the defensive armament was increased by the provision of two armoured mountings for MG 81 at the rear of the canopy, instead of the single MG 15 on the A-1. Due to delays in production of the new engine, the A-4 was too late for the Battle of Britain, but a hybrid A-5 with the wings of the A-4 fitted with the engines and the fuselage of the A-1 did see service.

 

I built the old Airfix Ju 88 shortly after it came out in 1968, and have another in my stash for this GB. Here it is:-

DSC03221

However, according to Airfix the kit is of the A-4 version and therefore needs modifying. Fortunately, for some reason the kit has the engine nacelles, front and props of the A-1/A-5 so that helps. To give you some idea of what I mean I have dug my old Airfix 88 together with my Revell BB C out of my scrap box.

DSC03223-crop

The Airfix kit is on the left and as you can see the bottom of the nacelle is "clean" whilst the Revell kit on the right has a crude representation of the bulged fairing for the improved engine cooling system that was fitted to both the C and the A-4. The circular radiator fairing at the front of the cowling had an extra grill added at the bottom, and again Airfix have missed this, They were both in the "lots of big rivets" phase as you can see!

 

The A-4 wingspan was just under 2 metres greater than the A-1. Shortening the wings for an A-1 should be  easy enough though I will have to check the ailerons which were metal covered on the A-4 but fabric covered on the A-1 I believe. Alternatively I could just leave them as they are for an A-5. The only real problem is the canopy which unfortunately Airfix got right(ish) as it is slightly bulged and has the two gun mounts at the back.  In reality, the crews soon decided they needed more guns and many were fitted in the field with 2 rear guns, and indeed I gather late production A-5's had the same rear canopy as the A-4 so the kit could be built as a late A-5 virtually OOB! The Xtradecals are for an A-1 and I have found in my stash a Falcon canopy intended for a Ju 88C which has a mounting for a single rear gun and looks to be very similar in shape to that of the A-1 - not only that but it looks like it should fit perfectly - they actually do a canopy for the A-1 but it is out of stock and anyway I am reluctant to spend around £16 inc postage just to use one canopy from the set.. I will therefore attempt to build something vaguely resembling an A-1, @vppelt68 has kindly offered me some spare wingtips and a canopy, and I might yet take him up on his offer, assuming they are 1/72 but for the moment I will see what I can do with what I have got. I checked Hannants for replacement wheels and props and they gave a few for the 88 but none are listed for anything earlier than the A-4. I knew the props were different, but it looks like the wheels were as well - must check on that. Incidentally I also noticed that they were listing a Blackbird Models conversion set to make an A-1 due for release shortly - wonder if they will bother now Revell have produced that version!

 

More as and when.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pete

The plane on the Airfix kit box is the same one I want to build my A-5 on. There is no record of what the rear canopy was because it was ejected before the plane crashed. It belonged to Stab III/KG30

This plane came down at Pagham Harbour Sussex on the 9 September 1940.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Greg,

 

Yes, most pics of crashed machines are missing the rear canopy which is a pity - must have been used as an escape hatch I guess. My sources show field modifications to fit up to 4 Mg 15 in the rear canopy of both the A-1 and A-5, 2 at the side and two at the back. More normal was a two gun rear installation I believe, and one book says that as A-5 airframes went in for repair, the A-4 type rear canopy was fitted complete with armoured mounts for 2 MG,. Due to delays with the engine for the A-4, wings and other parts were being stockpiled so were available for this purpose, which is of course why the A-5 was created in the first place. Kagero say that the repaired/modified A-5 were returned to units unarmed and they could fit anything they liked - MG15, MG81, MG81Z or MG131!

 

I have printed and cut out a template for the shorter 18.25m wingspan.

DSC03224-crop

A couple of errors by Airfix have become apparent - there should be another window in the side of the ventral cupola. Airfix have also moulded two bomb bays, which is correct for the A-1 and presumably the A-5, but the forward one was deleted in the A-4 and replaced by a fuel tank. They were of limited use anyway as I gather the forward one could carry up to 18 SC50 and the rear 10, or incendiaries, or extra fuel. Ok for attacking men and vehicles in the open, but not really heavy enough for much else. The bombs Airfix provide for under the wings are probably wrong too!

 

So there will be a fair bit of work involved with this conversion but it could have been a lot worse if Airfix had not got the A-1 and A-4 mixed up. or at least so it seems.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The bomb most likely to have been carried on the underwing racks seems to have been the SC500.

DSC03227-crop

The one on the left is from the kit, and other than being about the correct length of 2m (2.8cm scale), it is totally wrong.  It should have a scale width of around 6.5mm but is far to narrow, the fins are wrong, the nose should be pointed and instead of a ring at the rear of the fins there seem to have been straight struts on some versions, though others did have a ring,  The one on the right is from an ancient Revell Fw 200 Condor and the body size and shape is very close, though the fins will need some work as they extended further forward.

 

The kit exhausts are wrong for an A-4, but may be right for an A-1 - sources vary. There are aftermarket replacements for the A-4 available and it should not be too hard to modify the kit ones, but I am still trying to find a good pic to see what they look like. The box art on the Revell A-1 seems to have the correct bombs but I cannot be sure what the exhausts are like - it would be helpful if somebody could send me a pic of them from their kit.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

Later

It occured to me that I have a Revell 2nd mould Condor in my stash - this is the C-5/C-8 boxing and as such it is designed to carry Hs 293 missiles, but the sprues still have 5 of the 6 bombs from the C-4 boxing.

DSC03228-crop

Now that is more like it - problem solved. Ok they are perhaps the later version with the tail ring, but I guess it would be easy enough to build them as what I presume is the earlier version with struts instead. The only thing missing is the kopfring - a ring near the nose intended to reduce ground penetration and thus increase blast effect, and I do not believe all versions had that. In the instructions for the Condor Revell say either light olive or light grey for the bombs. I was thinking maybe RLM02 but I have read somewhere that they were sometimes RLM65 blue. Certaimly not black as Airfix usually suggest.

Edited by PeterB
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

After studying pics, I have bought some resin exhausts.

88A

Fitting them will require a bit of work as the front stub actually went into the nose ring of the cowling and had a fairing over it! As you will note there are actually two patterns of exhaust and pics suggest that  one with the short "flat" section at the rear is on the right side of the engine block. I am also trying to decide what to do with the cockpit interior - looking at the instruction sheet for the Revell kit it is quite complicated - if anybody has any pics of the interior it would be helpful as I can't quite work out what goes on with the navigator/bomb aimer's seat and the belly gunner. I think it is somewhat like the interior of the Do 217 E I am refurbishing in another GB, with the nav sitting alongside the pilot but at a lower level but can't determine if there is an access "hole" in the cockpit floor to get at the lower gun in the blister.. I alway assumed the lower gunner was lying on a cushion but in the Revell instructions it looks as if he has a sort of seat as well.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

By the time I have finished I will probably wish I had splashed out on the Revell kit! Hopefully the other kits will be somewhat easier, but the odd challenging build can be fun, or so Enzo has said!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes you are right Pete. The bomb aimer's seat sits beside the radio operator's seat at a lower level. As you say it is like the Dorniers seat. The platform in front of it appears to be timber with a kneeling cushion on it. In front of that is the bomb sight. The pilot seat is a more normal seat than the later A-4.

As I mentioned in my thread have a look at the Revell 1/32 A-1 builds. There is one on this forum somewhere. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Ok, time I made a start on this.  I need to improve the cockpit, correct the glazing in the gondola, fit new exhausts, box in the wheel wells, crop and re-shape the wing tips, and fit accurate bombs and guns. Otherwise it will be OOB!😄  I have made a start on the fuselage.

DSC03538-crop

Airfix provide a reasonable rear bulkhead with radios, but the floor was the wrong shape, with the cut out access to the gondola too far forward. I cut out a section at the rear and mounted it at the front of the cut out, effectively moving it backwards, and at the same time I added a piece of card to extend the floor up alongside the control column.. I am of course shamelessly copying the layout as shown in other builds in this GB! I also sawed out the glazing slot in the gondola to give it 2 windows, not the one Airfix show - I will glaze it with a piece of clear sheet and trim off the side windows from the rear glazing. I hopefully should be able to put the odd box and side console in the cockpit to make it look a bit busier, and mount a seat for the bomb aimer alongside that of the radio operator, and box in the tail wheel. I have a Yahu IP if I can find it, though technically it is for the A4, but it should do. I will use Krystal Kleer for the front windows in the gondola as Airfix do not provide any!

 

With luck the fuselage will be painted and together this week and then I can make a start on the wings.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quite right Graham,

 

I had forgotten that. The A-4 and A-5 had the revised rudder. Easily fixed!

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nothing like the real thing I guess but somewhat better than OOB.

DSC03540-crop

I have glazed the gondola and will try and drop in a side console for the pilot once the fuselage is joined up - the way the gondola fits means it will have to be done once that is in place..

 

Pete

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Pete,

 

this is a very convoluted build for an OOB one!

I really want a Ju 88 one day, but I have always shied from this Airfix kit. My nerves are not strong enough for it!

But I shall be watching you!!

 

Have fun!

JR

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi jean,

 

I would not recommend this old Airfix kit, particularly now there is a new A-1 and some fairly recent A-4 kits on sale from other manufacturers. However, it has been in my stash for many years, and as Airfix managed to mould what is nearer an A-1 than an A-4 in many respects I though I would give it a go for this GB. Of course, having painted the interior in RLM02, I now find it should have been RLM 66 - Oh dear, what a pity!

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The fit was not brilliant but after considerable scraping, filling and sanding it does not look too bad.

DSC03544-crop

I have had a go at sorting out the rudder as well. Now to start on the wings - the most tricky bit will be fitting the replacement resin exhausts as I will have to modify the mounting slot and also cut/file out notches in the cowlings for them to fit into. The front pipe stuck forward into the cowling and there was a small fairing over it - not quite sure how I am going to do that yet - either card or maybe Milliput!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just had a quick catch up on your build thread Peter, and noticed that you had asked for photos of the Revell kit exhausts. I hope that I am not too late with these. Good luck with your wing mods.

 

50305577656_636356de64_c.jpg

50305577796_ab39308b5d_c.jpg

 

And here is one held in place with Blu-Tack

 

50305577461_2eb199b411_c.jpg

50305728502_da676d2f19_c.jpg

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that.

 

According to the pics in my Kagero books, and the resin replacements I  have bought, the  left and right hand exhausts on each engine were in fact different - one like in your pic with 5 stacks and a sort of block, and one with only 4 stacks and a bigger "block" - see my earlier pic as it is difficult to explain.. So perhaps close to the Revell ones but not I think identical.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is one of those kits which date back to the time when Airfix were in their "everything moves" phase! Not only the wheels and props, but also all 5 control surfaces, so I will have to use some filler to get rid of the excessive gaps. Add to that moving dive brakes and an undercarriage that not only goes up and down, but can also rotate so the wheels lie flat.

DSC03550-crop

If you include the wheels, legs, doors and bomb racks each wing comprises 27 parts not including the cowlings, exhausts , prop, spinner, bombs etc which bring it up to 39 - probably more than the average Series 1 kit of that time and that is just bone wing! I will be building it wheels down and as the rear doors will therefore be shut I think I may not bother fitting a roof to the wheel well as it would have to go round the socket in the upper wing and would not be that visible anyway - I will have a think about that. The next job will be to sort out the exhausts, but I have thought of a way that might work - stress might! I will file down the groove Airfix have made for the kit exhausts which are far too "tall" for the resin ones. Having taken enough off for the new exhausts I will fill the remaining part with card to make it flush to the nacelle and put a piece of card inside as a support for the new ones which are deeper than the kit ones. Then I will have to sort out the cowlings which will need notches in them to go round the front pipe, and some sort of fairing created. This is lilely to be fairly slow work so I will probably make a start on another kit in parallel - maybe the Ju 87B-1, but more likely the F-100F for the Vietnam GB.

 

More as and when.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And we build kits for relaxation?!!!

Were we all more Zen in the 1960s and 70s? I cannot remember ever stressing over a kit or even scratching my head! I just built.

Anyway, take a deep breath and keep repeating: "Um mani padme um"

If it does not work go and see your usual physician.

 

But keep having fun!

JR

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jean,

 

Oddly enough I find hacking up plastic to try and fix these ancient kits can be more relaxing than struggling with the often over-engineered newer ones with their myriad of very small pieces. Since my last post I have made quite a bit of progress and am ready to glue the wing together. Once that has set I can amputate the tips and the kit is nearly built. The only problem areas are likely to be the cowlings and maybe the vac form canopy. .

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well that did not take as long as I expected.

DSC03552-crop

The shape is about right and the span should be within a couple of inches so I am happy with that. I have made the slots for the exhausts, so all that I have to do now is sort out the cowlings, which could be a bit trial and error - nil desperandum! Airfix seem to have been a bit confused about the rear wheel doors - I gather they were closed except for when the undercarriage was on the move and that is how the kit on the box top is, but the instructions seem to imply that they should be open. They are a pretty poor fit when closed so it will be Miller filler time in the morning!

 

It is hardly accurate but at least it is beginning to look a bit like an A-1 to my mind.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Pete,

 

if you tell us it is an A-1, nobody will argue!

Great work on such an ancient pile of plastic!

 

JR

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Managed to sort the exhausts after a fashion.

DSC03566-crop

Like Baldric in Blackadder I had a cunning plan! To make the fairings for the front of the exhausts I cut slices diagonally off a length of plastic tube which made it fairly easy. Of course they are a little too big and reach too far forwards, but then given  what I started with this kit is only going to be an approximation of an A-1, and anyway they may not be too obvious once the camo paint is on, which won't be too long now!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • PeterB changed the title to Ju 88 A-1 (sort of)***FINISHED***

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...