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Hi,

 

With my Ju 88 conversion drawing to a close I though I would build this.

DSC03600

Perhaps surprisingly there seems to be only 1 other Stuka in this GB so far I think, and that is the slightly later B-2 version. Having released their first Ju 87 in 1957, and a much improved version in 1978, Airfix released this, their third version in 2016, re-issuing it a year later with parts to built a B-2/R-2. I thought it would be an nice easy built but guess what - as soon as I looked at the markings I was confused. Airfix provide decals for a plane with the markings 6G+AT - the individual aircraft marking A being yellow, and say it is from 9./Sturzkampfgeschwader 51 based at Norrent-Fonces in France in August 1940, whilst the Xtradecals BoB sheet have a B-1 with exactly the same codes though the badge is different, and say it is from 6./St G 1 in France during "Summer 1940". Can they both be correct - time to dig out my reference books!

 

Firstly, I imagine most of you are familiar with the code number/letter system used by the Luftwaffe on most of its planes except for single engined fighters - the so called "Verbandskennzeichen" (don't you just love the German habit of bolting together several words to create a new one, like one I vaguely remember from my schooldays which was something like " a train which goes fast and does not stop" for "express train") where the 2 characters to the left of the cross indicate the Geschwader, and the 2 to the right are the individual aircraft letter followed by the staffel ID. At the time of the Battle of Britain most Geschwader had several Gruppen, each of 3 Staffeln - Gruppe I would have Staffeln 1,2,& 3, Gruppe II would have Staffeln 4,5,& 6 and so on.. Each individual aircraft carried an identity letter which was painted in the appropriate staffel colour, which for both Staffel 6 and 9 would be yellow at that time though it changed later, so that is no help here. However, if the normal rules were being followed then Staffel 6 would have a letter P after the aircraft number I believe and Staffel 9 would have a letter T, so that's one point in favour of Airfix. Also, looking at the Geschwader code to the left of the cross, II./St.G 51 used 6G, whereas I/St.G 1 were issued with A5 when they were renamed in July 1940 as part of a major reorganisation of units, so on the face of it that is another one to Airfix, but it is of course rather more complicated than that and depends on the actual date apparently!

 

I mentioned the reorganisation that took place after the fall of France, when several small Geschwader were reorganised into fewer large ones, and several of my sources state that in July 1940 III/St.G 51 became II/St.G 1 so there is light at the end of the tunnel - 9/St.G 51 and 6/St.G 1 are the same unit at different dates. Also, the book on the Stuka in the Classic Colours series mentions that for some reason they were allowed to keep their codes so contrary to the "rules" 6 Staffel apparently used T (wonder what III/St,G 1 did as the Staffel letter would now seem to clash), so it seems both Airfix and Hannants could be right depending as I said on the actual date! If Airfix had said June or perhaps early July they would definitely be correct, but from August onwards Hannants seem to be right - sounds like a little iffy research by Airfix unless they have a source that disagrees with mine as to date of transfer. As to the badges, they brought their old one with them too - but the standard version was a red devil riding a diving bomb on a blue background as on the Xtradecal sheet, though there seems to have been a variation with a yellow background as in the Airfix decs, at least prior to the move.

 

The final question is did the B-1 actually serve with this unit during the Battle - some sources say that St.G 1 was using B-2 and R models, and certainly I./St.G 1 in its earlier incarnation was I believe the only unit to use the longer range R version in the ETO during the campaign in Norway - they were mostly used in the Med/desert. However, other sources show a mix of B-1 and B-2, together with a handful of R models during this period so I am happy with that. So after all that it seems this build will apparently be eligible  though I think I will use the Xtradecal decs.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

 

 

 

 

Edited by PeterB
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  • PeterB changed the title to Junkers Ju 87 B-1

I guess many of you have either built this kit or seen a build on the Stuke GB earlier this year, but here is the cockpit.

DSC03618-crop

It went together easily enough once I had worked out where the sidewalls should go, which was a bit vague. I see that when Jean build his he put the roll cage structure in whilst building the cockpit and apparently had a problem closing the fuselage up. I have followed the instructions (for once) and will ft it at the end, but a dry run suggests it should go in pretty well, providing it does not foul the canopy. Since Airfix changed to a "modular" construction system a few years back, reports have usually commented on "an excellent fit", or "so tight I had to scrape some paint off" on the newer kits, but some modellers seem to have had problems which they admit might be down to them not getting the alignment slightly out, whilst others clearly had a kit that was not quite right for whatever reason - the Airfix 1/48 Hurricane seeems to be one of those judging by the ones in this GB. Fingers crossed this goes together well but you never quite know what to expect with Airfix these days. I suspect the "add on" nose for the B-1 could be problematic - I applaud manufacturers for engineering kits so more than one version can be made, but sometimes it can compromise the fit in my experience. As I have mentioned in a previous GB, the worst one I ever had was the Fujimi D3A Val where there were alternative upper fuselage inserts to accomodate the canopies of both the D3A1 and D3A2 which caused me a lot of problems as they just did not fit. All the optional sections can seriously impare the integrity of the fuselage making it a sod to get things lined up without using copious amounts of filler.

 

My only complaint so far is that Airfix have put a lot of sprue attachment ponts on, some of which are in pretty difficult positions, and as the plastic is very soft great care has to be taken both in cutting the parts off the sprue and cleaning them up - I think Jean lost a bit of his rudder because of that, though perhaps his Mongoose distracted him. I realise it is probably intended to avoid damage in the box but it is a bit of a pain.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

.

Edited by PeterB
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Well, so far the fit has been good and only a minimal amount of PPP used.

DSC03619-crop DSC03622-crop

The odd shaped grey object in nose section in the first pic is the "box" for the window the pilot could look through to see the ground. Airfix moulded both it and the bottom panel clear, but then tell you to paint the panel RLM65, which kind of makes it pointless. In real life the panel as seen in the second photo had a hatch in it which could be pulled up into the "box" to leave an aperture in the bottom of the fuselage. I could I suppose have made a replacement bottom panel with the hatch cut out, but I expect it would have been closed on the ground. There are some good images in the excelled Kagero book 54 - Stuka D/G Part 1 using a virtual 3D model of a Ju 87D. Here is the link.

https://flic.kr/p/2jGRKfx

 

 

And later today, in spite of being made up rom 9 pieces the nose went on pretty well.

DSC03624-crop

 In the above pic you can seen most of the differences between the B-1 and the B-2, although the late production B-1 models were already changing to the B-2 configuration apparently. The early and mid production ones has virtually flush exhaust stubs like the early models of the Bf 109 did, but the B-2 had longer ejector stacks. It also had hydraulically operated cooling flaps at the back of the radiator fairing under the nose which stood out quite a bit more than the ones on the B-1, assuming it actually had any - not entirely sure about that? I have read that the tips of the horizontal tail also may have been re-profiled slightly, but the other main difference was that the B-2 introduced much wider prop blades.

 

Just noticed that Airfix have included drop tanks and racks so I presume I could make an R-1 version if I wanted, though markings are not included. As to the sirens, Airfix include stubs for the front of the legs with and without the blades, but in this boxing the Spanish Civil War version has the stubs without blades, and the WWII version has no stubs. The rebox B-2/R-2 likewise does not have the sirens so I wonder if Airfix were thinking of another release, say for Poland/Battle of France where the sirens were reputedly used to good effect. They are not mentioned as an option in my instructions! 

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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I'm sure I remember reading that the crews themselves weren't particularly keen on the sirens partly due to the increased drag even when not in use - in the dive I suppose it didn't matter much - but also due to the sound which was pretty loud even over the engine noise! In any case I'm reasonably certain that by the BoB the sirens would have been gone.

 

You're making good and fast progress with this, must be a treat to work on a newer kit after the 88! :) 

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

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Hi Stu,

 

I too have read that the sirens were not entirely popular as they caused drag, but I also believe they could be locked so they did not rotate, in which case the crew would only be annoyed by them when in use in a dive.

 

As you may have gathered I looked at Jean's build of this kit in the recent Stuka GB, and it seems I was luckier than him with my moulding. He had a few fit problems and mentions flash, but mine is fine. I think I bought this one a few months after it first came out and as Airfix say the mould date was 2015, I would not have thought it would have deteriorated much by the time Jean bought his, unless the mould was of poor quality.

 

Anyway, it is perhaps a tribute to the fit that I have got it primed and ready to paint in no more that 48 hours since I actually started building it - certainly easier than the Ju 88!

DSC03625-crop

At this rate I could be putting decs on by the end of the week - I might even have time to build my Do-17Z-2 before the end of the GB.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Hi Pete,

 

Yes, the sirens were indeed lockable; can you imagine how teeth-grittingly annoying that would be if the sirens started up as soon as you were taxying! :owww: I suspect for the crews they were like those 'novelty' gifts* you sometimes get at Christmas, fun for the first couple of times then after that you never want to hear them again :D 

 

Glad you are enjoying the build,

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

 

* I'm looking at you, Uncle Gordon, and that singing trout thing you got Mum for Christmas that year...

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Thanks Stew,

 

I have found a "profile" of this plane that says the starboard siren only was fitted - might go with that. The splinter scheme is proving a bit of a fiddle.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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18 hours ago, PeterB said:

I have found a "profile" of this plane that says the starboard siren only was fitted - might go with that

 

That would be an interesting variation :)

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

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Typically, a couple of months after I decided to refurbish my 2 Airfix second moulding Stukas, they released the kit I am building here, so the refurb went on hold. I had stripped both kits, reshaped the intake on the starboard side of the engine, and primed them, and was going to paint one as in the BoB and one in desert colours, having bought the appropriate Almark decal sheet. So, whilst I was building this one I thought I would make a start one of the old kits, as I now have enough markings, and this kit provides drop tanks so I could model the desert one as a Ju 87R.

 

The desert one remains on hold at the moment, but I have been painting both the new B-1 and the old B-2 in parallel. The ruddy splinter scheme was a bit of a pain and I have ended up with them not being quite the same, but they will do. Unfortunately, we have just gone into local "lockdown" so I have plenty of time for modelling!

DSC03634-crop

You might be able to see the differences between the noses of the two that I mentioned earlier. The old kit on the right does not look too bad, though the radiator bath under the nose is a bit deeper that on the new one, which may be wrong and I suspect the glazing on the new kit will be better, if I can manage to glue the circular gun mounting “glass” in place without messing up. Airfix provide 2 versions, one flat and one slightly bulged but again no explanation, and both their B-1 and B-2 seem to use the same part, so no idea what the other is for. Given how messy Clearfix can be I might try Revell Contacta Clear – last time I tried, it did not seem to work so I will do a little experimentation. In the meantime a bit of tidying up to do and then it is decal time! I have left the dive brakes off the new kit as the underwing cross goes under them – looks like I will need to paint some black and white on the top of the brake to match up, similar to the work I had to do recently on my Do 217 E-5 conversion where the pylons went on top of the cross – fun!

 

When I do the desert one I could either be lazy and do the later scheme of RLM 78 unders with one of the versions of RLM 79 on top, perhaps with either mottles or lines of a green, possibly RLM 80, or I could do one of the early ones in theatre with the 70/71 splinter partially overpainted in what some sources say is Italian Giallo Mimetico and the undersurfaces probably still in RLM 65, as on the Almark sheet.

 

The only niggles so far with this kit are that the locating instruction pics are a bit vague at times - the centreline bomb rack could have gone in slightly further forward or to the rear depending on which way round you position it as the locating pins are not symmetrical, and the tiny gun sight cum headrest location is not clear at all as a couple of people mentioned in Jean's build thread - I never did get to see how he fitted it as his version of the carpet monster swallowed it. There are also a couple of "L" shaped aerials to glue under the fuselage but no location holes/marks that I can see.

 

Slightly off topic, I finally got round to doing something that was long overdue. Hannants Xtracrylic paint comes in quite tall but narrow "jars" which are good if you want to shake the paint, but are very unstable and I have knocked them over far too many times over the last couple of years since I started using them, which wastes expensive paint and makes a real old mess. Hopefully this should reduce the risk considerably!

DSC03636-crop

The other problem with their jars is that the neck is narrow and does not let me use the wide flat brushes I like for large surfaces without decanting and wasting paint. I dare say they have a reason for the design, but I don't think it is a very good one, though the screw cap is a definite improvement on Humbrol's new push fit top which does not always stay closed and gets paint on your fingers when opening it.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Hi Pete,

 

just back from  couple of days in Harare and I find your Stuka post. You re jet propelled, so fast you build! Great work so far, truly.

You are right re the siren. This well known photo of that Stuka clearly shows a siren mounted on the starboard leg.

 

Junkers-Ju-87B-Stuka-6.StG1-(6G+AT)-Yellow-A-France-1940-01

 

You are really doing a super job !

Keep on going

 

JR

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Hi again,

re the machine gun circular glazing, if you look carefully you will see that one is armored and the other one is not. That is the one to chose for this build.

I glued mine with a very little Clearfix on the circumference, and it worked a treat.

Re the gunsight, once I made the carpet monster spit it out, I tried several times to fit it, but with the windscreen already fitted, it became a mission impossible.

So I never fitted it in the end, and nobody really notices

What you call L shaped aerials are actually the foot rests for the crew members to climb on the wings.

They are just past the wing root, almost under the fuselage.

What Airfix really forgot was the mast for the cable aerial. I do not understand why they forgot it, as it is a prominent feature.

JR

Edited by jean
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9 hours ago, alt-92 said:

You mean the one under the fuselage?

 

Hi,

yes I do. The radio operator/gunner turned a winch handle that let the cable aerial out through the end of that pipe. On close-up photos you can see the lead weight that sticks out of the pipe's end.

Even my very old Revell Stuka has it...

JR

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Hi Jean,

 

Yes, I had noticed that and it is easy enough to make one. I have been rather lazy with the old B-2.

DSC03639-crop

As I used the decs from the Xtradecal sheet on the B-1, I used the Airfix ones on the B-2, just replacing the individual aircraft letter so they are both in the markings of what was 9./St. G 51, and from July 1940 6./St. G 1. I used the "standard" unit badge with a blue badge on Anton, and the optional version with a yellow background that Airfix provide on Caesar - Airfix did not make them "handed" like Hannants did so that the bomb is travelling backwards on the starboard side of the B-2. According to my sources the units were using a mix of B-1 and B-2 by this time so that is my excuse, and the B-2 will not be going in the gallery.

 

Airfix instructions show the centreline bomb in all over olive green but with yellow edges to the fins, for which they provide decals. If I were to go with that scheme I would paint them like I have the wing walkways as getting the decals to go on would be a pain, but instead I have finished the bomb in the scheme shown in the Kagero book with red stripes and white nose - there may also have been a light green stripe about where the mounting band is for the cradle/trapeze but I have just painted the top half of the band in RLM 65 to represent the top section of the cradle which Airfix did not include. Speaking of bombs, Airfix provide 6, 4 small 110lb/50kg ones with racks for under the wings and 2 larger ones for the centreline mount - 551lb/250kg and 1102lb/550kg.. What they do not point out is that, according to the books I have, the wing ones would only be used if the smaller centreline bomb was carried!

 

A couple of years ago my LMS had run out of Clearfix so they suggested I try Revell Contacta Clear, which is for canopies and the like. The instructions say spread a thin coat on both surfaces, leave 5-10 minutes to go tacky and then join. I tried it once before and it did not seem to work, but last night I stuck the canopy on the B-2 with  it. The instructions are misleading, as in my workroom it was totally dry in 5 minutes, but I managed to get it on second time after only leaving it 2 minutes. It was not that warm, so I think that anything from 1 to 2 minutes is likely to be best. There are a few stencil decs to put on and then I can start finishing them off.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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Hi Pete,

 

this is looking real good! I particularly like the convertible Stuka. Should have been exhilarating!

This particular Stuka is really the pits when it comes to the markings and the units it is supposed to belong to...  The Staffel letter T is definitely for the 9 Staffel and the 6th Staffel should have a P as its unit letter.

As if we needed all these complications! Congrats on a great build!

 

JR

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Hi Jean,

 

Yes, the lettering is a little strange, but as I said earlier the book I have (Planes & Pilots No. 4, Ju 87 by Histoire & Collections so it's French like you) definitely says that 9./St. 51 were allowed to keep their markings when they became 6./St.G 1 so Airfix are probably correct, though exactly what III/St.G 1 did for markings then becomes interesting,  or perhaps not as they would probably have been using A5+ like I/St.G so they could have had A5+AT for example. Given how slow the Stuka was I guess a convertible might not have been too bad😁!

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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Nearly done!

DSC03657-crop

I have put some of the stencils on and won't bother with the rest as they are too small for me to handle, and would be invisible anyway, speaking of which I am not impressed with the decal placement instructions with this kit! Instead of a seperate line drawing showing the decs as on some later kits such as the F-4, Airfix show them on the colour painting pics. Fine for those on the RLM 65 but the most of the stencils blend into the green background so you can't see the alignment. Fortunately the Kagero 3D pics show most of them but I decided not to bother.

 

Another flaw in the instructions relates to part number E04 which I gather is a combined sight and protective padding and it has caused problems to at least 2 other modellers. First of all it is tiny and clear so very hard to see, and then it does not really match up with the "artwork" in the instructions. I worked it out in the end and it was easier to see once I had painted it, but cutting it off the sprue and getting it in place at the top of the IP without it pinging off into a black hole was more by luck than anything. I also managed to get the roll bar assembly in without the problem Jean seemed to encounter, and managed to glue the gun into the clear circular screen, and the resulting assembly into the rear canopy using Clearfix applied very carefully on the end of a cocktail stick - I have found that it is very good at dissolving acrylic paint and decals if you don't watch were it goes!

 

The canopy was a bit fiddly but is on now, though I will probably have to run a little Krystal Kleer around the joints to fill them. I even fitted the mast that Jean referred to under the rear cockpit, that was used for a trailing aerial I gather - still working on the knob to represent the weight at the end of the wire. All that is left now is the pitot tube and the mast on the canopy, and gluing the prop in place, and then it will be ready for a final touch up and a coat of varnish.

 

So, is it better than the old second mould kit - yes, but not by a lot. I have already mentioned the slightly shallower and better shaped radiator bath under the nose, and the supercharger air intake (I think) on the right of the cowling is smaller and curved whereas to old version is bigger and has a square section. The undercarriage "spats" may be slightly better shaped, and the Junkers trademark "Doppelflügel" double wing trailing edge is rather better detailed. The cockpit glazing is slightly better, but the main difference is the interior detail which was a bit lacking in the earlier version. Whatever - it has gone together really well and I am pleased with the result.

 

More before long, but here are the B-1 in the right foreground, the B-2 and my Ju 88 A-1 as a sort of family shot.

.

DSC03660-crop

Touching up done and ready for spraying.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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The sun finally came out and I have got some pics for the Gallery.

DSC03681-crop

First a comparison with my second mould Airfix B-2 which is on the right. And here is the underside.

DSC03699-crop

As you can see I painted in the underwing cross on the dive brakes, have fitted the steps provided in the kit, and also the tube Jean mentioned for the trailing aerial.

 

I am quite happy with this build, in fact it has to be one of the best fitting kits I have built in years, except for the winscreen and canopy which probably needed a bit of adjustment.

 

So on to the next one! Thanks for your interest.

 

Pete

Edited by PeterB
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  • PeterB changed the title to Junkers Ju 87 B-1***FINISHED***

Congrats Pete.

 

Not one, but 2 Stukas for the same price! Great show!

The Stuka was the most recent Airfix kit I have ever built, and I must say I was impressed by their engineering. Like you, and I guess everybody else, there are always the odd niggle, but we are just hard to fully satisfy!!!

Re the depth of the radiator, the B2 had a deeper radiator bath than the B1, so this may be what you noticed.

I am very keen to get my hands on the Airfix Beaufort, sometime in the future. This should really be superb! 

 

Super well done!

JR

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Hi Jean,

 

Got my Beaufort on pre-order as it saves 10%!

 

Pete

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