Dragon's 1/48 scale
Junkers Ju 88 G-6
by Chris Wauchop
Junkers Ju 88 G-6
images and text by Brett Green
Dragon's 1/48 scale Junkers Ju 88 G-6 is available online from Squadron.com
The Junkers Ju 88 was a remarkable aircraft. It served stoically on all Luftwaffe fronts in roles ranging from bomber, heavy day fighter, ground attack, reconnaissance and flying bomb as part of a Mistel combination. The Ju 88 operated from the early stages of WWII until the last days of the conflict.
By mid-war, the Junkers Ju 88 was pressed into service as a night fighter. Although it had not been designed for the role, it proved to be big enough to handle the bulky radar equipment of the day, fast enough to intercept the new generation of Allied bombers, and stable enough to be a reliable gun platform.
The final night fighter variant of the Junkers Ju 88 was the G-6. This featured revised and enlarged tail surfaces, improved radar and armament alternatives.
Dragon burst onto the scene during the early 1990s in the wake of Trimaster, the ground breaking Japanese model company of the previous decade, whose light burned briefly but bright.
Dragon's first few offerings were re-releases of Trimaster kits such as their Fw 190 and Messerschmitt Me 262 families, with white metal parts replaced by injection moulded plastic. Dragon's first all-new release was a 1/48 scale Junkers Ju 88 G-6 in 1993.
The Junkers Ju 88 maintained the high standards of Trimaster, featuring excellent detail and subtle surface features. Crisply recessed panel lines were supplemented with selected rivets and raised panels as appropriate. A small photo-etched fret was also included with the kit. These early Dragon photo-etched sheets were presented in stainless steel - the natural enemy of the hobby knife. I lost count of the number of new sharp blades whose tips were snapped on the robust steel sprues of these photo-etched frets!
Chris built this kit when it was first released. I built one around the same time too - probably inspired by Chris's model on display in the hobby shop that he owned at the time.
While I was photographing Chris's model this week, we discussed our respective impressions of the build. I distinctly recall that the kit was a real pig to assemble. I could not even align the main fuselage halves properly, and the problem was only compounded when I tried to add the separate nose section.
Chris's recollections were entirely different. He said that his kit went together quickly and easily. In fact, the only trouble he remembered was the clear plastic landing light, which he pushed too far into the leading edge of the wing.
I suspect that my woes had more to do with my relative lack of experience at the time. I would be interested to build the kit again today - perhaps my impressions would be more favourable.
Chris was inspired to recondition his old Dragon Ju 88 after recently building Tamiya's 1/48 scale Heinkl He 219 kit. He was bitten by the night fighter bug, so he decided to dust off (literally) the venerable Ju 88 and give it a bit of a facelift.
After digging through my decal collection I found a few subjects that might be of interest to Chris. There are surprisingly few decal options available for the Junkers Ju 88 G-6 in 1/48 scale, but fortunately I had hoarded an old PD Decals sheet and another early release from Ministry of Small Aircraft Production.
Chris liked the look of a Ju 88 with the repainted tail, so the project was on.
Chris completely repainted his model using his metal-bodied Aztek airbrush fitted with the fine tan-coloured tip. Gunze paints were used - RLM 76 Light Blue and RLM 75 Grey Violet. The darker colour was applied first, followed by RLM 76 Light Blue sprayed around to deliver the illusion of grey mottles.
All the paint was applied freehand.
The centre of some of the mottles were lightened with a thin overpray of RLM 76 Light Blue. This effect was inspired by some of Shigeo Koike's aviation artwork.
There were no alterations or additions made to the model. In fact, even the aerial wires were left in place and stayed intact until quite late in the paint job. The tiny FuG 25 antennae on the bottom of the wing stayed in situ too. Although Chris did often bend these while handling the model during painting, their stainless steel construction kept them all in once piece.
The clear panels of the canopy were treated to a brush-applied coat of Future to bring them closer to a new lustre.
The black border on the fin was masked and sprayed black. It is interesting to note that more than one Ju 88 G-6 tail was painted in a similar manner. Perhaps this was a deception strategy to make the enemy believe that this ultimate Ju 88 was an earlier variant, or perhaps it was thought that the rounded-off tail looked more like the profile of a Mosquito.
The unique aircraft markings were souced from the 1993 Ministray of Small Aircraft Production sheet number 4818. Chris thought that MSAP's national markings looked a bit too pale, so he used PD Decals grey crosses instead.
The PD national markings partially melted upon application of Mr Mark Softer decal solution. Chris carefully masked and resprayed the damaged areas.
The markings were sealed with two thin coats of Polly Scale Flat acrylic.
The model was weathered with Chris's customary mix of Tamiya red Brown and Flat Black, heavily thinned and sprayed along panel lines and control surface hinges.
The same mix was used to apply heavy exhaust staining underneath the wings.
Model by Chris Wauchop
Images and Text Copyright © 2008 by Brett Green
Page Created 8 May, 2008
8 May, 2008
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