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Junkers Ju 88A-5

Scale: 1/48th
Manufacturer: ICM
Ref No: 48232
Material: IM
UK Distributor: Hannants
UK Price: £26.99

Junkers Ju 88A-5
Junkers Ju 88A-5 Junkers Ju 88A-5 Junkers Ju 88A-5 Junkers Ju 88A-5
Kit Review
This is a brand new tooling from ICM and although Dragon did the Ju 88 series many years ago, this is a state-of-the-art modern mainstream tooling.

The box is one of their excellent stout cardboard inner units, over which the full-colour thin card outer goes, as this offers superb protection to the product. Inside you will find a single clear and six sprues moulded in a dark grey-coloured plastic. Surface detail is via very fine engraved panel lines, but there are no rivets. The first thing to deal with is to clarify that ICM have not gone the same route as Dragon did all those years ago, with a 'generic' approach to the whole Ju 88 and Ju 188 series, the moulds have been created specifically to make the Ju 88. As a result you do not have to contend with the nose section being separate or those pesky separate wing tips - lovely! The breakdown of the parts on the sprues shows that most versions are possible, even the early A-1, as the wing halves are on separate sprues. Overall detail is superb, with the cockpit getting separate sidewalls, consoles and the rear bulkhead with radio equipment and separate machine-gun saddle ammunition drums. You even get the sun blinds to go inside the canopy, the seats have separate headrests and support frames, the control column is multi-part, the rudder pedals are there and so are the ammo drums on the back of the pilot's seat. The forward/mid section of the fuselage combines with the inboard sections of both wings and it is onto this that the cockpit interior is built, then it slots up inside the completed fuselage with the bulkhead and sidewalls already in situ. The vertical fin is separate, so hints of the later series, and all the control surfaces are also separate and that includes the flaps.
The undercarriage legs are one-piece with the correct gators, but the compression links and actuating arm are separate and the whole assembly sits in a unit that then attaches to the underside of the wing, because you then build the nacelles around it. Before that though you have both engines and these are very nicely done, complete with engine bearers, exhausts and rear bulkhead. You also have the upper side access panels separate on each side of the nacelle, so you can show the engines off as well. Once you have both engines and nacelles built, you add the separate cowl gills - yes, ICM have been that precise. The whole unit can only then be added to the wing. You get three types of nose glazing, one with a machine-gun, one without and one with a 20mm cannon projecting through it. You also have the Lofte bombsight for two of that decal options. The main canopy features the forward-firing machine-gun and the upper aft section, which could be jettisoned, is separate. Underneath the ventral gondola was added earlier in the assembly, so now you can added one of two styles of rear glazing/gun ring (with or without armoured glass). Separate dive brakes are included, along with bomb racks with separate sway braces. Bombs come in the form of SC250 or SC500 units, with excellent engraved detail that even includes the fuze pocket!. The main wheels feature cross-ply tread pattern but I have to say that the hubs look very bare and also wrong as the centre brake plate looks to have been omitted? The final task is to add the upper, rear canopy section, which comes in two styles (with or without the 'bug eye' gun mounts) and fit the aerial mast and pitot. 

Colour Options
There are four options in the kit.

• L1+AM of 4/LG1, France, August 1940
• L1+GN, 5./LG1, Greece, May 1941

• 4D+LN, 5./KG30, Puri, Finland, Autumn 1941
• F1+AS, 8./KG76, Russia, December 1941

All the options are the standard RLM 70/71 over 65 scheme, although the second has the yellow cowl fronts and rudder theatre marks, along with a white fuselage band, option three has the yellow wing tip undersides and option four also has these but is in winter distemper.
Decals, now in the past ICM has always fallen short on this score, well things seemed to have changed and for the better. The sheet in this kit is beautifully printed and all the images are nice and glossy, with limited excess carrier film, All the unique markings are there except swastikas and you also get a full set of stencils and a decal for the instrument panel.
Wow, an excellent looking kit in the box and I really cannot see why it will not build well. It is a little complex what with both engines etc., but with care and attention this has the potential to at last offer us a straightforward Ju 88 in 1/48th after years of struggling with the multi-part nature of the Dragon examples. Time will tell, but this looks to be a winner and it is therefore highly recommended to all Luftwaffe modellers.

This kit can be obtained in the UK form Hannnants (visit here), whilst worldwide modellers can visit the ICM website at www.icm.com.ua