The Ju88 was first flown in 1936 and remained in production until the end of the war (or as factories were overrun). Probably the most versatile aircraft flown by the Luftwaffe in WWII as it was used as a level bomber, dive bomber, torpedo bomber, reconnaissance, photo reconnaissance, day fighter, night fighter, pathfinder, pilotless missiles… (You get the picture). The Ju 88S version was developed to be a high speed, low drag bomber. Due to increasing armor and armament, the idea of a ‘Schnellbomber’ that could evade or make interception a tough thing to do was becoming a problem for the Ju 88s by the summer of 1942. The S version used an A-4 airframe as a starting point that was aerodynamically refined and was first flown in 1942. The refinements included deletion of the ventral gondola, a smoothly rounded Plexiglas nose and reducing the armoring. Also the defensive armament was reduced to 1 MG 131 firing aft. The initial engines were BMW 801G2/G radials with GM-1 nitrous oxide injection for power boosting up to 1730hp.The S-3 version used Ju 188 fuselage sections to permit more internal bomb space and was fitted with Jumo 213A-1 engines with the nitrous oxide injection to boost takeoff power from 1776hp to as much as 2300hp! The only thing I could find on speeds was for the S-2 variant…384mph at 32,800ft, not bad for a twin engine medium bomber.
Upon opening the box you are presented with 22 sprues of grey injected plastic, 4 sprues of clear injected plastic, 1 sprue of vinyl, instructions and a decal sheet. Ok, I know what you’re thinking, 22 sprues! You can relax as many of them are small ones with the particular pieces for the Ju 88S and there are differences between the -1 & -3. Why did they do this you ask? Well, this is the 11th different 1/72 Ju 88 type put out by Hasegawa (not including the Ju 188 types). I’m thinking Hasegawa got their money’s worth out of those molds! As far as I can tell this is the 16 different boxing of the Hasegawa Ju 88. The parts are nicely molded with little or no flash. The decals are cleanly printed in a matte finish and give you options for an S-1 & S-3. The instructions are an 8 page fold out and are pretty easy to follow.
The instructions show 10 major steps and mostly the kit can be built in sub-assemblies (forward fuselage w/cockpit, main fuselage, wings, engines & cowls & landing gear). Step 1 is the cockpit and forward part of the fuselage (about ¼ of the entire fuselage). There is a nice bit of detail in here and you get 13 decals to place in this section for radios, control panel, side walls and consoles. One thing I wish Hasegawa had added is decals for the seatbelts. (I know many don’t like those, but sometimes they are nice to have) The decals set down nicely and out of box the cockpit does not look bad. Steps 2 & 3 deal with the rear fuselage, mating the two and building the wings. The only problem here was forward part of the nacelles. Since I was building the -1 version, I had to us parts U1 & U2. They did not fit well due to the plastic being just a bit too thick on the inside of them. A little bit of sanding and all was well. (Make sure you use the right ones for the version your building!!!)
Steps 4 deals with engine & cowling assembly. You get two different engines and cowls so make sure you read the instructions carefully! One thing I did different than the instructions was to glue the exhaust to the nacelle and not on the cowl as it was easier for me. Also, I did this after painting the base color of RLM 76 as it would have been impossible to do after installing the exhaust. The one problem I had here was the engines sat too far forward and made the fans stick out of the cowl. Not sure if it was me or the kit, but I could not get it right. Step 5 is the mating of engines to wings and wings to fuselage and was easy with a good fit. Steps 6 & 7 are the building of the landing gear & bombs. After building the landing gear I placed it in position, but did not cement, in the wheel well to dry as it is a bit fragile.
Steps 8-10 are where you add the small parts to the exterior, ailerons, propellers, and clear pieces. There are no real problems here except the small clear windows (parts CA 9, 10, 11, & 12) do not fit well and had to be trimmed a bit.
I used 3 different paints on this one. Testors Acryl RLM 66 for the cockpit, RLM 02 for the wheel wells & struts and Interior black on the undersides. Testors Enamel RLM 76 was used for the topside and Tamiya XF -27 Black Green for the spots & props. The decals went on nicely and snuggled down with just a bit of Solvaset. One problem with the decals is the instructions do not show where to put the few stencils you are given so I left them off. Synthetic hair was used for the antenna wire and was just run from mast to tail as no guide is given in the instructions.
This is a nice kit and I recommend it for anyone wanting to build a Ju 88S-1. As far as the -3 I’m not quite sure it’s accurate as the -3 was based off the Ju 188. That being said it’s still a great kit and a fun build.
I would like to thank Hobbico for supplying this kit and the review corps for letting me build it. I would also like to thank my friend Carter Scales for loaning me a copy of ‘Junkers Aircraft & engines’ by Antony L Kay as the history part of this review comes from that publication.