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Junkers Ju 88A by Revell of Germany
(Converting Revell's Ju 88A-1 to a Ju 88A-4 in 1/32 Scale)
For Ju 88 historical and technical background see the Wikipedia entry click HERE.
Revell of Germany Ju 88A-1 kit box art
References used: Kagero's "Ju 88A Top
Drawings" and Squadron/Signal's "Ju 88 In
Action (Part 1)"  I also referred to
photographs of the Ju 88 at the National
Museum of the United States Air Force.
I. Kit Contents:
More information at Ju 88 net click HERE
Ju 88 entry at National Museum of the United States Air Force click HERE
II.  Aftermarket Stuff:
III.  Assembly:
IV. Painting:
V. Finishing Up / Decals / Details:
Eduard photoetch seatbelts assembled:
BELOW:  First thing to do is mask off all of those windows...  I bought the Eduard pre-cut masks for this task.  Since there was a
difference in the windows in the Ju 88A-1 and Ju 88A-4 versions, the Eduard masks would only cover about 80% of the windows on
this model, which, in theory, should save me a lot of time and work.  I would have to make my own masks for the others.  I ran into a
problem when the Eduard masks were too big for all of the nose window glazing / framing.  I ended up  making my own for those.   
After the windows were masked over, I sprayed the exposed framing with the interior grey.  The underwing theatre I.D. panels and
the fuselage I.D. stripe were painted with Floquil "Reefer White" and masked off when dry.  I then started painting the undersides
with Xtracolor RLM 78 blue-grey:
BELOW:  Once the undersides were painted, I painted the topside RLM 79 Sand Yellow:
Now completely covered in paint.....
And once that was all dry, mottles of RLM 80 dark green were sprayed on the upper surfaces.
...and it ends up looking like this:
LEFT : Lots of light grey parts.  
Panel detail is recessed.  Not as
finely done as a Hasegawa or
Tamiya kit, but still acceptable.  
A few countersunk rivets appear
where needed.  Not an over-
abundance of these.

The kit is broken down in a manner
that will allow Revell to kit other Ju
88 variants in the future if they
wish to.
ABOVE and BELOW : Close-up of surface detail.
Close-up of the nose windows
I wanted to convert the original Ju 88A-1 kit into the Ju 88A-4 variant.  
Differences are a longer wingspan (different wing tips), slightly different
engines, defensive gun armament, vertical tail, and general cockpit
arrangement.  

I learned of the
L'Arsenal conversion kit from the Large Scale Planes
(LSP)forums and purchased one from
L'Arsenal's USA agent.  The
conversion kit includes everything you need to make the A-4 variant out
of the Revell kit, including decals.

In addition to converting the basic kit, I also wanted to finish my model as
a Ju 88 used in North Africa.  The L'Arsenal decals did not cover any N.
Africa based Ju 88's, but Kagero of Poland came to the rescue in the form
their "Top Drawings" series of books.  These books also come with
decals to mark models of the aircraft that appear in their books.  Their Ju
88A book has decals for models in all three major modelling scales (1/72,
1/48, and 1/32).  One of these is a Ju 88 based in North Africa in 1942.

The
Kagero decals are pictured at left.  They are very nicely printed.  
Anyone using these should use caution as they are very thin and easily
damaged.

Neither the original Revell kit decals nor the Kagero ones included the
tail swastika, as they are from countries where those symbols are
forbidden.  The L'Arsenal decals did include it, but I got a pair of them
from a Xtradecal sheet from
Hannants.
In addition to the L'Arsenal conversion kit, I am using the pre-colored
seat belts from Eduard.  These look much nicer than any of the
alternatives.  They are not pictured here, but will be addressed below.
New engine cowlings/nacelles, two
upper fuselage plugs, landing gear
doors, and cockpit details,
including new defensive guns.

The L'Arsenal cast resin parts are
very high quality and I am very
pleased with them.
Revell kit decals.  Some of
these were used.  These
decals worked beautifully
with Solvaset.
Longer wing tips, ailerons, propellers, vertical tail and
rudder, and some engine parts.
Injection molded plastic clear parts:
Replacement cockpit parts.  The photo etch 'starburst'
looking part is the EZ-6 direction finder antenna.
Starting in the cockpit, as usual.  This is the
starboard side wall.  Some Revell kit parts
attached to the resin replacements.
Starboard side cockpit.  Bomb sight and bombardier's panel installed.  Also some resin ammo
boxes for the rear-firing defensive guns.  The forward wing spar part also serves as the rear
cockpit bulkhead.
The port side cockpit.  Only new add-on
here is another ammo storage bin.  The
fuselage halves can now be assembled.
Starboard wing pieced together with new
wing tip and aileron.
Wings now assembled, I just dry-fit the wings to the fuselage to get an idea of just how
big this model will be.
ABOVE and BELOW : Three views of the painted and nearly-finished
cockpit.  Bombardier's section is forward and the radio equipment
is on the rear bulkhead.  Seats still have to be installed.
Pilot's (right) and bombardier's (left) seats assembled and Eduard seat belts added.  Both of
these seats are from the L'Arsenal conversion, as they differ from the Ju 88A-1 version.
L'Arsenal fuselage plug with the recessed area for the EZ-6 direction finder antenna:
BELOW:  The L'Arsenal vertical tail in place.  This part had a casting flaw which was easily repaired with
Squadron white putty and gel type super glue.  I'm sure that L'Arsenal would have happily replaced this
for me, but it was was quicker for me to just fix it.
BELOW :  The cockpit is finished, and the airframe mostly complete.  The engines presented a bit of a fit problem.  Resin tends to
shrink a little as it cures, which resulted in these fit problems.  A few adjustments made, and I got them on just fine....
The clear cockpit "greenhouse" canopy installation.  These are the Revell kit parts.  
Two L'Arsenal parts will go in top for the dual gun configuration of the Ju 88A-4.
BELOW : One other problem I ran into...   The Revell kit-supplied landing gear legs may not be quite
strong enough for the size/weight of this model.  I ended up breaking the wheel spindles while handing
and moving it around.  Luckily there are metal replacements available.  I had to suspend work while I
waited for these parts to arrive.
Resin propellers assembled.  The blades were warped, but easily straightened using hot water.
Propellers dry-fitted into place.  The
underwing 'park bench' dive brakes
painted and the Revell kit decals
applied.
ABOVE and BELOW : After a clear flat-coat was sprayed on, I removed the masking from the windows.  
Propellers painted, but still only dry-fitted at this point.  They are the last thing I will permanently attach.
ABOVE : It doesn't show up here well, but a little weathering has been applied to the model,
with some more still to be done.  I use the usual stuff: artists' oil paints for washes, and pastel
chalks, dry brushing, colored pencils, etc.  I'm not one to heavily weather a model airplane.
Also here the direction finder antenna and its cover have been attached to the spine of the
aircraft.
I used a little artistic license... The cockpit color should be a much darker
grey - almost black.  I used a lighter shade so details would be easier to see.
BELOW : Rigging this radio aerial was not an easy task.  I broke the original kit part for the mast over the cockpit, fabricated
another out of scrap plastic, broke that one.  This one is my third try.  This time I used a thin aluminum rod and super slued
some plastic to the rod where needed, filed and sanded to shape.  Running the line was time consuming and a little tricky.
Finished!  Added some final details, touched up some paint, and re-sprayed some clear flat coat where it wore
away in places where I was handling it.  Added a couple antennas, and attached the propellers.....and that's it!
VI. Conclusions:
This was a most enjoyable project.  Revell has put out a first-rate product and L'Arsenal's conversion
is amongst the best aftermarket sets I've ever used.  L'Arsenal did their homework and did it well.  
Without any reservations I highly recommend both items.  I have nothing bad to say...everything was
pretty darned perfect.  The Ju 88 is a most interesting subject and if Revell does indeed make other
variations as suggested by the breakdown of their kit, they will be selling lots of Ju 88's for many
years to come.

I give both products an
A+.

I'm looking forward to building
Revell's He 111P later in 2012, and will be buying another Ju 88 kit at a
later date as I have a conversion for a Ju 88G-6 nightfigher version in my stash.
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Photographs of completed model on next page...click >>>>> HERE
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