Review: Revell 1/144 Junkers Ju 52/3m

The Junkers Ju 52/3m is one of the most recognizable transport aircraft of WW2. In this review we’re going to take a look at Revell’s version of the affectionately named ‘Tante Ju’

History

The Junkers Ju 52/3m was the three engined variant of the Ju 52/1m that was used by the German Lufthansa, Swissair and other airlines for passenger and cargo transport. The boxy look completed by the iconic corrugated Duralumin for added strength saw action in the Luftwaffe in every theatre. It was used as a troop and cargo transport, dropping paras, ferrying troops and supplies to frontlines. It even served for a short period as a bomber during the Spanish Civil War.

The kit

This little kit by Revell is a gem, until you reach the point where you need to mask that greenhouse canopy. The plastic is very well molded with a great representation of the corrugated duralumin that looks convincing, especially for 1/144 scale. But this kit is made by Eduard, and they are usually quite good. One glaring issue in this kit is however the complete lack of MG-34s that were used as self-defense weapons in the opening on top and in one or two windows on the side of Tante Ju. But considering that the two included variants both see service in cold climates it’s possible that the Luftwaffe decided not to use gunners in these cold regions. The rear gunner sits exposed in what is basically a hole in the top with just a small windshield behind him. Not the most enviable position in the world.

However, other details like exhausts and landing gear are included and look very good, even the engines are pretty well detailed for their size. But there is little to no interior, but what can be seen of said interior is very little, so it doesn’t really matter that much.

I’ve dry fitted the main parts and they all seem to fit well, luckily requiring not a lot (if any) of cleaning up. The kit comes with the old style of Revell instruction sheet and is of their usual quality.

Decals

The kit comes with two color schemes and corresponding decals:

  • Junkers Ju 52/3m g7e of Transportstaffel, VIII. Fliegerkorps, Russia, December 1942
  • Junkers Ju 52/3m g7e of 2. KGrzbV 108, Norway 1942

Both schemes have winter camouflage applied and will turn Tante Ju in a winter warrior of sorts. The decals included are nicely printed, in register, have a fairly thin transfer film and are as usual ‘Printed in Italy’, ie. by Cartograf. This is even more important for this kit due to the corrugated body of this aircraft. So make sure you didn’t run out of your favorite decal setting solution!

Clear parts

This kit has very small clear parts, the greenhouse canopy of the pilots looks like a nightmare to make masks for. One thing you don’t have to worry about are the windows in the cargo area, although tiny it mainly consists of two strips of clear plastic to be glued inside. This makes it easy to cut masks for these little windows. The other masking headache is the windscreen of the rear gunner on top of the aircraft. All parts are well molded but are a bit on the thick side.

Conclusion

This is a nicely detailed kit that won’t take up a lot of space. But care is needed in construction due to the small-scale and the corrugated skin that covers most of the aircraft. For this reason it might not be the best starter kit. I grabbed this kit out of the bargain bin of my local shop as it is going out of production. You might want to grab a few as well.

Score

8.5/10

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