Stuka But Not Stuck-a!
The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka Flight was one of the most feared weapons at the German’s disposal in World War II. This kit from Battlefront for their Flames of War series makes up into two detailed models of the aircraft that can each be equipped with either 2 bombs or 2 x 3.7cm “tank-buster” anti-tank guns. However, the most feared thing for me was that I would not be able to get the kit parts to stick together!
Ju 87 Stuka Flight (x2 Plastic) for the Late war period is a remake of the earlier, metal and plastic, Flames of War: Ju 87 Stuka Flight for the Mid-War period. That had the whole aircraft cast in one piece in plastic with metal Nose cone, Wheel struts and Armament to be added separately. This new kit has all the parts in plastic and has a separate part for the tail and tail plane to be attached to the main fuselage. This would be fine but on both my models I could neither get them to fit properly or stick at all with standard polystyrene glue!
The nose cone suffered from similar problems and, in fact, none of the new plastic parts would stick. I suppose this is a relic of the old model when you would be expected to use superglue but as there are no instructions to tell you this (even on the website) I assumed polystyrene cement would do the job. I did eventually get everything together as you can see using a variety of adhesives with a great deal of difficulty. This was compounded by the fact that the locating lug on the fuselage and nose didn’t fit into their respective parts. I had to cut them away completely with a craft knife.
Also the aircraft bodies had a liberal coating of a white substance which, I guess, was to do with the casting process. This too made the adhesion difficult and I would advise washing the parts in warm soapy water before construction.
I feel obliged to add that all the above is in complete contrast to my previous experience with Battlefront models. I have built many of their WWII armoured vehicles and they have always been well designed and gone together very well even to the point of tank tracks having different lugs on their backs so you can’t get them on the wrong side of the tank!
Stuka In The Middle
The overall appearance of the model is fine. The unique shape of the Ju 87 is captured well: the inverted gull wings, the fixed wheels with their spats and the distinctive double sliding canopy. It would have been nice to have the Wireless Operator manned MG on the back of the canopy but I may well add one myself from my spares box. Also there is no sign of the infamous “Jericho Trumpet” sirens on the wheel spats.
The models are provided with twin height stands to represent them in flight mode. The aircraft are attached to them using two tiny magnets, one mounted in the stand and one in the aircraft itself. You need to make sure they are set so they attract rather than repel each other. I got one right and one I had to do again! These work well and mean you can detach the aircraft if you want to place them on the ground in say an airfield attack scenario.
The choice of armament is mixed. The two 37mm Flak 18 cannon fitted to the ‘tank busters’ are fine. However the Bomb loads are not. The Stuka carried one large 500Kg bomb centrally under the fuselage or a medium 250Kg bomb centrally and 2 x 50Kg bombs under each wing. Here we are given two bombs to go under the wings. This is, presumably, because the stands fit to the aircraft where the under fuselage bomb would go. This can be overcome in use by reflecting the proper bomb loads on the Unit Card.
Stuka What To Do
Talking of Unit Cards brings me on to my final point. In the earlier kit you got a unit card showing stats for each armament type. With this kit, which costs 20% more you don’t, meaning they are useless on the tabletop until you get one. Said cards are apparently available in the Flames of War Bagration German unit Cards set of 70 Unit Cards which is another £9.
However, do not despair, for I’ve copied the cards off the website and here they are.
One final point, these aircraft are to a scale of 1:144 whereas all the land forces of Flames of War are 1:100. There is no explanation of this and it’s not made clear in the product description. Maybe they are made smaller so they look further away as father Ted would say to Dougal!
We hope you enjoyed this blog about the JU 87 Stuka Flight. To buy the JU 87 Stuka Flight today, click here.