by: Russ Amott [ ]
Zvezda add to their snap fit Art of Tactic wargaming series with the Ju-52 transport, a nicely detailed 1/200 scale kit.
"Tante Ju"The Junkers Ju-52 was a heavy transport aircraft designed by Ernst Zindel and an engineering team at Junkers aircraft works. Constructed with a corrugated metal skin to strengthen the structure, it was unusual in that it had a squared fuselage. After a series of prototypes the final design featured a low cantilever wing built into the fuselage, fixed landing gear and three radial engines. The aircraft was slow, with a top speed of 165mph (265kmh) and vulnerable, but easy to fly. In addition to military duties as a troop and cargo transport, it was used both pre and post war as a civilian passenger plane and transport aircraft.
The ModelZvezda has released a snap fit version of the Ju-52 as part of their Art of Tactic wargaming series. These kits are not only for the war game, but also make good, small scale kits with ease of assembly for new modelers and those who don't have a lot of space, and, at 1/200 scale, it won't crowd the game board.
The kit comes in a small, end opening box with artwork depicting the aircraft as it is deploying paratroops. Inside are two grey sprues, one clear and one black with a stand. Total parts is 18 for the kit and two for the display stand.
Molding is fairly good, with no flash, a couple of very small, faint sink marks and some crazing lines from the molding process visible on the fuselage side. The corrugated detail of the skin is quite carefully represented, with differences in the size of the corrugations on the fuselage and control surfaces. Windows and the door on the fuselage sides are visible as surface details. The radial engines also feature some basic cylinder detail.
There are some prominent seam lines visible on the fuselage and smaller parts. The plastic is in between standard stryene and the soft flexible plastic normally seen with "toy" figures of small scale. It is still somewhat flexible, but stiff enough to sand, file or trim with a hobby knife. It is also gluable. Instructions are simple line drawings. There is also a photo of the finished kit on the rear side of the box. No painting guide is provided, but there is a small sheet of decals with G6, and R in black, L, M, C, D and R in yellow and two sizes of balkancruz. A playing card with movement and points is included for those using the kit as part of the Art of Tactic game.
Building the ModelAssembly is simple. The horizontal stabilizers and wings go into the fuselage, engines are attached to the wings and fuselage nose, propellers and landing gear are attached and a single clear canopy part goes over the cockpit. The landing gear and lower half of the wing engine mounts are handed.
There are some gaps once the kit is completed, but they can be filled if the modeler wishes to finish the kit off for painting and detailing. It is an attractive little airplane when completed. I did note that it was hard to keep it balanced on the stand, but it sits fine on it's landing gear.
In conclusionThis is a simple, snap fit kit in a small scale. Detail is still quite good for the size. There is some cleanup of seam lines and some filling needed, and no paint guide is provided, but references are available from the box art and images online. This is a good starter for a new modeler, and durable enough that it can be played with. Suggested price is $5.59 US, but I saw it at several online stores for less. As a basic, snap fit kit, I think it is quite good.