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JunkyJan

The PAINFUL road to an accurate Ju87B-2

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Good day folks

 

I have been a fan of the Ju87 Stuka for about as long as I can remember (almost as long as I have been a fan of the Curtiss P-40 series). Some time ago - I think about 5 years when 21st Century Toys released their 1:32 Ju87 kit, I bought one but was rather disappointed... Wheel spats decidedly strange-looking affairs, canopy looks a bit off etc - could live with that but the more I looked at the kit, the more I came to realize that the 21st Century kit is really closer to a Ju87B-1 than a B-2 series aircraft (shallow radiator bath, underside of the nose tapers to a rounded section whereas the B-2 had a shallow V-shape etc). The decals in the kit are all for B-2 aircraft though - very good quality decals, sort of at odds with the kit itself. By now I probably sound like a "Rivet-counter" (I REALLY don't think I am, I am as willing to apply "Modeler's Discretion" than anyone else!) but I dug up my ancient copy of Squadron's "Ju87 Stuka in Action" which confirmed my suspicion (see page 20 - it's rather glaringly obvious that the 21st C. kit is way closer to a B-1 than a B-2). Think of the outcry that would happen if Tamigawa would sell you a Spit IX kit, you open the box and you find a Spitfire Vb with IX decals - that's how I felt about it. So.... I decided to just "slap it together", put it on a desk corner as a display model (which is probably what 21st Century Toys intended these kits to be for anyway), got about halfway with that before I got distracted with a more interesting project and the half-built model was chucked back into its box and shuffled to the bottom of the stash.

 

So... 5 years later, recently turned 60 and suddenly woke up to the cold realization that I can never build all of the models in my stash - Sorry Dude, you're running out of time left on this Earth! Sorting through my unbuilt stash to separate my "Must-build-bucket-list" kits from my "Who-cares-it-was-on-sale-anyway" kits I ran into the old half-built Stuka kit again. For some reason the Stuka Bug got hold of me right there again - and remembering that I read somewhere that the the spats & canopy from the old Revell kit can be used to fix some of the issues with this kit or even the Trumpeter kit, I had the bolt-from-the-blue idea to do some Major Plastic Surgery and 'transplant' the Revell radiator bath + underside of the nose to the 21st C. Toys model. That should give me an acceptably-accurate Ju87B-2 model - and I can even replace other items such as the chunky  tailplane struts and dive brakes with the more "dainty" Revell items.

 

Disclaimer: BAD IDEA! No, actually - VERY BAD IDEA! You'd be far better off to just buy the Trumpeter Ju87B-2 kit + Brian Fawcett Correction resin kit - altho the latter is a bit expensive, it looks like (judging from pics on the web) an incredibly well done correction kit. I stayed away from the Trumpeter Stuka kit as I am still gun-shy in regards to Trumpeter's 1/32 kits - mainly caused by the A-7 Corsair II nose issue (that one is in my bucket-list stash - I'm hoping that the correction kit will be re-released again one day). I went ahead and bought an old Revell Ju87B-2 kit off Ebay for about $15, and at that stage I was still thinking that I'm ahead of the game money-wise.

 

So... I have been working on this Conversion / Plastic Surgery / Personal Fiasco / Comedy of Errors for about a month now (as time permits - I am involved in the Software Development industry where even just admitting that you have a Life Outside of Work and God Forbid, even an actual hobby that does not involve Computer software or hardware can be Career-Limiting. I have been taking pics with my cellphone camera as I'm going along and although it will never win a Pulitzer Prize for Documentary Journalism it might help someone else to not make the same mistakes (speaking of which - did I mention - save yourself the pain and rather buy the Trumpeter kit + Brian Fawcett correction!!)... Assuming you gents out there would be interested (or even amused) to see more info & some bad quality pics being added to this thread?

 

BTW - if you can't laugh at yourself sometimes - Life will Get You!

 

-- Jan

BC, Canada

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Jan, thanks for the "TOY" story. I think most of us have had the same thing happen. I know I have. Old Hasa F-86's seem to come to mind,  would love to see some pics of it. Maybe we all could get a chuckle. Oh, and welcome to our little corner we call Home.......Harv :rofl:

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Quite amusing when that realization dawns that you will never build what you have in the stash so around 4 years ago I sold the lot on ebay and and just buy what I am going to build now with a stash totaling 4 kits with 2 on the bench, For me now rather than buying loads of kits I just buy a kit and build up some carefully selected A/M to enhanch the build and this is what I ended up with when I combined the Trumpy Stuka and the Fawcett update.......very happy with the final result and I think it resembles something looking like a Stuka

 

http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=58629&hl=

 

 

However , I would love to see your build and see you own improvements to the base kit

 

Regards. Andy

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Quite amusing when that realization dawns that you will never build what you have in the stash so around 4 years ago I sold the lot on ebay and and just buy what I am going to build now with a stash totaling 4 kits with 2 on the bench, For me now rather than buying loads of kits I just buy a kit and build up some carefully selected A/M to enhanch the build and this is what I ended up with when I combined the Trumpy Stuka and the Fawcett update.......very happy with the final result and I think it resembles something looking like a Stuka

 

http://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?showtopic=58629&hl=

 

 

However , I would love to see your build and see you own improvements to the base kit

 

Regards. Andy

 

Especially nice painting and treatment of the glazing!

 

Rick

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Thanks for the responses guys. I'll get on it tonight - I have some "real-world responsibilities" to take care of this afternoon (I'm in the Pacific TZ).

 

EDIT: ...Or in a couple of days or so.

Edited by JunkyJan

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Looking forward to it, Jan!! I almost bought a 21st Stuka dirt cheap a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't sure about the quality, and didn't want another bench warmer. Very interested to see how you tackled it.

Edited by BiggTim

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Hi Gents

 

Sorry about disappearing like that - work got in the way (I live from crisis to crisis work-wise, as I'm sure many others do).  I am in the process of uploading in-progress pics to a file sharing site, but right now I am laying down the basic colours...  my personal jury is still out out on where exactly I'm going with this, other than it must be North Africa / Mediterranean theatre but NOT Hubert Polz's "Snake" Stuka (the subject seems to be too controversial for me - I'll never be able to make up my mind if there should be a snake on the starboard side as well!). I'm very partial to a plain RLM79 -finished aircraft such as T6+EM (4.StG 2) but at this stage I can still switch to a mottled-camouflage aircraft - T6+AM (also 4.StG 2) comes to mind. Reason I'm so keen on North African Theatre aircraft is due to several of my uncles having seen combat against Germany and Italy during this time - I'm assuming under Montgomery. I recall that my mom's youngest brother was a Sapper and another served later in Italy under Montgomery in the Signals Corps, as part of the 8th Army. They never spoke much about the war but still said enough to greatly impress a pre-teen boy....

 

Earlier-stage in-progress (hack-job alert!) pics to follow!

 

 

Stuka-B2_project_001.pngStuka-B2_project_002.png

Edited by JunkyJan

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As I said before, very sadly I started assembling this kit years ago as a "quicky" for a desktop-corner display model. I decided NOT to try and break the model apart in order to redo the interior - instead, decided to leave it as is and later (carefully) remove the seats etc and replace with resin items. Another factor in this decision was that I was none too sure that this conversion can actually be done  - the Revell kit's radiator area might be too wide or too narrow etc (it turned out to be almost perfect).

 

So.... I started out by literally hacking away (Dremel'ed away actually) the whole radiator area of the 21C kit. It is not deep enough - by about 3/32" at a minimum. In retrospect I think what might be easier may be to carefully cut off the rear of the radiator (where the B-2 version would have the radiator flaps) and then cut off the radiator itself - add spacers of the correct width and add the radiator back in again. You will still have to use the Revell kit's radiator flaps and front intake lip though. The underside of the nose area from the Revell kit is needed as well - you will notice that it has a shallow V-section which is correct for a B-2, whereas the 21C kit has a rounded section (as per the B-1). Now for the really bad news.... The 21C radiator will now be too small (it is moulded as part of the radiator lip anyway) and the Revell kit's radiator is under-size - even for the Revell kit. I ended up constructing a new radiator front from Evergreen card stock and Evergreen plastic strips.... Just make sure you have 11 vertical louvres + 1 horisontal strip (use reference photos - there's tons on the web) and you should be good! :) 

 

 

IMG_20151120_003629.jpgIMG_20151121_222434.jpg

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Thanks for the kind comment, Harv - wish I could improve my photography though (it does actually look a quite a bit better in real life!)

 

Something I forgot to mention - the 21C spinner is too small at the back, and the Revell spinner seems too long again. I fixed the 21C spinner by gluing a disc of 1/16 card to the backplate and then added Squadron putty + liberal sanding to get rid of the "step". I reckon the final result will be about 75% 21st Century kit, about 15% or so Revell, and the balance being made up by Evergreen, Squadron Putty, Milliput, gap-filling superglue etc. Ah yes - I also need to add that the Revell plastic firmly refuses to be glued to the 21C kit parts with ordinary plastic solvents (Tamiya etc) - you'll have to use a CA -type glue.

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A couple of things to keep in mind if you are cannibalizing the Revell kit... The Revell wheel spats will be angled correctly if you completely cut / grind away the "flats" moulded on the underside of the 21C kit's wings. It is much easier doing that rather than attempting to grind the top of the Revell wheel spats (obviously) but getting the undercarriage angle correct is fairly critical for correct appearance of the eventual model.

 

ALSO: the triangular pieces moulded unto the ailerons are TERRIBLE in appearance - it is supposed to represent the aileron actuators, which were skeletal rod-and-bellcrank affairs. You REALLY should cut it away, fill in the holes left behind (you can even use the pieces you cut off as fillers - sand it down after the glue dried) and drill small holes in the appropriate areas for the actuators from the Revell kit (parts 40 and 41). BTW, did I mention that this conversion might be considered offensive to the average model builder's sensitivities - or at least NOT for the weak-hearted?

 

EDIT: I eventually noticed that the ailerons on my particular kit, when using the locating holes seems to want to "part company" (taper away from the trailing edge of the wing towards the wingtip). Keep an eye out for this, I had to carefully cut it away again and re-attach after "adjusting" the locating tabs.

 

IMG_20151129_200814.jpgIMG_20151129_121737.jpg

Edited by JunkyJan

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The artisan(s) at 21st Century Toys were a bit overly keen when it came to adding panel lines to the firewall area of this kit. Compare with the photograph of an early B-2 below to the nose area of the kit in the pic above - you should fill at least one set of panel lines around the nose, and extend the horisontal panel lines to meet the second firewall panel line, closest to the nose. The white lines on the 21C kit is the putty showing where I filled the extra panel lines. 

 

IMG_20151204_133543.jpg Ju87B-2_early.png

Edited by JunkyJan

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Argh :( ... The 21C canopy sits almost a full 2 millimeter higher / taller than the Revell canopy. I wish I knew which one is "more correct" - this build is feeling more and more like a series of compromises. Do anyone have any idea? I did receive a set of Quickboost resin exhausts for the Trumpeter Ju87B kit in the mail this afternoon tho - looks fairly simple to adapt for the 21C kit.

 

EDIT: The rear section of the 21C canopy do look quite strange - will definitely replace that with the Revell item.

Edited by JunkyJan

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