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Nachtjäger

FuG Installations on Early Ju-88 Variants

n by Rafi Ben-Shahar


Being a diversified subject with an appealing look (to Luftwaffe fans), the Ju 88 variants provide almost endless topics to modelers. Fortunately, Dragon's 1/48 kits have pleasing dimensions that satisfy the eyes of most if not all Experten albeit the usual difficulties concerning model design and assembly.

I chose to present a small selection of my ever-growing Schnellbomber fleet. Here, I focused on FuG radar installments on the Ju-88A and C variants.

The first is a FuG 212 on an early C night fighter. This is an out-of-the-box feature where the masts were trimmed extensively to resemble some what to the real thing. Obviously, the unique camouflage pattern is the highlight of this model that flew in the Mediterranean area. Osprey's and Squadron In Action books served as most valuable sources of information for the construction of these models.

The Lichtenstein radar was experimentally fitted to Ju 88C night fighters in early 1942. The cumbersome aerial array reduced maximum speed by 15-25 mph and so the reaction of crews was initially unfavourable, until a number of kills were scored using it. The introduction of radar on the Ju 88C-6 resulted in a designation change to Ju 88C-6b, while existing day-fighter aircraft were retrospectively redesignated Ju 88C-6a. The initial radar fit was the FuG 202 Lichtenstein BC, but by the Autumn of 1942 this had been replaced by the simplified FuG 212 Lichtenstein C-1.

The second variant displays an FuG 202 radar with non standard horizontal dipoles installed on a Ju 88C-6. The masts were scavenged from an Italeri 1/72 Dornier 217 kit.

The third C model is a representation of Major Prinz Heinrich zu Sayn-Wittgenstein sporting FuG 202 and FuG 220 SN-2 radar. I used dipoles from Dragon's 88G Nightfighter version and FuG 202 adapted from a recent edition of 88C version. If you have a fresh and fast drying CA glue, the attachment of the small elements is not too tedious as you may fear.

The last model is a Ju 88A-6/U utilized for anti shipping roles in the Mediterranean that boast with a Wellenmuster camouflage pattern and a FuG 200 aerials. The rods were prepared from electric wires and masts were enhanced with left over 88C spares. I had my doubts with respect to the existence and shape of the Lofte sight. As you can see, the gondola was deleted in this variant leaving in effect a protruding part of the sight, which is not possible. Eventually, I decided on a compromise and trimmed the bottom prism of the sight to create the cockpit clutter that was so characteristic among all Ju-88 aircraft.

Dragon Ju 88

If the photographs tempt you to try and build one of Dragon's Ju-88 variants, here are some tips that will lure the model to sing for you.

Wing tip attachment should follow each wing half and not as instructions indicate. In this way, you can avoid the inevitable step between the wing parts.

Take your time with body halves attachment. There are no panel lines on the dorsal and ventral joint halves of the fuselage other than the life raft compartment. I never put glue along this cleavage.

Wing and fuselage joints seem like there were made for two different models altogether. If I were you, I would not fight against the elements too much. Your eyes will get used to the defects very quickly. If you choose to lower the flaps, the effect will add realism to the model and cover up the flaws to some extent.

Bomb racks also partly cover the joints, but have their own fit problems.

Engine nacelles and wing attachments are crude, but can be fixed with a reasonable amount of putty.

The canopy and fuselage joint is also bad and I usually give up about this matter without remorse and may leave the front part loose in case I want to make future improvements.

Bottom line, it is a big model. Your head will not dig in for additional details, but retract and your brain will give you the sensation that you watch the real beast.
 

 

Additional images, click to enlarge

 

 

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