Friday, 1 June 2012

Luftwaffe modelling - Junkers Ju 88 'Experten' and 'Bomber' 72nd scale decal sheets from AIMS (John McIllmurray)

Those modellers looking for inspiration and a suitable colour scheme and markings for the new Revell Ju 88 A-4 have John McIllmurray and AIMs to thank for two timely new Ju 88 decal sheets in 1:72 scale. As far as I can tell the colourful Revell box-art scheme is conjecture, while the second option in the kit is a rather bland Sandbraun LG 1 aircraft, so the new AIMs Ju 88 'Bomber' and  Ju 88 'Experten' sheets are recommended if you wish to build a rather more 'accurate' & 'named' Ju 88 based on some in-depth research. On the 'Experten' sheet John gives us the option of building loco Experte Lt. Udo Cordes  9.(Eis)/ KG 3 machine- including rudder markings for 81 locos and two aircraft destroyed -  and the A-4 of 4./KG 3 Staffelkapitän Oblt. Kohnke, one of the first bomber 'ace in a day' crews after their exploits in May 1940 over France. The Kohnke rudder score also features an additional four Russian fighters. Kohnke was wounded in action on 27 September 1942 while serving as Kommandeur of II./KG 54. You get no fewer than ten individual Ju 88 markings on each sheet - other aces on the 'Experten' sheet include Knud Gmelin of V./KG 40 (and ZG 1) and a trio of G-6 Nachtjagd aces, Samrau, Briegleb and Oblt. Herbert Koch of 1./ NJG 3. The Ju 88 'Bomber' sheets also features some nice subjects - a white Russian Front KG 76 A-4, the A-4 of II./KG 77's Kommandeur Hptm. Heinrich Paepcke who was lost over Malta on 17 October 1942 and a very nice Ju 88 S-3 of KG 66 in a squiggle scheme.

As you can see here all markings options on these sheets are presented via a series of accurate and well-drawn fully referenced colour side view profiles and detailed text. John even provides a critique of the Kagero photos on which a number of these options are based - the photo captions of the Kagero Ju 88 monographs being the weak point of these particular references. Other interesting subjects are drawn from AirDoc, Luftwaffe in Focus and the Stipdonk/Meyer volumes. The painting guide also features a generic upper and lower surface view of the RLM 70/71 splinter pattern so that you don't have go hunting through a pile of references. The decals by 'Fantasy Printshop' are thin, perfectly in register and have minimal carrier film and will of course require a certain amount of care to apply. I fully intend to select one of these options for my own build as it nears completion so stay tuned for more on these superb sheets. These sheets and much more for the Ju 88 fan are available directly from John at
John is an enthusiast (and very skilled) modeller himself and provides us lesser mortals with a fantastic product at a reasonable price so please do support him!