Monday, 25 February 2013

Minicraft 1/144 JU-88 Pt. 2 – Construction

Being a 1/144 kit there aren’t that many stages or parts to this kit so it doesn’t actually take long to pop this model together. Maybe this is why 1/144 is growing on me?

Anyway, there are no tricky issues to worry about, the design of this kit’s construction is well designed and there’s hardly any flash worth mentioning. However, I was rather surprised that a couple of the main parts didn’t fit as snuggly as I had expected.

In particular it is worth mentioning the engine nacelles. Each engine housing comes in two halves, you glue these two pieces together and then glue this unit to the underside of the wing mating with the upper engine cowling. Well, it’s enough to say that some filling will be required, particularly in the resultant seam under the wing.

Above: The worst fitting parts were the engine nacelles. You can see the gaps here, but
basically if you get them to fit at the back a gap (like above) opens at the front, and vice
versa. Nothing some filler and sanding can't fix easily though.

...But it could have been worse I suppose, I was just a bit disappointed.

The rest of the parts – including the major fuselage halves – go together OK, with just a modicum of sanding. There was no warping or huge gaps

The main options you have with this kit are whether to have the undercarriage up or down and whether to add the external – wing mounted – bomb load.

One nice touch, which I think is worth mentioning for the war game modeler, is the inclusion of two extra propeller bosses. Aside from the normal bosses with propellers attached, which you’d expect, there are also two with no props so you can model the plane ‘in flight’! This makes it easier for me to add my fake prop spinner.

In this instance I have decided to fit my canopies at the construction phase – and mask them out for painting – and so I have dry fitted to make sure there are no problems with size or shape, no problems there. But, you need to be careful when fitting the lower nose gun nacelle - this sits slightly to the left of the center line at the front, but there is no reference holes for you to place this in the correct place. I referenced photos on the Web for the approximate placement (note that this part appears to be quite simplified compared to the real thing).

Finally, I drilled a small hole in the center of the lower fuselage, just between the back of the wings, to accommodate the short rod I am using to mount the plane on my homemade stand. However, before I fitted the two fuselage halve together I inserted a block of Milliput model putty to act as a firm anchor point for my stand rod.

Next: Straight on with choosing a Finnish camo scheme, masking and starting the painting.


  1. As I recall the fuselage halves needed a bit of sanding to achieve a decent fit. Hardly surprising though - these are very old kits!

    1. I didn't realise that these were older kits, Tim. My fuselage halves weren't too bad, just some minor sanding required. Biggest annoyance turned out to be the engine cowels - neither of these was a very good fit.