Saturday, 23 February 2013

Minicraft 1/144 JU-88 (Finnish) Pt.1 - Introduction

Well, I decided I was on a roll (of sorts), so it's straight on with the final aircraft for my late 1943/1944 Finnish war game army air group. This is my bomber, the notorious Junkers JU-88.

Background - The Finnish '88
23 JU-88s were bought from Germany in 1943 - presumably to bolster more obsolete types then in service like the Bristol Blenhiems and Dornier Do 17. Small in numbers they may have been but as usual the Finns got a lot of bang for their bucks (Marrka?) and they devised novel tactics to make up for the Soviet's numerical supremacy.

One cunning tactic was that the Finnish bombers would drop into Soviet bomber formations returning to their bases and rather unsportingly bomb the unsuspecting airfields, destroying aircraft and supplies on the ground!

The Minicraft Model
Well, I was completely impressed with this kit as soon as I opened the box. All sprues were bagged up nicely and there was a very useful A4 set of instructions. The model comes with two colour scheme suggestions and decals, one for a Luftwaffe example and the other Hungarian.

The quality of plastic and mouldings is very good - although I can't say about fit until the next post - and the parts have delicate detail, with raised panel lines and seams - nice.

I was also impressed with the level of detail and the number of parts. I think this kit would give some 1/72 models a run for their money. And talking about 1/72 scale, the main thing that caught my eye was the size of this 1/144 plane - it must be as big as a 1/72 WW2 fighter and will dwarf both my single engine Finnish planes.

Optional parts are provided so that you can build the undercarriage up or down, but other parts are simplified - notably the cockpit, which is the blanked off type I'm afraid (or am I relieved).

Finally, I was glad to see that Minicraft had exaggerated the canopy framework just a bit. This will give a newbie like myself a reasonable chance at painting reasonable looking and neat canopies.

Well, that's the unboxing - all good so far - so it's onto the construction.


  1. This is a nice kit - I have several of them! None of mine came with Hungarian markings though - I must look out for another....

    1. Hi Tim, if the decals for this are any good to you please let me know, you are welcome to them. I really cannot see me using them.

    2. That's very kind of you. Perhaps I could be them from you a Triples in may?

  2. By jingos Stephen, you are on a real run here!

    I looked at one of these yesterday online, but it was a bit pricey for me. It will be interesting to see the outcome.

    1. That was the one aspect of this kit I forgot to mention in my intro, it cost me about £8! Now, considering Zvesda's growing 1/144 range just costs about £2.99 a box and that I am using this as a war gaming piece, not a display model, the price of the Minicraft JU-88 is high. I mean, you can buy a decent 1/72 JU-88 for that!

      But, I couldn't find a cheaper alternative in 1/144 unfortunately.