scale Junkers Ju 88H-3/4 Fuhrungsmachine
may be ordered online from Squadron.com
The Junkers Ju 88H series was a long-range,
"stretched fuselage" variant of the Ju 88 family.
The intended roles for the H-3/4 variants
were long-range search, Zerstorer and Mistel. It is believed
that several Ju 88H-4s were completed before the end of the war in Europe.
The concept of a "parasite fighter" dates
back to WWI, but was rarely implemented in practice. Similar to the Mistel
concept, a fighter aircraft would piggyback the Fuhrungsmachine, and
detach if the mother ship was attacked by enemy fighters. With the
substitution of a Mistel warhead, the Ju 88 was transformed into a
gigantic, long-range bomb.
AMtech is about to release this fascinating
aircraft in 1/72 scale. I just received an early production shot of the sprues
and the decals.
AMtech's 1/72 scale Ju 88H-3/4 kit comprises
108 injection moulded styrene in light gray sourced from other Ju 88
variants); plus 24 injection moulded parts in darker grey. These dark grey
parts are newly tooled from AMtech. 8 parts in clear injection moulded plastic
are also supplied.
The light grey parts include the wings,
engine nacelles, tail surfaces and undercarriage. In effect, what we are
presented with is the entire AMtech 1/72 scale Ju 88S-3/T-3 kit, plus tail
surfaces from the AMT Ju 88G. The new parts cover the fuselage, fuselage
extension plug, the nose, radome, the third main gear leg and wheel, large
auxiliary fuel tanks, optional Mistel warhead and the mounts for the
All the parts are produced to a very high
standard with crisply engraved panel lines. There are no nasty ejector pin
marks in visible positions, and the only imperfection I could only find was
one minor sink line on each fuselage extension plug. The light-coloured AMT
styrene is quite soft and presented in a satin finish; while the new-tool
parts are a glossy, "Tamiya" grade of slightly harder (but not brittle)
plastic. This seems to be the same material used for AMtech's Ta 183, which
was some of the most luxurious styrene I have had the pleasure to work with.
The general level of detail is fine for this
scale. The cockpit is quite good, but the seats are too thick and slab-sided.
The new mounting struts look great, but some of them are very delicate so care
will be required when removing them from the sprues. The edges of the radome
are bevelled where they meet the fuselage. This should be a simple and
Please note that the kit does not include
the parasite fighter. AMtech's instructions discuss the location points for
mounting a Focke-Wulf Fw 190A, but you might also consider a Fw 190F. As there
were no photos of the H-4 combination, you could even use your imagination and
install an alternative fighter such as a Bf 109G-10. I would suggest the
Revell 1/72 scale Fw 190 and Bf 109G-10 family as inexpensive and nicely
detailed "riders" for your Fuhrungsmachine.
Markings are supplied for three options -
two Fuhrungsmachine H-4s and an H-3 Mistel. All the schemes and
markings are somewhat spurious because there are no photos or records of the
aircraft in service, so you can either use AMtech's suggestions or employ your
own artistic license and your decal spares box! I have used AMtech (and DAM)
decals on a number of occasions and they have always behaved superbly.
This will be a model that will draw comments
at your model club. With its fuselage extension and parasite fighter it will
also be impressively large, even in 1/72 scale.
AMtech's 1/72 scale Ju 88H-3/4
Fuhrungsmachine is a good quality model of an interesting subject that
should appeal to both late-war Luftwaffe and Luft-46 modellers. I will look
forward to seeing lots of weird and wonderful Fuhrungsmachine colour
schemes in the coming months!
Thanks to Alan Griffith of AMtech for the
pre-production review sample.
More information about this
and other releases may be seen
on AMtech's website
Text and Images Copyright © 2004 by
Page Created 10 March, 2004
Last updated 08 April, 2004
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