by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
One of the undoubted highlights of Revell's remarkably good value 1/32 scale Ju 88A-1 is its excellent cockpit. But, as good as it is, there's still plenty of scope for still more detail, and Eduard have stepped up with a series of etched upgrades.
32632 - Ju 88A Seatbelts - $19.95One of the most obvious omissions in Revell's kit is seat harnesses. Following a similar style to their recent Bf 110 belts, Eduard's set consists of a single pre-painted fret containing 58 parts. Each set of harnesses is made up from separate belts and buckles to allow them to hang realistically. The printed stitch patterns are far finer than most of us could ever hope to match and, of course, you could always scan them to print on paper if you want some extra flexibility.
32633 - Ju 88A Interior - $34.95This comprehensive set comprises three etched frets for a total of 238 parts. Two of the frets are pre-painted, with beautifully detailed radio fascias and consoles, plus - addressing probably the oddest failing in Revell's kit - the pilot's main instruments. Rather than supplying individual bezels (as they did with the Bf 110), Eduard have opted for a complete new self-adhesive 2-layer instrument panel. The detail on the instrument faces is superb and it just needs a drop of varnish in each bezel to glaze them.
The set includes numerous circuit breakers, knobs, straps and switches, along with separate throttle levers. There's a framework to detail the inside of the gondola and delicate gunsights for the MG17s, and extra details for the oxygen bottles and bombsight. One part has etched "wrinkles" for the bomb-aimer’s couch, which is arguably pushing the limit of the medium too far in what can be depicted realistically (a generous coat of PVA might help make it look less rigid).
Despite the high number of parts (some quite small), this doesn't look an especially complicated set. There are some boxes to folds, but modellers with a few etched upgrades under their belts shouldn’t have any problems.
32634 - Ju 88A Placards - $19.95No, your eyes aren't playing tricks; despite the different name, this is actually identical to fret #2 in the full interior set. So, you basically get the sidewall and console details along with items like the rudder pedal straps. Presumably, this set is intended for modellers who wish to use Revell's instrument panel, but personally, I'd go for the full set with its 3 frets as it has a lot more to offer for less than double the price, whether or not you use the panel.
Instructions and conclusionEach set comes with clearly drawn black and white A-5 instructions. When Eduard first switched away from colour-printed instructions, I felt some of the clarity was sacrificed, but this time (and it may just be my eyes playing tricks...) the contrast seems to have been increased, making the difference between attachment points and areas to be removed more distinct. As usual, colour versions are available on Eduard's website.
Eduard's Ju 88A sets add masses of detail to what is an already excellent model. With the cockpit so clearly visible under the greenhouse canopy, seatbelts and instrument details are almost essential, while the rest of the extras should make for an eye-popping "office". Recommended.
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