1/48 Italeri Junkers Ju.87 Stuka

Gallery Article by Andrea Pomettini on June 28 2019



Hi modelling fellows, here I am with my latest result, a peculiar trop camouflage Stuka. It is intended to represent a “Dora”, Unteroffiziers Otto Eckhardt pilot and Herbert Wagner gunner, belonging to 8./StG 3; location is Derna (Libya) in June ’42, just 5 months before to be shot down by Allied fighter: crew survived, although wounded, as you can figure out looking at old picture showing what is left of it on desert’s sand (picture source: “https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/need-advice-on-next-project.39245/”).

Ju. 87 was an innovative machine, when introduced, very successful in field operations. Until a good air defensive strategy was adopted by Allied air forces, reducing its effectiveness.

Once more, I aimed to test something new, to my experience: a multimedia box (injection plastic for body and wings, photoetched and resin parts for cockpit and engine). More, leveraging 1/48 scale (for me, used to 1/72) I got a Maketar mask instead to use box decals, and this was the only aftermarket contribution: everything else coming OOB.

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Building was smooth: Italeri box is good enough to prevent use of filler or putty. Painting could have been more comfortable, if I only have used more recent colors. I mean I had in may stash some very old humbrol colors cans indeed (I tell you, they are very old, going back to ’87, ’90 years). Sometimes you can realize how bad they are just looking at them once the can is open, sometimes they look very fine and work very fine. Well, this time it was a mix, the bad one: a fine looking added to an awful result. Soon after spread through airbrush, first disappointment: color surface was rough; no way, it was rough, no matter the amount of transparent gloss coat I used to cover such a coarse surface; and I applied a lot, trust me. At the end, I surrendered and tried to go on: it was time to bring panel lines up, through oil washing. What a mess! rough surface was not only a matter of sight, it was porous too: soon after the very first drop of brown washing landed on the surface, it spread beneath it creating an ink-in-water effect, I never met on a solid phase material before. I once more surrendered, exploiting my airbrush to apply colors over the blot, as it was a pre-shaded surface. Up to you evaluate result: it happened on starboard wing.

Still, I had a need. For I did not used pre shading this time, trusting on washing for panel lines, how to highlight them ? After a (desperate) while, I got a 0,3 mm graphite mechanical pencil, a soft one (HB, in European scale) and applied it over each panel line and each rivet hole. I think it was worthwhile, so a trouble turned into an opportunity: learn a new way, to save for future usage.

Finally, and I was really looking for, using of Vinyl Maketar mask, devoted to this peculiar desert Dora, where likely Italian paint were applied over this German bird. I was fully satisfied: after being scared to not be able to find the right alignment (swastika could have been awful), I realized I was wrong: masks supported me while finding the right centering, so everything went very well and I like result, as to strongly suggest this kind of tool.

Some brown crumpled paper, painted with yellow and brown fading shadows, should simulate a desert environment, were to apply some thick squared cardboards as a rough concrete airfield.

Finally, for the few of you did not yet suss my mistake out, I tell you: Eckhardt and Wagner’s mount was a D-1/Trop, while Italeri box is for a D-5 Version; it also miss Jericho trumpets, you can see on airplane’s wreck of the old picture

Enjoy modelling

Andrea Pomettini

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Photos and text © by Andrea Pomettini