Monday, June 25

EagleCals EC #143 Stuka Ju-87B Part I in 1/32 review..

Renown in the modelling world for excellence in research, quality and subject choice EagleCals from the USA have hit first in the decal market for the new Trumpeter Ju-87B kit in 1/32 scale. They have two sheets of which we will look at separately, first of all the Part I sheet with only two choices but probably the most popular colours for this marque of aircraft and most probably the best seller of the two. Let's take a look...

Scales: 1/72 + 1/48 + (1/32 Reviewed here)
Colour Schemes: 2 x Ju 87B/R’s
Printed by: Cartograf of Italy
Get them from:  EagleCals directly
1/72 – US$ 12.30
1/48 – US$ 15.50
1/32 – US$ 18.50

When you think of JU-87 Stukas from WWII you often think of the splinter camouflage three tone aircraft wreaking havoc from Poland to Dunkirk - These schemes are covered in the companion sheet we will be reviewing in a day or so - …but for some reason modellers always want  to go for that something different to everyone else. The choices we have for you on this sheet particular sheet are far from western European schemes –  one being a tropical and the other a winter Eastern Front scheme – and we think they will be VERY popular!

EagleCals #143 Ju 87 B-2 Stukas in 32nd scale
(also printed in 72nd and 48th scales) features two aircraft – one from the western desert of September 1941 (T6+AN) – a Ju 87B-2 of 5./St.G. 2 and "Yellow G" which is a Ju 87 B( or maybe an R) from an unknown unit on the Russian front  in the winter of 1941/2. We will look at these aircraft in turn after we investigate the decals themselves.
The package came quickly and safely from the United States to the UK with no customs worries, (phew) and in a Zip loc bag were two blue decal sheets and a large colour and black and white cover page folded into two pages. The decals were safe in the post in their packaging.

This is a “special” release from EagleCals as there are only two schemes on them instead of maybe three or four as you would get usually from these decal makers in each edition. This is because of the size of the decal for each scheme is a little larger than the others.

This is the reason why.. a rather large serpent!
The large “Snake” emblem of T6+AN goes right across the decal page, there are two supplied for reasons we will go into later, and this decal set will make both the aircraft. There is very little carrier film on this sheet (and the other as well) with it ending just beyond the  colour – though the “ AN” letters have a slight join in between them – I know this is because you want the letters to be better spaced, but I would rather each being separate.
The colours of this decal page are very strong, with the white being a very bright, not opaque shade and the black, red and sand colour which makes up the snake’s head especially being very strong as well.
The second sheet is full of national markings, enough to do one of these aircraft, though if you did want to try to get both off this sheet the early war national markings and stencils are easy to find for this aircraft. The blacks, whites and reds are very strong on this sheet and like the other sheet the decals are glossy and have virtually NO excess carrier film, probably the least I have seen on any decal – I like it. Swastikas are provided (thankfully) - they are separated so as not to offend anyone. Gee this - as a modeller - bores me that for one or two countries everyone has to suffer.

You can see here how thick and shiny the decal is and the absolute minimum of carrier film - leaving a tough, pliable decal that leaves a near invisible end product.

Now I am really sorry I do not have a stuka wing to practice this decal on – BUT I have used EagleCals decals before on both of my P-51D Mustang and Pacific Coast Fw-190A3 kit and can tell you that although they look quite thick and glossy these decals settle down into holes and are able to be handled a lot in use. I really like them and would vouch for them totally. Cartograf has a great name in the business and it is easy to see why when they print such high quality decals.

There is an excellent instruction sheet which gives you a black and white line drawing showing just where to put the decals on the aircraft (there are small letters to match on the sheets) Angles of some decals and particulars of each side and little tips are included which help. The research done by Mark Proulx has been thorough and as usual is excellent. You are given references here to look up and I quickly found both aircraft in the books that were highlighted.  It is good with such a subject like these aircraft where there is a lot of consternation by many experts (I read the forums and everyone’s opinions) to have someone just nail it by giving the book and page – research done on your behalf!

If you look in the Luftwaffe im focus No.7 you will find pictures of Stuka T6+AN from of 5./St.G. 2 in the western desert in September 1941. This series of photos shows a few aircraft but with the snake motif but notably this aircraft in particular from a series of stills in an Italian news reel.

The series shows this aircraft from the port side from front to tail, and although you never get to see the other side of the aircraft EagleCals have given you the long snake for both sides which is a decent thing to do from a company that didn’t HAVE to do that. After all there is no proof that both sides had this large and very famous marking. EagleCals also provide you with excellent profiles with peculiars as well as the addition of "extra snake" so you are not left short on the decal length - thoughtful - and i'm not making any puns here!!
Note that the research team didn’t fall for pictures of the wrong aircraft – there are many snake wearing Ju 87’s during the war, but if I wanted one with my initials now I have one!

The second aircraft is less well known but will be just as popular, winter white distempered Ju-87’s are really popular with modellers, I think because they can show them battered and worn out on the ground and show off their weathering skills.

This aircraft - "Yellow G" which is a Ju-87B-2 ( or maybe an R-2 longer ranged variant of the “B” model) from an unknown unit on the Russian front  in the winter of 1941/2 has a large white decal of a shark’s mouth which was painted on quite a few aircraft  at that time. There is even a photograph of another very similar liking aircraft in the book “Stuka vol.1.Luftwaffe Ju-87 Dive Bomber-Units 1939-1941” on the same page. So again a popular scheme and thanks to Eaglecals for getting Mr Proulx to do his research. Included in the instructions are an all angle view of each aircraft for you to get your schemes just right, with aircraft peculiars such as the fading of the distempered white where the crew access the cockpit.
The shark’s head is a crude looking application of paint and so the decal is similarly rendered – you can see from this shot (Below) of the VERY SIMILAR aircraft that it is pretty close – and that some heavy weathering and exhaust staining will be needed – much to the joy of many modellers!
All in all this, the first set of the two I think is a great set. Sure there are only two sets of markings on the 1/32 sheet – but they are large decals, well researched and of the usual top quality as you get with decals printed by Cartograf. It will be interesting to see which set sells better – this or the companion sheet, and weather it is ever brought out for the Airfix Stuka in 1/24 (good idea) but that aircraft isn’t such a big seller.

Well done EagleCals on this sheet – cannot wait to see the next one in our next review!.

Adam Norenberg

Many thanks to Judy and Jerry at EagleCals – check out their new website where you can get these decals from now.