Saturday, July 7

EagleCals EC#144 Stuka Ju-87B Part II in 1/32 review..

Following on from the first in this brace of decal sets for the Ju-87B/R stuka comes this alternate set from EagleCals from the USA. This time they have gone for quantity – four markings on this sheet instead of two and they are some of the more familiar colour schemes of this early-war terror of the skies – but with quantity have the kept the quality? Let’s investigate these schemes and compare them as much as we can..

Scales: 1/72 + 1/48 + (1/32 sheet Reviewed here)
Colour Schemes: 4 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

The early models of the Ju-87 Stuka are I think by far the most well-known, a green splinter camo and yellow noses (and a Scottie dog on the nose in most of the colours we saw as kids.) These aircraft reigning terror over northern Europe and so have been a very popular kit with modellers, and now trumpeter has brought out their 1/32 kit of the early Stuka what a good chance for new colours!?

This is what Eaglecals bring you with this sheet – with one exciting diversion we will talk about later, this sheet brings you four markings in 1/32nd scale. There are of course 1/72 and 1/48th sheets of this but today we will look at the bigger brother on this sheet.

The contents
Inside the package you get a large A3 sheet folded into smaller A5 sizes with a cover sheet, an inside section with all four aircraft in profile in colour and a rear section with the top and bottom views in colour showing decal placement and camouflage patterns (as well as where to paint over the German markings for the Italian Stuka).
Open this all out and you get two larger A4 size sheets in B&W showing side and top profiles with stencil placement and a page of  painting instructions of each aircraft along with some notes on the research which in this case has been done by the very well read Mark Proulx. This set of decals also has a few bonus shots on a B&W A4 sheet with extra photos from his own collection of one of the aircraft on the sheet.  We will look at this - the research a little later on in the review..

Did I mention you get some decals thrown in as well?
You get two sheets of decals - both on small sheets printed by the industry standard Cartograf from Italy. Cartograf’s sheets are filled with glossy decals with a bare minimum of carrier film. The only areas I would get rid of this are between the fuselage aircraft recognition numbers, saying this half of you out there would appreciate this because it keeps the letters in line and position, I suppose this is a moot argument anyways as if you want to remove the film between letters but it off yourself so it is a good thing for both points of view.  (Sorry about my big finger print!)
The colours displayed on these sheets are strong and the white is not see through at all, there is no “creamy” shade to the whites either. The smaller stencil decals are very legible (if you can read German) in this scale and I couldn’t see any mistakes or misprints, the decals are perfect in register. The Swastikas are broken up so they can be sold in countries that ban this symbol, you simply place one inside the other and they sit well. There are swastikas for two aircraft on this set. I notice that these are on the bottom of the sheet – it would be easy to cut these off if peple are sensitive, but I suppose more decals more money.  Everyone gets what they want this way.
I haven’t a Stuka to slap these onto so I thought I would show you some other decals from this company in situ – they stick to the model really well and settle down under micro sol and set which I pretty much use with all decals no matter where they are from or who makes them – these are some of their decals on my Mustang I reviewed this year. The shiny decal is tough as well so you can handle them a lot and still not have a break and a swearing fit when they do. They are quality decals I could recommend after using them a few times now. Now on to the decal choices and accompaniments.

There are four aircraft portrayed in this set – ill go through them each and try to match them to pictures I have found.

Quite ideally these different aircraft are broken into four sections on the 32nd scale decal sheet so you can use your first choice whilst maybe using the other sheets on a different aircraft later on if you have more national markings. Indeed you can get two aircraft out of this if you have stencils for a second aircraft if you make one the Italian aircraft and the other from the Luftwaffe - very nice.

Ju 87 B-2 “T6+AK” from St.G 2
This kite is in a RLM undersides / RLM 70/71 splinter upper camouflage, This “Berta” has the distinctive “Scottie” dog of the “Immelmann” squadron on the red disk on the nose  and echoed on the propeller hub as was the norm in that group. Also to note are the theatre specific yellow nose recognition colour which was seen often by aircraft on the Russian front especially early on in the war when the Luftwaffe dominated the skies there.
In the notes for this aircraft there is more information in the researcher’s own book “Wings of the Black Cross IV” – so you can be sure that this scheme has had the magnifying glass put over the individual markings. Little things like the “A” markings on the upper and lower wings are pointed out in the top down profiles in the rear of the accompanying brochure. I do not have the book and apart from a few skins for flight sims I couldn’t find a picture of this aircraft on line to verify the markings.
There are pictures supplied though by the researcher Mr Mark Proulx – they show two shots of the aircraft in the Balkan campaign complete with details of the yellow nose and the red “A on the fuselage and wing upper surfaces. What a great addition to assure trust in the research!

One thing I never knew before researching these decals was that the Scottie dog emblem was actually modelled after Major Hitschold’s dog called “Molch”

Ju 87 R-2 “T6+AC” from Stab II./St.G.2 from the Mediterranean 1941
This Stuka was from the Mediterranean theatre in 1941 and was flown by Major Walter Enneccerus, the Knight's Cross holder and eventual Gruppenkommandeur of the II./Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 "Immelmann".

This aircraft was an RLM 65/70/71 ship with the distinctive white palm and eagle in white with black tracing around the edges of the Afrika Korps on the nose (originally used by the 4./St.G.2 but used by the whole group in Africa) – this is replicated in fine detail on the decal. Also of note is the use of two solid bars in white on the wheel spat fronts. – You can see this and the white band which is the backdrop of the Balkan cross in this picture below of the Major himself flying low over the med.

Ju-87 B-2 “
The third Luftwaffe choice flown by the Staffelkapitän of 8./St.G 77 - Hauptmann Gerhard Bauhaus. This Stuka is captured in Russia in 1941 and the decals capture plenty of details apparent on the original aircraft. Bauhaus was awarded the  highest award in the German military at that time, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (German: Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) because of his exemplary service to the Luftwaffe. Bauhaus later died in a field hospital in 1942.
The decals show the chevron markings used by Bauhaus to denote his position in the Staffel, this was often used in fighter units. Included in the markings are the aircraft code F1+AN that designate the aircraft as being flown by the Staffelkapitän. The “A” of the side fuselage, the upper wing and the two wheel spats (outlined in white) are included in this decal.

Ju-87 B-2 “White 18” of the 209 Squadriglia, 96 Groupo in September 1941
The “wild-card” in this pack is a great choice. Like I mentioned earlier it brings added value to the sheet potentially making it a sheet that can cover two aircraft as well as adding a different choice not often covered by decal manufacturers, a Stuka pressed into service by the Italians from it’s previous owners.
W.Nr. 5763 flown by Sergente Bartolomasi of the 209 Squadriglia, 96 Groupo was one of eight Stuka pilots separated from their Bf 109 escorts (and each other) and was captured in September in 1941. This aircraft was latter used by the British and allies for fighter training and evaluation in added RAF markings ( not supplied of course)
The instruction sheet showing top down views show the obliterated German markings where the Italian ones were painted over just in case you weren’t sure, and the decals feature  the large white tail crosses and 209 on the tail with the “18” markings on either spat that look like the right style of lettering to me from the photos. The Werke number is also supplied in white in a different font, this sat on top of the tail.
Special note should be applied to this aircraft as it is shown in the profile provided by EagleCals the national markings the “fasces” have been applied facing outwards instead of forwards (as you can see in the pics of the real thing and on the decal placement sheet). Make sure you do this on the aircraft you make as well – nicely picked up by the decal makers!

I have to say hats off to the researcher Mr Proulx. He has done a great job in tracking down each of these aircraft’s peculiarities and someone with a knowledge like this man seems to have from a fair few decal sheets I have reviewed now gives me a LOT of confidence in his research.
If you like the Stuka then you should buy the other book in which you will find three of these schemes (and one of the other Stuka schemes from Pt. I in this series) called “Stuka Vol.1.Luftwaffe Ju-87 Dive Bomber-Units 1939-1941”, along with “Wings of the black Cross IV” these are pointed out as the reference for these aircraft.  I like it that they feel confident to let you know exactly where you can look up your own choice of aircraft scheme.

Hats off as well to EagleCals for releasing this - a large number of aircraft in top quality in one release. The only quandary now is that this second sheet has split me now as to which Stuka I would like to make – I can’t split both sheets in this series – they are both top class.

Adam Norenberg

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

Here is the link for the other in this series of Ju87 B/R Reviews - EC 143 in 1/32nd scale