Sunday, June 22

Review: EagleCals new Ju-88 A-4 decals - six aircraft and lots of choices available in three scales...

Eagle Editions have released two decal sheets that will please Luftwaffe fans – especially the bomber guys as there is a new set of decals for the Ju-88A-4 to suit the revell kit in all three major scales – today we look at both of these new sets for the A-4 in detail and the original aircraft in our  decal review…



EagleCals #153 & 154
Junkers Ju-88 A-4
Decals for three aircraft
Available in three scales
1/72nd: $12.50
1/48th: $15.50
1/32nd: $18.50
Available now from www.eagle-editions.com






With the kitting of the 1/32nd scale Ju-88 A-4 by Revell this last year we can now make this variant in all three major aircraft scales. Six of the A-4’s have been picked and researched by Mark Proulx who has proved himself to be a very reliable source of information and accuracy. In the case of each of these aircraft he has given a reference to a picture/s in books where the info has come from so you can see the original for yourselves. We have followed the trail and for the most part provided pictures for you to check the accuracy in this review. We can say from checking ourselves that he has done his homework.

The White flower of the  I/KG 51 "EdelweiƟ" on aircraft of the eastern front features one aircraft each in these two releases
We now have both of these sets of decals and although i have not applied them to a kit (the only real way to see how well they work) I thought we would look at everything BUT here in this review. I'll have a look at the decals, how they are printed in quality and try to rustle up some pictures of the aircraft as they were in real life to see if the markings are correct or not

The thing that is common to both of these are the actual printing of the decals themselves. The printing is clear and sharp. The register is perfect and even the smallest things like warning signs are clearly visible as you can see here..
The decals are printed on a rather thick but glossy film with the regular amount of carrier film which will help with alignment but many modellers may trim them down between letters on serial codes. Having used Eaglecals decals before they handle well after placing and even re-placing them on the kit which is what modellers need. I found them tough but able to take decal solvents to get rid of any excess carrier film.

Both of these decal sets come with one sheet of markings and  codes with another separate sheet of national markings and swastikas. You can see on this picture as well the internal parts of the swastikas which are a two part affair. The white colours on these national markings are strong i do not think you will need to paint underneath them which is a great time saver.
Like all of EagleCals decals - each of these decal sheets comes with a detailed instruction manual with aircraft stencil decal placement to help you get your placement right.
Also an underneath and top views are included with each profile – taking the guesswork out of the complex camouflages you will be making – we cannot have any know it all telling you that you painted it wrong now can we? 

OK now we have looked at the research a little and the decals themselves let's look at what you get in both of these sheets and the aircraft they are trying to facsimile.



EagleCals #153
Junkers Ju-88 A-4
Decals for three aircraft
Available in three scales
1/72nd: $12.50
1/48th: $15.50
1/32nd: $18.50
Available now from www.eagle-editions.com








Enclosed in this set are two decal sheets and a large coloured paper sheet of the instructions which opens out into several aspects or views of the aircraft and also doubles up as the cover art for the set.
This sheet represents three aircraft of the Luftwaffe. The three kites are seen on the instruction sheets in some detail before you even get to the decals of each aircraft. EagleCals have provided the three aircraft represented in some very well drawn profiles on a fold out of the instruction sheet which show a little of the weathering and painting as well
Stencil placement is included on this sheet of instructions as well which is really helpful. Three sided views and the general colours of each of the aircraft as well as peculiarities of each kite.
Two sheets of decals are provided - the aircraft codes and peculiarities including warning and stencil data. Notice the smaller national markings and the two-part swastikas as well here.
As well as the national markings to replace the kit decals
And now on the the three aircraft represented here...

Ju 88 A-4 - W.Nr. Unknown Code: “9K+FR” from III./KG 51
This A-4 has a fairly standard RLM 70/71 on to with RLM65 painted undersides.IT has prominent yellow recognition painted on the undersides of the wingtips and engine nacelles as well as a yellow band on the tail

 Here are the decals for this particular kite
The White flower I/KG 51 "EdelweiƟ" is seen large on the left side of the cockpit fuselage in a bright blue and white and yellow. Eaglecals have provided an additional “F” letter code for the underwing that cannot be seen in the reference pictures. 
I am sorry I don't have a picture for this bird but you can see here in this aircraft from the same unit the similarities of the placement of the yellow theatre marks.

Ju 88 A-4 W.Nr. 140711 - Code: “4D+AC” from II./KG 30 stationed at Petsamo, April 1942
Next we see an aircraft from II/KG 30 which was based at Petsamo in Finland in April 1942. This kite was up against the shipping convoy of QP-10 of which four of the merchantmen were sunk in exchange for six Ju-88’s.
The researcher has pointed us to this aircraft from Black Cross/ Red Star 2 in which we found the very kite – flown by II/KG30’s Kommandeur Hauptmann Siegmund-Ulrich Freiherr Von Gravenreuth (phew). The individual markings for this kite are limited to pretty much tailcodes.
Very much like the previous aircraft in the markings – this Ju 88 A-4 has the same RLM 70/71/65 camo and yellow recognition bands on the tail and underside of engine nacelles and wingtips but not tracing the cowlings like the previous aircraft.


JU 88 A-4 W.Nr. Unknown Code: “F1+BR” from 7./KG 76 stationed at Armawir, Oct 1942

Based at Armavir in Russia, located on the left bank of the Kuban River during October of 1942, this A-4 has been covered with all-over white distemper to help it blend into the winter surroundings. Dappled fairly all over the aircraft also has some yellow recognition bands on the tail and the mid fuselage as you can see in the picture of the original aircraft here... 

Notice here in the markings there are two little crests on the tail as well as the regular aircraft codes ofF1+BR. This would be my pick of the bunch as the distemper is worn a little around the access areas showing the original RLM70/71/5 camouflage

And now on to the second set of decals on this airframe..




EagleCals #154
Junkers Ju-88 A-4
Decals for three aircraft
Available in three scales
1/72nd: $12.50
1/48th: $15.50
1/32nd: $18.50
Available now from www.eagle-editions.com






This second set of decals for the three major scales sees three quite different schemes for the Ju 88. Three that will be quite tempting to several modellers out there. We are looking at the 32nd scale set here in this review again. The set contains the large fold out which doubles as the cover art for the package and the fold out sections representing placement instructions, profiles and a little history of each of these three aircraft.
Just like the other sheet of this type there is a colour insruction placement guide included. Two of these kits have a splinter camo and the third has a desert style spotted camo.
Stencil placement is included on this sheet of instructions as well which is really helpful. Three sided views and the general colours of each of the aircraft as well as peculiarities of each kite.

It is also nice to have the three aircraft represented in some very well drawn profiles which show a little of the weathering and painting as well
Two sheets of decals are provided - the aircraft codes and peculiarities including warning and stencil data. Notice the second choice of the Italian A-4 with the already shaded blacked out national markins and the extra black added under the fuselage crosses
As well as the rest of the national markings (again with two part swastikas) to replace the kit decals
Ju 88 A-4 W.Nr. Unknown B3+IN 5. / KG 54 Summer, 1941
This is an RLM 70/71 camouflaged bird on the topsides with RLM 65 on the under surfaces covered underneath with a thick black distemper – as is the aircraft codes which are blacked out.
We found this scheme in the book “Kampfflieger Vol Two: Bombers of the Luftwaffe July 1940-December 1941.” Which is an excellent title for all Luftwaffe aircraft and you can see why the researchers got the scheme from there. Of special note on this big black bird are that the spinners are tipped with a red as well on this aircraft.

Here is the aircraft in service in 1941

The base colour for this aircraft was a camouflage of the standard RLM 70/71/65 but the night time operations this aircraft was used on made the necessity of the overall black distemper. The individual codes of  "B3+IN" are also partially painted over on the white sections. As are the white on the national markings.

Ju 88 A-4 W.Nr. Unknown L1+MH  1./ LG1 Eleusis, Greece December 1941
This A-4 has a mixture of paint on the upper-surfaces, we see RLM 79 tan colour  with RLM 80 Dark Green mottling in quite an interesting scheme on such a large aircraft. The underneath of the kite was painted RLM 78 sky blue but for operations at night time this was covered with a black colour
Here are the serial codes for this aircraft on the decal sheet. Shown in the right position on the profile and provided here on the decal sheet is the Griffon of 1./ LG1. 
On page 72 of “Kampfflieger Vol Two: Bombers of the Luftwaffe July 1940-December 1941.” The researcher Mark found this scheme with a large profile and several of the smaller details like the red Griffin on a white shield and the 2/3 black and 1/3 white spinner.Note the grey letters of the codes and white "M" as seen in the picture below (just) but that is good enough for me!

References: Ju 88 A-4 W.Nr. Unknown 9K+QH 1./KG 51 “Edelweiss” Sarabuz, Russia June 1942
Like most of the Bombers in Russia in Mid-1942 this aircraft was displaying a splinter camo of RLM 70/71 with the undersides painted in standard Hellblau RLM 65. Also like most aircraft on the Russian front this A-4 had the yellow recognition bands on the underside of the wings, the rear fuselage band and under the cowlings on each engine. Whilst the leading edge of engine cowlings and the spinners are white - quite an assortment of colours on this kit and from the profile - covered with dirt and paint chips underneath.
From the instructions in the leaflet provided we found a nice profile drawing of this aircraft and a picture in Black Cross/Red Star Volume 2 ( P193/194)Here is the aircraft  serving with KG 51 “Edelweiss” Sarabuz, Russia June 1942
Well having looked at both of these sheets and researching the research – looking at  the due diligence and then the quality of the decals themselves which look really well done what could top that/ Well a good guide to go along with it ? Well we have that too in the included instructions which show placement and colours as well as several notes to the modeller and profiles including top down painting profiles. It all adds up to a great experience.

I am very satisfied with what has been produced here in this set and I think that most modellers of the Ju-88 a-4 will pick at least one- two or three of these schemes to do something with on their own kits come time of the build.

A great set sure to keep a few people guessing which one they really want to make more than the others right up until crunch time of making the kit (and maybe a little after that!)

Adam Norenberg

You can get thee decals from the Eagle Editions site - to see more of their other decals, parts and paintings go to www.eagle-editions.com