Tante Ju - 1/48th Monogram / Revell Ju 52/3m
Updated: Sep 20, 2021
Nicknamed Tante Ju ("Aunt Ju") and Iron Annie, the Ju 52 was in production between 1931 through 1952. During its WWII career, the Ju52 served in all fronts as a transport of both men and supplies. This 1/48th Monogram / Revell kit is an excellent representation of this aircraft and despite it age builds up very well even by today's standards.
First released in 1998 under the Monogram banner, the kit was reissued in 1999 under Pro Modeler and then later by Revell Germany. Each version has some unique features giving model builders the option to render the early Spanish Civil War version with spats; dorsal and ventral gun armed versions, or a civilian option of the Ju 52/3m. The kit continues to be regularly reissued and typically available even today.
Notable Kit Features:
This is a BIG kit in 1/48th :)
Signature corrugated metal plate covering is well done with different corrugated widths represented for the various surfaces
Beautifully detailed flight deck and main cabin
Well detailed interior with paratrooper seats if desired
Detailed multiple bulkheads
Optional open / closed side cargo & man doors
Optional open / closed overhead cargo door
Well detailed BMW engines with circular intake and exhaust manifolds as well as crank case push rods
Optional forward gun ring
Weighted main wheels
Paratrooper figures included
Pro-Modeler version has optional spatted undercarriage
Typically affordable price
I saw a build of this Ju52/3m kit at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum's model show, done up as a Spanish Civil War version which was stunning... so of course I went shopping for the aircraft kit. I managed to find the Monogram version, however after opening it up I discovered that it did not include the wheel-spats... what to do, what to do? Moving forward, I optioned for a standard WWII Luftwaffe build, figuring I'd do the Spanish version next time (like I have the space for two of these kits :). Then, well into the construction of course, I found a reference for a desert painted version which added some interest to the standard camouflage. Unfortunately, this change of heart would mean that I would have to modify my partially built kit as this "desert" version was slightly different from the standard build. Adding to the challenges was the fact that these markings weren't readily available, however that didn't slow me down much as I figuring I would resolve that problem when I got to it. I had a rough plan on painting on the lettering (which would have been a challenge on the corrugated surfaces) however, a fellow modeler who was following my build offered to print the decals for me. That was definitely an offer I couldn't pass up and another aspect that makes this hobby great - an encouraging and helpful community. So thanks to some help from Pip Moss, I got to build the aircraft I wanted.
Review assembly of components and test-fit your parts
Fuselage assembly is unusual, comprising of right / left sides plus top and bottom but it all works well if you clean up the parts and fit them carefully
Corrugations will make for some challenges on seams (careful with fit and clean up)
Some ejector pin areas will require attention
Standard Monogram copyright information molded to the exterior makes for a fun game of "Where's Waldo" and then a bit of scraping ;)
Leave the flaperons attachment until the last minute as they are a fragile fit... or challenge yourself by counting how many times you break them during the build :)
Corrugations will make for some major challenges when it comes to the decals!
Clear some large display space :)
Kit Additions / Modifications:
Added styrene sheet for fuselage motor (oil leak protection?) flashing
Opened up both the man door & side cargo door - added support rod to cargo door
A substantial way into the construction I discovered this desert version Ju52 reference and had to uninstall and reinstall different engine exhaust panels than the kit instructions called for... luckily the optional exhausts were also included, so all I had to do was separate the built cowlings splice in the correct part, re-fix the engines.. and I was good to go again. :) - My Bad
Considered painting on the markings but in the end went with decals (and they worked well after hosing them down with decal solvent a few times over) Thanks very much to fellow modeler Pip Moss (AKA Seawinder) who supplied the custom printed aircraft codes - not available at the time of the kit build
The After-Build Report on this kit is that I would highly recommend it for an experienced modeler. It is a relatively straight-forward build with few challenges if you have the patience and the space for this aircraft. I am still debating a second kit to build a Spanish Civil War version :) My replica of the Monogram / Revell Ju 52/3m g4e served with 1st Staffel./(F)/123 and was based out of Derna, North Africa in June 1941
Completed build #172 July 2014 using the 1/48th Monogram / Revell #85-5612 kit.