1/48 JU-87B-1 Stuka

For my next build I will be taking on the 1/48 Airfix Junkers JU-87B-1 Stuka. This was a World War II dive bomber use by Germany. I am not using the scheme in the kit. Instead the scheme will be that of the Staffelkapitan, 4th Staffel, Stukageshwader 77. It represents how it looked in June 1940 in France. I purchased the Eduard “Big ED” photo etch detail set  (#49166) and will also be scratch building some other details.

Starting with the cockpit I added the photo etch details to the ammunition cartridges. Then I detailed the seat with the photo etch seat belts. The cockpit floor required some putty as the ejector points were a little on the deep side. Once filled and sanded it was painted using Vallejo RM2 gray. The spent ammo casing bin was assembled and a photo etch cover was added. I added the ammunition cartridges to the mount and the put the bin, ammo, and seat into the weathered cockpit. I am working on the cockpit walls. Again these have a lot of ejector marks which required putty to fill. The cockpit parts have very good details although it is kind of a shame that there is a lot of ejector marks.

This week I worked on building and detailing the cockpit on the Stuka. Once the ejection holes were filled and sanded I added the photo etch details. Some reference photos I found online included a B-1 Stuka that was found in a forest and was getting ready to be restored at a museum. The photos show the cables and wiring had a yellow and white covering. I then added some yellow and white cables using 30 AWG wire. I routed them the same way the reference photos had them routed. The cockpit walls were then weathered using pastel chalk.

The instrument panel was then detailed with photo etch panels and levers. In between the pilot and gunner is a radio set. I replaced the kit version with the corrected photo etch versions and mounted them onto the rack. The side walls were installed. Working on the fuselage details and getting ready to assemble it.

The Stuka is coming together very well. With the cockpit tub assembled I worked on the instrument panel and pedals assembly. The pedals are photo etch. This was attached to the instrument panel as well as the belly window. For details I mounted the window panel in the open position. The Inside of the fuselage was detailed with photo etch details, weathered, then assembled. There were only a few small areas that required some putty but overall the fit is very good.

The wings, rudder and rear horizontal stabilizers were added and the control linkage photo etch parts were added. The kit includes a detailed engine. I will be building the engine and detailing it. The kit only allows two options, one with all the nose panels off or all on without the engine. Many of the photos online show some of the panels on as they performed maintenance. So I will be modifying some of the kit panels so they can be installed to like they were in the field.

Hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season and staying safe. This week was spent building and detailing the engine on the Stuka. Starting with the upper cooler the front and rear were cut out and replaced with photo etch replacements. The scoop for the supercharger received the same treatment of cutting the panel open and using the photo etch replacement. The engine block was assembled and I added some engine controls to match the reference photos and then added wiring to match.

The engine was then mounted to the fuselage and the wiring was fed into the firewall. The kit did not have any parts for the upper cooler hoses. I added shrink tubing that when shrunk was the correct size and added the hoses. The exhaust was added and the entire engine was weathered with black, gray, and brown pastel chalk. The front plate and the propeller shaft were added.  As I mentioned previously, the reference photos show some of the panels still on the aircraft while maintenance is being performed. I will be doing the same thing. This however requires more work than I thought. I carefully cut the panels apart and realized the panels are too thick to fit over the engine and mounts. I am currently sanding and filing each panel to reduce the thickness.   

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Work continues on the Stuka. The nose cowl panels have been separated, painted and weathered. The two lower panels that will be on the aircraft fit well once thinned. The panel that goes forward of the sight window did need to be corrected. It did not have the slot for the lower cooler hose.

I will be mounting this on a base that will be accessorized to like an airfield. I already have the base. I ordered ICM’s German Luftwaffe Pilots and Ground Personnel set which has 7 figures (it arrived a couple of days ago) and I also ordered the Tamiya 1/48 German Kettenkraftrad which has a power cart, a maintenance tractor, and two figures. (This is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow.)

With the panels completed I added the landing gear and flaps. The scheme I am doing has the aircraft with RLM 70 SCHWARZGRÜN on top and RLM 65 HELLBLAU on the underside with yellow cowl and yellow rudder. I base coated the aircraft and the bombs. I need to make the decals for this specific scheme then apply them. There are also quite a few photo etch parts to detail the canopy that need to added.

This week’s update on the Stuka I finished the fuselage. Once the base coat of paint was completed I used the kit decals for the common decals and then added the home made decals for the squadron markings. The kit decals went on very well and they did not require a lot of solvent to sink into the details. After the decals dried I applied the clear top coat.

Weathering was done. I used brown, dark gray, and black pastel chalk for the exhaust staining. In the fuselage I used medium green on the center of the upper panels to add some sun fade and a mix of dark green and black for panel lines. The underside was weathered with light and dark gray. I then started working on the canopy sections. The canopy sections will be in the open position. There are some photo etch details such as handles and the frame for the rear gun.

Once I complete the canopy I will start on the Kettenkrafyrad and all the figures for the display then prepare the display base.

The Stuka aircraft is just about done.  After I finished the weathering, decals, and top coat done I detailed and painted the canopy frame and then installed the canopy. The antenna line inside the canopy was made with 32 AWG wire. The antenna line from tail to mast was done with some EZ-line. The aircraft was then set aside (more weathering to be applied once it is set on the base) .

I then started on the portable generator for the display. For the engine I added the fuel line and ignition wires. The cable to hook up to the aircraft was part of the kit. I painted it German Gray and weathered it with gray, brown and black pastel chalk. I will add the grass and dirt stains later when it is mounted to the display base.  I am now starting on the display base. The base is a 16” diameter, 1/8” thick maple base. I will be using Scene-A-Rama accessories to make a grass field next to a paved runway. I also have the tractor and seven figures to build, detail, and paint.

This week the diorama base for the Stuka is being built up. The base is a 16” diameter, 1/8” thick maple base. I started by painting the base with forest green and dirt tan in patches. Using the Scene-O-Rama accessories the base was sprayed with spray glue and sprinkled with the medium green and dark green “grass”. I then added some “weed clumps” and added some “yellow flower” spots on the weeds. A sheet of thin styrene was then trimmed to fit one edge to be part of the runway. I used medium gravel to trim the edge of the runway and sprinkled a few “rocks” around the base. The area where the aircraft and vehicles sit was then scraped to show bare spots.

I then assembled the Kettenkraftrad. I painted it the dark green with leather seats. It was then weathered using black, dark gray, light gray, and mud brown pastel chalk. Once the vehicles and aircraft are mounted on the base I will add bits of grass and dirt to the wheels and tracks. I was looking over the figures and one of them shows a mechanic kneeling holding a tool. With the height of the aircraft engine off the ground I searched the internet and located a few photos of Stuka’s being worked on. They all show a maintenance platform with a sandbag keeping the wheels stable.

Using the photos I scaled out the size of the platform. I then used styrene rods to make up the frame and sheet styrene for the steps and platform. I then scaled out the wheels and sandbag. These were then put into Solidworks and finally 3-D printed. The platform was then painted medium gray and weathered. I then built up a couple of jerry cans and fuel drums to add to the display. Next I will be working on all the figures that will be used.

 The Stuka diorama is now finished! I assembled, painted and weathered all eight figures. The figures came out fine considering this is the first time I painted full figures.  The aircraft was then mounted to the base along with the accessory vehicles, aircraft panels, and the maintenance ladder. I placed the fuel drums and one jerry can off to the side. I then added the figures. Two high ranking officers were placed standing on the edge of the runway. Two others in uniforms were placed running the power cart with one of them bringing a jerry can. The four others in coveralls were placed with one getting ready to hook up the aircraft power, one grabbing a tool box on the tractor, one moving the aircraft panels, and one on the maintenance ladder working on the upper cooler.  With everything in place I am happy with how it turned out.

The Airfix kit itself is a nice kit to build. The fit and details were very good. Only wish they would have provided an option to only have a couple of panels off. The kit decals that I used were all very good as well. It did not take an excessive amount of decal solvent to get them to conform to the underlying details. Thanks for following along, Now for the final photos:


7 thoughts on “1/48 JU-87B-1 Stuka

  1. It will enjoyable to follow the progress.

  2. Looking good!

  3. anthony dagostino December 20, 2020 — 4:26 am

    As usual, you might need an exorcism after this kit is finished. They say that the devil is in the details, and this kit is certainly possessed!

    Great work!


  4. Very nice work! Have you considered cropping photos to get rid of areas where there’s nothing to see?

  5. Eduardo Portales January 8, 2021 — 12:23 pm

    Excelente con los avances Amigo David, saludos y continuamos para la culminación de tu Stuka

  6. Well done.

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