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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Huma Junkers Ju-287

Over the years, I have built probably 70% of the models that Huma released in their line. I loved them in the old days, and was sorry to hear that they folded up a decade or so back. There are still a few I haven't attempted - mostly biplanes - but I decided in 2014 that I was going to start one of the larger and more distinctive shapes that they put out: the Junkers Ju-287.

The Ju-287 was developed in response to a couple of very specific requirements - outrun enemy fighters and deliver a significant bomb load - and used a variety of experimental technologies - forward swept wings and jet engines. This wasn't one of the purely paper Luft46 designs; the airframe was actually built and flown. It actually accomplished 17 flight tests before being put into long storage in early 1945 as things in Germany were in the process of complete collapse.

There were a number of planned variations on layout. I believe Planet has done one or more of these alternate Ju-287s in resin. But this Huma kit is glorious plastic, and even incorporates the last of Huma's innovations: what amounts to plastic photoetch. These bits (mostly cockpit or RATO struts) are devilishly delicate, and require attention while using them. But at least they can be glued using regular plastic glue and don't require cyanoacrylate.

This kit was just started prior to the great Lost Year of 2015, so it was one of the first I got back to work on post surgery in early 2016. It does require some attention to the seams, especially around the forward jet pods, and the canopy masking takes a while, but it is a very buildable kit. The forward landing gear are also very delicate and broke off during the painting process. I just painted them separately and reattached after decals. The decals themselves are from the kit in some cases and from spares (mostly crosses and swatstikas) in others.

It is not a small model, probably comparable to a B-25 in size. I'm fairly happy with it, and it joins the other completed Huma kits in the display case. I'm still eyeing the Triebflugel, but haven't decided to make the jump just yet.

This is completed aircraft #460 (#27 for the year), finished in March of 2016.

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