by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
Originally published on:
Along time in the making but it seems the newest aircraft model manufacturer is the brain child of Wingnut productions owner Peter Jackson (LotR) fame. They have opened with a bang and the subject matter is 1/32 WWI plastic model aircraft kits. The prototype of this kit was up on their site for almost a year giving us all a hint of the things to come.
Assembling a group of 3D artists for his movies Mr. Jackson added some of the contemporary greats to his staff. Now we see them contnuing in their service to the lord of the wings. This Rogue's gallery of artists are listed in the info section on the website. One of the most immediately recognizable is the superb fellow Mark Miller. His Virtual graphics in the modeling venue have been the stuff of inspiration for years. Ronny Bar, Steve Anderson and so many others.
Their products are most impressive according to the previews and the review kits they have sent to me. Our future is looking bright indeed.
History of the original,
In late 1916 Idflieg (the German Inspectorate of Aviation Troops) issued the J type design specification for an armoured ground attack and army liaison aircraft. Junkers responded with one of the most revolutionary aircraft of WWI with the Junkers J.I.
Junkers Co.was a pioneer in the construction of all-metal aircraft with their steel monoplane (confusingly also called the J.1) being completed in 1915. This was followed by an improved version called the J.2 and finally the J.3 made from the much lighter duraluminium (aluminium from the city of Dur had a copper base.). This material was the natural choice for use in Hugo Junkers’ revolutionary J.4 designed to meet Idflieg’s J type specifications. This J.4, as Junkers referred to it, was confusingly designated the J.I in service by Idflieg. Roman numerals for aircraft type identification. were the norm for military purchased aircraft)
The Junkers J.1 (J.4) airframe was constructed entirely of duraluminium (dural) tubes almost completely sheathed in corrugated dural sheet. The front fuselage was constructed from 5mm armoured steel to protect the crew from enemy fire. Initially the rear fuselage, fin and rudder were covered with fabric but later production aircraft had the fin and rudder sheathed in corrugated sheet dural. Development was continued post armistice when even the rear fuselage was covered with corrugated sheet dural. This fully corrugated aircraft design would remain a Junkers feature well into the 1930s.
Nicknamed ‘the flying tank’ or ‘the moving van’, the Junkers J.I was the A-10 Thunderbolt of its day, designed to attack enemy ground targets while remaining impervious to ground fire. Despite being heavy, relatively slow and requiring a long take off and landing area, the J.I was popular with its crews due to the protection provided by its armoured front section and all metal airframe. . ." From the Wingnut website with alterations for clarity.
When you crack open the box for kit #32001 you will find ;
1. Cartograf decals included for 5 aircraft.
2. 152 high quality injection moulded plastic parts.
3. Optional parts for early, mid and late production aircraft.
4. 17 photo-etched metal detail parts.
5. Optional Parabellum LMG14 and LMG 14/17 machine guns.
6. Highly detailed Bz.IV engine
7. Highly detailed instruction book/ monograph.
Since I have already discussed this in the SE 5a review. I will just give you the reference for it. See;
1. Junkers J.I 100/17, Flieger Abteilung 19, 1917.
2. Junkers J.I 134/17, Flieger Abteilung A (Artillerie) 263, 1918.
3. Junkers J.I 138/17, Flieger Abteilung 17, 1918.
4. Junkers J.I 802/17, 1918.
5. Junkers J.I 857/17, Flieger Abteilung A (Artillerie) 263, 1918.
1. Windsock Datafile 39 Junkers J.I by P.M. Grosz 1993.
2. Canada Aviation Museum, Ottowa, Canada.
3. Deutches technikmuseum, Berlin, Germany. - 1914-1918
4. Aviation Heritage Trust - Private Collections.
5. Windsock Datafile 151 Junkers Aircraft by P.M. Grosz 2008.
Even as an in the box review you can usually find certain hallmarks in a kit that tell you the build will be enjoyable or filled with tribulations. Everything I see about this kit as it is on the sprue says it is well engineered. The only thing a modeler will really have to be concerned about is where do you display it when its completed. Because it will be the center of attraction no matter where you put it.
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