02 - Junkers Ju87G Kanonenvoegel

The model:

I am going to build the plane used by Hans Ulrich Rudel on the Eastern Front in 1944/45

The kit I am using is the Ju87G from Hasegava in scale 1:32,

 

As far as I can judge, the outline and exterior detail on this model is excellent and the rivet detail is very good. It’s a real pleasure to work with this kit.

 

As most kits, this one also starts with the cockpit. With help from the interior PE from Eduard the cockpit it is easily put together. Very few adjustments are needed.

The cockpit is painted in RLM66 (black grey).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To adjust the colours to the scale, about 10-15%

white are added to all colours used on this model.

 

 

 

The kit also includes figures of the pilot and the

gunner. This suits me fine because I have

decided to have the cockpit closed and the crew

inside – as opposed most of my other models

which have open cockpit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as the exterior goes

there is little extra work that

needs doing except for the

gun pods and radiators.

For the radiators, I used the

exterior PE from Eduard.

For the gun pods, I added

some homemade wires and

bits and pieces and the gun

mounting brackets from

Eduard.

 

The spinner was adjusted

and lubricated so it will spin

freely with a little help from

a vent (hairdryer).

That way I can easily simulate

a spinning propeller when

needed (for example in a

picture)

 

I did not mount the guns on

the aircraft till the painting

and weathering was finished.

 

The crew (pilot and

gunner)was placed in the

cockpit, the canopy glued

and the window masking

was put in place.

This mask will stay on till

all the painting is finished.

 

The plane had a splinter

camouflage on the upper

surfaces (RLM71 Dark

Green and RLM70 Black

Green)

 

After a coat of primer

(Vallejo) and pre-shading

with a felt-tip pen, it was

time for the first coat of

camouflage (RLM71).

Then the splinter

camouflage masking and

a coat with the darkest

paint (RLM70)

 

The underside is then

painted RLM65 Light Blue

 

The last painting is the yellow markings on the wings and the fuselage. The markings on the wings are for easy spotting of own aircrafts by German anti-aircraft crews.

At last, the weathering can be done.

These aircraft was used intensively from very primitive battle airstrips close behind the front. The airplanes were not only dirty, but dented and worn. This particular aircraft, however, is fairly new and has not been subjected to the same wear as many of the older aircraft at the eastern front.

 

After moderate weathering, the result looks like this:

Big , ugly – and deadly

Equipped with a 37mm canon under each wing, the aging airframe of the Ju 87 Stuka found new life as an anti-tank aircraft on the Eastern Front in 1943

 

The change in German military fortunes after 1943 and the appearance of huge numbers of well armored Soviet tanks caused Junkers to adapt the existing Stuka design to combat this new threat.

 

The Henchel Hs 129B “Panzerknacker” (see Model of the Hs129 on another page) had proved a very potent ground attack weapon against the Soviet tanks, but the Wehrmacht needed more, and led by some legendary Stuka pilots, first of all, Hans Ulrich Rudel (see Diorama: Hans Ulrich Rudel

and his Stuka) who, after achieving success against Soviet tanks with the Stuka's 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons suggested using two 37mm Flak 18 (anti-aircraft) guns on the Stuka - and the results was the new Ju87G

 

The downside with the new design was that the guns weighed more than 800 kg in total and the weight of the guns, the extra armor and the increased drag made the G model slow (260-270 km/h) and with less manoeuverability than the other Stuka models - which already was slow and ungainly.

 

Especially in turns, it was almost impossible to prevent the Ju87G from wobbling from side to side. Furthermore, the Kanonenvoegel had to attack the tanks from a very low level, exposing it selves to heavy ground fire. The armored protection of the Soviet Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik was therefore copied.

 

The first flight of the Ju87G took place on 31 January 1943 and the first production Ju 87G-1s were delivered to front-line units in April 1943.

 

As mentioned, the Ju87G was a difficult plane to handle and only the most experienced pilots managed to master the Kanonenvoegel. But in the right hands, the Ju87G was a deadly weapon to even the heaviest armored Soviet tanks.

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The two 37 mm cannons were mounted in under-wing gun pods and had a 6-round magazine of armor piercing Tungsten carbide ammunition. With these weapons, the Kanonenvogel proved spectacularly successful at the hands of Luftwaffe Stuka Aces such as Hans Ulrich Rudel.

At the end of the war, Rudel had logged 2,530 combat missions.

Flying the Ju87, his confirmed victories - those witnessed by two or more pilots - include 519 tanks, 800-1000 trucks and other vehicles, 150 flak and artillery positions. He also sank the battleship Marat, a destroyer, a cruiser and 70 landing crafts. During these operations, he was shot down 32 times by ground fire, but against all odds, he survived the war and died in 1982 at age 66.

Junkers Ju87G Kanonenvoegel

in Summer and Winter Camo

by Bjørn Jacobsen

 

Winter Camouflage

All the above pictures show the Kanonenvoegel in factory

issued standard camouflage.

The problem was of course that when the snow began to fell

at the Eastern Front, these green painted planes was easy

spotted by the enemy, especially when operating at almost

ground level.

 

It was the ground crew job to dress the planes in winter camo.

 

A water-based overpaint was used for the upper surfaces.

 

This paint was easy to remove when no longer needed, but it

added to the weight and particularly drag and was therefore

restricted or dropped in many parts of the Luftwaffe.

 

It seems however that the white winter camo was used on

more or less all ground attack aircrafts at the Eastern Front.

From old pictures, it seems that there was no (or little)

guidance in how to apply the winter camo, and the ground

crews took full advantage of this and made some very

interesting camouflages (see the model of Hs129 at

this website)

 

In this case, the ground crew painted white patches all over

the upper surface and fuselage sides.

 

The result seems to be a very efficient winter camouflage

 

Picture to the right:

Hans Ulrich Rudel's Kanonenfoegel in winter camouflage

 

 

The only sensible thing to do was to ask the

ground crew to paint the Kanonenvoegel in

the winter camouflage from 1945, which they of course did:

 

Above: Ground Crew applaying white winter camouglage on a Kanonenvoegel at the Eastern Front winter 1944/45

Please have a look at the old b/w-picture above (of Hans Ulrich Rudel in his Stuka) and compare it with the picture to the right.

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this website! Thank you for visiting!

 

Please do not hesitate to ask if you have questions (bjorn@dioramas-and-models.com)

 

Bjørn Jacobsen

 

 

October 2014