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Revell 1/72 scale Junkers 290A-5 "Seeadler"

Kit: No. 04340
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Revell Germany, Postfach 26 09, D-32226, Bunde, Germany,, available from Revell-Monogram, 725 Landwehr Rd., Northbrook, IL 60062, 847-770-6100,
Price: $30.50
Comments: Injection-molded, 261 parts, decals
Pros: Lots of interior detail and good fit, interesting subject
Cons: Assembling cowls and radar antennas is tricky
Developed from the Junkers Ju 90 transport, the Ju 290 Seeadler (Sea Eagle) was a long-range maritime reconnaissance bomber. Its wing span of 137 feet was just four feet short of the B-29's span. Only 51 were finished, and a few more were under construction at the end of World War II.

Revell's Ju 290A-5 features a detailed flight deck, full-length floor for the passenger compartment, waist-gun positions with optional armament, detailed tail-gun position, and positionable cargo door and lower ramp. Also, the top of the fuselage is a separate part that you can leave off or remove to view the interior.

Aligning the bulkheads so they fit properly requires care. If you choose to attach the separate fuselage top, the cabin windows have to go in before closing the fuselage. I made sure to glue them securely because the model would have to be handled a lot and I didn't want windows falling in. Depending on which version you choose, you may have to cut open the waist-gun positions.

The ventral loading ramp (known as the "Trapoklappe") is a two-part affair, but if you position it closed, only the bottom (external) part of the ramp is needed.

The lower wing surface is festooned with separate flap linkages and mass balance parts, best left off until final assembly. I was impressed with the landing gear; it went together well and its structure and mounting are strong enough to support the weight of the completed model.

The multi-part engine cowls are difficult to assemble with all the parts aligned. The cleverly designed top gun turrets can be built to rotate.

The toughest part was building the three FuG 200 search radar antennas. Each is built from a support post and four sets of aerial arms. Planning and patience are in order.

I painted my Ju 290 with Polly Scale Luftwaffe colors. Markings for four aircraft are provided on the decal sheet, and the decals went down fine on a gloss surface with a little setting solution.

I completed my "Seeadler" in 28 hours. I was impressed with the detail and good fit of this interesting aircraft.

- Jim Zeske


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