of Germany made a large series of limited run 1/72 and (some) 1/48 injection-molded models, predominately of Third Reich civilian and military unusual and concept fixed-wig and rotor-wing aircraft. Most Huma models have the reputation of being high-quality.
I can not find any information about Huma Modell other than it was established in Germany in 1984 by Phillip Huhn. He apparently shot his kits with low-pressure molding, leaving little surface detail. Later kits, and there are dozens of them, appear to have use high-pressure injection-molding. I don't know the date that Huma went defunct, although it appears to have been in the late 1990s or early 2000s.
With the negligent death of General Walther Wever in a Heinkel He 70 Blitz
(someone forgot to remove a control lock) in June 1936, strategic bombing doctrine in the Luftwaffe essentially ended. "Bomber B" designs, as quasi-strategic bombers intended to replace all medium bomber designs was classified, were specified prior to the invasion of Poland. Junkers submitted the EF 074 design, based on an improved Ju 88. Bomber B was to carry a very heavy internal bomb load at high speed and high altitude, to be pressurized, and reach any point in Britain. Junker's EF 074 was selected and continued the Luftwaffe preference for a streamlined "stepless cockpit." EF 074 was to be powered by the Jumo 222. Those were a nightmare so it was equipped with the possibly worse Daimler Benz DB 606 that plagued the He 177.
EF 074 became the Ju 288. Although the 288A could reach 416 mph and the 288C could hit 407, the fully pressurized wonderplane was plagued by complex and fragile landing gear. It featured remote controlled gun turrets, a'la the Me 210 and Me 410. Yet, without a defined role, Ju 288 development languished and they type saw limited service as a reconnaissance bomber over the Western Front. Only 22 were built; 17 crashed. According to Hitler's Luftwaffe
by Tony Woods and Bill Gunston, some were equipped with a 5 cm cannon for ground attack.
Huma's Ju 288C
Huma created this kit with 116 parts, according to the box. I did not count them. The kit is conventional with sprues holding the light RLM 02-colored pieces.
Molding is very good. I see no flash. I did not spot any ejector circles that should be visible went the model is assembled. There are some faint seam lines but no injection sink marks. By and large the parts are sharp and clean. Well done Huma.
Recessed lines represent surface detail. They are somewhat wide and shallow. Huma engraved the major panels and bomb doors and control surfaces, but no access panels, fuel ports, etc.. The canopy pieces are clear and not distorted, and the framing is raised. However, some items, like the landing gear main struts, have somewhat soft edges. The MG 131 machine guns and MG 151 cannon look acceptable within "The 3-Foot Rule" but show a lack of finesse under magnification.
I do not know the year this model was originally released, yet I am surprised that all propellers are separately molded.
Many of the parts are relatively small. However, care will be needed to remove them from fairly hefty connectors.
Assembly and fit
Assembly is straight forward and conventional. Fit is much better than I expected. Note how tight the fuselage and wing leading/trailing edges halves mate where pressure is applied. The wings have a very slight warp to them near the tips but these are no problem to squeeze together.
I forgot to test-fit the wings to the fuselage, yet extrapolating from the rest of the model I do not think there will be a problem. The slab sides and lack of wing fillets will make filling any gaps easy.
Huma created a basic interior that modelers of kits from the 1950s-60s will recognize. This is, after all, a limited-run model, and data about Ju 288 interiors was probably difficult to find when the model was designed. The interior consists of:
Long cabin floor/bomb bay roof
Cockpit floor with bulkheads
Crew access ladder
Pilot (Obviously, Huma was not a figure company. )
There is no detail on the interior sides whatsoever. There is no detail on the instrument panels. Decals were designed by Huma for the bezels and switches. Such a lack of detail is disappointing considering that cavernous cockpit and the clear greenhouse over it.
Strange that Huma made bombs for a bomb bay that is molded closed. I guess they are giving a nod to superdetailers.
The landing gear that bedeviled the Ju 288 is nicely represented. Huma separately molded the torque links and two-piece retraction struts. Wheel hub covers have fine detail around the rims. The wheel wells lack and detail, not is there any detail on the interior of the doors.
For as prominent as the engines are, they are disappointing, even for a short-run kit. The gaping nacelle openings have basic radiator detail scribe onto them, and while Huma engineered the exhaust stacks to be attached separately, they are little more than lumps of plastic on a plank. Very 1950s.
The remote gun turrets look like, they can be made to rotate and the guns to elevate.
Huma's Ju 288C as an assembled model should look very good. Basic detail allows a modeler to build a competitive model, while superdetailers have plenty of work to enjoy.
Painting and Instructions and Decals
The loose leaf booklet style instruction sheet is very good. Three sprues are shown with all parts attached and identified. Clear line art identifies parts by number and shows where they go. Huma included a partial color 4-view of the 288, using RLM 65 on the bottom but substituting the topside greens with gray scale. Four colors are referenced, the classic day bomber scheme of RLM 65/70/71, and black.
Huma printed decals for one airframe: DE✙ZZ. Not surprising for a German company, the swastikas are represented by squares with a "✙" interior. The instruments are very fine and clear. Registration an opacity is, too. There is a lot of carrier film around each decal. The film appears to be thicker than what is expected nowadays. I built the Huma DSF 230 and the worst part about it were the decals - thick and with a texture.
Huma's Ju 288C is a good looking model. It may be sparse on detail beyond the basics, yet the molding is high-quality. Fit is also good. It is has many parts without being over-engineered. It should be easy to build with Huma's clear and sensible instruction sheet.
Disappointing is the lack of detail on the interior sides and a bomb bay that is molded closed. For as prominent as the engine cowls are, they are disappointing, even for a short-run kit. Decals are not up to today's standards, either.
I have enjoyed assembling Huma kits and look forward to building this rare Luftwaffe bird. If I can't constrain my AMS (Advanced Modeler Syndrome), maybe I'll jazz up the cockpit with bits and pieces and a crew? I recommend this model.