The Ju 388 was an extension of the Ju 188 and was designed to be a high-altitude bomber. With a redesigned nose section resulting in a low-drag fuselage the Ju 388 showed great promise. First flown in 1944, the Ju 388 had a service ceiling of 13,500km but its top speed ended up being slower than the Ju 188T-1. Few Ju 388s were built, with most ending up in reconnaissance squadrons instead of the bomber role that they were developed for.
I know that I've been waiting a long time for an injection molded kit of the Ju 388 and now we finally have one. It sure was worth the wait, too. The Special Hobby kit is a nice blend of injection plastic, polyeurathane resin and etched brass, with a comprehensive decal sheet included. The cockpit is very nicely done, although initial research seems to show that it is a great rendition of the Ju 188 rather than a Ju 388. The differences are subtle though and only the most anal modeler would actually notice the difference.
The cockpit is made up out of resin with etched brass details such as some nice rudder pedals. Once painted up this will really look sharp, especially under that large canopy. The fuselage is split into right and left halves and parts are included to make just about every variant of the Ju 388 outthere. An optional hard nose is included, as is a separate belly pack. While the instructions don't go into details, careful research will allow you to make the night fighter version easily.
The engines and nacelles are nicely done with resin engine fronts and wheel well bays wrapped inside injection nacelles. The wheel well bays are very well done and the large openings will show all the detail off quite well. The panel lines throughout the kit are very finely done and some care will be needed to ensure that they aren't obliterated during construction. Initial dry fitting shows that with care this kit can go together with a minimal amount of filler, which will help preserve those delicate panel lines.
The decals are printed by Propagteam and are done to their usual high quality. Two schemes are included. The first is the prototype Ju 388K/L, WNr 230152. This plane is finished in the standard bomber scheme of RLM 70/71/65 with the codes KW+TB on the fuselage. The second scheme is that of the boxtop artwork and is finished in RLM 70 and RLM 81 over RLM 76, definitely an interesting paint scheme.
For those who have wanted a Ju 388 in their Luftwaffe collection, this is definitely a kit you'll want to grab quickly. Parking this model next to a Ju 88 and a Ju 188 will give you a complete history in plastic of this famous bomber and this kit will be much easier to build than either the Airmodel vacuform or the Toad Resin conversion.