Bucher BU-151 Jungmann


Kit Manufacturer




Out of Box (OOB) or Modified

Rating (1-10 10=best)

Bucher BU-151 Jungmann






The Bucher Jungmann series of biplanes were, and still are, a popular set of sport aircraft. They were also used before world war II as a basic trainer aircraft. The slow speed and stability of the biplane design contributed greatly to this.

The kit itself is... well... There aren't many parts to it. One sprue of a chocolatey brown plastic, with thick attachment points, and one of a harder white plastic are included. This is the sort of kit that gives "limited run" kits a reputation for being difficult. To be fair, I'm told that this is one of MPM's earlier offerings, and that they've greatly improved since this kit.

I hope so.

The kit is poor fitting, and needs some work getting the parts just off the sprues. The brown plastic aids this somewhat, as it continues its resemblance to chocolate by being very soft and exceptionally easy to slice through. There are no locating aids at all, which isnt' a problem with the fuselage halves (which had an OK fit and decent detail,) but the lower wing needs a great deal of trimming to fit decently, the tail surfaces are problematic, the lower gear attachment is a matter of guesswork and super glue. I even needed to use putty on the *wheels* to fill in the poor fit and the gaps, and drill locating holes for them to fit onto the landing gear struts. Then we get to the upper wing...

The upper wing of any biplane model (with the recent exception of Accurate Miniatures' F3F series, apparently) is always a little finicky. You need to support them well while watching alignment and allowing the interplane struts to set. Having some means of location for these struts always helps. This kit didn't help - the struts, molded in the harder white plastic, were mostly a matter of guesswork on where exactly they should go. The instructions give a vague idea, and you take it from there. With luck, much cursing, and superglue, I got the upper wing on.

I painted the model an overall RLM-02 grey, which seems accurate given the timeframe. The paint (Gunze Sangyo) covered the chocolate brown of the plastic well. It's not a hard scheme to use. I painted the propeller a wood tan, and gave the propeller boss a metal finish. I then managed to add the vac-form windscreens (hard to pick out of the generally bad mold of the clear plastic.)

The decals seem "flat" in their finish, but went on well. This was one of the easiest parts of the model. They remind me of the decals ICM uses in their early Yak series of kits - also flat, but very well behaved. I was going to put the early Luftwaffe tail markings on - red stripe with white circle, swastika inside, on one side, and the gold-red-black striping on the other, but by the time I got everything else finished, I was just glad to have the kit off my workbench. I may add this in anyway at a later time. "Broken" swastikas are included (you match the parts, done to allow them to be sold on the international market and to get around bans of swastika displays in some countries) in the kit decals. I'd say save some extra annoyance and use Aeromaster bits.

The final step, once everything was dry, was the part I tend to dread about biplanes - rigging. Using fine, "invisible" thread, I managed with some patience and superglue to get a decent rigging pattern established. Considering how eager I was at this point to get done with this model, I can't give too many details on this - mostly basic cross-rigging was done. I'm just suprised I finished it without problems.

All I can say is - surface detail is acceptable, but the work to get this kit together is just not worth it in my opinion. If you *must* have a Jungmann, you can give it a try, just be prepared for a great deal of work for such a little airplane. Not reccommended to anyone except the very patient and experienced.