The Fw-190A-8 was the most widely-produced sub-type of the early radial-engine Focke-Wulf fighters. Appearing in 1943, it increased the armament from two 7.7mm machine guns in the fuselage to two 13mm weapons, to increase its effectiveness as a bomber destroyer. The additional weight reduced its effectiveness in air combat with enemy fighters. The A-8 served until the end of the war.
JG 5 “Eismeer”:
As the name “Eismeer” (Ice Sea) implies, the jagdgeschwader was created for operations in Norway and northern parts of Finland, under control of Luftflotte 5, and responsible for air defense of Norway. It was originally formed from I/JG 77 in 1942. Interestingly, 25 aircraft that once served with JG 5 still survive, more than from any other combat unit in the Luftwaffe of World War II.
By the fall of 1944, the unit was widely distributed, with III/JG 5 having been sent to France following the invasion. IV/JG 5 was based in southern Norway, where the unit was charged with air defense against the RAF coastal raids by the Banff Strike Wing.
Eduard’s new 1/72 Fw-190A series kit first appeared in the fall of 2015. Unlike the 1/48 Butcher Birds, the kit is be design the opposite of “fiddly.” Parts are included that allow a modeler to create a Fw-190A-5, A-6 or A-7, with some modifications needed. Eduard has already announced the release of an Fw-190A-5, which has the proper cover for the MG-FF cannon cover on the lower wing.
The kit includes a nicely-detailed cockpit. With the Profipack version this includes pre-painted photo-etch instrument panels and seat belts. The clear parts include the “flat” and “bulged” canopy, and also the “squeezed” open canopy for both versions, as does the 1/48 kits. The decal sheet provides markings for five different aircraft.
I began by pre-painting the cockpit interior in RLM66 and the gear wells and landing gear in RLM02, which I then covered with Tamiya “Smoke” to pop out detail. I also pre-painted the engine. I assembled the cockpit and attached the photo-etch instrument panel and side panels, and installed that in the fuselage. I assembled the fuselage, then turned to the wings. I assembled the gear well and then the wings, then attached that to the fuselage. After attaching the horizontal stabilizer, the model was complete. All this took about 2-3 hours. I left it overnight to set up fully.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I decided to do the airplane featured on the boxart, which comes from JG 5. I freehanded a standard Fw-190 camouflage scheme of RLM 74/75/76, then hand-painted the armored cowling ring with Tamiya “Sky Blue,” which matched the blue in the decals.
The Eduard decals went on without problem under a coat of Micro-Sol. All of the standard stenciling is provided and was used.
I gave the model an overall coat of clear flat varnish, then unmasked the canopy and attached the landing gear and prop. The sliding canopy was attached in the open position.
I haven’t built a 1/72 Fw-190 since doing Hasegawa’s then-nice kit 40 years ago. That kit is still nice; having looked at the 1/72 kits released by Airfix and Academy, I think it is safe to say that this Eduard kit is the best 1/72 radial-engine Fw-190 kit out there. The surface detail is petite, assembly is a breeze. Highly recommended to any modeler.
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