Hobby Boss 1/48 Ta-152C-0

KIT #: 81701
PRICE: $2400 yen at HLJ
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Tom Cleaver


           The Ta‑152C was the airplane Kurt Tank was thinking of in August 1944 when he told the pilots of III/JG54 that the Fw‑190D‑9 they had just converted onto was "an interim type."

          The Focke‑Wulf Fw‑190 had been plagued from the outset with a lack of high altitude performance, a situation that led to the continued development of the Bf‑109 series past its development peak, due to the fact it had outstanding high altitude performance, which became more and more necessary as the Eighth Air Force increased in size and effectiveness with its high altitude daylight assault on Germany.

          The Dora‑9, powered by the Junkers Jumo 213A ‑ a bomber engine ‑ went some distance in solving the problem of high altitude performance, but the airplane still lost power above 25,000 feet, which was just the altitude the B‑17s and B‑24s came in at.

          Tank argued continually with the Reichluftfartministerium (RLM) to be allowed to put a Daimler‑Benz DB603 series engine in the Jumo‑powered airframe, convinced that such a powerplant would provide the high altitude performance so needed. Tank's success with the high‑altitude Ta‑152H ‑ the first of the series that carried its designer's name in its designation ‑ which was powered by the Jumo 213E, demonstrated that he was on the right track.

          Finally, in August 1944, following the failure of the Ta‑152B program, permission was granted to adapt the Ta‑152B airframe to the DB603 series engine. Tank made a maximum effort to bring the new type forward, utilizing as much of the B‑series airframe as possible. Plans were afoot to commence production deliveries from the Roland Group by April 1945. 

          Two Fw‑190D prototypes were modified with DB603L engines as the Fw‑190V20/U1 and Fw‑190V21/U1; unfortunately, the V20 was destroyed in an air raid on August 5, 1944. The V21 first flew on November 3, 1944, powered by a DB603E. In the meantime, three Ta‑152C development aircraft, the V6, V7 and V8, were under construction, with plans to power them with the DB603L.

The Ta‑152C-0/V6, powered by a DB603LA engine, was otherwise similar to the Fw‑190V21, and made its first flight on December 17, 1944, flown by Hans Sander. The Ta‑152C-0/V7 was similar, with the addition of the R‑11 all‑weather kit, thus representing what would be the Ta‑152C‑0/R11. This aircraft first flew January 27, 1945, again at the hands of Hans Sander. The Ta‑152C-0/V8, with incorporated the new Revi EZ‑42 gyro gunsight, was the development prototype of the Ta‑152C‑1, and flew on January 14, 1945. All three had the heavy armament of a 30mm MK108 Motorkannon, two 20mm MG151s in the upper fuselage ahead of the cockpit, and two 20mm MG151s in the wing roots. 

          The V6 and V8 were powered by the DB603L, while the V7 was powered by the DB603EM, which offered 1,800 h.p. at takeoff, boosted to 2,250 h.p. with MW50, an improvement of 150 h.p. in both categories over the DB603L. The V7 was the fastest of the three prototypes with a sea level maximum speed of 342 mph and 370 mph without and with MW50, though at higher altitudes the DB603L provided substantially better performance.

          Unfortunately, both the DB603EM and the DB603L required 96 octane C3 fuel, which was becoming harder to get hold of in 1945 Germany; as a result, it was decided that the production aircraft would be powered by the DB603LA, since this engine could use both 87 octane B4 or the higher‑octane C3. 

          The production versions would have been the Ta‑152C‑1 and Ta‑152C‑3, with the latter substituting a 30mm MK103 for the MK108, equipped with the R11 all‑weather equipment fit.

          By the spring of 1945, however, Western and Soviet forces were sweeping into Germany, and there was no more time left for development. The factories where the Ta‑152C was to be produced were still at the component production stage when their assembly lines were overrun.

          There can be little doubt that, had the war lasted into 1946, the Ta‑152C would have proven a worthy opponent to the Spitfire 22/24 and the P‑51H, which were its closest Allied contemporaries.

          Luftwaffe researcher Jerry Crandall has unearthed a Luftwaffe Quartermeister Report dated 20 April 1945, which shows two serviceable Ta 152 C‑1/R31s on strength with Stab JG 301 stationed at Welzow, Werke Nummern unknown. Unfortunately there are no known photos.  At this late date, it is most likely these airplanes - if they were indeed there - were grounded due to lack of fuel.  It is also likely they were not given any sort of unit markings in the last three weeks of the war.  Allied personnel likely would have mistaken them for Fw-190D-9s after V-E Day, and their most likely disposition would have been the scrap heap with everything else Luftwaffe.


          This is the first Ta-152C released as a mainstream injection-molded kit in 1/48.  (Actually Dragon released the C-0 version about a year before the Hobby Boss version was issued back in early 2011. Before that was the Trimaster kit in the early 1990s with a resin wing that is best forgotten. Ed) Hobby Boss has since brought out the C-1 and C-11 versions, which most likely never flew.  The kit provides markings for the Ta-152C-0/V7 prototype and a “whiffer” for one of the (alleged) JG 301 airplanes.  The only thing I found really wrong with the model was that the propeller blades were too pointed; this was easily solved in a few minutes with a sanding stick.  The model builds up as the V7 only, because while it has two upper cowling parts it only has the supercharger intake associated with that airframe for the DB603EM engine; the V6 airframe had a slightly different, somewhat longer, supercharger cowling, which would probably be what the Ta-152C-1 that might have equipped JG 301 would have looked like.

For a look in the box, go here. 


          This is the first of a series of Ta-152Cs from Hobby Boss, and it follows their philosophy of simplicity in product design, with enough detail to satisfy an out of box model builder.  Assembly is very straightforward and presents no difficulties.

         I assembled the model as two sub-assemblies, the wing and the fuselage, and pre-painted all the various small parts before assembly.  There is probably more to the engine than what Hobby Boss has provided, but there's an engine in there and it looks OK to me.


           Nobody really knows what the colors were on the Ta-152C-V7, but they could have been RLM81 and RLM83 on the fuselage, and RLM82 and RLM 75 on the upper wings, with RLM76 on the lower surfaces; recently Jerry Crandall has stated his opinion that the camouflage was 75/82/76, but the truth is the from two black and white photos no final conclusion can be really drawn.  From the two well-known pictures of this prototype, it is certain that the upper wing lighter color did not “wrap around” on the lower forward surface.  It is also certain that the center sections of the lower surface were left unpainted.  There is even no evidence as to the camouflage pattern used; some have based the wing camo on the pattern used for the Ta-152H and some on the pattern used for the Fw-190D-9 - either choice is valid, and I think I ended up somewhere in the middle.  Since the 81/83 fuselage and 75/82 wing colors make a colorful choice, that was why I went with the colors I used.

           I painted the lower surface with Lumiere acrylic silver (an artist's paint that is a really nice replacement for the sadly-departed Talon paint, and it can be tinted with Tamiya acrylics), then masked it off, painted the lower surfaces with Xtracrylix RLM76 Hellblau, then the upper surfaces of the wing and horizontal stabilizer with Xtracrylix RLM75 Grauviolett and RLM82 Dunkelgrun, with the upper fuselage painted RLM83 Hellgrun and RLM 81 Braunviolett.  I dappled the vertical fin and rudder with RLM83 and hand-painted the wavy demarcation line on the wing leading edges.

           The kit decals were used.  They are very thin and went on without any problems. 

          Since this airplane likely didn't have 50 hours on it in its lifetime, I kept the airframe clean other than to give it a heavy exhaust stain, which is shown in that one photo and was done with Tamiya Semi-Gloss Black.  I then assembled and attached the landing gear and attached the prop, then unmasked the canopy.


           This kit makes up into a good model of the airplane Kurt Tank thought would be the best of the Wurgers.  It's not a difficult kit, and has sufficient detail to result in a nice out of the box model; it's a worthy addition to any Fw-190 collection.

Tom Cleaver

June 2013

Review kit courtesy of HobbyLink Japan.  Order yours at the link

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