Pacific Coast Models 1/32 Ta-152C-0

KIT #: 32014
PRICE: $69.95 MSRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Tom Cleaver
NOTES: Short Run


             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, with all 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, that 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 1/32 scale Ta-152C released as an injection-molded kit.  Jerry Rutman did an all-resin Ta-152C that is reviewed here  

            For those modelers who complained that the Pacific Coast Ta-152H didn't meet their exacting standards of accuracy, the news is that this kit has little if anything in common with that kit.  The engine plug looks nothing like the one supplied for the earlier kit; I know nothing about the DB603 (and I doubt 99.999% of those reading this do either), but given it is different, it is likely to be a representation of the DB603.  When finally assembled, there is little of this to be seen, so those who suffer from “Luftwaffe Hand-Wringing OCD” (a disorder now found in the DSM-VI) can rest easy here and just build a model.  The radiator is also more accurate and looks OK when compared to the few existent photos of Ta-152Cs.  The kit provides a very nice photoetch detail fret from Eduard that provides the instrument panel and seat belts.

             Of particular note, this kit has an accurate propeller, with blades the correct shape, something that seems to have been a problem with many other kits of late Focke-Wulfs.

            The kit provides markings for both the V6 and V7, as well as some “whiffer” markings for the (alleged) JG301 airplanes.  However, the model builds up as the V7 only, because it only has the cowling for the supercharger associated with that airframe for the DB603EM engine; the V6 airframe had a slightly different, somewhat longer, supercharger cowling, which would probably also be what the Ta-152C-1 would have looked like.


            This is a limited-run kit.  That said, it assembled easier than either the Ta-152H or the Fw-190A kits from PCM.

             I would suggest that you put the nice resin cockpit in before assembling the fuselage.  I did my usual trick of gluing the fuselage together before inserting the cockpit, and ended up with it not quite seated properly, so it has about a 2-3 degree “down” angle, which is noticeable with the cockpit opened, which is why this is the only Fw-190 in the collection with the canopy closed.  Given it will be on display at Planes of Fame later this year, it's a fault that won't be noticeable, but those of you building for your own collection should be sure to test-fit that cockpit - I think it needs a bit of “narrowing” towards the forward end of the resin cockpit piece, to insure proper fit.  Test-fit twice before gluing once.

             So far as the rest of the assembly went, it was what one expects from a limited-run kit: there was need to carefully test-fit parts, and to fill all seams.  This is nothing an average modeler hasn't dealt with many times before. 

             I would also advise care in attaching the exhaust stacks.  They are beautifully-molded with “open” exhausts. Thin the plastic of the fuselage at the forward opening and widen it to the maximum, to allow the exhaust to fit properly.  If you do this, all is well.  You should also paint the inner area of these parts black before attaching them, as it is difficult to get paint in there from the outside later.


            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.  From the one well-known picture 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.  Since this is a colorful choice, it's how I did the model.  You could also paint it pink and chartreuse upper surfaces and no one could disprove you, but the hand wringers would probably be upset with you if you took it to a contest, even if they couldn't prove it wrong. (That's a joke, hand wringers)

             I painted the lower surface with Talon acrylic aluminum, 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; the one photo of the V7 looks to me like one color dappling, of a lighter shade than the leading edge of the vertical fin.

            The kit decals were used.  They are very thin and easy to screw up, which I did with the fuselage crosses, which I had to replace with decals from the dungeon.  Be very careful to let these fully detach from the backing, and use plenty of water on the surface where they are being applied.  Once in position, mop up the water with tissue paper and then apply a decal solvent.  These finally went down with a final application of Solvaset after using Micro-Sol.  When everything was done, I washed off the solvent residue and gave the model a coat of Xtracrylix “Flat” varnish, which is not completely flat out of the bottle, a look I wanted for this.


             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.


            Unless someone releases a 1/32 Fw-190 “Kangaruh,” this is my last 1/32 Fw-190, the collection is complete.  This is a very good kit, and any modeler with experience of doing at least one limited-run kit successfully should have no problem creating a very nice model from what's in the box.  It's one of the best kits I have seen from Pacific Coast Models, and highly recommended.

May 2011

 Tom Cleaver

Review kit courtesy of Pacific Models.  Order yours at

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