Hobby  Boss 1/72 Focke Wulf FW-190A-8
KIT #: 80244
PRICE: $10.00 MSRP
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Brian Baker
NOTES: Easy Build Kit


The Focke Wulf FW-190A has been issued in 1/72 scale in nearly every known variation over the years, with over 100 kits produced in 1/72 scale alone. It is so well known that there is no reason to repeat its history.  Variations of the A model ran from A-0 through A-9 in the fighter configuration, and the F and G models for ground attack.  The A-8 was the last major production model, and more were built than any other variant.  The F-8 and G-8 versions were based on the A-8 with the .50 caliber machine guns replacing the .30’s of earlier models. Note that Hasegawa issued an FW-190G-8 a few years ago, but there is no difference between this kit and their standard A-8/F-8 kit.  And Hasegawa provides no definitive color and marking information either. I have yet to see a bona fide photo of a G-8 with any markings showing.


 The kit is a simplified one, as we have come to expect from Hobby Boss, with one piece wing and fuselage sections, and a small number of other components.  I recently reviewed the companion kit, labeled FW-190A-6, but actually an FW-190A-7, as it has the larger machine gun bulges on the forward cowling, a feature not yet included in the FW-190A-6 series. Both kits are apparently identical, as the only other distinguishing feature, the pitot tube, has to be added separately. Needless to say,  the kit can be almost thrown together from a distance,  but the modeler should note that the cockpit tub should be detailed as much as possible before assembly, as it will be difficult to get at once the wings and fuselage are joined.  It also sits too low as it is designed to sit on the lower fuselage section , so I glued it to the upper portion of the fuselage interior, getting the seat in the right position.  A problem I encountered on both kits was the cockpit canopy, which although it fits very nicely, had a slightly exaggerated slope on the front windshield.  My solution, then as now, was to replace the forward section with one from another kit, and use the rear section from a Tamiya kit.  The little raised portion of the front cockpit decking needs to be removed and replaced with one with a more accurate outline. In this case, I used card plastic bent to shape. I then added an instrument panel and used some printed panels I had laying around.  I added some details to the cockpit, including some side panel decals and rudder pedals.  Seat belts were made with masking tape.

 The other parts are reasonably accurate, although I had some questions about the landing gear, which seems to be slightly too long. In reality, it would probably be about the correct length for the airplane while it was in the air with the oleo struts extended, but in truth, it looks acceptable even in the slightly longer form, although the gear looks a little “spindly”.  Photos showing FW-190’s in flight and on the ground don’t show much difference in landing gear extension length.  The propeller is also acceptable, and uses the original Hobby Boss shaft with metal insert method of attaching the prop, and this can be done after the airplane is assembled and painted. The little fan behind the prop hides the engine detail that isn’t there anyway, so this is not a problem.  The guns are molded into the wings, with barrels too long for anything. I just cut them off and drilled holes in the leading edges of the wings where I wanted them to be, adding gun barrels made from rods with the ends drilled out. .  I also had to trim off the fairings for the outside cannon, as I did not include these, and, of course, I did not use the little flat plates used to cover the breech fairings  for the outboard cannons on the top of the wings.  Even the center rack is acceptable, although the little mounting unit provided in the kit is a little fragile and some of the protruding rods broke off. 

 The  Hobby Boss kit provides decals for two variants,  “Red 19” of 5/JG 300, which was flown by Umteroffizier Ernst Schroder from Lobnitz, Germany, during November, 1944,  and “Red 8”, flown by Uffz. Willi Maxinmwitz of IV/JG 3, in June, 1944.  John Weal’s “FW-190 Aces of the Western Front” illustrates the “Red 8” with some variations, showing it as “Black 8” with a black instead of a grey cowling, and a red and yellow spinner as opposed to the black and yellow shown in the kit instructions. The Weal drawings for the former aircraft show only slight variations, such as the gruppe bar.


 I have always wanted to do an accurate FW-190G-8, the long range fighter bomber version.  I’ve done a lot of reading on this variant, but there isn’t much documentary evidence on this type.  Baugher states that the G-8 was similar to the F-8, except that it had wing racks for extra fuel tanks, although bomb racks could also be fitted.  A standard bomb rack was installed under the fuselage as on the F-8, and the fuselage guns were omitted, although the bulged fairings remained.  Night attack variants had exhaust flame shrouds, such as are provided in the Revell-Germany kit, and I used these on my model.  The outboard 20 mm cannon were not installed.  The aircraft were reported to have been delivered with blown canopies as were the FW-190F-8’s, although some may have used the flat variety.  No IFF antenna was carried under the wing, or at least it doesn’t show on drawings and photos purporting to depict the G-8 variant.  The wing tanks were similar to those carried on Luftwaffe fighters, and I used a pair from  the spares box that originally came from some Bf-109G kit.  I had to construct the small struts that were mounted on each side of the tanks for stability. Aerodynamically, they must have caused a lot of drag, but other variants used larger fairings for mounting the tanks, and these stayed on the plane after the tanks were dropped, whereas those on the G-8 were probably dropped with the tanks, thus making the planes faster on their return flight.

 The FW-190G-8 variant was used  by various ground attack units, but I wanted to do one of the G-8’s used by I/SKG. 10 in their nocturnal operations against England before D-Day, or after D-Day, when they operated against the invasion forces. This unit began operations in 1942 as 10/JG 2 before becoming SKG 10 in 1943.  They used standard FW-190A-4’s and A-5’s with the undersides and sides painted a sooty black.  Later they received some specialized F and G models. Their pilots were not trained for this kind of operations, and needless to say, although they got a significant response from the British defensive network, they did not do well, and losses were very high.  Quite a number of FW-190A’s were presented to the RAF when their pilots landed on British airfields, thinking they were in France.  The men in this unit were mainly former bomber, Stuka, and transport pilots, although a few fighter pilots were included.

Since I could not find a photo, I used some creative research to create my model.  I recently reviewed Chris Goss’s “Luftwaffe Hit and Run Raiders: Nocturnal Fighter-Bomber Operations over the Western front, 1943-1945” published by Classic Books, for IPMS,  (Here is the MM review) and although only one set of photos purports to show the G-8 variant, albeit in day fighter camouflage with no markings visible, a list of loss reports for SKG 10 showed several FW-190G-8’s.  I chose the aircraft of Oblt. Walter Stark, Staffel Commander, flying “White 8”, werke number 190137, which was shot down over France on 18 June 1944, by an RAF Mosquito night fighter.  The Mosquito crews seemed to have no trouble catching and destroying night flying FW-190’s, as their pilots had no radar and were usually unaware that they were being stalked, their first warning coming when the tracers hit their aircraft.


 I did my model in standard 74/75/76 Luftwaffe camouflage, with standard day fighter markings, crosses, and a “White 8” on the fuselage sides. I then used thin black paint to apply the night camouflage, making it look as dirty and splotchy as possible.  The black would have been applied just before the mission, so there would not be much weathering on the sides and bottom at first. Later, the black would wear off unevenly.   The top and around the wing and tailplane leading edges would have some chipping, as would the cockpit area.  Some exhaust staining would also be evident.  You do a nice paint job, and then dirty it up.  Isn’t that what modeling is all about? 


This kit is aimed at younger, inexperienced models, and has some accuracy issues that need to be addressed.  However, it was fun to build, and doesn’t provide the frustrations sometimes encountered in building more sophisticated kits. If you’re really serious, use the Hasegawa or Tamiya kits, but for a diversion, try one of these.  You’ll be done in a couple of days, and it really looks pretty good sitting next to your other models.

Brian Baker

October 2009

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page