Italeri 1/48 Ta-152H-1

KIT #: 861
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Ingemar Caisander
NOTES: Kit from 1999


The Ta 152 was one of the last propeller driven fighters produced in Germany before the Second World War ended. Developed from the long-nosed FW-190D, the Ta 152 H version was a very powerful high-altitude fighter designed to take on the swarms of heavy four-engined bombers that were marauding Germany nearing the end of the war.

 By combining long-span wings, a pressurized cockpit, and a powerful Junkers Jumo inverted V12 engine, the fighter had some rather impressive performance figures including a top speed of 755 kph and a service ceiling of more than 14.000 meters.

The Jumo 213E-1 engine, with a swept cylinder volume of 35 litres and equipped with a three-speed two-stage supercharger, produced 1750 hp at take off, and when the MW-50 methanol-water injection boost was engaged this was increased to a staggering 2100 hp. In addition to the MW-50 system (which was used as an emergency power boost on lower altitudes), the Ta 152 H-1 also carried the high-altitude nitrous oxide GM-1 injection system. The GM-1 system enabled the engine to produce up to 1740 hp at full throttle (3250 rpm) at an altitude of 10.000 meters. The Ta 152 H-1 was one of the very few German aircraft to combine these two power augmenting systems.

 Main armament consisted of a single 30mm MK 108 autocannon with 85-100 rounds and firing through the propeller hub, and one 20mm MG 151/20 autocannon with 175 rounds in each wing root.

 Fortunately for the Allies, only very few of these powerful fighters, most assigned to JG 301, entered service before the war ended.

 Today, a single surviving Ta 152 H-0 (Werknummer 150020, one of the last pre-production models) is in storage at the National Air and Space Museum Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility in Suitland, Md., where it currently is awaiting restoration.


 This is the old Italeri offering from 1999, and despite its age it is a very nice kit. You get a total of four sprues in grey plastic, plus a clear sprue with the canopy, windshield, Revi gunsight, and wingtip position lights. Detailing is good and all panel lines are nicely recessed.

Unfortunately no engine (or even engine plug) is provided and this is really a shame as the gear wheel well is rather "open" and will look a bit empty with no engine present. The quick and easy fix to this, though, is not to display the model upside-down…

 Decals are provided for two aircraft: grün "1" and gelb "1", both of Stab./JG 301. The decals are a bit on the thick side but with a little persuasion they will work just fine. No swastikas are provided.


Construction began with the cockpit and detailing here is rather good – considering how little you will see (especially if you have the canopy closed), an after market cockpit detail set really isn’t necessary. I only added seatbelts made from masking tape, with buckles manufactured from a piece of aluminum electrical wire. The whole cockpit tub and instrument panel was painted and weathered before being trapped inbetween the two fuselage halves.

At the same time the ends of the exhaust stacks were drilled out and cemented in place – a note here: you will have to cut off the mounting tabs on the stacks and sand away the receptors in the fuselage halves, otherwise the stacks will sit too deep inside the fuselage. When the tabs and receptors are removed, fit is perfect.

Assembly of the wings is next. They might look a bit intimidating at first, having a very long span, but by working slowly and cementing them from the tips inwards, you will be able to get them straight with no warping. I used a piece of masking tape to hold them together every 10-15mm or so until the glue had set. There is a long internal centre wing spar that will help get the correct alignment, and the only real difficult area is near the wing roots. I couldn´t get the wing roots "thick" enough (meaning there would be a small step to the fuselage wing root fillets), and in the end I had to cement small pieces of plastic rod between the upper and lower half of the wing roots in order to spread them enough to form a smooth transition. The instructions will have you install the landing gear indicator pins at this time, but I recommend leaving them off for now as they are very fragile and definitely will be broken off during later handling and painting.

 Mating the fuselage and wing assembly presented no problems – I used masking tape in an X-pattern from the underside of the wing roots and up over the fuselage to ensure that no gaps developed as the glue set. At this point the (IMHO) beautiful lines of this late-war fighter really started to present themselves. With its long nose and large wing span, this definitely is a very unique aircraft.

 The landing gear, tailwheel, and supercharger intake were assembled and cemented in place – note that you will have to cut off about 5 mm of the top of the landing gear covers in order achieve a good fit. The underside of the tires were slightly sanded to give them a "weighted" look. The instructions will have you install a screen (part 9H) inside the supercharger intake – I left this screen off, though, as I couldn’t find any picture of it in my references. Maybe only some aircraft carried this?

 Final assembly before painting included all the small fittings on the underside, the inner landing gear doors, pitot tube, and the nose radiator cowling with its separate upper ventilation panel. The kit only provide a cowling with open radiator flaps – to be completely accurate you would have to add the inner regulating linkages (made from stretched sprue) to these flaps, but I skipped this as they can hardly be seen anyway.

I also left off the MG 151/20 gun barrels (later replaced by hollow hypodermic needles) for now, as well as the long whip-like "Morane" antenna which I skipped altogether, as I thought it disrupted the otherwise rather "clean" underside of the aircraft.

 The propeller assembly was also completed at this stage but not added to the model until after painting. You will have to be careful when cementing the propeller blades in place, as there are no locating pins setting the pitch. I made a small jig on the surface of my workbench to ensure all three blades got the same pitch angle. The solid aperture for the 30mm MK 108 autocannon in the centre of the propeller hub was also drilled out.


My model was to be completed as "grün 1" of Stab./JG301, based at Neustadt-Glewe in Germany during the spring of 1945. This aircraft sported the sort of standard Ta 152 H camoflage of RLM 82 and 83 greens over very light RLM 76 blue, this latter color sometimes erreanously being referred to as "RLM 84".

 I began by painting the entire aircraft in light RLM 76 (by mixing 25% Humbrol 175 Light Blue with 75% Humbrol 121 off-white), and then the upper surfaces of the wings and fuselage were painted in a sharp-edged splinter camoflage of RLM 82 (Humbrol 117) and RLM 83 (Humbrol 116).

The sides of the fuselage and tailsection were then mottled with the two green colors using a semi-drybrushing technique. This sort of mottling is much easier to do using an airbrush, but as I always brush paint my models I had to imitate the sprayed-on appearance of the paint the best I could.

Note the "waved" demarcation line on the leading edge of the wings – all Ta 152 H’s featured this.

 When the main camouflage had dried properly I added all the detailing: red trim tabs, black panels around the exhaust stacks, small off-white dots on the canopy (imitating the silica pucks used to prevent condensation on the real aircraft), etc.

The propeller assembly was finished in RLM 70 Schwarzgrün (Humbrol 116 and 33 mixed 50/50), with a white spiral decal from an old Bf 109 kit. The entire model was then sealed with gloss varnish in preparation for the decals.

The decals of the kit are a bit on the thick side but can be used with a little persuation – I experienced some silvering, especially on the fuselage Balkenkreuzes, but this was fixed with a bit of touch-up paint. I also had some difficulties with the red/yellow JG 301 fuselage band, as the decal supplied in the kit didn´t want to conform to the fuselage without wrinkles, so in the end I gave up and painted it on instead. The swastikas on the tail were "borrowed" from another kit. After a couple of days the entire model was again clearcoated, this time with flat varnish.

 Weathering was next. As these aircraft only saw very limited service in addition to being rather well maintained, I kept weathering to a minimum. A light general drybrushing with Humbrol 121 and some scuff marks around the engine panel lines and near the cockpit was pretty much it.

As opposed to this, I added rather extensive soothing around and behind the exhaust stacks – this late in the war German aviation fuel often had a sub-standard quality, which made the large Jumo engines quite dirty powerplants. The exhaust stacks were also lightly treated with graphite powder to give them a sort of burnt metallic look.

 With painting and weathering completed all the final small bits and pieces were added: propeller assembly, hollow MG 151/20 gun barrels (made from hypodermic needles), landing gear indicator rods, radio aerial made from a piece of thin oxidized copper strand, etc. Note the sagging of the radio aerial when the canopy was open – the Ta 152 did not feature an internal tensioner for the antenna and hence it slacked considerably with the hood open. I also added a small position light manufactured from a piece of thin clear stretched sprue on the tail rudder.


 Looking at the completed model I think the Italeri kit definitely captures the look of this powerful late war high-altitude fighter. The huge paddle-bladed VS 9 propeller and the long-span wings really make it stand out on the model shelf. Agreed, there are better kits out there, especially considering the latest 1/32nd scale releases, but with regards to the affordable price tag of the Italeri kit and the relatively simple construction, I must say it is a bargain.

Highly recommended!


"Focke-Wulf Ta 152" by Dietmar Harmann (Schiffer 1999)

"Focke-Wulf Ta 152" by Thomas H. Hitchcook, Monogram Monarch 3 (Eagle Editions 2010)

"Wings of the Luftwaffe" by Eric Brown (Hikoki 2010) 

Ingemar Caisander

April 2014 

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