|KIT:||Eduard 1/48 FW-190A-8|
The Fw-190A-8 Wurger was the most-produced sub-type of the radial engined Anton series of Kurt Tank’s classic design. Introduced into production at the end of 1943, it featured the increased armament of the Fw-190A-7, with the fuselage-mounted 7.7mm machine guns replaced by 13mm MG 131 weapons, with four MG 151 20mm cannon mounted in the wings. With minor modifications for heavier armament for the bomber-destroyer role, this aircraft would serve until the end of the war on both the Eastern and Western Fronts.
When Eduard first announced last year that they intended to produce the Fw-190 series in 1/48, the response of many modelers was to ask why, given the excellent DML kits of the series and the Tamiya kits, which had accuracy problems but were easily built. Why would Eduard want to reinvent the wheel?
(Two representative sprues shown Ed)
As it turns out, they haven’t reinvented the wheel any more than Tamiya did when they released the P-47 in 1/48 scale after the Hasegawa kits had seemingly covered the need. The Eduard Fw-190a-8 is to all other 1/48 Fw-190A-8 kits as the Tamiya P-47s are to all other 1/48 P-47 kits. This is definitive. It does things and provides options no other kit has ever even attempted.
The kit provides everything the modeler needs to detail and super-detail the model, in the kit. There are parts to complete a fully-detailed cockpit and fully-detailed engine, as well as fully-detailed gun bays and weapons. There is full photo-etch detail for the cockpit and decals for four different aircraft. I have a DML kit I built to this standard, using several aftermarket sets (Verlinden engine and weapons bays: $35.00; Cutting Edge cockpit: $12.00; aftermarket decals: $10 - total cost for everything $77.00), and it did not have as much detail as can be created out of the box with this kit.
Eduard has dramatically raised the bar of what is possible and can be expected, and delivered all this for a bargain price of $39.95.
The kit provides little items no one else has thought to do in any scale, such as providing separate canopies to be displayed open or closed, with the open canopy “bending” to fit the narrowing rail, as was the case with the original.
Unfortunately, as designed, there is no way to display the engine, which comes with full accessories and exhausts. However, it would not be difficult to make open engine panels from either thin sheet styrene or left over photo-etch parts, which would then allow the entire detail to be displayed.
I think this kit demonstrates that Eduard can stand toe-to-toe with Tamiya, Hasegawa or Trumpeter as a Major Player in the scale model market. The kit is not only competitive as regards detail and design, it raises the bar for the competition. For those who have looked for the definitive Wurger in 1/48 - or in any scale for that matter - it appears Eduard has come to the rescue. From what can be seen on the sprues, we can definitely expect the entire series from A-1 to A-9.
Thanks to Eduard for the review kit.
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