Admiral 1/72 Fw-190A-4 'Jabo'






Two aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Short run with etched fret, resin parts and injected canopy


The Fw-190A-4 was the link between the early 190 variants and the later ones. It had many of the airframe mods that would be standard and pretty well unchanged in later versions, yet still had the short nose of the early 190s. It was built is relatively large numbers and used on all fronts. It was the A-4 version that finally got an engine reliable enough where fires were not a constant worry.

The Jabo version is one that is outfitted with a bomb rack and able to carry up to a 500kg bomb. Normally the lighter 250kg version was carried to allow more range. The ground attack 190s were initially just field modified fighter versions, however with the advent of the 190A-5 fighter variant, the F and G models were purpose built for ground attack on the assembly line. Many Jabo units were used for hit and run night attacks on British bases during 1942/43 and the 190A-4 was the aircraft of choice due to its speed and ability to defend itself once the ordnance load was gone.


This is the first I have seen of an Admiral kit and I have to put it into the pigeon-hole of 'typical Czech short-run kit'. About the only thing different is that it has an injected canopy. Resin is used for the interior, bomb rack, bombs and wheels, while the etched fret has interior parts and the fins for the bomb.  There is also a short piece of very sharp metal rod that I immediately stuck in the end of my finger when opening the bits bag. The single sprue contains the rest of the airframe parts, and also includes, oddly enough, a plastic bomb. There are no optional parts, not even a drop tank.

The kit is fairly well molded, though the detailing is just a touch 'soft'. Panel lines are lightly engraved and the wheel well is complete, though a bit shallow. There really isn't that much else to say about it as there are not many parts!

Instructions are basic, but adequate for the job of building the kit. There are two decal options and a very complete set of color guides for the aircraft in question. RLM colors are given  so painting shouldn't be a problem. One aircraft is from I/JG 54 and painted in what is shown as RLM 70/71 over 76 with white areas on the upper surface. OK, I can go for that as JG 54 had some rather unique paint schemes. The other is for a Jabo of I/SKG 10 in 1943 as shown on the box art. This plane is standard RLM 74/75 upper, but with black where the RLM 76 is usually painted. It has only upper wing crosses and a yellow aircraft number on the side in terms of markings. The small decal sheet is well printed and thin. Not sure how opaque it is, especially when putting the yellow H over a black surface, but one won't know until one tries.



For those of us who have to have every kit of the 190 made, this is one to add to the collection. It is also the only A-4 variant that I know of on the market in this scale, though I'm sure to get e-mails if there are others! If you have experience with short run kits, this one should be a pretty painless build.

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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