Tamiya 1/48 FW-190F-8




$26.00 MSRP


Four aircraft


Scott Van Aken





By the time that Focke-Wulf FW-190 production reached the A-8 version, the very similar ground attack or jabo version was being built side by side on the assembly line. The reason was that these aircraft were nearly identical with respect to basic airframe and engine. The only real differences were in armament. Initially, the requirement for a jabo 190 was for additional armor protection and for the inclusion of four wing racks (two on each side) capable of handling a 50 kg bomb. However, the increased weight of the armor plating and the wing racks/bombs to the standard aircraft was too much so initial aircraft were delivered without the wing racks. Removal of the outer wing guns reduced the weight so that the racks could be installed. Contrary to popular belief, the landing gear was not strengthened in any way, only the shock absorber pressure was increased to handle the additional weight.

The Fw-190F-8 variant production was started in March of 1944 along with the A-8 fighter. Initial production aircraft had sand filters and lots of armor as standard equipment. However, because all this weight adversely affected the handling and speed of the plane, all armor protection except the engine oil cooler ring and armored windscreen were removed. Much of this loss of speed was gained back by more powerful BMW 801 engines in later versions. In late 1944 new ETC 71 bomb racks, which were slimmer, lighter and cheaper to build replaced the older under wing racks. The centerline rack was also replace in many planes with a slimmer, lighter and cheaper ETC 504 rack that replace the ETC 501. In January 1945 the new 'blown' canopy was introduced on the production line and retrofitted to many older versions. Along this time more wood was used in construction of the plane including tail assemblies, flaps, propellers, and interior parts. A very similar Fw-190F-9 was produced starting in November 1944. It had a more powerful engine and differed from the F-8 by a 14 blade engine fan (vice 12) and a wider 'paddle bladed' prop. In all other respects they were identical.



Well, this one looks very much like every other Tamiya FW-190 and in many cases it is. However, the quick-eyed reader will notice that there is an entire sprue that has various bombs and other weapons as well as two fuselage halves, bomb racks, drop tank, upper cowl piece and wheels/gear. One of the complaints about the FW-190D was the wheels and though I don't know if that has been fixed or not, I'm sure a reader will get me up to speed on that. 

Probably one of the biggest questions is "Can I build an A-8 version from this kit"? Well, looking at the sprues, I'd say why not? Both the A-8 and F-8 were built side by side. The only difference being the lack of outer wing guns on the F-8 as they needed to be able to carry bombs or rockets out there. The lower gun access hatches are there, but there are no shell ejector chutes there. Now it is true that many A-8s removed those guns to either add more armor or just to make the plane more maneuverable, so if the plane you are going to model has those guns removed, then this kit should suffice. I'm also not sure if the centerline rack is appropriate for the A-8 or not. Again, perhaps a 190 experten can fill in the blanks in that area.

Why all the fuss about the A-8? Well, the only dedicated A-8 kit in 1/48 is the rather hard to find Trimaster/DML/Dragon kit. Not having a readily available kit of the most built FW-190 is a bit of a bummer so if this one fills the bill, great!

Back to the kit, there are optional canopies as well as the choice of bombs or rockets for the outer wings. I'm guessing these are the 'Panzerblitz' rockets as they are too short for R4Ms

Instructions are superb as expected, except for the paint thing that I constantly fuss about regarding Tamiya kits. Markings are for four aircraft. According to the instructions, all the colors must be mixed. It is BS that the RLM numbers are not provided. Anyway, all but one appear to be in RLM 74/75/76, but I'd take that with a grain of salt as it could have easily been some late war colors for the uppers. I'd check other sources to verify those paints.

First aircraft is white 7 from 1/SG 2 in Hungary during 1944-45. It has a yellow fuselage band and 'V' under the left wing. Next is << from an unknown unit in spring 1945. It has a yellow nose band. A desert camo plane from 2./SG 4 in Italy is probably in RLM 78/79/80 with the upper half of the fuselage band over-painted. Finally, a I./SG 2 aircraft, again from Hungary in 1945, has a winter camo scheme and a red forward cowling. Most have the 'blown' canopy, though the Italian front aircraft is an earlier one with the 'straight' version. The 'blown' canopy was added to production planes starting in January 1945. Decals are a bit thick though they should work well with some care.


It is a Tamiya kit and you really cannot go wrong. It will undoubtedly build just as effortlessly as their other kits and make into a superb model. How can I not recommend it?

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