Karo As 1/72 Fw-187A-0
Kit Number: ??
Media: Injected Plastic/vacuformed canopy
Decals : Generic Luftwaffe with numbers
Date of Review: 11 November, 1996. New images September 2010
Comments: When I saw this aircraft kit advertised several years ago, I immediately ordered two of them. Although I was [at that time] horrified by the high price, I have always wanted a model of this lovely twin-engine aircraft.
Originally built as a replacement for the Bf-110, the FW-187 Falke (Falcon) was destined to never enter service. It is too bad as, with many other types, Messerschmitt had a virtual strangle hold on fighter aircraft at this time. The Falke was a beautiful aircraft compared to the rather stodgy 110 and was heavily armed with 4 20mm cannon along the fuselage side in a manner similar to the Hs-129. There was no rear-facing gun as its speed was sufficient that aft armament was not needed. Although not chosen for production, several pre-production aircraft were built, all three of them seeing very brief and unofficial service in Norway where they were much loved by the few who flew them. They ended their days as test airframes and factory defense, similar to the fate of the He-100D.
The Karo-As kit is in a dark brown, low-pressure, brittle plastic. The limited edition status means that the gates are very large, there is quite a bit of flash, and there is the problem of short shots. I had this problem with the propellers and spinners. To my delight, a letter to Karo-As brought replacement parts. The detail is very fine and engraved and match from side to side. The outer wings and horizontal stabilizers are of one piece and the interior is quite basic consisting of a floor, seats, control stick and instrument panel. The wheel wells are also very basic, but are boxed in.
Once the parts are cleaned up, the rest of the kit fits very well. You need to make sure the mating surfaces are sanded prior to construction and there are no mating pins on any parts. The location of the butt fitted parts is clearly marked so mis-alignment is not a major problem. The engine exhausts are molded onto the engine nacelles as are the side scoops. The radiators are non-existent so they need to be added from an outside source. The front walls of the wheel wells prevent a see-through effect. The landing gear is complete, but a bit shaky. I superglued the wheels to add some strength to the structure and it has worked well. The final assembly was the careful cutting of the canopy and lower window. The fit is perfect and the vacuformed parts have good frame detail. After painting the interior RLM 02, I attached the vacuformed parts with epoxy and set the airframe aside to dry.
Painting was quite intricate, but went well. This aircraft is in a splinter pattern of RLM 70/71 on the top surfaces and fuselage sides like pre and early war aircraft. The underside is RLM 65. For all these colors I used Gunze Sangyo acrylics and they behaved beautifully, drying to a semi-gloss that is perfect for decal application. Since it was a splinter pattern, that meant much masking, but no big problems were encountered.
The only decal options were for the three Norway based aircraft. This consisted of basic insignia and three numbers; 1,4 and 7. The swastika came with the kit.
I liked the Karo-As kit as it was not that difficult to build. I would
not rank it as high as Huma, but would say it is superior to MPM or Pegasus.
While Karo-As kits are quite expensive (typical for a German kit),
I would recommend them if you desire the subject.
For those wondering, the second kit is gone, sold off years ago. Ed
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