Dragon 1/48 Ta-152C-0
KIT #: 5548
PRICE: $31.95 SRP
DECALS: One Option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Factory Conversion



.The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 was a World War II Luftwaffe high-altitude fighter-interceptor. The Ta 152 was a development of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 aircraft, but the prefix was changed from "Fw" to "Ta" to recognize the contributions of Kurt Tank who headed the design team. The number 152 was chosen in the German air ministry's list of numbers allocated to German aircraft companies, and was not related to the designer's previous projects or achievements. It was intended to be made in at least three versions — the Ta 152H Höhenjäger, the Ta 152C designed for slightly lower-altitude operations and ground-attack using a different engine and smaller wing, and the Ta 152E fighter-reconnaissance aircraft with the engine of the H model and the wing of the C model. The first Ta 152H entered service with the Luftwaffe in January 1945. Total production - including prototypes and pre-production aircraft - is estimated at about 220. But only some 43 production aircraft were delivered until the end of the war. This was too late to allow the Ta 152 to have a significant impact on the war effort.

The Ta 152 C-0 is the subject of this kit. It was the small wing, pre-production aircraft of which but one prototype was built. It was powered with a 2,100-hp (1566 kW) Daimler Benz DB603LA engine. The extra length of this engine required a compensating rear fuselage plug and enlarged tail surfaces, and wing span was increased to 36 ft 1 in (11 meters). It is unknown if any other C models were built or if it actually participated in combat. Certainly not against the obsolescent Lagg-3 shown on the box art.

Those who are knowledgeable on the history of Dragon/DML are aware that they did this aircraft in 1/72. I have not built it, but those who have were unanimous in that it was not a simple build. Apparently the fit is quite fussy. This 1/48 version borrows a number of sprues from the Ta-152H kit. The two sprues that have the wing sections on it are labeled Ta-152C so are new to this kit. All of the sprues are very nicely molded as we have come to expect from Dragon. There are no sink areas, no flash and only a few ejector pin marks, most of them which will disappear from view during building. The kit also includes two photo etch frets that are not shown. Both marked for the Ta-152H that include the fuselage under the rear canopy, head armor, seat harness, Morane antenna and a flash suppressor amongst most parts.

The cockpit is well appointed and like most FW-190 derivatives, will practically disappear when the fuselage halves are together. The seat, however, will be quite visible so it is important that the harness be used. This kit is pretty much a factory conversion. The modeler has to cut off the Ta-152H nose and substitute the new nose on the 152C sprues. The instructions show where this is to be done along a panel line behind the supercharger intake. This will be the most difficult part of the kit. The rest of the model is pretty straight-forward and also relatively simple as one would expect from a single engine prop WWII fighter. I'm not sure if one is supposed to be able to see the engine accessory section through the wheel well opening, but if so, that ability is not part of this kit. The kit also provides a new prop and spinner as well as the option to have the radiator cooling gills open or closed. The canopy can be displayed open if one wishes.

Instructions are well drawn and easy to follow. They are not complex as there are not really all that many parts when compared to some other kits. The box top claims 110 parts, which is a few more than your usual kit like this. With apparently only one aircraft like this built, only one markings option is provided, that for CI+XM in RLM 75/83 over 76 with nearly no mottling on the fuselage, but some on the fin/rudder. The background for the fuselage insignia is also in RLM 83 and that will need to be painted. The small decal sheet is nicely printed by Cartograf and comes without a swastika so you'll have to dig through your spares bin for one.

It is a bit of a poser as to why this kit wasn't released many years ago as their 1/72 kit was one of DML's earliest kits. Regardless, we have it now and I'm sure it will be quite welcome by those building a FW-190 collection. I know I'm glad to finally have it.



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