|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The first Ta 152H entered service with the Luftwaffe in January 1945. While total production—including prototypes and pre-production aircraft—has been incorrectly estimated in one source at approximately 220 units, only some 43 production aircraft were ever delivered before the end of the European conflict. These were too few to allow the Ta 152 to make a significant impact on the air war. It is highly doubtful if any C-1 variants saw combat as the type was just starting to leave production lines when the war ended. It is equally improbable that the torpedo carrying version ever flew, even in prototype form, as by early 1945, the need for such an aircraft would have been mooted by the progress of the war.
Back quite a few years ago, Dragon, then known as DML, produced a line of kits under the Trimaster label. These kits were well known for their quality cast metal parts and their astronomical (for the day) price tags. One of those kits was the TA-152H, then the first time this aircraft had been done in 1/48 by a major kit maker. Since then, the kit has been reissued and is the basis for their growing series of Ta-152C variants.
The sprues are in excellent condition without any manufacturing glitches that I could see aside from some ejector pin marks. One gets the TA-152H fuselage along with a new nose section. The H model nose will need to be cut away and replaced with the new nose. This is basically due to the C model having the supercharger intake on the opposite side from the H. The kit includes a number of neat items as listed below. One thing I noticed is that there is a different canopy for this kit that has no frame up the middle and has bulged sides to it, something I do not recall seeing before. I am also not positive that the prop blades are the right shape as they are very much paddle-blades where on the Hobby Boss 152C they are thinner and sharper at the tip. I also noticed that there is no accessory section provided for the rather open wheel wells.
- Detailed Ta152C fuselage w/accurate design
- Wings accurately represent the real one
- Intricate fuselage, engine and radiator cowling
- Crystal-clear cockpit canopy can be assembled open/closed
- Propeller can be rotated
- Photo-etched parts to upgrade details
- Highly detailed radiator cowling w/photo-etched parts and optional flaps
- Air intake realistically produced
- Tail w/fine detail
- Torpedo authentically reproduced w/fine detail
- Detailed landing gear can be assembled in extended or taxiing positions
There are markings for five aircraft, all in the same basic scheme. Two of them have numbers on the side (green 6 or 7), and I'd have to say those are spurious. The other three options are all specifically listed by werke number and have radio call signs as it typical of prototypes and un-delivered aircraft. Whether these are accurate or not is conjecture on my part, but it is quite possible that these call signs had been assigned to aircraft that were still under construction when the war ended.
For those who are fans of the FW-190/TA-152, this will make an excellent addition to the collection.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or have them order it for you.
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