Eduard 1/48 FW-190A-8/R2
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Fw 190 A-8, and subject of this kit, entered production in February 1944, powered either by the standard BMW 801 D-2 or the 801Q (also known as 801TU). The 801Q/TU was a standard 801D with improved, thicker armour on the front annular cowling, which also incorporated the oil tank, upgraded from 6 mm (.24 in) on earlier models to 10 mm (.39 in). Changes introduced with the Fw 190 A-8 also included the C3-injection Erhöhte Notleistung emergency boost system to the fighter variant of the Fw 190 A (a similar system with less power had been fitted to some earlier Jabo variants of the 190 A) raising power to 1,980 PS (1,953 hp, 1,456 kW) for a short time. The Erhöhte Notleistung system operated by spraying additional fuel into the fuel/air mix, cooling it and allowing higher boost pressures to be run, but at the cost of much higher fuel consumption. From the A-8 on Fw 190s could be fitted with a new paddle-bladed wooden propeller, easily identified by its wide blades with curved tips.
A new outwardly-bulged main canopy glazing format, more in the manner of a Malcolm hood rather than a bubble canopy, with greatly improved vision sideways and forward had been developed for the F-2 ground attack model, but was often seen fitted at random on A-8s, F-8s and G-8s. The new canopy included a larger piece of head armour which was supported by reinforced bracing and a large fairing.(This was incorporated on these planes starting in January 1945. Ed)
A new internal fuel tank with a capacity of 115 L (30 US gal) was fitted behind the cockpit, which meant that the radio equipment had to be moved forward to just behind the pilot. Externally, a large round hatch was incorporated into the lower fuselage to enable the new tank to be installed and the pilot's oxygen bottles were moved aft and positioned around this hatch. A fuel filler was added to the port side, below the rear canopy and a rectangular radio access hatch was added to starboard.
Other changes included an ETC 501 underfuselage rack which was mounted on a lengthened carrier and moved 200 mm (8 in) further forward to help restore the centre of gravity of the aircraft. This fuselage would form the basis for all later variants of the Fw 190 and the Ta 152 series. The Morane "whip" aerial for Y-Verfahren was fitted as standard under the port wing, just aft of the wheelwell. Nearly a dozen Rüstsätze kits were made available for the A-8, including the famous A-8/R2 and A-8/R8 Sturmbock models. The A-8/R2 replaced the outer wing 20 mm cannon with a 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannon, the A-8/R8 was similar but fitted with heavy armour including 30 mm (1.18 in) canopy and windscreen armour and 5 mm ( in) cockpit armour. The A-8 was the most numerous of the Fw 190 As, with over 6,550 A-8 airframes produced from March 1944 to May 1945. A-8s were produced by at least eight factories during its lifetime.
This is the weekend edition of Eduard's quite detailed FW-190A-8 kit. Basically, it limits the markings options to one, deletes the masks and the photo etch fret as well as any resin or other materials that might have been included in the standard boxing. All at a considerable savings, which is perfect for most modelers.
The major features of this kit in comparison to other FW-190A-8 kits on the market (and there are quite a few), is the full engine as well as the ability to display the gun panels on the upper cowling and wing roots open. The kit also includes a rack and drop tank as well as the later 'bulged' canopy, which would not be appropriate for this kit's markings option, so use the earlier one. It also has the armored glass side panels for the canopy that was part of the R8 option. Most pilots did not like these as they were thick and blocked vision to some extent, but they also helped to stp some bullets. Part of this fit (the R8) would be armored fuselage plates as well as an additional section of armored glass for the windscreen. The fuselage armor does not seem to be included. It appears that this particular plane only had the armored glass which would make it a bit of a hybrid R2/8.
As you read in the historical section, the R2 option also included 30mm wing cannon in place of the 20mm units normally there. The kit wings have the more square upper wing bulge and the large shell ejector chute on the lower wing that was common with this gun. Means that you have to be VERY precise if you are going to use aftermarket decals to be sure your airplane of choice had the 30mm wing cannon. Normally if no outer wing cannon were fitted, the lower wing access plate would be replaced with one that was smooth, though not always.
One accessory that is included that is appreciated, is an alignment tool for the individual exhaust stacks. Those of us who are not going to build this with everything open do have this option and the instructions are clear on what not to install in this instance. I would think that one could just put in a bare bones engine (with exhaust) if this is the case as the fan blades will pretty much hide the lack of engine detail. I should also point out another option, which is a one-piece tail wheel assembly or a three piece one that has a separate wheel.
The markings option is for Wilhelm Moritz' aircraft from IV(Sturm)/JG.3 in July 1944. This was a bomber destroyer unit, hence the additional armor. It is in RLM 74/75/76 with a black cowling and spinner with a white fuselage band and some pretty heavy mottling. There are aftermarket decals for Sturm birds from a number of companies if you don't want to do the kit option. Decals are well printed with swastikas and a pretty large data and stencil suite. The instructions have a full page devoted to just stencil placement.
This may well be the 190A-8 of choice for many as it is reasonably priced, has very good detail and all we have come to expect from a modern 190A-8 kit. Its lone down side is that you are limited to the version with the 30mm wing cannon unless you do some modification to change this back to the 20mm housings. I invite those who have greater 190A-8 knowledge to provide more info on the gun panel deal between variants as I'm basing what I know on looking at photos on the 'net.
June 2011 Thanks to me for this one. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the
Contributors. Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page
Thanks to me for this one.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page