Hobby Boss 1/48 Ta-152C-0
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New mold kit|
The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 was a World War II German 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 ("high-altitude fighter"), 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. 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. As far as can be confirmed, only one Ta-152C-0 was constructed and its operational use is unknown.
This is not the first injected styrene Ta-152C to be produced in 1/48 scale. In the late 1980s or early 1990s, Trimaster released one that had a resin wing. It was both expensive and the resin was not very good as the fit was terrible according to those who built one. This same kit but without the photo etch and resin bits was released later by DML and yet again by Dragon. Dragon re-issued this kit not more than a few months ago. Now we have a brand new tool version from Hobby Boss.
The molding on this one is exactly what one would expect from a new mold kit. Crisp and clean engraved panel lines along with none of the depressed rivet detail that infuriates some modelers. The kit has a well appointed cockpit with raised detailing and decals for the instrument panels and consoles. Part of the photo etch fret (most of it actually) is used for belts, rudder pedals and the like. The area behind the cockpit also gets a photo etched pieces. A two piece canopy allows interior detailing to be viewed.
This kit includes an open accessory section that can be viewed through the wheel wells, just like on the real plane. There are two upper engine cowlings with the lone difference being the size of the bulge next to the supercharger intake. The C-0 version gets the smaller of the two. This leads me to believe that Hobby Boss will undoubtedly release a long wing Ta-152H version and perhaps even a family of FW-190Ds. Another option is to have open or closed cowl flaps.
Separate ailerons and flaps and rudder are included and while it would have been nice to have the elevators separate as well, these are molded in the neutral position. Complete wing cannon are provided, though little will be seen when done. Finally, a bit of an oddity is that the exhaust are split into upper and lower halves. Not sure why, but there it is.
Markings are provided for two planes. One is the prototype 152C-0 and the other is a set of spurious markings for Blue 13 with JG 301. Hobby Boss as a full color painting and markings guide that offer colors in many brands of paints and also their RLM equivalents. Decals are very well done and my experience with them has always been positive.
I've never built a 1/48 Ta-152 of any kind and I'm going to have to add this one to the build pile. It looks like it will make for a superb model as my recent Hobby Boss builds have all left me feeling very good about them.
For a look at the completed kit,visit this link.
My thanks to Squadron Products for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local retailer or on-line store.
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