Revell 1/32 FW-190F-8
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit (2015)|
Such was the success and robustness of the Fw-190 that it was slated to replace the Ju-87 in areas that required a ground attack aircraft that wasn't a sitting duck when it came to enemy air defenses. The radial engine was much more able to take damage and return its pilot home than the liquid cooled Jumo that powered the Ju-87. The 190 was also able to carry nearly as much of an offensive load and be able to protect itself against enemy fighters if met. Another plus was that the FW-190 was a much smaller aircraft than the Junkers aircraft.
The F-8 was a derivative of the A-8 fighter and both were built at the same time and carried much of the same equipment. The major difference was the installation of wing bomb racks on the F-8 version as well as some extra armor and the deletion of the outer wing guns.
This kit shows that Revell is pretty serious about doing quality 1/32 kits at a price that won't break the bank. Now I'm sure there are errors in this one, as there have been in their Spitfire and 109G kits, but I'll leave that to the experts to hash out. The kit comes in the usual huge box and contains a raft of nicely molded greenish-grey and clear sprues. There were two things about the kit that struck me right away. One is the very nicely molded engine and the other was the hefty display stand. Yep, one doesn't usually equate 1/32 scale and display stands, but Revell have included one and I'm sure many will appreciate this addition. Note that I did not show the sprue image with the stand or the bombs, but a google will get you an image if you insist.
The first thing you see in the instructions are the underwing options. You can either model a 500kg bomb on the centerline and two wing drop tanks, or a 250kg centerline bomb and four 50kg wing bombs. This is important as each requires separate holes to be opened up. You also need to decide if you want to use the display stand as again, there are holes to open.
Once that decision has been made, you build up the nice interior. It includes decals for the harness and instruments. I know that there are those who hate decal harnesses, but they look a ton better than nothing. One also gets the chance to build up the landing gear. There are separate bits for raised and lowered gear. This includes separate gear doors as well. Two variants on the tail gear are provided, one with additional reinforcement ribs. Both tail gear variants are marred by sink areas.
The wing contains a hefty wing spar and an equally hefty reinforcement plate that will help when putting it on the display stand. Wheel wells are separate items and one builds up the engine mount on the lower wing half. Upper wings are where one assembles each of the two piece ailerons. Flaps are also separate, though one does not often see photos with them deployed. The tailplanes have separate elevators and you get a separate rudder.
Considerable numbers of construction steps are taken when it comes to assembling the engine. I very much appreciate all the detail steps, especially when it comes to attaching the exhaust. The engine is attached to the engine mounts after one glues on the small cowling bits with the bulges. Then the forward cowling goes on and later the other cowling bits are attached. There are separate cowling pieces depending on whether you want them opened or closed. There are several upper gun cowl pieced, including one where the trough is faired over. Interestingly, there are no hinges on these pieces, even though it can be displayed open.
The kit includes two different canopies, the standard and the 'blown' version. For each version, there are canopies provided for the 'open' or 'closed' option. Other bits provided are things like steps, the various bombs and the lower wing tanks as well as antennas. Looking at the sprues, it seems like one could build an FW-190A-8. There are the upper wing cannon bulges, openings in the wing leading edge for guns, the additional guns themselves, and a standard centerline tank. What I don't see are the shell ejector chutes. I would be quite surprised if Revell tooled a new lower wing for these features so I can only guess that they are there and I missed them.
Instructions are well done in Revell's usual style and the construction flows well. There are plenty of notes to ensure you are building the one with the armament you chose or if you want it in flight or not. Paints are all Revell paint numbers and you have to mix all three camouflage colors. The two markings options are in RLM 75/83/76, which you can find in many paint lines. They are both with SG/10 at the end of the war and both have yellow nose rings and yellow rudders. I found it interesting that the box art plane was described on one of my aftermarket decal sheets as being an A-8 variant with the early hood. Obviously they were in error, but it still made a nice model. Both options have the blown hood. The kit decals are nicely done and include both harness and instrument decals. No swastika though you can find aftermarket sheets to help out there. As late war planes they carried either the solid black or black outline version. The shark mouth on the sheet is for the bomb. Not sure if any crew would have had the time to paint such a thing on a bomb in the last months of the war but it is interesting.
If this one builds as well as their 109G, it will have a pretty big following. Being able to do an A-8 is also a bonus, though one will have to use aftermarket decals. The end result will be a nicely detailed model and is available at a stupidly reasonable price. Even those who don't normally build 1/32 scale kits have been scarfing this one up and it has been a strong seller at the LHS.
Thanks to me for the preview kit.
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