Eduard 1/72 FW-190A-8
KIT #: 70111
PRICE: $24.95 SRP
DECALS: Five options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Profipak version with etched fret and masks.


TheFW-190A-8 entered production in February 1944, powered either by the standard BMW 801 D-2 or the 801Q (also known as 801TU). The 801Q/TU, with the "T" signifying a Triebwerksanlage unitized powerplant installation, was a standard 801D with improved, thicker armour on the front annular cowling, which for all BMW 801-powered aircraft in German service incorporated the BMW-designed oil cooler, upgraded from 6 mm (.24 in) on earlier models to 10 mm (.39 in). Changes introduced in 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.

This was one of the two main fighter types available to the Luftwaffe in the last year of the war. In January 1945 a taller 'blown' canopy was introduced on the assembly line, replacing the 'flatter' variant used since initial production. Over 13,000 FW-190s of all versions were built.

In 1997, a German company, Flug Werk GmbH, began manufacturing new Fw 190 models as reproductions. By 2012 almost 20 had been produced, most flyable, a few as static display models, with airworthy examples usually powered by Chinese-manufactured Shvetsov ASh-82 twin-row, 14-cylinder radial powerplants, which have a displacement of 41.2 litres, close to the BMW 801's 41.8 litres, with the same engine cylnder arrangement and number of cylinders.

Eduard's kit comes with two grey and one clear sprue, the grey sprues barely fitting into the bottom of the box and are actually a bit curved. It is pretty clear that Eduard plans on doing a full line of 190s in this scale, at least when it comes to the later A models. There are a lot of additional bits not used in this boxing such as the smaller upper gun cowl and you even get a set of 'filled in' gun troughs, also not used on this version. Two different wheel styles are provided along with smooth and ribbed tires. Two different prop blades are also on the sprue, but you don't use the paddle bladed version. Also not used are the radar antenna along with the inner gear doors and the slightly abbreviated outer gear doors. Those are more appropriate for earlier kits. There is also an additional inner wheel well section.

For clear bits, you get four (1) canopies, a windscreen, gun sight and unused armored side glass. For canopies you have two blown and two of the earlier versions. These differ only by one of the pair having a full center frame and the other an abbreviated one. One canopy from the pair is for 'open' and the other for 'closed'. The kit also comes with masks for the canopies and windscreen. These are the outline type where you fill in the middle.

A color photo etch fret is provided for instrument panels, side consoles, rudder pedals, seat harness, antenna, step, and oleo scissors. In some cases the plastic bits have to be cut away and in others, such as the instrument bits, alternate 'flat' pieces are supplied on which these are mounted.

Other features are actual exhaust pipes for the exhaust openings, a half face forward engine piece, a full aft wheel well section and separate well frame bits that include a separate canon barrel piece. Wings are full lower section with upper halves. The outer wing cannon bulges are already molded in place, which looks nicer than those added later, but means that when Eduard does the earlier aircraft or the F series, these will need sanded away or a new upper and lower wing provided. Ailerons are separate pieces. The wheels are in three pieces with separate inner and outer hubs to help with painting. Gear looks to be nicely done. You have an option of a bomb or drop tank for the centerline rack and as mentioned, optional canopies. The instructions tell you which to use on which markings option.

Instructions come in a booklet and are superbly done. There are five markings options, three with standard canopies and two the later 'blown' version. Unless otherwise stated, the camo colors are RLM 74/75/76 with mottling on the side fuselage. First is the box art plane from IV./JG 5 in Norway during 1945. THis plane has a blue forward cowling and black exhaust area. I should note that most of these exhaust areas are provided as decals. Next, with a red fuselage band is a plane from Stab./JG 300 in late 1944. A IV./JG 54 plaqne with yellow lower cowling, spinner and inner prop blades is next. The first of the blown canopy planes is one with 7./JG 300 with the late ware blue/white/blue fuselage band. This one has RLM 83 in place of the RLM 75. Finally, a really late war plane from I./JG 11 in RLM 81/82/76 with yellow fin tip and yellow fuselage band. The two decal sheets are nicely printed with one sheet containing data markings and the other the unique markings for the plane. Notice that it comes with both complete and segmented swastikas so those places that can't show full swastikas can remove that section. A full stencil placement guide is provided.

I have to confess that I've become quite fond of building 1/72 FW-190s over the past few years. Earlier, I barely did one at all, thinking they were boring. That is not the case. This does look like a great kit. It will probably end up being the best 1/72 190 out there as it has more detail than the Hasegawa kits (which are still quite nice) and isn't missing bits (like the DF loop antenna) that are an issue with the Airfix kit. Is it worth getting the Profipak version when you know the weekend edition will be about $10 cheaper? That depends on whether you think that the additional markings options, masks and photo etch are worth $10. To me, the answer is yes. I'm just pleased that this one doesn't have all the panels open and look forward to adding this one to my growing 1/72 190 collection.


November 2015


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