Hasegawa 1/32 FW-190A-8 "JGr 10"
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger, was a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s. It was used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. The design was the last mass produced piston-engine German fighter to see action in the war. It partially replaced the Messerschmitt Bf 109 in 1941. By 1945, the Fw 190 operated effectively on all fronts. Production ran from 1941, past the end of WW2, during which time the aircraft was continually updated with over 20,000 built. Its later versions retained qualitative parity with Allied fighter aircraft.
The Fw 190 was well-liked by its pilots, and was quickly proven to be superior in all but turn radius to the Royal Air Force's main front-line fighter, the Spitfire Mk. V variant, on its combat debut in 1941until the introduction of the vastly improved Spitfire Mk. 9 in the autumn, 1942 restored qualitative parity. The early Fw 190As performance decreased at high altitudes (usually 20,000ft and above) which complicated its use as a high altitude interceptor. These complications were mostly rectified in later models, notably the Focke-Wulf Fw 190D variant in the autumn, 1944. Like the Bf 109, the Fw 190 was employed as a "workhorse", and proved suitable for a wide variety of roles, including air superiority fighter, strike fighter, ground-attack aircraft, escort fighter, and operated with less success as a night fighter. Some of the Luftwaffe's most successful fighter aces flew the Fw 190, including Otto Kittel with 267 victories, Walter Nowotny with 258 victories and Erich Rudorffer with 222 claimed kills. A great many of their kills were claimed while flying the Fw 190.
This is little more than a decal change from the basic FW-190A-8 boxing. However, since Hasegawa's kit decals have become so nicely done over the years, this is a good thing. The kit has a very nicely done interior with raised instrument detailing. There are decals that can be used as well and I've found that if one is careful, they can be placed right over the raised detailing. No seat harness is included, which would be nice even if it was just a decal. However, you do get a full pilot figure to place in the seat. The truth about 190s is that the opening into the cockpit is one of the smallest in this genre of aircraft so what the kit provides is more than adequate for most of us.
There is a nice engine representation with a five piece engine cowling to fit over it. One will have to do some filling of some of the upper cowling clasps as apparently these are not used on this version. The wheel well insert includes a sturdy wing spar to help hold things in place. One still has to be a bit careful to ensure a good, tight fit of the wings. The wings have separate flaps in case you wish to have those lowered. For things under wings, you have only a drop tank on this one. The kit does provide the proper outer wing cannon inserts for this version, which has the longer extended cannon barrels. There are, however, two different canopies; one the normal version and the other a 'blown' canopy. One needs to check the plane being built to see which one applies.
Instructions are excellent with the usual Gunze paint references. All the planes are in RLM 74/75/76 with mottling on the sides. Two are from JGr. 10 and have lower cowlings painted in yellow. The third option has the same snake fuselage markings but is listed as being with 8./JG 300 in 1945. This latter one has the blue/white/blue RVD band on the fuselage. All three have a white spinner spiral. The huge decal sheet is very nicely printed and includes a full stencil suite as well as red trim tab warning labels, a nice touch.
As you may well have heard, Hasegawa's 1/32 FW-190s are superb and relatively fuss-free builds. Do yourself a favor and give this one a go. You'll be pleased with the results.
www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can get
yours at your local shop or on-line store.
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