Planet Models 1/72 FW-190v13/16

KIT #: 228
PRICE:
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Resin with vacuformed clear bits

HISTORY

The FW-190 was the Luftwaffe's second most important fighter after the Bf-109 and in many ways was superior (which wasn't all that amazing as it was a later design). The aircraft was also modified a great deal to try to provide better overall performance, especially at a higher altitude. One of those modifications involved using an early FW-190A airframe to test the DB 603 inline engine that was intended for the FW-190C. In fact, several airframes were so modified and while none of them led to the production of the 190C, they did provide good information for the later 190D.

The C model's use of the longer DB 603 engine required more extensive changes to the airframe. As the weight was distributed further forward, the tail of the aircraft had to be lengthened in order to maintain the desired center of gravity. To test these changes, several examples of otherwise standard 190 As were re-engined with a supercharged DB 603 to experiment with this engine fit, V13 (W.Nr. 0036) with the 1,750 PS 603A, the similar V15 and V16, a 1,800 DB 603 E being fitted to the latter after a time. With this engine, the V16 was able to reach 725 km/h (450 mph) at 6,800 m (22,310 ft), a considerable improvement over the 650 km/h (400 mph) at 5,200 m (17,060 ft) of the basic A models.

THE KIT

Planet Models got their big boost with the Luft '46 craze of a couple of decades back and slowly worked its way into doing more esoteric subjects. Prototypes are definitely in that range of subjects and so we have this particular offering.

As usual with Planet (a subsidiary of CMK), the resin casting is very good. Since the landing gear of the 190 sort of jut out, they have wisely produced that part of the kit in white metal. I have another 190 prototype from a different company that had resin gear, and the weight of the airframe warped that into a nice curve after a few years. This was in the days before SAC's metal gear, which would have taken care of that issue.

Anyway, there really is not all that much to the aircraft. It does have a separate cockpit tub into which one plunks a seat, control stick and instrument panel. 190 cockpit openings are very small so the most I'd do is seat belts. The kit provides a small radiator grille for under the forward cowling and once that and the cockpit are in place, the fuselage halves can be glued together.

There are separate prop placed which basically butt join onto a prop shaft and the spinner is glued atop it. This is an early set of blades from the look of it, before the paddle blades were common. One then attaches the forward cowling, wings and tailplanes along with the landing gear and doors. Exhaust are separate so you can wait until the end to install those. The only external difference between the V13 and V16 is that the latter has a supercharger intake on the side of the engine cowling. You are provided two vacuform canopies.

The only unique markings these planes carried were different radio call signs and the decal sheet provides those along with split swastikas for the fin. The V13 is in overall RLM 02 while the V16 has a standard RLM 74/75/76 scheme with lots of mottling. Instructions are more than adequate and you get a full color painting and placement guide. I have no idea what decals #7 are for as they are not shown in the instructions.

CONCLUSIONS

This is a nice resin kit that would be a good choice for someone new to resin kits. There is a low parts count and enough challenge to make it worth the effort of building. The kit does have a few casting flaws in the form of some air holes in a few thin parts, but that sort of thing is all part of these somewhat older kits

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Focke-Wulf_Fw_190_variants#High-altitude_developments

November 2018

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