Eduard 1/48 Fw 190A JG 54 Grünherz Dual Combo Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2011||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Subject||Fw 190A JG 54 Grünherz||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||1155||Primary Media||Styrene/Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Very nicely detailed kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced Modelers||MSRP (USD)||$95.00|
We had the pleasure of reviewing the first release of the Fw 190 series, the A-8, back in October 2006. The review quoted the background history directly from the Eduard instruction sheet as it was concise and put the entire Fw 190 series into context. Since the same background narrative is provided in this kit as well, you can go here to see the history and the A-8 as well.
Eduard has made good use of their research and tooling technology to create what is probably the best model of the Fw 190 series in any scale. First introduced in 2006 with the Fw 190A-8, Eduard has since produced a variety of other variants including the Fw 190A-5, Fw 190A-6, Fw 190D-9, Fw 190D-11, and Fw 190D-13. While Tamiya has probably turned out more variants of the Fw 190 in 1/48 and Hasegawa has tackled the subject as well, the Eduard kits still have to be the best Fw 190 kits in any scale. They're not for the novice modeler as all of that detail must be assembled precisely or you'll run into fit problems later on in the assembly process.
In this latest release, Eduard has reissued the tooling for the Fw 190A-5, Fw-190A-6 and Fw-190A-8 all in one box to create a Dual Combo, or two complete kits. In order to create to complete kits that span these variants, Eduard does some creative mixing and matching of parts trees. The images to the right do not show duplicate parts trees.
In this box, we have:
- 1 x Fw 190A-8 wing/fuselage tree
- 2 x Fw 190A-5/6 wing/fuselage trees
- 1 x Fw 190A-5 lower wing half
- 2 x Fw 190A-6 lower wing halves
- 1 x Fw 190A-8 lower wing half
- 2 x BMW engine trees
- 2 x Engine details trees
- 2 x Cockpit/Propeller trees
- 2 x Cowling panel trees
- 2 x Supplemental Cowling panel trees
- 2 x Canopy (clear) trees
- 1 x Color PE fret for both cockpits
- 1 x PE fret with miscellaneous details for both aircraft
So what is it about the Eduard Fw 190 kits that make them better than all of the other contenders? Let's take a look at the features/options in the box:
- A fully detailed gun bay in the nose complete with detailed machine guns and ammo canisters
- Positionable gun hood
- The most detailed main wheel well I've seen in an Fw 190 kit (so far)
- Optional open gun bays in the wing roots
- THE most detailed BMW 801 in plastic. This beauty has both banks of cylinders highly detailed and complete with the cooling fan and rear accessory packs
- A touch of innovation - a special jig is included to install and properly position each of the eight engine stacks that exit along the sides of the fuselage
- The top and sides of the cowling are separately molded so you can pose the panels open, removed, or buttoned up (which would be a shame to hide all that detail inside)
- The main gear struts are molded to be fool-proof for getting the right 8 degree angle offset of the main wheels to the strut and for getting the struts positioned properly on the wings. I'm looking forward to see how that works!
- Two different styles of tailwheel
- Four different canopy options
The ailerons and rudder are separately molded and positionable, but the elevators are molded in place. You'll have to do some surgery to position these. The landing flaps are also molded up, but while the instructions don't mention this, there are some details molded into the inside of the flap wells in the upper wing halves and cut lines are molded into the lower wing to make flap removal simple.
Armament options include:
- Centerline bomb
- Centerline external fuel tank
- Underwing W.Gr.21 rockets and separate launch tubes (so you can depict your bird armed or expended)
One comment on Eduard's packaging. Some of the parts trees are individually bagged while others are two-trees-per-bag. In the latter case, the engineering of this solution is elegantly simple. When two trees are designed to be bagged together, one receives four-to-six pins molded on the frame that plug into four-to-six holes molded into the other frame. The two trees are locked together so they won't rub together during shipping and damage smaller parts whilst inside the bags. Simply brilliant!
Markings are provided for ten aircraft:
- Fw 190A-5, WNr 01501501, 1./JG 54, White 4, Krasnogvarkeysk, Russia, August 1943, as flown by Oblt Walter Nowotny
- Fw 190A-5, WNr unknown, 5./JG 54, Black 5, Russia, Spring, 1943, as flown by Oblt Max Stotz
- Fw 190A-5, WNr unknown, I./JG 54, White K, Russia, 1943
- Fw 190A-6, WNr 550885, 2./JG 54, Black 7, Russia, 1944, as flown by Lt Hans Dortenmann
- Fw 190A-6, WNr unknown, I./JG 54, White 5, Russia, 1943
- Fw 190A-6, WNr 550889, 5./JG 54, Black 12, Immola, Finland, 1944, as flown by Uffz Heribert Koller
- Fw 190A-6, WNr 550528, CO II./JG 54, Immola, Finland, 1944, as flown by Maj Erich Rudorffer
- Fw 190A-8, WNr unknown, 2./JG 54, Red 1, Villacoublay, France, 1944, as flown by Lt Hans Dortenmann
- Fw 190A-8, WNr unknown, 9./JG 54, Yellow 2, Villacoublay, France, 1944
- Fw 190A-8, WNr unknown, 13./JG 54, White 12, Villacoublay, France, 1944
Four sheets of decals are provided, one for the distinctive unit markings, one for the national markings, and two with VERY complete sets of maintenance stenciling.
A sheet of the yellow-tape masks included as well. These are nice for clean masking of canopies and wheel hubs for ease of painting as well as achieving that sharp and consistent paint line.
I had to get this kit as I've been exposed to some specific unit histories and JG 54 is one of those units that has an interesting operational history which included being the second highest scoring group of all time. Of course their signature was the green heart carried on many of their aircraft, and even Eduard provides a Green Heart lapel pin in this box as well.
If you're a World War II modeler, this kit provides you with the best of all worlds - two complete kits with options for three variants, ten markings, enough detail in the box that you won't need resin, and of course the Eduard signature color-printed photo-etched cockpits and yellow tape masks. Aside from glue, paint, and a little bench time, everything you need for a super-detailed Focke Wulf is in this box. Actually two super-detailed Focke Wulfs.
This kit is still recommended!
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!