Eduard 1/48 Focke Wulf Fw 190A-5 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||July 2014||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Kit Number||8174||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Very nicely detailed kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
We had the pleasure of reviewing this kit when it was first released in 2006 and it remains arguably the best Fw 190A-5 kit in 1/48 scale. What is even nicer is that Eduard has reissued this kit at the 2006 price as well. At the time, we rated the kit for experienced modelers since there are lots of details that get crammed into small spaces. The builder must take special care to clean the parts edges of any mold flash or sprue stubs and test-fit frequently to detect and correct any fit problems early.
This kit is molded in brownish-gray or gray styrene and presented on seven parts trees, plus an additional tree of clear parts. By definition, the kit comes with a set of Eduard color-printed photo-etch. The cockpit side consoles have details pre-molded in place, or you can remove the detail and use the color photo-etched parts instead. The choice is up to you and your comfort level. Another example - the rudder pedals. These are provided in styrene and photo-etch, your choice. In other words, you don't need the photo-etched parts to complete this kit if you don't want to use them. Nice touch.
Among the features and options in this kit:
- 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
- Optional open gun bays in the wing roots
- THE most detailed BMW 801 in styrene. This beauty has both banks of cylinders highly detailed and complete with the cooling fan and rear accessory packs
- 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
- Two different canopy options
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable rudder
- Elevators are not positionable
- Flaps have details inside but are molded closed/up
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 four aircraft:
- Fw 190A-5, Commander I./JG 54, Orel, Fall 1943, as flown by Hauptmann Walter Nowotny
- Fw 190A-5, Commander III./JG 2, France, Spring 1943, as flown by Hauptmann Egon Mayer
- Fw 190A-5, Yellow 7, I./JG 1, Deelen, The Netherlands, July 1943, as flown by Unteroffizier Walter Kohne
- Fw 190A-5, Hq I./JG 1, Deelen, The Netherlands, April 1943, as flown by Oberstleutnant Rolf Strohal
Two sheets of decals are provided, one for the distinctive unit markings and national markings, the other with a VERY complete set of maintenance stenciling. Yellow-tape paint masks included as well.
As I said in the beginning, these Eduard Fw 190 kits are the best in this scale and I'm happy to see these being reissued again.
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!