Eduard 1/48 Focke Wulf Fw 190D-9 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2010||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Subject||Focke Wulf Fw 190D-9||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||8184||Primary Media||Styrene/Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Very nicely detailed kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
The Fw 190D series was a development of the successful Fw 190A/F series powered by the air-cooled BMW 801 radial engine. To answer a requirement for a high altitude interceptor, Kurt Tank realized that the radial engine was going to have cooling problems operating at combat power in thin air. The answer was to adapt a liquid-cooled engine and his first choice was the Daimler Benz DB603, but was forced to use the Jumo 213 instead. While retaining the appearance of an air-cooled engine (and a long one at that), the new cowling housed the V-12 engine with a round radiator occupying the entire face of the cowling intake.
The first full-production of the 'Dora' series was the Fw 190D-9, armed with a pair of MG131 13mm machine guns above the engine and two MG151 20mm cannons in the wing roots. The Dora was a formidable fighter, though it came too late in the war to make a significant impact. Many of these aircraft were lost to pilot inexperience coupled with the aircraft's stability in certain flight regimes (especially at take-off and landing).
I'm not sure what is more impressive here - the detail and versatility of the Eduard tooling or the fact that the $39.95 MSRP is the same as it was when the original Fw 190A-8 was released several years ago. You definitely won't find many kits this detailed at this price in any scale!
Like most kits in Eduard's line-up, this kit is molded in brownish-gray styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus an additional tree of clear parts. In contrast, Tamiya's 1/48 Fw 190A-3 kit only has three parts trees (plus a clear tree) and each of these three parts trees are only 2/3 the size of the Eduard trees. In other words, the Eduard kit provides quite a bit more detail than Tamiya.
By definition, the kit comes with a set of Eduard photo-etch featuring their excellent color printing process creating lots of details in fine print right on the parts.
One thing you'll note when comparing this kit to the previous Fw 190A and Fw 190F releases, this kit has fewer parts trees. One reason for this is that the kit doesn't have an engine sitting inside the nose that you wouldn't otherwise see with the model assembled. Unlike the radial-engined variants where the cylinders are visible around the large spinner, all you see down the face of this cowling is radiator. Perhaps there will be a version of this kit released with a Jumo engine in the future, but that wound come at a higher price.
The second reason you have fewer trees in this kit is that the Dora didn't carry a wide range of external stores. The aircraft has a centerline pylon which typically carried an external tank or a bomb, both of which are in this kit.
One other thing to note is the fatal flaw of most Fw 190D kits in every scale - the main wheel wells. Most kits have the main wheel wells boxed in like most every other fighter, but the Fw 190D series had the forward portion of the main wheel wells open so you could see up into the rear of the cowling. Actually, it was to allow more air to move through the cowling at low airspeeds, especially with the landing gear down. If the modeler corrected these kits to open up the main wheel wells, you'd then have the problem of having everyone see up into the empty cavity of the model's nose...
Eduard has done their great usual job of engineering this kit. While they didn't waste effort on the engine since the cowling is closed up, they did engineer the details between the firewall and the rear of the engine so you can see up through the underside of the aircraft at the rear of the engine, supercharger, motor mounts, and ammo canisters. Likewise if you opt to leave the gun hood open, you'll see the MG131s on their mounts with the ammo cans and part of the engine as well. Very nicely done.
Among the features of this kit:
- Detailed cockpit w/color photo-etched parts
- Detailed rear engine bay w/Jumo and gun tray
- Positionable gun hood
- Positionable gun doors for the wing root bays and MG151s
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable rudder
- Choice of open or closed cowl flaps
- Choice of spinner
- Choice of blown or flat canopy
- Positionable canopy
- Choice of external tank or bomb on centerline station
- Paint masks
Markings are provided for five aircraft:
- Fw 190D-9, White 12, 5./JG 301, Bad Langensalza, Germany, May 1945
- Fw 190D-9, Black 1, IV./JG 26, 1945, as flown by Oblt. Hans Dortenmann
- Fw 190D-9, Stab/JG 4, Frankfurt am Rhein Main, April 1945
- Fw 190D-9, Red 18, I./EKG(J), Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, May 1945
- Fw 190D-9, Stab/JG 6, Prague-Rusin, Czechoslovakia, May 1945
The decals are nicely printed with all of the distinctive markings, national markings (including politically correct and complete versions of the swastika), and a VERY complete set of maintenance stenciling. A sheet of the yellow-tape masks included as well.
I can see why Eduard was so confident with the production of this kit. Once you see what comes in this box, you'll want several of these kits! I really hope that Ta 152 is still on their to-do list!
This kit is definitely recommended!
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!