Eduard 1/48 Fw 190F-8 Weekend Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2011||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Kit Number||84111||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Still the best Fw 190 kits in 1/48 scale||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$30.00|
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 reissued the Fw 190F-8 that first came out in 2008, this time in the low-cost Weekend Edition. The Weekend series provides all of the same plastic as the higher-cost versions, but any resin or photo-etched aftermarket items are omitted. In addition, markings for only a single version are provided and the instructions are printed in black and white to keep costs low. This all translates into a kit that is buildable by any experienced modeler that may not have experience with photo-etched parts. And since it doesn't have multimedia parts in the box, the kit should be a quicker build, hence the Weekend branding.
The difference between this version and the Fw 190A series released earlier is that Focke Wulf designed this version for fighter-bomber duties. The centerline pylon can carry a wide range of stores and provisions are made under the wings for canons in underwing fairings or rocket pods. The airframe also incorporates additional armor to protect the pilot and critical systems from small-arms fire.
The kit is molded in olive green styrene and presented on seven parts trees, plus one tree of clear parts.
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 beautifully detailed cockpit
- 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 Ps.2 rockets
- Underwing Mk.103 gun pods
Markings are provided for one example - Fw 190F-8, W.Nr. 584592, II./SG.2 (or SG.10), Yellow 14, Neubiberg, Germany, 1945. In addition to all of the distinctive markings for this aircraft, the decals also provide a thorough set of airframe stencils and weapons markings.
This Fw 190 series from Eduard continues to be the best Fw 190A/F kits available in 1/48 or any scale for that matter. This weekend edition requires less skills than one of their regular releases because none of the multimedia parts are included (these kits were designed to be built without the multimedia parts) and the price make these Weekend kits an affordable project.
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!