HUMA 1/72 Fw 44 Steglitz Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||February 2009||Manufacturer||HUMA|
|Subject||Fw 44 Steglitz||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||F245||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice limited run kit of German trainer/sports biplane w/9 marking choices||Cons||No pontoons in kit. All German instructions|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
The Focke Wulf Fw 44 Steglitz is a 1930’s German two-seater biplane aircraft known as the Steglitz (Goldfinch). It was produced by the Focke Wulf company as a tow-seat civilian airplane for pilot training and sport flying. It was also eventually build under license in several other countries.
The Fw 44 Steglitz was designed as a biplane with conventional layout and straight, non-tapered wings. Its open cockpits were arranged in tandem, and both cockpits were equipped with flight controls and instruments. The FW had fixed tailwheel landing gear. It employed ailerons on both upper and lower wings. It did not use flaps. It was flown with a radial engine.
The first prototype flew in 1932. After many tests and modifications to increase the plane’s durability and aerodynamics, the final Fw 44 Steglitz proved to have excellent airworthiness.
A second version of the Fw 44 Steglitz was the Fw 44 SteglitzB, which had an Argus 8 four-cylinder inverted inline air-cooled engine of 120 horsepower. The cowling for this engine gave the plane a more slender, aerodynamic nose.
Twenty Fw 44 Steglitz’s purchased by China were modified for combat missions and participated in the early stage of the Second Sino-Japanese War until all were lost in action. The last series version was the Fw 44 SteglitzJ, which was sold or built under license in several countries around the world. It was equipped with a 7-cylinder Siemens-Halske Sh 14 radial engine.
HUMA was a model company based in Germany. I cannot seem to find out if they exist anymore, as I don’t readily see any of the big hobby shops on the internet listing them any more. I think they went out of business. At least this kit is out of production. I purchased mine back in the 80’s at an IPMS contest I attended back then.
The kit comes in a cello bag. It is injection molded. This is one of HUMA’s early offerings, and consists of around 31 parts, molded in white plastic. The engine is very nice. The cockpit is rather sparse. There is a floor, seats, joy sticks and instrument panels to go in there. However, no sidewall detail is provided. The kit offers the option of either skis or wheels, but I have heard that it also operated on pontoons on water. The instructions are all in German and there are markings for no less than 9 aircraft on the decal sheet for pre-war German civil aircraft, Luftwaffe trainers, exported aircraft and post-war aerobatic aircraft.
The cello bag holds the instructions, one tree of white parts, a tiny clear parts tree with 2 windshields on it and the decal sheet.
The white tree holds: the fuselage halves, horizontal tail surfaces, tailwheel, propeller, rudder, upper and lower wings (full span each), wing struts, skis, landing gear legs and wheels, pilot figures, radial engine and exhausts etc. (38 parts)
The tiny clear tree with 2 windshields on it, decal sheet and the instructions complete the cello bag’s contents. The decal sheet has a cloudy sheet included to protect the face of the decal. However, this is floating around loose in the bag and of little use for that purpose.
The instructions consist of a single sheet, folded in the center into 4 pages of 8 ¼” x 11 ¾” format.
Page one begins with a black and white photo of an actual Fw 44 SteglitzA with the call letters D-2692 down the sides of the fuselage and red fuselage stripe. It has horizontal stripes across the rudder of black on top above a white and then a red stripe. The pilot’s name HPTM. BOELCKE is in white lettering on the forward end of the red fuselage stripe. This marking is included on the decal sheet. The photo is followed by the history of the Fw 44 Steglitz in German only.
Page two gives a total of nine 3-views of markings for the Fw 44 Steglitz. Three have schemes for German civil aircraft, dated 1934 (2 each) and 1936. Three have Luftwaffe schemes for 1940, 1941 and 1943. One is in Swedish Air Force scheme for 1943. One is in a Finish Air Force scheme for 1950 and the final one is in Lufthansa scheme for 1981.
Page three has the parts tree illustration and 5 exploded drawings to use to assemble the model. The decal sheet is illustrated in black and white. Oddly, the swastikas are illustrated here as squares, but on the decal sheet they are correct swastikas.
Page four has a 3-view of the Fw 44 Steglitz illustrating it with skis mounted on two illustrations and on the third illustration, viewed from the front, one leg has a wheel and the other a ski. Rigging in the wings is plainly shown. Below this is what appears to be the aircraft’s specifications in German.
This is one neat little model of a German trainer/sport plane. It will take some extra work by modelers for the rigging, which this reviewer is not ever to wild about doing.