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Fw 200

Trumpeter 1/48 Fw 200C-4 Condor Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2005 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject Focke Wulf Fw 200C-4 Condor Scale 1/48
Kit Number 2814 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Complete interior, no photo-etched control hinges, positionable flight controls & flaps Cons  
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $129.95

First Look

Fw 200
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Fw 200

The Focke Wulf design team is remembered for many different innovative designs, especially the potent Fw 190 fighter series. One aircraft off their drawing boards that is sometimes overlooked is their four-engined airliner, the Fw 200 Condor. This aircraft entered service in the mid 1930s with Lufthansa, helping Germany to add air routes and service throughout Europe and beyond.

When Germany initiated its campaign of expansion, many commercial aircraft were adapted to serve in Luftwaffe service. As a VIP transport, the Fw 200 was clearly suited for the role. Of the various other tasks given the aircraft, one of the more common roles was maritime reconnaissance. The Fw 200C-3 and Fw 200C-4 were made to order.

The Fw 200C-4 was the version built in the largest numbers. For maritime reconnaissance, the aircraft was modified with additional fuel cells in its main cabin to provide the endurance to patrol deep into the Atlantic in search of Allied shipping. Serving mainly with KG 40, these maritime reconnaissance aircraft were armed with underwing bombs and a radio to call in reinforcements.

Who would have thought we'd have a production styrene kit of the Focke Wulf Fw 200 in 1/48 scale? As you might imagine, this bird is quite large. The kit comes on six parts trees plus a pair of fuselage halves molded in light gray styrene, and an additional tree of clear parts. There is no photo-etch in the kit so construction will be no different than one of Monogram's large 1/48 B-17 or B-24 kits.

Speaking of size, assembled this kit is supposed to be over 19 inches long with a roughly 27 inch wingspan. You can see the length of the bare fuselage in this photo:

Fw 200

For those who might be interested, there are no photo-etched hinges for the flight controls. The ailerons, rudder, elevators and flaps are all separately molded and positionable.

The cockpit is nicely detailed and even features an acetate set of instrument faces for the main instrument panel. How well this will all be seen through the main cabin windows is unknown. If you can see the acetate instruments through the cockpit windows, you'll also see the absence of seatbelts and harnesses, so you might want to get some for your own build.

The kit features a detailed interior. Not just the cockpit, the whole interior. The main cabin is populated with fuel cells on rather ingenious mounts that tilt the tanks to one side to drain every last drop of fuel out of each cell. Crew seats in the main cabin and ammo storage are also provided. Much of the interior won't be seen with the fuselage halves go together, but the crew entry door in the left side of the aircraft is molded separately and can be posed open to reveal some of the interior. Here's a look at the layout:

Fw 200

For a change, Trumpeter didn't waste a lot of detail on the engines where it wouldn't be seen. Instead, an engine face is inserted into the cowl halves and the oil cooler and exhaust stacks are applied to the outside. Simple and effective.

Details weren't skipped in the turrets or landing gear however. Just about anywhere you can see there is detail.

Out of the box, the kit is intended for the maritime reconnaissance version, but you can modify the interior into a different mission configuration such as VIP transport.

My example had some ejector pin marks inside the fuselage halves. There is no detail molded into the insides of these halves making clean-up a snap. Someone more knowledgeable than I should be able to tell us if the Condor retained the main cabin sound and thermal insulation. If so, then simple clean-up of the ejector pins on the fuselage halves is all that needs to be done. If the insulation was removed (or never installed in the C-3/C-4 maritime reconnaissance aircraft), then you might want to add rib and stringer detail if you pose the main cabin door open. If you're doing the VIP transport, the main cabin definitely had the insulation installed.

Markings are included for two aircraft:

  • Fw 200C-4, F8+CS, 8./KG 40, 1943
  • Fw 200C-4, F8+AA, 8./KG 40, 1943

I'm impressed with the detailing in this kit. I don't see any fit problems other than a slight gap that appears in the fuselage top above the wing that may need a little filler. With no photo-etch and no really complicated assembly required, any modeler with some basic skills will enjoy this kit.

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!

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