Accurate Miniatures 1/48 Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||September 2008 (Updated July 2011)||Manufacturer||Accurate Miniatures (Eduard)|
|Subject||Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||0402||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Very nicely detailed kit||Cons||Lacks the photo-etch, optional upper wing halves, masks, and complete stenciling decals from original Eduard kit|
|Skill Level||Experienced Basic Modelers||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
There are a number of write-ups on the history of this famous aircraft. You can read the Eduard write-up here.
In recent years, Accurate Miniatures has been releasing other companies' kits in their own boxes including Eduard's 1/48 P-39 Airacobras, Special Hobby's 1/48 F2G Super Corsair, Revell's classic 1/72 aircraft, and more. Here is Eduard's beautiful 1/48 Fw 190F-8 kit in Accurate Miniatures colors. How did they do this time?
As with many of Eduard's kits, this Fw 190A-8 is molded in brownish-gray (RLM02) styrene. This kit is presented on six parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. Not included in this release are the color-printed photo-etched details, one parts tree containing an optional configuration of the F-8, yellow-tape canopy masks, or full stenciling decal sheet.
As with the Eduard boxing, this kit features some impressive detailing and will require some experience to get the wings and fuselage to close up around all of those details.
What kind of details are inside this box?
- 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 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 W.Gr.21 rockets and separate launch tubes (so you can depict your bird armed or expended)
Markings are provided for three aircraft:
- Fw 190A-8, Black 13, JG 26, as flown by Josef Priller on D-Day
- Fw 190A-8, Black 8, JG 3, as flown by Unteroffizier Willi Maximowtz
- Fw 190A-8, Red 19, JG 300, as flown by Ernst Schroder
Odd that the instructions do not give any clue as to which squadron/group, theater, or time period any of these three subjects came from aside from the overflight of Pips Priller over the Normandy beaches. A quick session with Google found the corresponding fighter groups but I didn't research beyond that. I would have expected Accurate Miniatures to have done that for us.
The decal sheet has the various national markings and swastikas on the sheet, and also a good selection of airframe maintenance stencils, though the set does lack the wing walkways provided in the Eduard releases.
Out of the box, this kit is just as nice as the Eduard kit since it is the Eduard kit. What you might want to be aware of is that many of the Eduard kits of the Fw 190A-8 are still available and they also retail at the same price as this kit - $39.95. The Eduard kits have the photo-etched parts in the kit at this same price. If you want the same photo-etched details and tape masks for the Accurate Miniatures kit, Eduard has released a Big Ed Set (BIG4874) that retails for $42.95 on top of the $39.95. Ouch!
If you're intimidated by lots of photo-etched details, and want an all-styrene Fw 190A-8, this is one option at $39.95, or you can buy the all-styrene Eduard Fw190A-8 Weekend kit (kit 8429) at a retail price of $22.95. Same kit, different box and decals (and less expensive). Note that the above prices are the suggested retail prices and you can find many of these items cheaper if you shop around.
If you want a nice Fw 190A-8, this is a nice kit, but you might want to shop around for the Eduard kit to save some money. Your call.
Thanks to Accurate Miniatures for this review sample!