DML 1/48 Fw 190A-7 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||November 2005||Manufacturer||DML|
|Kit Number||5545||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$29.95|
The Fw 190 was Nazi Germany's most effective fighter aircraft, developed by Professor Kurt Tank. The aircraft was a significant improvement over Willy Messerschmitt's Bf 109. The aircraft was powered by an air-cooled radial engine, provided excellent all-round visibility for the pilot with its bubble canopy, and packed loads of firepower in its cowl and wing-mounted guns.
The Fw 190A-7 was an incremental improvement in the A-series by replacing its 7.92mm cowl guns with 13mm MG-131s and a new gunsight. Roughly 80 of this version produced before production switched the Fw 190A-8.
The slipper fuel tank concept was an attempt to increase external fuel capacity without the resulting drag. Initial trials were promising, but for whatever reason, the concept never went beyond the trial stage. This increased tankage was targeted for the modified Fw 190A-8s that were flying piggy-back atop Ju 88 flying bombs or the Ju 88H-4 maritime reconnaissance aircraft.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the first release of the Fw 190A-7 in 1/48 scale and definitely the first available slipper tanks in styrene. Yes! DML has added a few new-tool parts into the old Trimaster Fw 190A-8 kit to provide the slipper tanks. While I'm not a Fw 190 expert, assuming for a moment that the Trimaster Fw 190A-8 kit was accurate, that means that the modeler will have to do some homework to backdate the kit to represent the A-7.
Out of the box, the kit is molded in light gray styrene and rendered on six parts trees, plus a single tree of clear styrene parts. Two frets of photo-etched details are provided to dress up the cockpit.
This was one of the easier-to-build Focke Wulf versions out of the old Trimaster line and still remains one of the nicest Fw 190A kits in 1/48 scale.
Assembly is straightforward with work starting in the cockpit. This is one of the kits that allow the fuselage halves to be completely assembled and cleaned up before installing the cockpit tub from underneath.
Even with the photo-etch parts, assembly is simple and this would be a good candidate kit for someone wanting to try their hand at photo-etch in a project.
Markings are provided for the slipper tank trials aircraft - White 7 W.Nr. 380394. Since this was a one-of-a-kind aircraft, it would look good on the shelf, but many modelers will want to consider leaving the aircraft as an Fw 190A-8 and installing the slippers before mounting the aircraft atop the DML Ju 88. Now THAT would look interesting. If you want to see what this looks like in 1/72 scale, check here.
This is the first time these slipper tanks have been tooled into styrene and these are in 1/48 scale. Since DML went to the trouble of rendering these in styrene, we'll likely be seeing more of these. Even so, these tanks will provide a short step into the realm of advanced German aerodynamics that might have been.