Eduard 1/48 Focke Wulf Fw 190F-8 Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Focke Wulf Fw 190F-8
|Very nicely detailed kit
For a look at Eduard's write-up on the Fw 190's history, look at the Background section of their Fw 190A-8 release here.
Like any adaptation of a fighter design to the fighter-bomber role, a few minor 'tweaks' are required to achieve the proper results. Such is the case with the Fw 190F-8. This aircraft is essentially an Fw 190A-8 with the additional changes to support the fighter-bomber role. First, the engine is optimized for lower altitude performance since a 'mud mover' spends more time near the ground. Second, additional armor plating is added to provide protection against ground fire. Third, the external weapons racks are installed to allow for the carriage a wide range of weapons. While the F-8 was a bit heavier than the A-8, the aircraft could still hold its own against allied fighters.
I'm not sure what is more impressive here - the detail and versatility of the Eduard tooling or the fact that the $39.95 MSRP is the same as it was when the original Fw 190A-8 was released nearly two years ago. You definitely won't find many kits this detailed at this price in any scale!
Like most kits in Eduard's line-up, this kit is molded in brownish-gray styrene and presented on eight parts trees, plus an additional tree of clear parts. In contrast, Tamiya's 1/48 Fw 190A-3 kit only has three parts trees (plus a clear tree) and each of these three parts trees are only 2/3 the size of the Eduard trees. In other words, the Eduard kit provides quite a bit more detail than Tamiya.
By definition, the kit comes with a set of Eduard photo-etch featuring their excellent color printing process creating lots of details in fine print right on the parts. A second set of photo-etch contains the fins and brackets for the various weapons options in this kit.
As with most aircraft projects, this one starts off in the cockpit, and you have your choice of the color printed or detailed styrene parts for the side consoles. The color-printed seat belt and shoulder harnesses really add some nice visual effects to the pilot's seat.
The gun bay that sits between the cockpit and the engine is up next and the machine guns get mounted along with the detailed ammo chutes.
The wing is next and here is where you'll need to make up your mind on bombing up your bird. The lower wing has numerous holes flashed over and you'll need to open those that pertain to your preferred weapons loadout. Six different configurations are shown in the instructions. Once you've made your choice and drilled out the required holes, the mainspar and visible details are installed around the main wheel wells. As with the previous releases, you can opt to pose your wing root gun bay doors open.
The engine is up next and it is just about as detailed as you can get in this scale, right down to the exhaust stack arrays that feed out the sides of the fuselage. The cowling is molded in sections so that it can be properly posed open or closed, depending on how you wish to present your model.
The ailerons and rudder are separately molded, but the elevators are molded in place in the neutral position. You may want to droop these if your control stick is unlocked.
Weapons included in the kit include:
- 4 x SC50
- 2 x Mk.103 gun pods
- 2 sets of Pb1 rockets/rails, early and late type
Several different types of external tanks are also included for the centerline station.
To sum up the features/options in this kit:
- A fully detailed gun bay in the nose complete with detailed machine guns and ammo canisters
- Positionable gun hood
- Detailed main wheel wells
- 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
- Lots of weapons loadouts
- Paint masks
One comment on Eduard's packaging. Some of the parts trees are individually bagged while others are two-trees-per-bag. In the latter case, the engineering of this solution is elegantly simple. When two trees are designed to be bagged together, one receives four-to-six pins molded on the frame that plug into four-to-six holes molded into the other frame. The two trees are locked together so they won't rub together during shipping and damage smaller parts whilst inside the bags. Simply brilliant!
Markings are provided for four aircraft:
- Fw 190F-8, Yellow K, SG 10, Ceske Budejovice, Czechoslovakia, 1945
- Fw 190F-8, W.Nr. 584592, Yellow 14, II. SG 2 or SG 10, Neubiberg, Germany, 1945
- Fw 190F-8, Red 10, I./SG 4, Piacenza, Italy, 1945
- Fw 190F-8, Yellow 2, 9./SG 77, Chudim, Czechoslovakia, 1945
Two sheets of decals are provided, one for the distinctive unit markings and national markings, the other with a VERY complete set of maintenance stenciling. A sheet of the yellow-tape masks included as well.
I can see why Eduard was so confident with the production of this kit. Once you see what comes in this box, you'll want several of these kits! I really hope that Dora is on their to-do list!
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!