Hobby Boss 1/48 Ta 152C-0 Kit First Look
By Kelly Jamison
|Date of Review||May 2011||Manufacturer||Hobby Boss|
|Kit Number||81701||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nicely detailed kit||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$31.99|
Hobby Boss surprised more than a few of us by producing the Focke-Wulf in the variant of the Ta-152C-0! This is a nice alternate to the ultra-rare and expensive Trimaster version that has been out of production for years. It does follow on the heels of the Dragon kit that can follow its lineage directly back to the original Trimaster molds. I am not sure why Hobby Boss took on this project but never the less, I am happy they did.
Using the excellent book by Thomas Hitchcock “The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 published by Eagle Edition, I established some history and reference for the review of this kit. The Ta-152 C-0 has always been a mythical beast because of the very limited amount made. The first three got the DB 603E even though the DB 603 LA was scheduled to be installed. I will talk about this later in the review. The official name of the kit modeled is Ta-152 V7 W. Nr 110007 “CI+XM”.
The kit comes with some absolutely gorgeous box art. I have always enjoyed the artistry used on these throw away boxes. I can’t just throw them away. I carefully cut them out and place them in a safe area so that I can matt them under glass and decorate the man cave. The box is small and sturdy and the perfect size for the sprue trees so they are not bouncing around inside. Very good job on packaging.
The instruction sheet is done in an elongated fanfold style and drawn in a very clean 30 degree angle views with clearly marked arrows and paint instructions done in English and Chinese. A parts breakdown as to what tree is what is on the back page and is clear, accurate and easy to use.
Two decals sheet includes a sheet for the instrument panels and the standard markings along with the real “CI+XM” and a fictitious” Green 13”. It is hard to determine how they will perform just by looking at them but they are in register, well done and complete. I have a hunch they are as good as any aftermarket you can get. You also get a nice decal placement schematic in color with call outs for Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master Tamiya and Humbrol color codes. Another nicely done detail of this kit.
A basic photo-etch fret is supplied in the kit that has a nice pair of rudder pedals and seat belts along with an aft cockpit deck even though you get one molded in plastic. You also get some antenna mast and a small section of exhaust shroud finishes the fret off nicely.
There are seven sprue trees that are done in a medium grey and are flash free and of high quality. The skin has a slightly rough texture but from my experience it all but disappears after the first coat of paint. I would almost call it a flat finish as opposed to the more familiar ultra-smooth finish of Tamiya. The glass is very clear and packaged individually away from the other parts. Very nice detail on the canopy rails.
The flaps, ailerons and rudder are all molded separately but the elevators are molded as one piece. It is not a big deal to separate them but one has to ask how much more work would it have been to do all flight controls separate. Some pleasant surprises are separately molded main wing spar, wheel wells and extremely well done landing gear covers. Thin and detailed, they are very impressive. Properly molded inner gear door covers with the small bulge done per specs. There are detailed machine guns that could lead you to open those gun panels and detail out that area with just a little scratch building skills.
The fuselage profiles are spot on along with the wing profile too. They got their numbers right on that. And I think they used new slide mold technology to produce a very nice rendition of the supercharger scoop. I also am impressed at the detail in the engine components you can see from the wheel well. An area neglected by other kit manufacturers. The exhaust stacks come in halves that must be glued together. You can get a really nice weld seam intentionally by using liquid glue and letting the plastic get a bit soft before clamping it together to cause just a little to squeeze out.
Now for some of the detractors of this kit. The ailerons have a stretched fabric surface which might be a little overdone. I think they will look nice when you get a few layers of paint in them to soften them up a bit. Although I think they got the profile right on the front engine cowls, they molded the radiator as a one piece unit with the cowl. It would be difficult to cut it out because of the way it mounts the cowl to the fuselage. There are two cowls for open and closed. You could destroy one to build the other with a bit more detail if you wish.
The cockpit isn’t superdetailed but passable by about anyone’s standards. You also get two upper cowl hoods. One with the DB603 smaller hump on the left hand side and one with the larger DB603LA hump for those “What-If” or” Luft 46” folks. I have spent a lot of time looking at the spinner and I think they didn’t get it right. It is too pointed at the last 1/3 of the tip of the cone. I think the aftermarket guys might be able to help us out on this one. I haven’t bumped it against other kits. You might go to the parts dungeon and find a suitable supplement. The prop seems to be a bit too blunt at the tips. The base of the prop seems like the wrong shape too. The flaps have no inner detail to them nor does the upper wing area of the flap well. Back to the aftermarket guys.
After that little bit of negativity, I got to tell you that I am excited about building this kit. I think the quality is very high. The price is very good and the standards of what Hobby Boss is doing are outstanding. It is attractively packaged and complete. Hobbyboss should be commended on an outstanding effort on this kit. Look for a full build article at Cybermodeler in the near future.