Pacific Coast Models 1/32 Fw 190A-4 Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||June 2018||Manufacturer||Pacific Coast Models|
|Kit Number||32011A4||Primary Media||Styrene, resin, photo-etch|
|Pros||Beautiful molding, relatively simple build||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$67.45|
Doctor Kurt Tank is credited with designing the best propeller fighter to see service in Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe. Each iteration of the Fw 190 would rival, if not exceed, the capabilities of anything in operation in the RAF or USAAF. Powered by an air-cooled BMW radial engine, the Fw 190 was a relatively small aircraft with optimum wing loading and horsepower to make the Fw 190 an agile fighter. Unlike the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the Fw 190 had a landing gear with a wide-stance, making it far more stable during takeoff and landing, especially for less experienced pilots. The bubble canopy provided excellent all-round visibility which not only bettered the Bf 109 but all of the Allies' fighters as well. The air-cooled BMW radial was more reliable and easier to maintain than the Daimler Benz liquid-cooled engines of the Messerschmitt. There were several series developed around the Fw 190 design. The Fw 190A series were primarily fighter aircraft (though many Fw 190As operated in the mud-moving role as well) and this series in particular was subject to a variety of subvariants that offered different mixes of armament, power and configurations.
Pacific Coast Models produces a range of limited-production 1/32 kits similar in concept and execution to the better Classic Airframes kits in 1/48 scale. The concept was a relatively easy-to-build multimedia model which provided the basic airframe in styrene, the details in resin, and the finer details in photo-etch. As with limited production kits of this type, modeling skills will be required as there are usually fit challenges around the airframe that will need to be tamed.
PCM has reissued an updated version of their early Fw 190A kit, this time with new resin parts to render the Fw 190A-4. Molded in gray styrene, this kit is presented on four parts trees
The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on five parts trees, plus one small tree of styrene clear parts. This kit also features some nice resin details and a fret of Eduard color-printed photo-etched parts as well. This release retains all of the parts and decals from its original Fw 190A-1/2/3 boxing (including the box), but adds three resin parts (tip of vertical stabilizer and the two lateral engine vents) that bring the kit up to Fw 190A-4. Among the features and options in this kit:
- Choice of Fw 190A-1, A-2, A-3, or A-4
- Nicely detailed resin cockpit
- Color-printed photo-etch instrument panel and pilot restraints
- Photo-etched rudder pedals
- Nicely detailed resin Jumo engine
- Detailed resin main wheel wells
- Choice of two tread patterns on resin main gear wheels
The original decal sheet provides a choice of eight subjects:
- Fw 190A-1, W.Nr.100, 5./JG 26, Black 13, Morseele AB, Germany, 1941
- Fw 190A-1, W.Nr.027, 6./JG 26, Red 1
- Fw 190A-2, W.Nr.20202, JG 26, He
- Fw 190A-3, W.Nr.333, 7./JG 2, 8+1
- Fw 190A-3, W.Nr.2187, 8./JG 2, 11+1
- Fw 190A-3, W.Nr.2181, 8./JG 2, 13+1
- Fw 190A-3, W.Nr.2261, 2./JG 51
- Fw 190A-3, W.Nr.437, 10./JG 1, 12+o
This release includes a new decal sheet with an additional eight subjects:
- Fw 190A-4, W.Nr.0140750, II./JG 2, <+-
- Fw 190A-4, unknown, 2./JG 54, Black 10
- Fw 190A-4, unknown, 1./JG 54, White 3
- Fw 190A-4, unknown, 1./JG 54, White III
- Fw 190A-4/U8, unknown, I./SKG 10, Red 4
- Fw 190A-4/U8, unknown, SchG 10, H
- Fw 190A-4, W.Nr.746, 9./JG 2, 4+I
- Fw 190A-4, W.Nr.140581, I./JG 1, <I
While the kit offers 16 distinctive markings options, the painting/decal instructions are the challenge with A-4 options in this kit. Each decal option has a left-side color profile, plus a generic RLM color pattern for the upper and lower views, but little further information. The original release provides the color call-outs for the camouflage schemes and the variations of the upper wing camouflage colors for the A-1/2/3 variants, but the A-4 instructions are less informative, especially with the JG 54 subjects.
This is currently the only styrene (multimedia) kit option for the early Fw 190A in 1/32 scale, and if you have experience with limited production kits, you can build yourself an early Focke Wulf for your scale flightline.
For a look at this kit built up, look here.
My sincere thanks to KitLinx for this review sample!