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  1. Focke-Wulf Fw.190A-6 (BF003) 1:35 Border Models via Albion Alloys Introduced in 1941 to combat the ever-improving Spitfire, the Fw.190 was intended to supplant the Bf.109 if it reached a plateau in development, or run alongside it as a stablemate. Its powerful twin-bank radial engine was installed with a close-fitting cowling and was initially equipped with an oversized, ducted prop-spinner to keep the engine cool, which was discarded early in development in favour of a fan that ran on the prop's drive-shaft to push air through over and between the cylinder heads, which also facilitated oil cooling. It was also given a wide-track landing gear, which reduced the likelihood of a nose-over, a problem afflicting both the 109 and Spitfire, due to their narrow track and poor forward visibility. When it first encountered Spitfires, it gave the RAF pilots a shock, as they were expecting 109s, not these agile new aircraft. It caused a frenzy of development at Supermarine, which was just part of the leapfrog game played by both sides throughout the conflict. The initial A-1 production version was equipped with a BMW 801 engine, and by the time the A-4 was signed off, it had two 7.92mm guns in the cowling, and a pair of 20mm MG151 cannons in the wing root, all of which were synchronised with the prop's motion, in turn mated to a more powerful version of the BMW engine. There were several equipment fits used in the many versions that gave the Würger (Shrike) additional weapons and capabilities, including a pressurised cockpit, rocket tubes and reconnaissance cameras. The A-6 was a natural progression of development that started reaching service in mid-1943, with an increased armament that included MG17s in the engine cowling, and two 20mm MG 151 cannons in the wing root as before, and another identical pair just outboard of the landing gear bays. The wings were also lightened whilst improving their strength, leaving space for extra ammunition for the two wing-mounted cannons, in an effort to increase their success in downing the bomber streams that were attacking German industry on a daily basis. The Kit This is a new tooling from Border that was released late in 2023 in their relatively new 1:35 range of aircraft kits. The kit arrives in a satin-finished top-opening box with a painting of an Fw.190 on the ground in a wintery landscape, with an Sd.Kfz.251 half-track in the background and some ground-crew working on the aircraft. Inside the box are nine sprues of grey styrene, two of clear parts, one of which doesn’t appear on the sprue map at the front of the instruction manual, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) and a pair of decal sheets, plus the afore mentioned instruction booklet. Detail is excellent throughout, including a full representation of the two banks of the BMW engine, a detailed cockpit, and gear bays with the distinctive dimpled surfaces, detail that is carried over into the cowling and bay covers that accompany the kit, some of which can be posed open to expose the structure inside. Construction begins with the engine, both banks of pistons made from front and rear halves, linked together by a set of seven pipes, and completed by adding fairings to the tops of the forward cylinder heads. Push-rods are fixed to the rear along with the intake “spider” of pipework, with the exhaust tubing interleaved between them, consisting of four sections that plug into the rear of the cylinder heads. A host of ancillary parts are fitted to the rear of the growing engine assembly, including ducting, support frames and a dozen other parts of various sizes. Another set of push-rods are fixed to the front of the motor, followed by the front bell-housing with magnetos and other parts dotted around it. The completed engine is a dense and well-detailed lump of plastic that will look great in the cowling, and begs to have some of the panels left open to see the details. Wing armament is next, building the breeches and ammo feeds for the wing-root guns, and the full cannons for the outer weapons, plus an ammo feed and box for each one, all of which is handed for each wing. Before installing them, the full-span lower wing is fitted with a spar section behind the bay door openings, adding a central support in front, the wing-mounted cannon assemblies behind, and drilling out several holes in the wings and centreline of the wing. The front gear bay walls with barrels for the root cannons are installed, then the outer wing cannons are fixed on a pair of pins in position, finally adding the combined ammo boxes and feeds for the cowling guns as a single part over the central support. The bays can then be fitted with four ribs each, and the central section is covered by the dimpled fairing that straddles the forward support and butts up against the cowling ammo boxes. At last we get to the cockpit, which is based on a detailed tub with the rear deck moulded-in, to which a PE lid is mounted for personal equipment stowage. Rudder pedal bases and detail inserts are added to the side consoles, then the pilot’s seat is fitted with a cushion, and the PE four-point seatbelts are folded into position before being glued using super-glue, after which the control column is inserted into the floor in front of the seat. PE straps are bent and fixed to the styrene rudder pedals, adding a lever to the port console, then the lower portion of the instrument panel is inserted into the console tops, adding decals to depict the dials, and closing off the footwell with a short bulkhead that is covered above by the floor of the gun bay. The panel also has a pair of styrene and PE levers fixed to it before it is glued in place, after which preparation for closing the fuselage is begun by adding the three-part gunsight to the upper panel portion along with more dial decals, creating the rudder from two halves, the tail-wheel from a two-part yoke and wheel, then making up the prop from the single-part blades and trapping it between the spinner and backing plate, adding the cooling fan and three more parts behind. Paint and a few more small parts are added to the side walls of the fuselage, then all the sub-assemblies bar the propeller are joined to the fuselage halves as they are closed. After you have dealt with the fuselage seams in your preferred manner, the fuselage is lowered over the wing, and the canopy is glued in place, first mounting the windscreen at the front of the cockpit opening, then making up a three-part headrest and armour assembly that fits inside the canopy, which can be posed open or closed as you wish. The upper wing halves have detail moulded into them in the shape of the main gear bay roof and the flap bays, which are filled with ribs that taper toward the trailing edge. The starboard wing has a hole opened to accommodate the pitot probe, then the uppers can be mated with the lower wing, adding the flaps to a hinge-point in the lower wing. Each wingtip has a clear light inserted into a recess once the seams of the wings have been dealt with, then the two halves of the ailerons are glued around their hinges to complete the wing planform. Two lower cowling panels are installed with piano-hinge fittings under the rear of the engine, and these have internal detail included, so could be left open if you chose. The root gun bay doors are similarly detailed inside, and these too can be left open or closed as you wish. The elevators are made by creating the flying surfaces from two halves, then trapping them in place by closing the two halves of the fixed portion along the hinge-line, each one plugging into slots in either side of the tail. The completed engine is mounted on a pair of zig-zag supports, which fits into the bulkhead in front of the cockpit, adding a pair of hoses between the engine and the bulkhead. Two cowling panels with cooling gills are fixed to the engine sides, and the front cowling ring is made from three layers, one in front of the other, fixing them in place along with two upper cowling parts that can be posed open and closed, adding PE support straps to both sides to hold them to the correct angle for maintenance. The top centre cowling section is attached, then the twin machine guns are made, each one a single part that is laid on a two-part mount, secured in place with a bracket over the breech, then fitted into the gun bay, adding the final bulged piece of cowling to the space in front of the windscreen, which can also be flipped up and to the rear, hinging against the sloped windscreen. The propeller assembly can now be installed in the front of the engine, taking care not to dislodge any open panels you have chosen to portray. The crew step, D/F loop and a short aerial are all fitted to the underside of the fuselage, although they are best left off until after painting. The Würger could carry various munitions, and several options are included in this boxing. A two-part fuel tank can be carried under the belly, mounted on a long three-part pylon with towel-rail anti-sway braces, and a pair of W.Gr.21 rocket pods can be fitted, one under each wing. These are built from a slide-moulded tube that has the supports slotted into grooves in the tube, adding a PE rear and a curved PE activation wire from there to the nearest support leg. The rocket is also provided, and is installed in the tube along with the three guide rails that helped it achieve some sort of accuracy, although it wasn’t all that successful in that task. Each completed assembly is fitted into the holes that were drilled out under the wings earlier in the build process. Strangely, the landing gear is only shown built up in the in-flight position, which has most of the detail hidden away under the gear bay doors, but as they hinge down simply from the outer edge of the bays, it’s not rocket science to pose the wheels down, but do look at some references before you apply glue, as the 190 should look a little pin-toed from the front. The struts each have separate two-part oleo scissor-links, plus a styrene brake hose that runs up the leg to the wheel, adding a small PE bracket near the top of each one. The wheels are two-parts each, and these fix to the stub axles at the bottom of the struts, and as mentioned are shown placed flat in the wheel wells glued by their single pivot, with no mention of parts G34 and G35 that I think are the retraction jacks that should keep the legs at the correct angle. This boxing seems to have a step missing where the gear down option is depicted, but the box art shows them correctly installed, albeit in deep shadow. The cover of the instructions also mentions clear cowlings for the engines and cowlings, but they weren’t present in my boxing, and it only mentions two decal options when there are in fact seven. Maybe an errata sheet will be produced for later batches? Markings The decals are printed anonymously on blue backing paper, and a generous seven options are included, the profiles for which have been penned by artists from AMMO, using their brand codes for the paint call-outs along with the colour names. From the box you can build one of the following: The decals are in good registration with sharp detail and colour density, with one sheet covering the stencils, instrument panel and smaller markings. Conclusion It’s a nice rendition of the infamous Butcher Bird in 1:35, with a few slip-ups that shouldn’t cause too many issues for a modeller with common sense and a little bit of skill. It’s still a relatively new scale for fixed-winged aircraft, but should be a welcome sight for anyone wanting a common scale for their AFV and aircraft builds. Highly recommended. Available in the UK in all good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Focke-Wulf Fw.190D-9 ProfiPACK (8188) 1:48 Eduard The Fw.190 was designed by Kurt Tank, and initially gave the RAF a fright when it first appeared, spurring the British designers to rush the Mk.V Spitfire into service in a never-ending game of technological leapfrog. For their own part the Focke-Wulf engineers were constantly trying to improve on the airframe of the 190, and by the time the D, or Dora was in production, the war was no longer going in the Nazi’s favour. Often known as the "Long nose" due to the elongated nose cowling to accommodate the liquid cooled Jumo 213A engine and annular radiator assembly. It came into production in late 1944, and over 1,800 examples were manufactured before the end of the war, often with a patchwork of varied paint finishes, sometimes even unpainted or in primer due to the inconsistent production facilities that were in existence at the time, building up sub-assemblies in workshops distributed far and wide to avoid Allied bombing raids. The Kit This ProfiPACK edition from Eduard is a reboxing of their original kit from 2011 with new decals. Inside are five sprues in darker grey styrene, a sprue of clear parts, a Photo-Etched (PE) fret of pre-painted brass parts with clear glossy overprinting on the dials, a pre-cut sheet of canopy masks, and two sheets of decals separated into stencils and national/unit markings. On opening the box, detail stands up well given the years since it was originally tooled, although the latest 190As are a little more detailed on the exterior. The enhancement of the PE and the decals are welcome, the technology improved over the years in much the same way as the aircraft itself did. Construction starts with the cockpit, and here most of the PE is used to upgrade the instrument panel and side consoles. The styrene parts have detail moulded-in, which must be removed first, and those areas are helpfully marked in red on the instructions. Forward of the cockpit is the nose machine gun bay, which can be detailed with a quantity of parts if it is to be left open, or with the omission of many of the parts, the bay can be closed with the use of a pair of MG stubs that glue into the bay cover later. As the engine ancillary units (including the super-charger and engine mounts) are in the same bay as the MGs, leaving it open also shows off those nicely detailed parts. The main bulk of the engine is not depicted in this kit, but the exhaust stacks are mounted from the inside of the fuselage in their own recesses, and are held in place by the front bulkhead of the MG bay. You can open the tips of the exhaust stacks yourself for added realism, or simply buy the resin parts that are available from Eduard. Once these are installed, the modeller can close the fuselage after choosing which type of tail wheel to use, one moulded as a single part, the other made up from a two-part yoke and separate wheel. The wing lower is a full-span part, with a long spar running along the back of the landing gear bay, to which additional ribs are added to detail the gear bays themselves. The wing mounted cannons go through the bays here, and must be added at this point due to their tapering shape. It may be wise to chop off the last section and replace it later in the build with a piece of fine tubing if you are a tad clumsy like this reviewer. The upper halves of the wings can have the cannon bays left open to expose the breeches of the 151/20 cannons, or if left closed, a blanking section can be substituted, removing a little plastic marked out in red. The flaps are moulded integrally, but the ailerons can be posed at an angle to give a little extra visual interest, and are added after the wing halves are joined. The whole wing is then offered up to the underside of the fuselage, so test fit before applying glue. The rear empennage has the fin moulded to the fuselage, and the rudder panel is separate and poseable, while the elevators fit to the fuselage with a large attachment tab. The cockpit coaming is inserted into the front of the opening, with a choice of either a styrene part with decal over it or a flat backing over which a lamination of pre-painted PE is placed for extra detail. Each option has a clear gunsight inserted into a depression in the front that is painted to leave the glazing clear. The landing gear on the 190 is long and canted in slightly, which is shown by the helpful scrap diagrams, and the modeller has a choice of two types of wheel here with either smooth or treaded tyres. The wheels themselves should be installed at an 8° angle to the oleo strut, which would be fun to measure if it weren't for the 1:1 scale drawing that is provided. The retraction jacks fix within the bay to large contact points, so a strong landing gear should be the result, and the large under-hanging antenna with curved tip that slots into a hole should be adequately protected by them. You can choose to pose the cooling flaps on the cowling open or closed, as they are provided as separate rings that slot in behind the main cowling, which itself slides onto a large cylindrical spacer at the front of the fuselage after mounting the prop. The three wide-blade props are moulded as a single unit that is sandwiched between the spinner and its back-plate, then slipped through the cowling to be locked in place by a styrene washer and some glue. The super-charger intake is also installed into its recess at this point, as are the gun troughs on the forward fuselage, with a small intake added to one side before it is laid into the top of the fuselage at the same time as the wing mounted gun bay covers, which if modelled closed, receive a nice set of PE piano type hinges once installed. If you are leaving them open, a pair of detail parts are dropped into the bays on both sides. The nose gun bay cowling is either placed over the bay with its barrel insert, or hinged back against the windscreen if left open to display the interior. The crew step, D/F-loop, antenna from your own wire stock and pitot probe are all fixed under the fuselage and in the leading edge of the wing, with a two-part drop-tank mounted on a simple pylon on the centreline. The clear sprue includes four canopies, but only one is used, with a choice of posing it open or closed. The head-rest & armour is installed in the sliding portion of the canopy, as well as a tiny PE grab handle and a stencil decal, then a standard windscreen mounts over the coaming to complete construction. A full set of masks are supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, and these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curves handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape. In addition, you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort. Two small masks are also included that fit to the rear edge of the wing root gun bays if you are posing them open, as that section would remain unpainted due to the bay door being in position during camouflage painting, so first paint the area a metallic colour, apply the masks and then overpaint with camouflage colour. Markings There are five decal options in the box, some of which are colourful when compared to the usual, while others show the lack of consistent paint finishes that were applied during late war. From the box you can build one of the following: W.Nr.600?69, Hptm. Waldemar Wubke, Sashenberg, Schwarm, Ainring, Germany, May 1945 W.Nr.500698, Lt. Gunter Seyd, 7./JG 26, Uetersen, Germany, May 1945 W.Nr.2100003, Oblt. Hans Dortenmann, 12./JG 26, Germany, May 1945 Stab I./JG 2, Frankfurt/Rhein-Main, Germany, April 1945 W.Nr.210909, Maj. Gerhard Barkhorn, JG 6, Welzow, Germany, February 1945 The decals are printed by Eduard and are in good registration, sharpness, and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The stencils are on a separate sheet, and are marked on the last page of the booklet, separate from the rest of the markings to avoid confusion from trying to read overly complicated diagrams. Don’t forget that as of 2021, the carrier film from Eduard decals can be coaxed away from the printed part of the decal after they have been applied, effectively rendering them carrier-free, making the decals much thinner and more realistic, and obviating the need to apply successive coats of clear varnish to hide the edges of the film. It’s a great step further in realism from my point of view, and will be very useful for the white stripes on decal option A. Conclusion A welcome re-release of the Langnasen 190D that is stocked with plenty of detail out of the box, and builds up well. The inclusion of some interesting decal options should appeal to many folks, as will the comparative ease of applying the white decals to the red underside, as you should be able to simply peel off the carrier film. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Focke-Wulf Fw.190A-8/R2 ProfiPACK (82145) 1:48 Eduard The Fw 190 was a shock to the Allies when it arrived, and was a trigger for evolution of the Spitfire once it became known. It was designed to be small, consisting of little more than a radial engine and space for the pilot, but its diminutive size belied its offensive power that was concentrated around the centre line of the aircraft with guns installed in the engine cowling and wing-root that fired through the propeller. The A-8 was a late war variant, but was still the most produced of the A series aircraft, and had a more powerful engine with emergency boost that increased speed for a short time at the expense of fuel economy, a new wooden wide-bladed prop as well as a bulged canopy to improve the pilot's vision to the side and rear. An additional fuel tank was also housed in the fuselage to improve endurance, which necessitated movement of other items and the access hatches that serviced them. Additional armour was added to the front of the aircraft, with 10mm plate protecting the engine during head-on attacks, and an elongated centre mounted bomb rack could also carry an additional fuel tank if required. The A-8/R2 replaced the outer wing 20 mm cannon with a 30 mm cannon. The Kit This kit is a new tool and not to be confused with the older A-8 kit. These new kits from Eduard are top notch in all respects. Inside are five grey/blue sprues, one clear, two decal sheets, a sheet of PE, a sheet of masks (not shown); and the instruction/painting guide in glossy colour printing. Due to the pick-n-mix nature of the sprues there will be a fair quantity of spares left after construction, which are marked on the diagrams with a pale blue overprinting. Construction starts in the cockpit. The tub includes the sharply pointed rear deck, to which you add the rear bulkheads, control column, seat, rudder pedals, and sundry other parts in styrene, detail parts and replacement panels are provided on the PE fret. In order to close up the fuselage the cockpit assembly is inserted along with a bulkhead that closes up the front of the tub, two exhaust inserts in the cowling, and the engine assembly, which is only an approximation of the front row of cylinders, plus the reduction gear, as not much will be seen once the cowling is in place. The lower wings are full width, and have a spar fitted that runs to the ends of the gear bays, with detail on the face visible through the apertures. This is augmented by the wheel trays, various ribs and the cannon barrels that protrude through, with the upper wings added after painting of the bay roof detail that is etched into their underside. The completed wing assembly is then offered up to the fuselage, and the missing sections of the cowling with exhaust stubs, gun barrels and troughs are added to the top and bottom of the nose. The two-piece ring finishes the front cowling, and the flying surfaces are glued into to place, including separate rudder and ailerons, and fixed elevators. Two types of tyres are provided for the main gear, which have separate hubs, and fit onto the peg on the ends of the strut, with separate oleo-scissors and captive bay door parts. The retraction gear is installed on the inner side of the leg, and the centre doors fit to the central bar that splits the bays. The tail wheel slots into the rear, crew step, gun barrels and pitot probes are installed, then the three-bladed paddle prop is completed with spinner and fan behind it, with a peg at the rear fitting into a corresponding hole in the engine front. Different open and closed canopies are provided, and are outfitted with head armour before being added to the airframe along with the windscreen part. If you are rigging the aerial wire to the tail, remember that if you pose the canopy open, the wire can appear relaxed, although many photos also show it taut, so check your references. Markings This Profipack edition gives you five decal options, from the box you can build one of the following: W. Nr. 682989, 5./JG301, Germany, May 1945 Flown by Fw. Adalbert Koch, 6./JG 300, Löbnitz, Germany, Fall 1944 Flown by Lt. Karl Spenst, 8./JG 300, Germany, Löbnitz, Germany, leden 1945 Flown by Hptm. Gerhard Schröder, CO of II.(Sturm)/JG 4, Welzow, Germany, September 1944 W. Nr. 680747, flown by Oblt. Hans Weik, CO of 10.(Sturm)/ JG 3, Memmingen, Germany, June 1944 All the decals are printed in house, have good registration, colour density and sharpness, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the edge of the printing. The stencils are catered for on a separate sheet, with a page of the instructions devoted to their placement, away from the markings options to avoid clutter. As always with Eduard, the Swastikas are provided on one cut-off corner of the sheet, and in two parts on the body of the sheet to comply with local regulations regarding this contentious symbol. Conclusion The surface detail on the kit is excellent, with lines of finely engraved rivets adding to the visual appeal (yes, we know rivets aren't holes, but this technique works for most of us though!). Highly Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Focke-Wulf Fw.190A-4 Weekend (84121) 1:48 Eduard Introduced in 1941 to combat the ever-improving Spitfire, the Fw.190 was intended to supplant the Bf.109 if it reached a plateau in development, or run alongside it as a stablemate. Its powerful twin-bank radial engine was installed with a close-fitting cowling and was initially equipped with an oversized, ducted prop-spinner to keep the engine cool, which was discarded early in development in favour of a fan that ran on the prop's drive-shaft to push air through the cylinder heads, which also facilitated oil cooling. It was also given a wide-track landing gear, which reduced the likelihood of a nose-over, a problem afflicting both the 109 and Spitfire, due to their narrow track and poor forward visibility. When it first encountered Spitfires, it gave the Allied pilots a shock, as they were expecting 109s, not these agile little aircraft. It caused an frenzy of development at Supermarine, which was just part of the leapfrog games played on both sides throughout the conflict. The initial A-1 production version was equipped with a BMW 801 engine, and by the time the A-4 was signed off, it had two 7.92mm guns in the cowling, and a pair of 20mm MG151 cannons in the wing root, all of which were synchronised with the prop's motion, in turn mated to a more powerful version of the BMW engine. There were a number of equipment fits used to give the Würger (Shrike) additional weapons and capabilities, including a pressurised cockpit, rocket tubes and reconnaissance cameras. The A-4 also saw limited service as the F-1 in a ground-attack role, and was eventually replaced by the A-5, which moved the centre-of-gravity forward to accommodate the larger load it was capable of carrying. The Kit Since Eduard started reboxing their new kits the A-4 doesn't seem to have been available in a weekend boxing on its own until now. These new kits from Eduard are top notch in all respects. Inside are five grey/blue sprues, one clear, two decal sheets and the instruction/painting guide in glossy colour printing. Due to the pick-n-mix nature of the sprues there will be a fair quantity of spares left after construction, which are marked on the diagrams with a pale blue overprinting. Construction starts in the cockpit. The tub includes the sharply pointed rear deck, to which you add the rear bulkheads, control column, seat, rudder pedals, and sundry other parts in styrene. In order to close up the fuselage the cockpit assembly is inserted along with a bulkhead that closes up the front of the tub, two exhaust inserts in the cowling, and the engine assembly, which is only an approximation of the front row of cylinders, plus the reduction gear, as not much will be seen once the cowling is in place. The lower wings are full width, and have a spar fitted that runs to the ends of the gear bays, with detail on the face visible through the apertures. This is augmented by the wheel trays, various ribs and the cannon barrels that protrude through, with the upper wings added after painting of the bay roof detail that is etched into their underside. The completed wing assembly is then offered up to the fuselage, and the missing sections of the cowling with exhaust stubs, gun barrels and troughs are added to the top and bottom of the nose. The two-piece ring finishes the front cowling, and the flying surfaces are glued into to place, including separate rudder and ailerons, and fixed elevators. Two types of tyres are provided for the main gear, which have separate hubs, and fit onto the peg on the ends of the strut, with separate oleo-scissors and captive bay door parts. The retraction gear is installed on the inner side of the leg, and the centre doors fit to the central bar that splits the bays. The tail wheel slots into the rear, crew step, gun barrels and pitot probes are installed, then the three-bladed paddle prop is completed with spinner and fan behind it, with a peg at the rear fitting into a corresponding hole in the engine front. Different open and closed canopies are provided, and are outfitted with head armour before being added to the airframe along with the windscreen part. If you are rigging the aerial wire to the tail, remember that if you pose the canopy open, the wire can appear relaxed, although many photos also show it taut, so check your references. Markings This weekend edition gives you two decal options, from the box you can build one of the following: Fw 190A-4 1/48 - W. Nr. 5533, flown by Oblt. Wolfgang Leonhardt, CO of 6./JG 1, Woensdrecht, the Netherlands, October 1942 2 / 2 Fw 190A-4 1/48 - W. Nr. 583, flown by Uffz. Karl Knespel, 1./JG 1, Deelen, the Netherlands, April 1943 All the decals are printed in house, have good registration, colour density and sharpness, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the edge of the printing. The stencils are catered for on a separate sheet, with a page of the instructions devoted to their placement, away from the markings options to avoid clutter. As always with Eduard, the Swastikas are provided on one cut-off corner of the sheet, and in two parts on the body of the sheet to comply with local regulations regarding this contentious symbol. Conclusion The surface detail on the kit is excellent, with lines of finely engraved rivets adding to the visual appeal (yes, we know rivets aren't holes, but this technique works for most of us though!). The weekend edition brings this excellent kit out at a good price point. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Fw.190A-8/R2 Upgrades (for Eduard) 1:48 Eduard Eduard's newly issued early Fw.190A-8/R2 has been released in different boxings, now Eduard offer some upgrade sets for the kit. As always it's a modular approach, and you can choose what you use, with a guarantee that it'll fit your model just so, as it's by Eduard for Eduard. As usual with Eduard's resin sets, they arrive in the familiar Brassin clamshell box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions sandwiched between the two halves, doubling as the header card. The larger sets are encased in an oblong box, with the resin parts safely cocooned on dark grey foam inserts, and the instructions sandwiched wrapped around, providing extra protection. Fw.190A-8/R2 Cockpit (648426) Consisting of resin, PE, decals and a small sheet of clear acetate film, the largest part of which is the cockpit tub with the aft decking and side consoles already moulded in. The separate seat is prepared with its cushion and a set of pre-painted PE seatbelts, and fitted to the tub after the removal of some moulding flash that is indicated in red (already removed in the pics). Resin control column, resin and PE rudder pedals, and the instrument panel are made up next, with the latter having the choice of using the PE panel with pre-printed dials, or a detailed resin part over which you apply a decal of the instruments. Your choice! The panel fits on ledges at the front of the side consoles, and the resin gunsight with PE and acetate parts slides into a groove in the upper panel. The cowling fits over the top, and it too has cut-outs that need clearing of flash beforehand. To fit the new cockpit inside the fuselage a pair of plastic wedges are removed from the inside, to be replaced with a detailed PE and resin trim wheel. The assemblies should then fit neatly within, alongside the kit bulkhead, assuming you aren't taking advantage of any of the other sets I'll be mentioning in this review. The set includes the opening mechanism and the pilot's head armour, which has a warning decal added to it after painting. The interior roll-over frame is resin, and has delicate PE bracing wires linking to the rear, all of which fits inside the canopy after painting. The canopy then installs as normal. Update PE Set (48973) The main thrust of this set is new main landing gear doors, there are also additional parts for the main gear bays, shell chutes in the wings, brake lines for the landing gear legs, external rack braces, some exterior fittings and parts for the canopy Undercarriage Legs BRONZE (648437) There are two cast bronze legs in the box, with two gear bay doors. There are no small centre line doors I have seen in other Fw 190 sets? The casting of the bronze is superlative, and far better than white metal, as well as being much stronger. If you are planning on loading up your model with resin cockpit, engine, gun bay, etc., these may be just the ticket to support all that extra weight. Flaps (48974) As the title suggests this set is for the flaps of the aircraft. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Fw 190A-2 fighter (82146) 1:48 Eduard ProfiPACK edition. The Fw 190 came on-stream in 1941 and gave the RAF a shock with its superior performance to the older Bf.109 that it was mistaken for by many a hapless Spitfire pilot. The visionary designer Kurt Tank stripped down the aircraft as much as possible to give it the speed and manoeuvrability advantage the German Luftwaffe needed, which resulted in a small but pugnacious design with a twin-bank radial engine buried in a close-fitting nose cowling that could out-fly a Spitfire Mk.V in most respects below 20,000ft. The initial Fw 190A, they went from A-1 sub-variants, through A-2 with an improved engine and weapons, the A-3 with another power improvement and the ability to mount more external weapons, as the versatility of the airframe was realised. The A-4 was little different, with more armament options that could be fitted in the field, and after that came the A-5 all the way up to the A-10, and in ground attack versions we had the F, with the high altitude variant designed D, with the G replacing some of the later A variants that had either long-range tanks or specialist armaments fitted. The A-5 was developed when it was found the airframe was capable of carrying more weight than it was designed for. The engine was moved forward 6 inches, thus moving the centre of gravity forward allowing more weight to be carried further aft. The Kit The newly tooled early Fw.190A series has added much to Eduard's existing line of Fw 190 variants, and with tooling advancement used to improve the model, it is an excellent choice for anyone wanting a Butcher Bird for their collection. The ProfiPACK boxing includes extras to improve on the already excellent detail, and arrives in the traditional orange-themed box, which is adorned with a painting of the iconic Butcher bird engaged with a Mosquito. Inside are five grey/blue sprues, one clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, two resin parts, a small sheet of kabuki tape masking material( not shown), two decal sheets and the instruction/painting guide in glossy colour printing. Due to the pick-n-mix nature of the sprues there will be a fair quantity of spares left after construction, which are marked on the diagrams with a pale blue overprinting. Construction starts in the cockpit, which is augmented with pre-painted PE side consoles and instrument panels, but also retained are the decals that can be applied to flat panels, as well as the engraved panels for those that prefer to paint their details manually. The tub includes the sharply pointed rear deck, to which you add the rear bulkheads, control column, seat, plastic or PE rudder pedals, pre-painted seatbelts and sundry other parts in styrene and PE. In order to close up the fuselage the cockpit assembly is inserted along with a bulkhead that closes up the front of the tub, two exhaust inserts in the cowling, and the engine assembly, which is only an approximation of the front row of cylinders, plus the reduction gear, as not much will be seen once the cowling is in place. The lower wings are full width, and have a spar fitted that runs to the ends of the gear bays, with detail on the face visible through the apertures. This is augmented by the wheel trays, various ribs and the cannon barrels that protrude through, with the upper wings added after painting of the bay roof detail that is etched into their underside. There are different wings in this boxing depending on the decal options so the modeller will need to chose the right one. The completed wing assembly is then offered up to the fuselage, and the missing sections of the cowling with exhaust stubs, gun barrels and troughs are added to the top and bottom of the nose. The two-piece ring finishes the front cowling, and the flying surfaces are glued into to place, including separate rudder and ailerons, and fixed elevators. Two types of tyres are provided for the main gear, which have separate hubs, and fit onto the peg on the ends of the strut, with separate oleo-scissors and captive bay door parts. The retraction gear is installed on the inner side of the leg, and the centre doors fit to the central bar that splits the bays. The tail wheel slots into the rear, crew step, gun barrels and pitot probes are installed, then the three-bladed paddle prop is completed with spinner and fan behind it, with a peg at the rear fitting into a corresponding hole in the engine front. Different open and closed canopies are provided, and are outfitted with head armour before being added to the airframe along with the windscreen part. The last touch is to add the gear-down indicator pegs to the tops of the wings, which are made from tiny PE parts. If you are rigging the aerial wire to the tail, remember that if you pose the canopy open, the wire can appear relaxed, although many photos also show it taut, so check your references. Markings This ProfiPACK edition gives you five decal options, with plenty of variation between them, and don’t forget that you also have masks for the canopy and the wheel hubs to ease your painting job, which is always nice. From the box you can build one of the following: A. W. Nr. 0125310, flown by Hptm. Josef Priller, CO of III./JG 26, Wevelghem, Belgium, June 1942 B. W. Nr. 0125228, flown by Ofw. Erwin Leibold, Stab I./JG 26, St. Omer-Arques, France, July 1942 C. W. Nr. 0125281, flown by Oblt. Siegfried Schnell, CO of 9./JG 2, Théville, France, June 1942 D. W. Nr. 0122125, flown by Oblt. Max Buchholz, CO of 5./JG 1, Katwijk, the Netherlands, Summer 1942 E. flown by Oblt. Egon Mayer, CO of 7./JG 2, Théville, France, Summer 1942 Conclusion With a good selection of decal options, highly detailed plastic and some PE/resin, this is a lovely kit that will give you plenty of modelling fun. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Fw 190A-3 (48956) 1:48 Eduard This set contains some small cockpit items, wheel well details, new gear doors, leg brake lines, gun panel details, and cockpit canopy details. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Fw 190A-3 fighter (82144) 1:48 Eduard ProfiPACK edition. The Fw 190 came on-stream in 1941 and gave the RAF a shock with its superior performance to the older Bf.109 that it was mistaken for by many a hapless Spitfire pilot. The visionary designer Kurt Tank stripped down the aircraft as much as possible to give it the speed and manoeuvrability advantage the German Luftwaffe needed, which resulted in a small but pugnacious design with a twin-bank radial engine buried in a close-fitting nose cowling that could out-fly a Spitfire Mk.V in most respects below 20,000ft. The initial Fw 190A, they went from A-1 sub-variants, through A-2 with an improved engine and weapons, the A-3 with another power improvement and the ability to mount more external weapons, as the versatility of the airframe was realised. The A-4 was little different, with more armament options that could be fitted in the field, and after that came the A-5 all the way up to the A-10, and in ground attack versions we had the F, with the high altitude variant designed D, with the G replacing some of the later A variants that had either long-range tanks or specialist armaments fitted. The A-5 was developed when it was found the airframe was capable of carrying more weight than it was designed for. The engine was moved forward 6 inches, thus moving the centre of gravity forward allowing more weight to be carried further aft. The Kit The newly tooled early Fw.190A series has added much to Eduard's existing line of Fw 190 variants, and with tooling advancement used to improve the model, it is an excellent choice for anyone wanting a Butcher Bird for their collection. The ProfiPACK boxing includes extras to improve on the already excellent detail, and arrives in the traditional orange-themed box, which is adorned with a painting of the iconic Butcher bird engaged with a Spitfire. Inside are five grey/blue sprues, one clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small sheet of kabuki tape masking material, two decal sheets and the instruction/painting guide in glossy colour printing. Due to the pick-n-mix nature of the sprues there will be a fair quantity of spares left after construction, which are marked on the diagrams with a pale blue overprinting. Construction starts in the cockpit, which is augmented with pre-painted PE side consoles and instrument panels, but also retained are the decals that can be applied to flat panels, as well as the engraved panels for those that prefer to paint their details manually. The tub includes the sharply pointed rear deck, to which you add the rear bulkheads, control column, seat, plastic or PE rudder pedals, pre-painted seatbelts and sundry other parts in styrene and PE. In order to close up the fuselage the cockpit assembly is inserted along with a bulkhead that closes up the front of the tub, two exhaust inserts in the cowling, and the engine assembly, which is only an approximation of the front row of cylinders, plus the reduction gear, as not much will be seen once the cowling is in place. The lower wings are full width, and have a spar fitted that runs to the ends of the gear bays, with detail on the face visible through the apertures. This is augmented by the wheel trays, various ribs and the cannon barrels that protrude through, with the upper wings added after painting of the bay roof detail that is etched into their underside. The completed wing assembly is then offered up to the fuselage, and the missing sections of the cowling with exhaust stubs, gun barrels and troughs are added to the top and bottom of the nose. The two-piece ring finishes the front cowling, and the flying surfaces are glued into to place, including separate rudder and ailerons, and fixed elevators. Two types of tyres are provided for the main gear, which have separate hubs, and fit onto the peg on the ends of the strut, with separate oleo-scissors and captive bay door parts. The retraction gear is installed on the inner side of the leg, and the centre doors fit to the central bar that splits the bays. The tail wheel slots into the rear, crew step, gun barrels and pitot probes are installed, then the three-bladed paddle prop is completed with spinner and fan behind it, with a peg at the rear fitting into a corresponding hole in the engine front. Different open and closed canopies are provided, and are outfitted with head armour before being added to the airframe along with the windscreen part. The last touch is to add the gear-down indicator pegs to the tops of the wings, which are made from tiny PE parts. If you are rigging the aerial wire to the tail, remember that if you pose the canopy open, the wire can appear relaxed, although many photos also show it taut, so check your references. Markings This ProfiPACK edition gives you five decal options, with plenty of variation between them, and don’t forget that you also have masks for the canopy and the wheel hubs to ease your painting job, which is always nice. From the box you can build one of the following: A. W. Nr. 2278, flown by Uffz. Erich Pflaum, 2./ JG 51, Ljuban, Soviet Union, September 1942 B. W. Nr. 5227, flown by Fw. Karl Willius, 3./ JG 26, Saint-Omer, France, August 1942 C. W. Nr. 257, flown by Hptm. Joachim Müncheberg, CO of II./ JG 26, Abbeville-Drucat, France, May 1942 D. W. Nr. 432, flown by Oblt. Erich Rudorffer, CO of 6./ JG 2, Beaumont-le-Roger, France, August 1942 E. W. Nr. 418, flown by Oblt. Robert Olejnik, CO of 4./ JG 1, Woensdrecht, the Netherlands, June 1942 Conclusion With a good selection of decal options, highly detailed plastic and some PE, this is a lovely kit that will give you plenty of modelling fun. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Fw 190A-5 Light fighter (82143) 1:48 Eduard ProfiPACK edition. The Fw 190 came on-stream in 1941 and gave the RAF a shock with its superior performance to the older Bf.109 that it was mistaken for by many a hapless Spitfire pilot. The visionary designer Kurt Tank stripped down the aircraft as much as possible to give it the speed and manoeuvrability advantage the German Luftwaffe needed, which resulted in a small but pugnacious design with a twin-bank radial engine buried in a close-fitting nose cowling that could out-fly a Spitfire Mk.V in most respects below 20,000ft. The initial Fw 190A, they went from A-1 sub-variants, through A-2 with an improved engine and weapons, the A-3 with another power improvement and the ability to mount more external weapons, as the versatility of the airframe was realised. The A-4 was little different, with more armament options that could be fitted in the field, and after that came the A-5 all the way up to the A-10, and in ground attack versions we had the F, with the high altitude variant designed D, with the G replacing some of the later A variants that had either long-range tanks or specialist armaments fitted. The A-5 was developed when it was found the airframe was capable of carrying more weight than it was designed for. The engine was moved forward 6 inches, thus moving the centre of gravity forward allowing more weight to be carried further aft. The Kit The newly tooled early Fw.190A series has added much to Eduard's existing line of Fw 190 variants, and with tooling advancement used to improve the model, it is an excellent choice for anyone wanting a Butcher Bird for their collection. The ProfiPACK boxing includes extras to improve on the already excellent detail, and arrives in the traditional orange-themed box, which is adorned with a painting of the iconic Butcher bird engaged with a Spitfire. Inside are five grey/blue sprues, one clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small sheet of kabuki tape masking material, two decal sheets and the instruction/painting guide in glossy colour printing. Due to the pick-n-mix nature of the sprues there will be a fair quantity of spares left after construction, which are marked on the diagrams with a pale blue overprinting. Construction starts in the cockpit, which is augmented with pre-painted PE side consoles and instrument panels, but also retained are the decals that can be applied to flat panels, as well as the engraved panels for those that prefer to paint their details manually. The tub includes the sharply pointed rear deck, to which you add the rear bulkheads, control column, seat, plastic or PE rudder pedals, pre-painted seatbelts and sundry other parts in styrene and PE. In order to close up the fuselage the cockpit assembly is inserted along with a bulkhead that closes up the front of the tub, two exhaust inserts in the cowling, and the engine assembly, which is only an approximation of the front row of cylinders, plus the reduction gear, as not much will be seen once the cowling is in place. The lower wings are full width, and have a spar fitted that runs to the ends of the gear bays, with detail on the face visible through the apertures. This is augmented by the wheel trays, various ribs and the cannon barrels that protrude through, with the upper wings added after painting of the bay roof detail that is etched into their underside. The completed wing assembly is then offered up to the fuselage, and the missing sections of the cowling with exhaust stubs, gun barrels and troughs are added to the top and bottom of the nose. The two-piece ring finishes the front cowling, and the flying surfaces are glued into to place, including separate rudder and ailerons, and fixed elevators. Two types of tyres are provided for the main gear, which have separate hubs, and fit onto the peg on the ends of the strut, with separate oleo-scissors and captive bay door parts. The retraction gear is installed on the inner side of the leg, and the centre doors fit to the central bar that splits the bays. The tail wheel slots into the rear, crew step, gun barrels and pitot probes are installed, then the three-bladed paddle prop is completed with spinner and fan behind it, with a peg at the rear fitting into a corresponding hole in the engine front. Different open and closed canopies are provided, and are outfitted with head armour before being added to the airframe along with the windscreen part. The last touch is to add the gear-down indicator pegs to the tops of the wings, which are made from tiny PE parts. If you are rigging the aerial wire to the tail, remember that if you pose the canopy open, the wire can appear relaxed, although many photos also show it taut, so check your references. Markings This ProfiPACK edition gives you five decal options, with plenty of variation between them, and don’t forget that you also have masks for the canopy and the wheel hubs to ease your painting job, which is always nice. From the box you can build one of the following: Fw 190A-5 light fighter 1/48 - flown by Oblt. Rolf Strohal, Stab I./JG 1, Deelen, the Netherlands, April 1943 Fw 190A-5 light fighter 1/48 - W. Nr. 0152 594, flown by Maj. Hermann Graf, CO of JGr. Ost, Toulouse – Blagnac, France, April 1943 Fw 190A-5 light fighter 1/48 - W. Nr. 0157 298, flown by Maj. Josef Priller, CO of JG 26, Lille - Vendeville, France, May 1943 Fw 190A-5 light fighter 1/48 - W. Nr. 538, 6./Schl.G 1 , Deblin - Irena , Poland , January 1943 Fw 190A-5 light fighter 1/48 - W. Nr. 1501, Oblt. Walter Nowotny, CO of 1./ JG 54, Orel, Soviet Union, Summer 1943 Conclusion With a good selection of decal options, highly detailed plastic and some PE, this is a lovely kit that will give you plenty of modelling fun. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Fw.190A Early Versions Royal Class Dual Combo (R0016) 1:48 Eduard The Fw.190 came on-stream in 1941 and gave the RAF a shock with its superior performance to the older Bf.109 that it was mistaken for by many a hapless Spitfire pilot. The visionary designer Kurt Tank stripped down the aircraft as much as possible to give it the speed and manoeuvrability advantage the German Luftwaffe needed, which resulted in a small but pugnacious design with a twin-bank radial engine buried in a close-fitting nose cowling that could out-fly a Spitfire Mk.V in most respects below 20,000ft. The initial Fw.190A, they went from A-1 sub-variants, through A-2 with an improved engine and weapons, the A-3 with another power improvement and the ability to mount more external weapons, as the versatility of the airframe was realised. The A-4 was little different, with more armament options that could be fitted in the field, and after that came the A-5 all the way up to the A-10, and in ground attack versions we had the F, with the high altitude variant designed D, with the G replacing some of the later A variants that had either long-range tanks or specialist armaments fitted. The Kit The newly tooled early Fw.190A series has added much to Eduard's existing line of Fw.190 variants, and with tooling advancement used to improve the model, it is an excellent choice for anyone wanting a Butcher Bird for their collection. The Royal Class boxing offers the modeller a "luxury experience", and in this box you get two complete kits plus a selection of resin parts, plenty of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and a rather attractive custom printed beer glass. Inside the russet themed box are eleven sprues of dark grey styrene, two of clear, two sheets of nickel-plated and pre-painted PE plus a tiny sheet of bare brass PE, a sheet of pre-cut kabuki tape masking, a bag of resin parts, a large decal sheet with three smaller sheets of stencils and numerals, the aforementioned beer glass (tulip stemmed) and a rolled up print on thick A2 stock of an Fw.190A-4 sweeping low over a harbour in Algeria – quite a stunning piece of art! We reviewed the A-4 ProfiPACK variant in November of last year, which you can find here, and the build will clearly follow similar lines to that, so we won't re-tread old ground. Suffice to say that there are two kits in the box, and you have a three A-2s, four A-3s and six A-4s to choose from, of which you can of course only make two. As you would expect there are two of all the ancillary sprues, but there are three fuselage sprues due to changes in the vents behind the cowling and aerial fit, and two different wing sprues that have variations between their armament bulges on the underwing, which means that you are limited to building one model from the A-H range, and one from the I-N range below unless you can lay your hands on additional sprues. The resin parts include the two pairs of wheels for the finished models, which have superb detail, plus a pair of forward cowlings for markings option M, which have the tropical filter included with a PE grille at the front of the intake tube. The final resin parts are the inner wheel bay covers that were only fitted to earlier models, so apply to the first three options, all of which are A-2 variants. Various other adaptations are made to the plastic depending on which markings options you are using, so take care to choose your subject early to avoid confusion and possible errors in the details. Some annotations to the instructions may benefit in this case, especially as many modellers will probably choose to build the pair up at the same time in a mini-production line. Markings The main sheet is around A4 size and full of markings for the 14 options offered in the box, with the main sheet printed by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The two stencil sheets are printed in Czechia on a similar coloured backing paper, and are of similar quality. There is another small sheet that contains just two decals of the number 16, and is quite easily lost so tape it somewhere conspicuous once it is out of the bag. Fw 190A-2, W. Nr. 120282, flown by Fw. K. Nowak, 9./JG 2, Théville, France, May 1942 Fw 190A-2, W. Nr. 120206, flown by Fw. W. Grünlinger, Stab III./JG 26, Wevelgem, Belgium, September 1942 Fw 190A-2, W. Nr. 120325, flown by Ofw. J. Heinzeller, 3./JG 2, Trickqueville, France, June 1942 Fw 190A-3, W. Nr. 132259, flown by Uffz. G. Josten, 1./JG 51, Lyuban, Soviet Union, Autumn 1942 Fw 190A-3, W. Nr. 135313, flown by Oblt. A. Faber, III./JG 2, Morlaix, France, June 1942 Fw 190A-3, W. Nr. 125425, flown by Fw. K. Kundrus, 12./JG 5, Herdla, Norway, December 1943 Fw 190A-3, W. Nr. 130541, flown by Oblt. A. Dickfeld, CO of II./JG 2, San Pietro, Italy, November 1942 Fw 190A-3, W. Nr. 130541, flown by Fw. E. Mayer, 9./JG 5, Herdla, Norway, March 1945 Fw 190A-4, flown by Maj. H. von Bonin, CO of JG 54, Pskov, Soviet Union, Spring 1943 Fw 190A-4, W. Nr. 140581, flown by Lt. E. Burath, Stab I./JG 1, Deelen, the Netherlands, April 1943 Fw 190A-4, flown by Hptm. H. Philipp, CO of I./JG 54, Krasnogvardeysk, Soviet Union, January 1943 Fw 190A-4, W. Nr. 140634, flown by Maj. H. Graf, CO of JGr. Ost, Toulouse – Blagnac, France, April 1943 Fw 190A-4/Trop, W. Nr. 145614, EKdo 19, Benghazi, Lybia, November 1942 Fw 190A-4, W. Nr. 142317, flown by Fw. L. Seif, 11./SKG 10, Sidi Ahmed, Tunisia, January 1943 Can I Interest you in a Beer? The beer glass is found in a thick white cardboard box, wrapped in some crinkly paper for a bit of added protection. It is a really nice shape that's quite pleasant to drink from (speaking from experience), and will match the other beer glasses from the Royal Class series if you have them. If memory serves, you can augment your stash of them from Eduard's website too. The Print As already mentioned, the print that is included in the box is a handsome addition to anyone's collection of aviation art, depicting a flight of Fw.190s attacking shipping at Bona Harbour, off Algeria in 1943, flying at low level after releasing a bomb from the centreline station. Conclusion With a superb selection of decal options, highly detailed plastic and some really nice resin, PLUS a beer glass and a quality print, this is a lovely package that will give you plenty of modelling fun. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Focke-Wulf Fw.190A-4 ProfiPACK (82142) 1:48 Eduard Introduced in 1941 to combat the ever-improving Spitfire, the Fw.190 was intended to supplant the Bf.109 if it reached a plateau in development, or run alongside it as a stablemate. Its powerful twin-bank radial engine was installed with a close-fitting cowling and was initially edquipped with an oversized, ducted prop-spinner to keep the engine cool, which was discarded early in development in favour of a fan that ran on the prop's drive-shaft to push air through the cylinder heads, which also facilitated oil cooling. It was also given a wide-track landing gear, which reduced the likelihood of a nose-over, a problem afflicting both the 109 and Spitfire, due to their narrow track and poor forward visibility. When it first encountered Spitfires, it gave the Allied pilots a shock, as they were expecting 109s, not these agile little aircraft. It caused an frenzy of development at Supermarine, which was just part of the leapfrog games played on both sides throughout the conflict. The initial A-1 production version was equipped with a BMW 801 engine, and by the time the A-4 was signed off, it had two 7.92mm guns in the cowling, and a pair of 20mm MG151 cannons in the wing root, all of which were synchronised with the prop's motion, in turn mated to a more powerful version of the BMW engine. There were a number of equipment fits used to give the Würger (Shrike) additional weapons and capabilities, including a pressurised cockpit, rocket tubes and reconnaissance cameras. The A-4 also saw limited service as the F-1 in a ground-attack role, and was eventually replaced by the A-5, which moved the centre-of-gravity forward to accommodate the larger load it was capable of carrying. The Kit Since the initial tooling of the basic A series airframe in 2007, there have been numerous reboxings, additional parts and re-releases of other variants, although the A-4 doesn't seem to have been available in a boxing on its own until now. Eduard's 190 is a great kit, and has stood the test of time well over the last decade, and the moulds have seen additions that keep it current. The ProfiPACK boxing includes extras to improve on the already excellent detail, and arrives in the traditional orange-themed box, which is adorned with a painting of the iconic Butcher bird engaged with a Spitfire. Inside are five grey/blue sprues, one clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small sheet of kabuki tape masking material, two decal sheets and the instruction/painting guide in glossy colour printing. Due to the pick-n-mix nature of the sprues there will be a fair quantity of spares left after construction, which are marked on the diagrams with a pale blue overprinting. Construction starts in the cockpit, which is augmented with pre-painted PE side consoles and instrument panels, but also retained are the decals that can be applied to flat panels, as well as the engraved panels for those that prefer to paint their details manually. The tub includes the sharply pointed rear deck, to which you add the rear bulkheads, control column, seat, plastic or PE rudder pedals, pre-painted seatbelts and sundry other parts in styrene and PE. In order to close up the fuselage the cockpit assembly is inserted along with a bulkhead that closes up the front of the tub, two exhaust inserts in the cowling, and the engine assembly, which is only an approximation of the front row of cylinders, plus the reduction gear, as not much will be seen once the cowling is in place. The lower wings are full width, and have a spar fitted that runs to the ends of the gear bays, with detail on the face visible through the apertures. This is augmented by the wheel trays, various ribs and the cannon barrels that protrude through, with the upper wings added after painting of the bay roof detail that is etched into their underside. The completed wing assembly is then offered up to the fuselage, and the missing sections of the cowling with exhaust stubs, gun barrels and troughs are added to the top and bottom of the nose. The two-piece ring finishes the front cowling, and the flying surfaces are glued into to place, including separate rudder and ailerons, and fixed elevators. Two types of tyres are provided for the main gear, which have separate hubs, and fit onto the peg on the ends of the strut, with separate oleo-scissors and captive bay door parts. The retraction gear is installed on the inner side of the leg, and the centre doors fit to the central bar that splits the bays. The tail wheel slots into the rear, crew step, gun barrels and pitot probes are installed, then the three-bladed paddle prop is completed with spinner and fan behind it, with a peg at the rear fitting into a corresponding hole in the engine front. Different open and closed canopies are provided, and are outfitted with head armour before being added to the airframe along with the windscreen part. The last touch is to add the gear-down indicator pegs to the tops of the wings, which are made from tiny PE parts. If you are rigging the aerial wire to the tail, remember that if you pose the canopy open, the wire can appear relaxed, although many photos also show it taut, so check your references. Markings This ProfiPACK edition gives you five decal options, with plenty of variation between them, which should appeal to the widest of audiences, and don’t forget that you also have masks for the canopy and the wheel hubs to ease your painting job, which is always nice. From the box you can build one of the following: W. Nr. 746, flown by Oblt. S. Schnell, CO of 9./JG 2, Vannes-Meucon, France, January 1943 Flown by Maj. J. Trautloft, CO of JG 54, Soviet Union, early 1943 W. Nr. 749, flown by Oblt. E. Rudorffer, CO of 6./JG 2, Sidi Ahmed, Tunisia, December 1942 W. Nr. 760, flown by Fw. R. Eisele, 8./JG 2, Brest-Guipavas, France, January 1943 Flown by Oblt. W. Nowotny, CO of 1./JG 54, Staraya Russa, Soviet Union, March 1943 All the decals are printed in Czechia, have good registration, colour density and sharpness, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the edge of the printing. Under magnification there is a little spidering on the edges of some of the black parts, but under the Mk.1 eyeball this isn't readily visible. The stencils are catered for on a separate sheet, with a page of the instructions devoted to their placement, away from the markings options to avoid clutter. As always with Eduard, the Swastikas are provided on one cut-off corner of the sheet, and in two parts on the body of the sheet to comply with local regulations regarding this contentious symbol. Conclusion The surface detail on the kit is excellent, with lines of finely engraved rivets adding to the visual appeal (yes, we know rivets aren't holes, but this technique works for most of us though!). Add the extra PE detail, and quite a fun set of decal options (I particularly like option E), and you have a winner on your hands. Out of the box you can build a cracking model, but Eduard also have released a host of additional parts for those that either want to cherry-pick from the range, or go bonkers and add just about all of it in an attempt to create a singularity from the heaviest 1:48 model in the world! I'll be reviewing those shortly, but in the meantime feast your eyes on the kit itself. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Well it's been 10 months since my last model completed and posted here. In the meantime we have moved house, I've officially retired and started 3 new part time jobs. Enough about me so on to the subject... Eduard's ProfiPACK kit with thePE accessory set and Superfabric seat belts. Kit decals. It came out OK considering it was 50% assembled when I packed it up last March and pulled it out of packing last week. Should be more regular visits to the site. Nice to be back! Cheers!!
  13. I am building this kit for inclusion in my first attempt at a comprehensive aircraft diorama the details of which are in the Diorama WIP here. To complement the kit I have obtained the following: Eduard Brassin FW 190 F-8 Set Part 1 comprising resin and PE replacements for: The cockpit The MG131 mount Landing flaps Eduard Brassin FW 190 F-8 Set Part 2 comprising resin and PE replacements for: Wheels Bronze undercarriage legs Engine Propeller Canopy Masks. All of this will be a substantial challenge for me ‘cos I’ve never done it before! My models have utilised cockpit PE and belts but never wholesale replacement of chunks with resin bits! In addition, I’ve decided to open the radio hatch and scratch build the radio. In for a penny……. I have started on this before I decided (it was suggested) I write this WIP topic so over the next couple of days I’ll post my progress so far. I am hoping that the trials and tribulations that I face will help and encourage other not so experienced modellers like myself to have a go. Subsequently I intend to describe briefly how I’ve done things and hopefully the experts out there will say ‘No it’s easier than that try this”. Also, when I hit a wall, hopefully someone will turn up with the wrecking ball! Watch this space.
  14. Fw 190A-8 Profipack 1:48 Eduard The Fw 190 was a shock to the Allies when it arrived, and was a trigger for evolution of the Spitfire once it became known. It was designed to be small, consisting of little more than a radial engine and space for the pilot, but its diminutive size belied its offensive power that was concentrated around the centreline of the aircraft with guns installed in the engine cowling and wing-root that fired through the propeller. The A-8 was a late war variant, but was still the most produced of the A series aircraft, and had a more powerful engine with emergency boost that increased speed for a short time at the expense of fuel economy, a new wooden wide-bladed prop as well as a bulged canopy to improve the pilot's vision to the side and rear. An additional fuel tank was also housed in the fuselage to improve endurance, which necessitated movement of other items and the access hatches that serviced them. Additional armour was added to the front of the aircraft, with 10mm plate protecting the engine during head-on attacks, and an elongated centre mounted bomb rack could also carry an additional fuel tank if required. The Kit This is one of Eduard's Profipack kits, so is loaded with plenty of goodies that will appeal to those that like extra detail and plenty of choice of markings on their models. The kit arrives in the usual top-opening Eduard box with the orange Profipack branding stripe running across the front of a rather nice painting of a 190 in the midst of an attack on a bomber-stream of B-17s and Mustangs. Anyone that has an Eduard 190 in their stash will know what to expect in the box, and a few of the sprues should be familiar at least. There are six sprues of olive green styrene in the box, bagged in trios using resealable film bags. There are two decal sheets, plus a sheet of pre-cut kabuki tape masks, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) metal, and a clear sprue in a ziplok bag. The instruction booklet is Eduard's usual full colour glossy affair, and there is an additional sheet of lower grade paper that contains stencil placement and mask placement instructions that are common to all decal subjects. Comparing the A-8 to the A-9 boxing, the kits appear to be almost identical in terms of build, so I won't reproduce that in great detail, however it does raise a question in my mind that as the A-9 was supposed to be slightly longer than the A-8 due to a longer annular radiator for the oil cooler, but I'm sure of the difference, so perhaps an "experten" could chime in with a number to see whether it was even worth tooling different cowling parts? To summarise, a well-appointed cockpit can be made with a choice of PE or styrene panels, although decal panels aren't included with this one. A set of PE seatbelts finishes off the detail, and the gun bay is built up in the same vein. Wings are full-length on the underside and have the familiar spar running along the back of the gear bay to give it strength. A couple of holes will need to drilled out here if you're going to use the rockets that the 190 could carry under its wings. The options of open or closed gun bays, offset rudder and ailerons is present, while the elevators will need to be cut free for offsetting. The big radial BMW engine is provided in its entirely, and detail is as good as always, with the same caveats about fitting the engine to the fuselage on those realistically thin, but delicate engine bearers. The cowling is in three parts plus the underside that is moulded to the lower wing, and has the two cowling rings to provide the correct shape and aperture at the front. The gear is long and sturdy, with separate styrene oleo scissor-links, and again a scrap diagram helps you set the correct angle of the wheel to the strut. The weapons load for the A-8 consists of a choice of a centrally mounted bomb or additional fuel tank, and two single rockets mounted to the underside of the wing just outboard of the wheel bays. These Werfer-Granate 21 were used from summer 1943 to disrupt bomber streams and provided more of a psychological effect than a physical one, as they were wildly inaccurate, especially if fired from their 1km maximum range. The correct fitting to the wing shows them pointing upward quite significantly in a scrap diagram, which is confirmed by photos of the time, with a roughly 15o rise to counter the drop of the rocket as it made its way toward the target. The consequent drag and the difficulty in aiming due to their slow speed probably made them an unpopular weapon to be armed with, although they did succeed in breaking up formations quite well. The prop differs from the A-9 by not having the bolted on balance weights at the base of the blades, which are missing from the PE sheet. The narrower prop is the standard for all the markings options too, although the wider one is supplied on the sprues. The earlier canopy with the lesser head armour protection is also present, and is used for three of the supplied marking options, although the later improved version is used on the other two choices. The masks are supplied for the canopy, for the wheels, and for the small section of unpainted (metal coloured) wing that lies under the gun bay door when closed. That's quite a nice touch that shows attention to detail from Eduard's designers. Markings There are five options for this kit, and quite a variation in colours and identification stripes that should please most people. As usual with Profipack editions, the last option is displayed on the front page of the booklet, with the other views usually available online. At this point however, the link doesn't show the other three profiles, which might make that one a difficult choice to do well. From the box one of the following options are possible: Blue 13, Maj. Walter Dahl, Stab/JG300 Jüterborg, Germany Dec 1944 - RLM70/74/75 soft edged splinter over RLM76 with heavy mottle, black/white spiral spinner and red tail band. White 2, Uffz. Julius Händel, IV./JG54, Poland, Aug/Sep 1944 - RLM74/75 soft edged splinter over RLM76 with light mottle, yellow spinner and cowling lower panel. Blue 8, "Erika", IV./JG5, Herdla, Norway Spring 1945 - RLM74/75 soft edged splinter over RLM76 with heavy mottle, black/white/blue spiral spinner and blue cowling ring. White 6, Lt. Gustav Salffner, 7./JG300, Lobnitz, Germany Mar 1945 - RLM75/83 soft edged splinter over RLM76, very heavy mottle fading aft, blue/white/blue fuselage band and black/white spiral spinner. Black 10, W.Nr. 380352, I./JG11, Darmstadt, Germany Spring 1945 - based on limited information available from the instructions, RLM81/83 soft edged splinter over RLM 74, with mid demarcation, yellow fuselage band and tip of tail, and black/white spiral spinner. The decal sheets are both printed locally in the Czech republic, in good register, colour density and clarity. Carrier film is minimal and of glossy texture, but there are a few specks of white on a couple of the darker decals that might need touching in with paint or by overlaying with some spare decal from the other options. The stencils common to all airframes cover the whole of the second sheet, and their placement guide is on the back of the masking instructions. Conclusion Another fine Fw.190 kit for your collection, with much to recommend it over the alternatives. Out of the box you get masks, additional PE detail, plus a choice of five marking options, and some very nicely moulded styrene make a pretty compelling package. If you feel like you wouldn't use all those extras however, there will doubtless be a weekend edition along shortly. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Fw 190A-9 Profipack Edition 1:48 Eduard The Focke Wulf 190 was initially designed to complement the Bf.109 in a prescient move to counter future Allied fighters that might outclass the older 109. It was the prime reason for the Mk.V Spitfire, being replaced in the front line by the much improved Mk.IV, which reasserted the Allies air superiority again. It was a small and agile aircraft, much loved by its pilots, and the mount of a number of very successful fighter aces. Designed by Kurt Tank, one of the most famous aircraft designers of WWII, it was powered by a BMW radial engine with a streamlined shape broken only by the intake for the super-charger. The engine was air cooled, with a small inlet around the propeller, which had a special aerofoil section within that increased the speed of the air entering the cowling and allowed the reduction of the opening, giving better aerodynamics. The wide track landing gear also helped to endear it to its pilots, as the 109 was well known for ground handling issues that could easily result in a nose-over accident. The A-9 variant was the last of the A series, and incorporated improvements due to experience in the field. It arrived late in the war, had improved armour for the pilot and engine, as well as a slightly longer cowling due to changes in the oil cooling system. Armament consisted of a pair of MG131 machine guns in the cowling, synchronised with the prop, and two further MG151/20E cannons in the wing root, which gave an excellent concentration of fire for the aircraft. Production of the A-9 continued until orders were given to concentrate on the new Dora and Ta 152, although an A-10 was prototyped but didn’t see production. The Kit Eduard's range of Fw 190 kits has been with us for a while now, and is well regarded with the community. The range is regularly expanded, and this A-9 kit is initially released as the Profipack edition, and has some nice bells and whistles included. The Weekend edition should be along later for those not wishing to deal with Photo-Etch (PE) parts. The box is standard Eduard fair. A colourful painting of a 190 battling a Shturmovik, just in time for the new Tamiya kit, and maybe some unofficial dogfight doubles displays? Inside the box are six sprues of Eduard’s usual olive brown styrene in two resealable bags. A ziplok type bag contains the clear part sprue, the PE fret and self-adhesive masks are also separately bagged, while two long sheets of decals are loose in the bottom of the box. Eduard’s usual colour instruction booklet completes the package nicely. First impressions are good, with crisp detail, restrained panel lines and rivets, plus plenty of detail parts. As would be expected, there are quite a number of parts that won’t be used for this build, as Eduard’s sprues are always designed with multiple uses in mind. Construction of course follows a pretty standard format, and begins with the cockpit, where the pre-painted PE instrument panel and side consoles really help to lift the detail of the kit, but require the modeller to first remove the moulded in detail on the consoles. The instrument panel only requires a small raised part removing, and a two part laminated panel is glued to the front of the kit part. A full set of pre-painted PE belts are supplied for the pilot’s seat and a set of optional PE rudder pedals are also provided. The gun bay with its twin MG131s is next, with ammo boxes, gun supports and the guns themselves all supplied as separate parts. Once this is complete, the fuselage can be closed up, also trapping one of two optional tail wheels between the rear of the two halves. Construction then moves onto the wings, which are supplied as a single piece lower with a long spar running over half the total span, with ancillary ribs placed within the wheel bay area, which then receives a partial cover in the centre, and the two 20mm cannons in the wing root. The upper wing is in two halves, each of which have additional detail moulded in and added before the two parts are glued to the lower. The ailerons are separate and can be posed offset, and the whole assembly is then placed under the fuselage and joined up. The rudder and elevators are separate parts, although the elevators themselves are moulded into the horizontal tail. The engine is supplied as a highly detailed unit that builds up from a large number of parts depicting both banks of cylinders in good detail. The gearbox and reduction gear, plus the cooling fan is provided at the front of the engine, and the exhaust manifolds and pipes to the rear. A clever little template is provided here, which is slotted onto the rear of the engine, and ensures that the exhaust pipes are correctly positioned. Once the glue is dry on these parts, the template can be removed and discarded, being replaced by a detail part for the rear of the engine. It affixes to the fuselage via a realistic engine mount that has an octagonal ring at the front and three triangular braces that mount on the front of the gun bay. Care will be needed here to ensure that everything lines up properly. The outer cowling is made up from three separate parts, and if you plan on closing up the engine, it would be wise to place them in situ while the glue dries, to ensure they match up well. The cowling ring is made up from two cylindrical parts and glues to the front of the cowling, with some delicate hosing reaching back into the engine bay, consisting of three separate parts. A scrap diagram shows their location in the rear of the engine bay, but care is the order of the day again to ensure correct placement and alignment. The wide-tracked landing gear consists of one long leg and an angled retraction jack that are both well detailed. A separate oleo scissor link is supplied, and a scrap diagram shows the correct angle of 8o of the wheel to the strut, a small but important detail for the right look. The gear bay doors attach to the back of the struts and the whole assembly fits into a number of holes in the bay interior for added strength. The canopy gives you a choice of parts for open or closed, with detail parts for the headrest, roll-bar and head-armour, and masks are provided for both options, and as usual you will need to fill the centres of the larger highly curved parts with either tape or masking fluid to complete the job. There is also a choice of props for the different markings, with a standard spinner that slips over the single piece blades, and three sets of cuff detail parts finish off the job. The rest of the outer panels cover the gun bays, and these can be posed open or closed, with small masking parts or PE hinge lines depending on which you choose. One of five aircraft can be built using the decals included with the kit, as follows: W.Nr. 206000 III./KG(J) 27 Wels am Wagram, Austria, May 1945 W.Nr. 490044 II./JG 301, Bad Langensalza, Germany May 1945 W.Nr. 205998 Stab III./SG 10, Salsburg, Austria, May 1945 W.Nr. 750114 13./JG 54, Germany Late 1944/early 1945 W.Nr. 206147 II./JG 301, Germany, May 1945 You can see all of the schemes at the back of the online instruction booklet that you can see here, which also shows the additional views missing from the last option due to a lack of space. The decals are printed in-house, and are up to Eduard's usual high quality. Colour density is good, as is register and crispness. Serials and stencils are all legible (although unintelligible, as I don't speak German). Conclusion The release of these excellent kits has made building a well detailed Fw.190 a simple thing, although as with all kits, test fitting of parts will ensure you don't make any rods for your back later in the build. The inclusion of plenty of decal choices, masks and a sheet of PE parts gives the kit a further edge over the competition, and makes a well rounded package. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. MG131 Machine Guns for Fw.190 1:48 Eduard Brassin (648065) These are straightforward drop-in replacements for the kit parts found in the upper nose of the 190, and simply require a little removal of the casting blocks before fitting. A very fine web of material is removed from the rear and underside of the breech, and a small cylindrical block must be cut from the muzzle with a sharp knife before drilling a small hole to represent the hollow barrel. When compared to the kit parts, detail is much improved, and will benefit from some careful painting to bring that detail out. Of course, the set is of real benefit if you intend to hinge back the gun cover, as only the barrels will be seen on a closed-up 190. Conclusion A good set to improve the detail in the nose gun bays with a level of detail almost requires magnification to be appreciated. The finesse of the barrels and perforations in the cooling jacket are matchless, and couldn't be matched by the efforts of us mere mortals. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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