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Mike

Fw 190A-9 Profipack Edition - 1:48 Eduard

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Fw 190A-9 Profipack Edition
1:48 Eduard


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Review sample courtesy of

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Apologies for the slightly sub-standard pics on this one. My DSLR's short lens is in for repair, so I'm using an older camera for a few days :photo:

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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.

Thanks for the review Mike, but I think you missed a link "here". I'm rather curious to see what versions can be built with this.

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Ah - thanks chap. That's Microsoft's stupid "smart quotes" from Word. Instead of using sensible quote marks and apostrophes, it uses these non-standard characters that don't copy and paste well. I've just reinstalled on a new SSD, and haven't yet turned them off. :)

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Ah - thanks chap. That's Microsoft's stupid "smart quotes" from Word. Instead of using sensible quote marks and apostrophes, it uses these non-standard characters that don't copy and paste well. I've just reinstalled on a new SSD, and haven't yet turned them off. :)

Excuses, excuses ;) Thanx for fixing it. Some nice birds to make. I'd build the fourth one as it has a tenuous Dutch connection.

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