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woody37

Focke-Wulf Fw190A-9 - 1:48 Hasegawa

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Focke-Wulf Fw190A-9

1:48 Hasegawa

box.jpg

The FW-190 doesn’t need much of an introduction. It became legendary as the back bone of the Luftwaffe fighter force operating in parallel with the Bf109 and was also developed into an effective strike aircraft heavily used on the Eastern Front. The A-9 version was the ultimate A model building on the performance capabilities that the A-8 had already introduced using methanol-water injection (MW-50). It was planned to be powered by a significantly more powerful powerplant, the BMW 801F with an output of 2400hp, but lack of these engines meant that the 801S engine was used pushing out a still impressive 2000hp. Visual changes on the A-9 included a longer nose housing a larger armoured oil tank in the intake ring, a 14 blade fan instead on the normal 12 blade fan behind the prop, a broader chord wooden prop (on some aircraft, many still used the normal metal prop and BMW reverted back to the 12 blade fan due to power consumption) and a blown canopy that was introduced mid production on the A-8 version with modified armoured head rest. With production starting in autumn of 1944, output proceeded alongside the more widely produced A-8.

The kit

With several FW-190 kits on the market there is some interesting reading as to the comparisons of each, the three main kits being Tamiya, Hasegawa and Eduard. The Hasegawa kits offer the most accurate in shape and also benefit from being quite straight forwards in construction compared to the Eduard kits. The differences unique to the A-9 are addressed well in this kit as I’ll pick up shortly.

So, let’s start with the packaging. The box artwork seen above is a vivid painting of a JG301 machine which operated from Stendal airfield near Berlin. On opening the box, the contents are mostly quite familiar, 4 light grey sprues, a clear sprue, a set of black polycaps. Two white metal parts are also included to deal with the options unique to the A-9. First impressions are...well this is a thing of beauty! No flash, no sink marks and beautiful moulding quality. A total of 82 parts are included, though some of them aren’t used as the base kit is presumably the A-8.

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2_wing_lower.jpg

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The cockpit is built around a moulded tub. Separate main and side panels are included with good moulded in detail that will come out well after paint and suitable wash. The seat is nicely detailed, though does lack any seatbelts which is a little unfortunate. The cockpit simply and traditionally gets sandwiched inside the fuselage halves. Surface detail on the exterior is beautifully done. Recessed panel lines are quite reserved and look good for it. Unlike the Eduard kit, there are no lines of rivets on the fuselage surface, I guess whether this is good or bad will be personal choice. The vents behind the engine are displayed in the open position on the Hasegawa kit which as opposed to being closed, hence flush on the Tamiya / Eduard kits.

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seat.jpg

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Rather quickly, with the fuselage stitched up and cockpit inserted, attention moves to the gear bay. Some lovely detailing gives the bays the desired busy look. The gear bay assembly is then fixed to the inside of the lower wing section. Take note at this stage to open the holes up for the drop tank centre pylon.

gear_bay.jpg

The wings and tail feathers are another straight forwards assembly step. As with the fuselage surfaces, recessed panel lines beautifully adorn the exterior. All movable surfaces are fixed in position, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view. At first, I thought the ribbing effect on the moveable surfaces looked incorrect, in particular as the rudder textures look quite different to the Tamiya kit which represents the sagging fabric effect. However after looking at pictures of the real thing, they look fine, if perhaps a little heavy in depth.

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The engine cowling parts are on the main sprues leading me to believe that it is an A-8 sized cowling. I believe that the A-9 cowling was 30mm longer than the A-8 due to the larger oil tank but not knowing the overall dimensions, I’m unable to confirm the accuracy of it so be aware that there may be a slight error here (bare in mind 30mm is less than 1mm in 48th scale). I believe that due to excessive power consumption, the 14 blade fan on the A-9 was replaced by the original 12 blade unit at some point and who knows, possibly retrofitted in the field. Hasegawa have included a white metal 14 blade as well as the original 12 blade fan on the sprues, so if accuracy is important to you, some research may be necessary to find out what fan was used on your aircraft. A white metal replacement prop is included representing the wider chord (350mm) wooden prop that was used on some aircraft, however many retained the earlier narrower chord metal props which is included on the sprues, so again, best to see what you can unearth about the aircraft you intend to build. The engine is well detailed, but quite simple in construction. Unfortunately, there is little to be seen of this lovely detail once the fan is in position.

cowling.jpg

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The undercarriage is stunningly replicated. I believe the stance of the Hasegawa kit is the most accurate (although my old Tamiya kit looks fine to me!). Detailing on the gear & gear doors gives great scale representation, very thing plastic where necessary.

gear_door.jpg

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Both types of canopy and armoured head rests are included in the set, however I believe the A-9 all had the blown type. Due to the more complex curvature of the blown part, there does seem to be more distortion when looking through it compared to the original faired part, but certainly nothing to lose sleep over, they are very well moulded.

6_clear.jpg

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Construction finishes with the various sticky out bits, MG 151 cannon, two in each wing, pitot, various aerials, centre line pylon with drop tank and wing tip nav lights.

The Decals

Decals are provided for two A-9 schemes although in the instructions, it shows one of them using the earlier faired canopy type as oppose to the blown type. Perhaps someone can shed more light on this? Both aircraft were heavily engaged in intercepting allied bombers. On the decal sheet are stencils, placards, instruments and obviously the aircraft markings. Register and colour looks spot on. There are three types of swastika on the sheet although only one type is referred to in the instructions (vaguely due to them being blanked out). Looking at pictures and artwork on the net, I’d recommend doing some research as to the correct type for your build. A quick search for photographs indicates that JG301 (photo of actual aircraft) had all black ones, where as JG4 had black with white borders.

Aircraft included:

6./JG301 (Red 22) based at Stendal April 1945

Stab/JG4 (<1-+-) based at Babenhausen 1945

decal.jpg

Conclusion

The Hasegawa FW190A is regarded as the most accurate kit in quarter scale and the A-9 particulars are captured in the pack with additional parts. It is however more expensive than it's competition, particularly when you consider that the Eduard A-9 Profipack has a number or extras such as etch and canopy masks within the price. The design of the Hasegawa kit makes for ease of construction and the quality of moulding is superb. The only thing lacking in my opinion is seat belts to make a visually complete model, but that can be easily rectified. The blown cockpit on the A-9 makes for a different look if you've got earlier versions on your shelf and want to add some variety.

Review sample courtesy of
logo.jpg UK distributors for logo.jpg

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