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Julien

Focke Wulf Ta 152H - 1:72 Revell

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Focke Wulf Ta 152H

1:72 Revell


Box.jpg


The Ta.152 began life as a variant of the Fw.190 in order to improve the aircraft's high altitude performance. One of the three sub-types was selected for further development, and became the Ta.152. In typical Nazi style however, the RLM requested three types from this initial design. The C variant didn't have the high-altitude extended wing and didn't see service, although several prototypes were made. The H-model was the only variant produced in quantity, and saw service in limited amounts due to there still being plenty of quirks to iron out of the new design. The Ta 152H boasted excellent high altitude performance, using a Jumo 213E engine with a two-stage, three-speed supercharger and the MW 50 methanol-water mixture engine boost system. The aircraft also had a cockpit pressurisation system for the pilot. Armament was one 30mm cannon in the nose and two 20mm cannon in the wings.

The Kit
This kit appears to be the old FROG tool from 1970 and it does show its age. On opening the box you have 4 small sprues of light grey plastic and and the single part canopy. There is some flash on some parts of the moulding. The detail is typical of the time period with fine raised panel lines and some engraved detail on the wings. There is no real cockpit to speak of, just a badly defined seat for the pilot figure to sit on. There is no detail in the wheel wells or any where else really. The overall shape does not appear to be to bad though the front fuselage seems to be just a tube missing the variances shown on the box art.

sp%201.JPG


Construction starts with adding the pilot to his armchair. The propeller is then added to the engine cowling part and the propeller hub is added (there is no hole in this for the cannon to shoot though so the modeller will have to add this. Next the main landing gear is made up. The landing gear legs are moulded into the door so it is just a case of adding the wheels and their end caps. The supercharger intake is then made up.

sp%202.JPG


Next the fuselage is closed up after the pilot is added, and then the engine/prop assembly is added to the front. Next the Top wing panels are added to the one part bottom wing. The wing sub assembly is then joined to the fuselage. The Landing gear is than added (can be lowered or raised). The Supercharger intake is added and the canopy placed on. The canopy is fairly thick, but to be honest there is not much to see behind it.

Decals
There is a nice little decal sheet with this issue of the kit. It states Printed in Italy so we might assume by Cartograf? Markings for only one aircraft are included. Ta 152H-1 W.Nr. 150158 "Green 9" Stab JG301, Germany 1945. As is usual with Revell no Swastika markings are included.

decals001.jpg


Conclusion
This kit is really a product of its time, the 1970s and it shows. Maybe instead of issuing the kit with new decals Revell could look at making a new tool of this striking looking fighter?

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers.

For further information visit logo-revell-2009.gif

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This was one of the first kits I built when getting back into the hobby again some years ago. It was an easy build, perfect to get back into it or for AMS. The mottling was more of an issue, I didn't really get that right at the time...

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Different strokes I suppose. This was a kit that made me not want to buy Revell!

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I would agree with that to some degree; the problem with Revell is that it's often impossible to tell what you're going to find in the box, especially for the smaller kits that do not include pictures of the completed model on the side. If you've been building kits for a while or hang around on the interwebz you know how to find out what's in the box, but when I bought this kit in the mid 90s neither applied to me. Back then it was basically a gamble for me whether I'd get one of their nice new molds (P-47, 109G) or one of their many re-releases, like this one. In al fairness I still think this is one of the more buildable ones, the Tempest, Ki-61 and Airacobra kits that ended up on my shelves in those days are still gathering dust and will most likely never get built.

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Different strokes I suppose. This was a kit that made me not want to buy Revell!

That is the FROG kit from 1960s that Revell have re-packed multiple times during the years. Initially it has been released with the original boxart, then as 04180 with a newer one (inflight, front port quarter), and then this one.

Don't think Revell ever had their own kit of the thing. Actually until Dragon had theirs in the early 1990s if anyone else had it released, it might have been some US company like Aurora or Lindberg.

Now you also have the Aoshima Ta-152 family (which is actually based off the Dragon kit, but with no engine and open cowl), and the ART model, which is also derived from the DML kit, but twice as cheap (can be had for the MSRP of the Revell kit).

Don't think Revell's to blame, with a couple of exceptions I am aware of (1/72 armor) you can always tell by the kit # which plastic is inside.

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For me the issue is that in the shop, it is impossible to assess which plastic is inside. You need to go on the web to verify that. The trouble with these small 72nd scale kits is that Revell have released many decent to great kits in the 90s which are still good buys, but unless you are well informed, you may find out you got an ancient tool like this when you open the box.

Edited by sroubos

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It's not really that bad a kit and like many older models, it's an opportunity for those who wish to do some extra work to make it look presentable. A Revell 190 would give you the interior and u/c. Spare blown canopies can be found in most 190A8/F8 kits. New spinner? Italeri 188. Depends how far the modeller is willing to go but it can and does build up quite nicely.

The Aoshima kit is the one to go for if you want an accurate easy build, although the cockpit could do with some added detail and the top cowl needs some slight surgery to get it to fit without a step (invert, run scalpel along the angles and use light pressure to bend it out). It's definitely not based on the Dragon kit (itself scaled down from the Trimaster 48th Ta 152) and is a totally new tool. I've had all of the Aoshima and Dragon Ta 152s and there's no similarity at all.

If you want more detail but an absolute nightmare to build, then the Dragon one is for you.

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It can be made presentable, but to do this it requires a lot of parts from either other kits or scratchbuilt, And to be made accurate it requires another lot of work... I have an article in an old magazine where there's a list of corrections and this is very, very long

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Don't think Revell's to blame, with a couple of exceptions I am aware of (1/72 armor) you can always tell by the kit # which plastic is inside.

If you mean that Revell always keeps the same number for any given kit, I think that's incorrect for their four-digit system in use since around 1980. They used to stick to the formula "4" as first digit = aircraft, 0 as second digit = small scale kits (1/100 and 1/144 military), 1 = small 1/72, 2 = civil, 3 = medium sized, 4 = helicopters, 5 = 1/48, 7 = 1/32. The 6 and 8 as 2nd digit are relatively recent innovations, so they basically worked with a very limited range of numbers for each section, with reassignment of the numbers to different kits. The 39xx format for this Ta is quite new, the last incarnation I bought (which went oop at the end of '99) was 4180.

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All the major manufacturers do this. Airfix is roundly criticised for this practice (rightly so - sometimes) on occasions.

The Revell situation is often more complicated due to Revell's acquisition or leasing of moulds from other (sometimes defunct) companies over the decades. Airfix have done this too but not to the same extent.

At least with the internet there is the opportunity to research a kit's provenance - something that was hard for a beginner to the hobby do 15 or so years ago. And with more and more internet capable devices, it is easier to do these checks whilst actually holding the box in your hands in the shop - if you want to.

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You are right there Eric.

I think some of the problems as we see it are the uninformed who will just buy a kit say for little Johnnies birthday, and its a lottery as to whether he gets a nice new tool kit which fits with no problems and looks good, or a old old kit with all its problems.

Julien

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I'm not so afraid of the little Johnnies out there. For somebody completely new to modelling it doesn't matter whether they stick together an old or a new tool. With all due respect, the end product will likely look very similar.

The issue is more with people who are interested in the hobby and getting into it after their 3rd or 4th kit. They won't have the knowledge of what to buy, but they are developing the skills to make the most out of a new tooling. They may actually feel robbed if they feel they have a 50/50 chance of getting a crappy old tool whenever they buy a kit at WH Smith or the local toy shop (where most of these Airfix and Revell repops are sold I think).

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Airfix , Revell, Italeri, Hasegawa, Tamiya etc are now well established businesses with legacy moulds that date back to the late 1950s in some cases.

Revell in particular have also garnered together sets of moulds from other model companies that shared an almost equally long origin - although some of these companies themselves went out of business many years ago.

When you have an industry that is selling products that can be 50 plus years old, you are going to get major variations in mould quality purely down to how the moulding technologies and quality expectations have changed over this long period of time.

To give them their due, Revell and more recently Airfix have made massive inroads into replacing some of their oldest tools with modern and more acceptable alternatives. Only a few years ago, the 1950s era Airfix Gladiator was still in production and their old tooling Gnat was still a "best seller" - especially in its Red Arrows scheme.

Whenever I am in shop that sells models and I spot people who are obviously trying to select a model for "Little Johnny", I do try and steer them away from the notorious clunkers.

Having said that, I recently helped out with a local Scouts group who were given a batch of new tool 1/72 Airfix 109Es as part of their "schools/children's group" scheme. Even though the kit is nice and modern, I was not convinced that it was an ideal starter kit for youngsters who have never built a model before. Many of them found the interior detailing far too fiddly. I has half wishing they had been putting together something like the 1970s vintage Spitfire Vb.

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At least Revell charges reasonable prices for this stuff. Hasegawa have the guts to release these some of these older combokits at RRP of over 30 quid. While these are still a lot nicer than this stuff from Revell, the price is absolutely ridiculous. Luckily, you can get them for far more attractive discount prices a few months after release.

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Hasegawa's pricing policy in the UK is shocking, in my opinion - especially, as you say, some of their older kits are well below modern standards and should not really carry such high prices.

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Hasegawa's pricing policy in the UK is shocking, in my opinion - especially, as you say, some of their older kits are well below modern standards and should not really carry such high prices.

This has been covered many, many times - it's not 'Hasegawa's policy', rather it is the importer/distributor.

Have a look at HLJ if you want Hasegawa at superb prices if you can afford to wait a few weeks for delivery.

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That is true - I bought some HLJ Hase kits and the prices, especially during their recent discount period, are pretty good. Of course, Mr DHL and Mr Royal Mail take their share.

However, the fact remains that the distributor takes an inordinate share. I bought quite some Hasegawa and Tamiya kits on holiday in Japan at the RRP prices are between 50 and 70% of what they are in the UK. Needless, I stocked up. If you unfold the boxes and stash multiple kits in a single box (Tamiya boxes take at least 3!), it's amazing how many kits you can take home ;)

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I am aware that Hasegawa pricing in the UK is mainly determined by the importer/distributor. However, they obviously have a legally binding contract with Hasegawa so will be aware of how their kits are marketed and sold in the UK.

I have to say, of late, I noticed that some of their kit prices are beginning to appear a bit more reasonable - perhaps it's because other kit prices have risen to the point where the differential isn't as large as it was.

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I am currently building one of these Revells and although shockingly unsophisticated it is building up into a pleasant looking model and for £3, I'm not complaining :D I considered going all out and detailing her but then decided to do an out of the box build to see what it would look like.

That seat is almost worth the price of the kit for the laugh I had.... it is more of a bench.... :D

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