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Julien

Fw 190A-3 fighter (82144) - 1:48 Eduard ProfiPACK edition.

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Fw 190A-3 fighter (82144)

1:48 Eduard ProfiPACK edition.

 

82144a.jpg

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

82144d.jpg

 

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.

 

82144e.jpg

 

 

 

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

 

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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.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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Looks great but not really helpful to get away from my Fw 190 addiction.

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