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Mike

Fw.190A-8/R-2 Sturmbock (03874) 1:32

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Fw.190A-8/R-2 Sturmbock (03874)

1:32 Revell

 

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The Fw.190 was one of the primary German fighters in WWII, and was intended to replace the Bf.109 but ended up fighting alongside it for the rest of the war.  Its appearance gave the Allies a shock that spurred further development of the Spitfire, which it outclassed in terms of speed initially.  Continuous improvement of the A series led to the A-8, which benefited from previous iterations and used the BMW 801 engine with an emergency boost system and adding extra armour to protect its power plant.  The R-2 field modification had the two 20mm outer wing mounted cannons replaced with 30mm Mk.108 cannons as they had a similar muzzle velocity but packed a bigger punch.  This extra punch led to it being given the nickname Sturmbock, which translates to "Battering Ram".

 

 

The Kit

This is a reboxing with additional parts based on the initial 2015 tooling of the F-8, which was then re-released as an A-8/R11 nightfighter later on.  It arrives in one of Revell's large end-opening box that folks aren't so keen on, and inside are nine sprues in Revell's usual pale grey/greenish styrene, three small sprues of clear parts, decal sheet and instruction booklet in the new colourful style, which also has the colour profiles for the markings on the rear pages.  Detail is good throughout with engraved panel lines and fasteners, although if you're expecting a full complement of rivets all over the model that will be down to you and your riveting tool, plus a few hours of careful work.  The clear parts are good where they are single layer, but where they are double-layered to depict the additional armoured glass, the thickness has caused some shrinkage that gives the finished articles a distorted look.

 

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Construction begins with a choice of wheels up or wheels down, and whether you will use the stand, which informs the number and position of holes that you need to drill in the multipurpose upper and lower wings.  With that out of the way the cockpit tub is adorned with rudder pedals, control column, seat and the lower section of the instrument panel, for which there is a dial decal included on the sheet.  The upper instrument panel is made up separately with its own decal then inserted into the coaming from below along with the gunsight and its clear lenses.  The nose-mounted gun deck is then made up and attention shifts to the tail gear to allow you to close the fuselage.  There is a choice of two sizes of tail wheel tyre with a two-part hub and two more parts for the tyres, which are then fitted to one of two struts depending on whether you are deploying the landing gear or not.  The coaming and tail wheel are fitted to the starboard fuselage half, which will require painting before you proceed as it would be too much to get it done after joining the halves.  The rest of the cockpit is inserted from below before the wings are added and the empty gun compartment floor is put in place.

 

The lower wing is full width and has a short spar added to its inner surface that also makes up one wall of the landing gear bays, and have the barrels for the cannons projecting through it.  The barrels are slide-moulded with hollow muzzles, but the breech isn't included and behind the bulkhead another stiffening panel is added flat against the wing part.  Each bay is a single part with bay detail moulded in with a large square socket for the landing gear to be added later, and at the aft edge of the bays near the centre, the vertical ammo boxes are dropped into place by lining up with the spent casing chutes.  Before the wings are finished, the beginnings of the engine mount is glued to the firewall, then the lower wing is fitted under the fuselage and the top wings halves are decked out with ailerons and cannon bulges as befits the type then attached to the lower wing and fuselage fairings.  Only the external barrels of the Mk.108 cannons are supplied for the outer station, but these at least have hollow muzzles  The flap bays are moulded into the upper wings with simple ribs portraying the detail and allowing you to pose the flaps open or closed by using different parts.  The tail has all posable parts that attach in the usual tab and slot manner, and then the engine becomes the focus.

 

The BMW 801 radial engine is where the majority of the detail in this kit is to be found, and comes complete with two banks of pistons, push-rods, exhaust collector and hollow-tipped outlets, plus all the ancillary equipment except for the wiring harness that you'll have to weave yourself.  It is fitted between the two bulged "cheek panels" that attach to the leading edges of the wing and fuselage, with the nose ring added after.  Later on the rest of the cowling panels are installed in either the open or closed position as you see fit, and they have some detail moulded inside them but the purists may wish to add more.  The main gear of the 190 is a single strut with separate oleo-scissors and a captive bay door.  The two-part tyres can be either smooth or radial tread and have two hub parts with a hole in the back to attach to the axle.  They fit into the aforementioned slot and are set to the correct angle by joining up the retraction jack with a scrap diagram showing the slightly canted inward stance of the real thing.  For the in-flight option a simpler set of struts and thin half-tyre/hub are supplied on the same sprue that attach to a different pair of doors and fit flush to the lower wing, showing a little rubber through the omission of the inner doors as was common on some variants.

 

As the build draws to a close the canopy is started, adding the windscreen first then the sliding canopy with optional armour panels and different parts if you are posing it open or closed.  The rail and head armour are common between each installation, and scrap diagrams show how far back the head armour should be in both positions.  The crew step, underwing antenna, DF loop, pitot probe and clear wingtip lights are added around the model, and the prop with its spinner, backplate and cooling fan are fitted to the axle protruding from the engine block, then it's a case of building up the drop-tank and hanging it from the streamlined central pylon and deciding whether you're going to pose it on the stand or not.

 

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The stand is a substantial chunk of plastic with a large circular base that has chamfered sides, a tapering tubular stand, and yoke at the top that straddles the fuel tank and fits into the holes you're supposed to have drilled out if you are planning on using it.  There are a few minor sink-marks on the flat top of the base that should respond well to some filler, and once painted it looks quite sturdy and professional.

 

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Markings

The decals are printed by Zanetti for Revell and the large decal sheet contains two options, which are as follows:

 

  • Wk.Nr. 682204 5./JG 300, Löbnitz, Oct 1944
  • Wk.Nr. 680718 12./JG3, Barth, Germany, May 1944

 

 

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The decals have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas, and include seatbelt and instrument panel decals along with a good number of stencils.

 

 

Conclusion

A good kit of the Fw.190 that suffers from mild glazing issues due to shrinkage, with a well-detailed engine and the added cachet that the impressive armament and nickname brings.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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Thank you for the review Mike. Quite enjoy the 1/32 fighters of WWII.

 

Regarding the shrinkage and distorted look of the double clear parts, could you elaborate a bit please? Would you say it seriously detracts from the finished appearance?

 

Recently completed a Mig which isn't my usual era but was a gift from my son. Canopy fit on one side was quite poor which I didn't notice until too late.

 

All the best,

 

Robert

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