by: Andy Brazier [ ]
Originally published on:
History The second half of the Second World War saw the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, in its various forms, emerge as the best of what was available to the Luftwaffe. The dedicated fighter version was a high performance, heavily armed machine. Its development had a precarious beginning, against a 1938 specification issued by the Technishes Amt, RLM. The first prototype took to the air on 1st of June, 1939. After a series of improvements and even some radical changes, the design culminated in the fall of 1940 in the pre-series version Fw 190A-0 to the tune of twenty-eight planes built. Six of these were retained by the test unit Erprobungsstaffel 190 at Rechlin, tasked with conducting service trials. These revealed a wide range of flaws to the point where the RLM halted further development. Despite this, on the basis of urgings from the test unit staff, the aircraft was not shelved. After a series of some fifty modifications, the RLM gave the go ahead for the Fw 190 to be taken into inventory of the Luftwaffe. In June, 1941, the Luftwaffe accepted the first of 100 ordered Fw 190A-1s, armed with four 7.9 mm MG 17s. By September, 1941, II/JG 26 was completely equipped with the type, operating on the Western Front. November saw the production of the next version Fw 190A-2, powered by a BMW 801C-2, and armed with two 7.9 mm MG 17s and two MG 151s of 20 mm caliber in the wings. Part of this series received an additional pair of 20mm MGFFs, thus attaining an armament standard of later types. A significant advancement to the design came in the spring of 1942, when the BMW 801D-2 became available. With installation of this power unit the Fw 190A-3 was born and July of the same year saw the development of the improved Fw 190A-4. Both versions were armed with what became the standard two fuselage mounted MG 17s machine guns, two wing mounted MG 151 cannons and two MG FF cannons, placed outboard of the wheel wells. During 1942, production had intensified, and a production facility was set up under license at Fieseler. Thanks in part to this, production rose in 1942 to 1,878 units as opposed to 224 in 1941. Largescale production of the Fw 190A-5 was initiated in April, 1943, with an identical wing to the Fw 190A-4, but with a nose extension that would become standard on all subsequent Fw-190A versions up to the A-9, and also on the corresponding F types. July saw the development of a new, strengthened wing, which incorporated MG 151s instead of the MG FFs in the outer position. The adoption of this wing meant Fw 190A-6 version birth. Further changes developed into the Fw 190A-7, produced during the end of 1943. This version came about with the replacement of the fuselage mounted MG 17s with 13mm MG 131s. Further improvements led to the Fw 190A-8, and this version became the most widely produced with some 1,400 units made. The most significant change to this variant was the installation of the GM-1 nitrous-oxide injection system for temporary power boost in combat. Part of A-8 production was built as the A-8/R2 and A-8/R8, armed with MK 108 30 mm cannon in the outer wing location, and with armour slabs added to the cockpit sides and a modified canopy. The final production version of the BMW 801 powered fighter was the Fw 190A-9, equipped with the BMW 801TS of 2000 hp (1470 kW). There was a parallel development of fighter optimized aircraft with a dedicated fighter bomber version, the Fw 190Fs. These aircraft had reduced wing armament to two MG 151 cannon in the wing root position. The engine was optimized for low level operation, and the armament options varied to suit better to the ground attack role, including bombs of various weight classes and a variety of anti-tank rockets. This branched into the extended range Fw 190G version. Development of the thoroughbred fighter continued in the guise of the Fw 190D, which began to reach Luftwaffe units in the second half of 1944, and was the result of an in-line Jumo 213A-1 engine installation into a modified Fw 190A-8 airframe. Although the Fw 190 never achieved the widespread usage of the Bf 109, its contribution to the Luftwaffe was certainly significant through the second half of WWII. Fw 190s saw service on the Western Front as well as in the East. As heavy fighters with imposing firepower, they found themselves integral components, from 1943 onwards, within the units tasked with the protection of the Reich from the ominous clouds of allied four engined bombers. This is where the Fw 190A-8 was instrumental, along with A-8/R2 armoured version, whith firepower very daunting for the bomber crews. From the second half of 1944, the danger of Fw 190s was kept in check to a degree by escorting P-47 Thunderbolts and excellent P-51D Mustangs.
Info from the Eduard instruction sheet
In the box Eduard's Royal Class boxing of thier new tooled 1/72nd Fw 190 series comes in a large red box, which is packed with plastic, resin, photo etch, and a few goodies.
So in the box you get -
9 dark grey sprues
4 clear sprues
8 frets of photo etch
8 resin parts
1 set of instructions
5 sheets of decals
1 real part of an Fw 190 on a black pedastal
a certificate of authenticity for the above part
and last but not least, 1 Eduard Anton VIII. Beer glass - JG 1 (glass varies from kit to kit).
So, out of all these parts, what can you build. There are enough parts to build four complete kits, which breakdown as such (I am pretty sure I have this right lol)-
Three Fw 190A-8
Three Fw 190A-8/R2 Sturmbock
One Fw 190A-8/R11 Night Fighter.
Now with most Royal Class boxing's, you can build different variants, and this boxing is no different. Sprue A is included 4 times. Fuselage/Wing sprue C is included twice, with sprue E in once, and the same with spure I. 4 identical clear sprues are also supplied.
8 frets of photo etch are supplied, with four frets being parts for having the landing flaps deployed.
The other 4 frets are for the cockpit, with three for the A-8/A-8R2 versions with one fret for the Fw 190A-8/R11 nightfighter variant. The frets are marked so vigilance is needed to make sure you use the correct fret for the version you are modelling.
8 resin wheels are also in the box, with two types supplied, so 4 of each. No mention of what wheels go on which version, so you are pretty free to add them to any. Plastic alternatives are supplied.
No flash or imperfections are found on the plastic, and pin marks are few are far between.
External detail is very good with recessed panel lines, and very fine engraved rivet and fastener detail.
Internal detail for the cockpit is amazing with the over 30 parts making up the cockpit, including P.E parts. Side consoles, instrument panels, rudder pedals and harness's are all photo etch, alternative plastic and decal parts can be used for the instrument panels if you desire.
An engine face, which for this scale is quite well detailed is supplied, and Eduard do produce a Brassin full engine and fuselage gun bay set, if you feel you want to go all out in this area. The fuselage gun bay in the kit is basically the cover with an insert for the barrel tips of the machine guns. Two propellers are supplied but only one is used in this boxing. Eduard do produce a resin replacement (not included) if you wish to upgrade this part.
The wings are moulded into three parts, two upper halves and a full span lower wing. The undercarrige bays have a main spar which forms the rear wall of the bays, and have a few more parts for the floor and some details added to the bays.
The ailerons are moulded separately, but the landing flaps are moulded into the wings. Eduard have included photo etch landing flaps, so surgery is required on the wings to attach these parts. Having started to build the landing flaps for an earleir release of the Fw 190, they are small, and do require a lot of bending, but will be worth the effort once done. The rudder is a seperate part but the tail planes are one part each.
The main gear legs are made up of 2 parts each, and the plastic moulded on torque links can be replaced with photo etched versions. The plastic wheels are made up of some nice moulded tyres and separate hubs, which makes painting them a lot simpler or you can use the already mentioned Brassin replacements.
External ordnance is one centerline bomb or fuel tank, along with the various pylons. For the Fw 190A-8/R11 nightfighter variant a set of injected plastic ariels are supplied for fitting under the wings.
The clear parts have blown and unblown, open and closed and parts for the armoured sides for the canopy. Various parts of photo etch adorn the insides of the canopies and add more detail.
Instructions and markings The instructions are printed in a 20 page booklet and have black and white line drawings for the build, interspersed with the Brassin and blue writing for the numerous marking options parts. The build is pretty easy to follow, but you will need to know which marking option you will be building to use the correct parts along the way. Optional parts are shown throughtout the build, along with the internal colours for the usual Gunze and Mr Color range of paints.
Full colour paint guides for all the marking options are given, along with a page for the aircraft stencils.
12 marking options are supplied, which are as follows -
A - Fw 190A-8, flown by Obstlt. Josef Priller, the CO of JG 26, Rambouillet, France, Summer 1944
B - Fw 190A-8, flown by Lt. Hans Dortenmann, the CO of 2./JG 54, Villacoublay, France, June 1944
C - Fw 190 A-8, JG 301, North Germany, May 1945
D - Fw 190 A-8, flown by Fw. Rudolf Artner, 9./JG 5, Herdla, Norway, Spring, 1945
E - Fw 190A-8, flown by Fw. Alfred Bindseil, 6./JG 1, Störmede, Germany, Spring 1944
D - Fw 190A-8, 9./JG 54, Villacoublay, France, Summer, 1944
E - Fw 190A-8, 73372?, II./JG 300, Bayreuth-Bindlach, Germany, Spring 1945
F - Fw 190A-8/R-2, W. Nr. 681323, flown by Fw. Friedrich-Karl Frank, II. (Sturm)/JG 4, Welzow, Germany, September 1944
H - Fw 190A-8/R2, flown by Hptm. Wilhelm Moritz, the CO of IV. (Sturm)/JG 3, Memmingen, Germany, July, 1944
I - Fw 190A-8/R2, flown by Uffz. Paul Lixfeld, 6./JG 300, Löbnitz, Germany, late 1944
J - Fw 190 A-8/R2, flown by Uffz. Willi Maximowitz, IV.(Sturm)/JG 3, Dreux, France, June, 1944
H - Fw 190A-8/R-11 „Neptun“, flown by Fhj. Ofw. Günther Migge, 1./NJGr. 10, Werneuchen, Germany, 1944
The decals are printed by Cartograph and are as usual top notch with a minimum of carrier film. The main markings are on one sheet with four sets of stencils on seperate sheets.
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