Almost exactly one year after its first release, Eduard return to their original Fw 190 version, the A-8, but in a new guise - the A-8/R2 Sturmböck, a heavily armed dedicated bomber destroyer fitted with extra armour to withstand the massed defensive firepower of USAAF bomber formations.
As we've come to expect with Eduard's recent kits, the presentation is impeccable; the sturdy orange-label box is packed with sprues bagged in resealable bags and includes:
136 x pale olive styrene parts on 7 sprues
7 x clear parts
A pre-painted fret of etched details
Kabuki tape painting masks
Decals for 7 x colour schemes
An historical booklet
Eduard's earlier Fw 190 releases have been the subject of a number of Aeroscale reviews and, as the bulk of the parts here are unchanged, I'll concentrate on what's new. Not surprisingly, this boils down to the cockpit armour and here Eduard have taken a very different approach to Tamiya in how they've produced their Sturmböck. Where Tamiya included adhesive vinyl shapes to apply to the standard kit, Eduard have gone the whole hog and provided an entire new fuselage with the armour moulded on. This obviously makes this aspect of the build more straightforward (although, overall, Tamiya's kit is simpler, offering far less interior detail) and it overcomes the one worry I had with Tamiya's solution; namely, how permanent the stick-on panels would prove to be in the long-term.
Strictly speaking, the new fuselage parts have appeared before - in Eduard's limited edition Royal Class Fw 190A-8, but this is the first time the new version has been available in a standard release. The appliqué armour looks very good, slightly raised and with neat screw-holes contrasting with the delicate embossed riveting on the fuselage.
The armour for the canopy has been included in every version of the '190 that Eduard have released, so it was obvious from the word go that a Sturmböck was coming sooner or later. The side panels are very clear and, of course, painting masks are provide for them. Fitting them will be best achieved with PVA adhesive or thin strips of double-sided tape - to use standard styrene cement almost certainly risks clouding the clear parts.
Instructions and Decals
Eduard's assembly instructions are beautifully produced in the form of a 20-page A-4 booklet printed on high quality paper. The diagrams are very clearly drawn - and they need to be, because it's worth repeating what's been written elsewhere - Eduard's Fw 190s are quite complex kits, including a level of interior detail that surpasses all other '190s in this scale. Gunze Sangyo paint matches are keyed to most parts throughout the construction.
The kit contains two sheets of decals, thin and glossy and printed in excellent register. The first sheet contains a very comprehensive set of maintenance stencils and a 4-view placement guide is included for them. The second sheet contains markings for the following colour schemes:
A. "Green 3", W.Nr 681424, flown by Hans-Günther von Kornatski, Stab/II.(Sturm)/JG 4, September 11, 1944.
B. "Black 13", flown by Werner Gerth, II.(Sturm)/JG 3 "Udet", July 1944.
C. "Black 10", flown by Karl Spenst, 8./JG 300, December 1944.
D. "Yellow 1", W.Nr 682641, flown by Ewald Preiss, 6./JG 300, October 1944.
E. "White 11", W.Nr 681497, flown by Walter Wagner, 5./JG 4, January 1, 1945.
F. The same aircraft as "E", captured and repainted all-red as OO-L, 1-1-45.
That's six schemes - and a seventh, unlisted, scheme features on the front of the instructions: "Black 10" - from Scheme "C" again, but with JG 300's earlier red fuselage band.
Accompanying the kit is a full-colour 8-page booklet recounting the events of Sept 11, 1944, when JG 4 clashed with B-17s of the 100th BG and escorting Mustangs over the mountains of Czechoslovakia. The resulting bloodbath is covered with well chosen photos and diagrams, illustrating events as they unfolded and the tactics employed. The booklet is produced in conjunction with the Museum
dedicated to commemorating the sacrifices made by the young airmen of both nations that day.
Eduard's Fw 190A-8/R2 is another beautifully produced and presented kit. It's not a beginner's model - the sheer level of detail included makes it best suited for modellers with a bit of experience under their belts. But, like the rest of the '190 series, in the right hands it should be a stunner - with a detailed cockpit and engine-bay, wing-root cannon-bays and wheel-well. Recommended.
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