Focke Wulf Fw 190A-8/R11 (Overtrees)

Published on
August 11, 2016
Review Author(s)
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Company: Eduard - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Eduard - Website: Visit Site
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The fourth kit in Eduard’s FW 190A-8 series is the Fw 190A-8/R11 nightfighter variant. In an effort to fight the RAF’s night bombing campaign, the Luftwaffe searched for ways to increase the number and effectiveness of it nightfighter forces. The long term solution was the development of dedicated nightfighters such as the He 219 Uhu, but as new aircraft development was a slow process even wartime, it was forced to look for short term solutions as well. One solution was the FW 190A-8/R11 where four FuG 218 antennas were installed on the wings of the Fw 190A-8 along with flame dampeners along the fuselage sides and blast deflectors for the guns.

Since this is an overtree set, no instructions were included, so I downloaded the instructions for Eduard’s standard FW 190A-8 kit for general construction and supplemented it with the instructions for the FW 190A-8 Royal Class kit as this shows the differences between the R11 and the standard FW 190. As with the other overtree sets, there are several options for the side console tops on the parts tree, so I selected one of the sets that looked appropriate and then used paint to bring out the details. Since the Fw 190 cockpit is fairly small in 1/72 scale, a little color goes a long way and careful painting of the side consoles and the instrument panels result in a nice looking cockpit. I left the seat and control stick for later installation as I found this was easier during my first two Fw 190 builds. Once the cockpit was dry, I assembled the main fuselage and added the engine once it had been painted. The Royal Class instructions specify which guns are installed in the nose and which gun cowl to use for the R11 version. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the gun barrels had hollowed out ends, a really nice touch. The last thing I added was the front of the cowling, which is actually two pieces give a accurate depiction of the actual aircraft cowling.

Next step is to assemble the gear wells and wings. As I mentioned in my other FW 190 reviews, take your time when installing the gear wells to make sure they are installed in the correct spot to ensure that they don’t interfere with the fuselage/leading edge joint when you add the fuselage. I attached the gear bays with slow curing tube glue then dry fit the fuselage and wings together until I was satisfied that the gear bays would not cause and issue with this joint. Once the gear bays had dried, I added the inner 20 mm guns and drilled out the holes for the radar antennas (which are clearly marked on the kit parts). Then I attached the top wings to the bottom wings, again using the fuselage as an alignment tool. Once the wings had set, I glued the wings and the fuselage subassemblies together.

I was not able to find any photographs of a Fw 190A-8/R11, so I made an executive decision and decided that my aircraft would have the blown hood canopy, so after a quick dip in Future, I masked it off with Scotch Magic tape in preparation for painting. As the windscreen to fuselage fit was so good, I installed the gunsight and the instrument panel shroud before attaching the windscreen and then tacked the main canopy on for painting. I assumed that the R11s would be painted the same as a standard Fw 190, so I painted it RLM 74/75 over RLM 76 with a RLM 74 mottle down the sides. As the overtree sets do not include decals, I used decals from a number of different aftermarket sets for the basic markings and the number 5 on the fuselage. Since the R11 was used by a limited number of units, I dug out my old Hasegawa Fw 190A-8/R11 kit and used the extra set of Wilde Sau emblems from the decal sheet for the nose markings. As the decals were fairly old, I brushed on a couple of thin coats of Super Scale liquid decal film to ensure they stayed together when I went to apply them. If you do this, you will need to ensure you trim as close to the decal as you can before applying them to minimize the extra decal film. Once painting and decaling of the airframe was complete, I sealed everything with a flat coat to even out the finish.

I deliberately left off the smaller parts and the radar antennas until after painting and decaling as I have a nasty habit of knocking things off while maneuvering the kit as I paint. I first installed the landing gear and gear doors, after shortening the doors slightly to ensure there was some ground clearance left after they were installed. Next I tackled the FuG 218 antennas. While I am very impressed with the molding of the FW 190 kits, I was disappointed with the molding of thes antennas as it appears that the mold are slightly out of alignment, so the antennas had mold seams and were more oval in shape than round, but you have to get really close to notice it. I am hoping that Master Model issues a replacement set as these will be a spectacular addition to the kit. One other minor complaint is that the Royal Class instructions tell you to install three of part A88 and one of part A12, but the kit has two of each. However, in comparing the two parts, I was not able to tell the difference between the two, and as they got all mixed up during the painting process, I just assumed that they were identical when I installed them. Unfortunately, the instructions do not provide any information on how to paint the FuG antennas, so I assumed that the antennas would be interchangeable between aircraft and positions, so I painted them overall RLM 02 Grey. Installation of the antennas is straightforward so long as you remembered to drill out the holes before assembling the wings. I used a small drop of superglue gel on the end of each antenna to attach them which allowed me time to make sure the set on each wing was aligned with each other and that they all faced forward.

I assembled and installed the provided centerline drop tank, but discovered quickly that two hands are not quite enough as there are four separate parts that need to installed and lined up to get the drop tank in the right position. The assembly is a very accurate depiction of the actual mount, but you will need to use slower setting super glue or regular tube glue when attaching the side braces as you will need time to fiddle thing to get the alignment right once you offer up the tank as the only attachment point between the tank and the fuselage itself is the single feed tube. Getting the tank straight and centered while trying to close up the side braces is a little tricky, but if you take your time, you will be rewarded.

The completed kit definitely stands out in my FW 190 line-up with its large antenna, but is looks like it means business.

This is my fourth overtree set of Eduard’s Fw 190A-8s and I really enjoyed building all of them. I have added their Fw 190A-5 kit to my wish list and hope they release other variants as well.

Highly recommended. Thank you to Eduard for the review sample and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.


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