No one can accuse Eduard of not listening to their critics. First the redid their Bf-109s and now they have started to redo their FW-190 series. The first Focke Wulfs that Eduard released were complicated and over engineered for most modelers. They contained a lot of great detail but the fit was fiddly and could confound some modelers. Well all that has changed with the release of the FW-190A-4.
Packaged in a sturdy top opening cardboard box with impressive box art the A-4 is the first time Eduard has done up an early ‘short’ nosed 190. The kit features five sprues of light grey resin that is crisply molded with no flash. I did notice that my fuselage halves had a slightly raised ridge at the join on both halves. Three of the sprues are the common sprues for the entire 190 series and then there are two sprues, one with the fuselage halves and the other with the wing sections. Detail is superb with crisp thin engraved panel lines and beautifully refined rivet detail. While there are lots of parts in the kit many will not be used. Actually there are only about 100 parts needed to build the kit. There is a clear sprue with all the canopies, including open and closed options. Because it is a Profipack kit there is a mask set and a fret of pre-painted photo etch. The pre-painted photo etch is better than any I’ve seen before. There are no raster marks in the printing. The fret includes the instrument panel and seatbelts. Both beautifully printed.
The instructions are typical of Eduard and printed in color on high quality paper. Color callouts are done with Gunze Aqueous and Mr. Color paint ranges. The pictures are easy to understand and follow. There are decals for five aircraft. Choosing which one will be the only dilemma with this kit.
Construction begins in the cockpit as usual. The fit is phenomenal throughout. I assembly my cockpit as much as possible BEFORE I add the pre-painted photo etch parts. I painted my interior with Mr. Paint RLM 66. I thought it a little dark but it was certainly acceptable. Then I tried a new method for applying a wash that was shown online by Roy Sutherland. When Roy speaks we all should listen, at least when it comes to modeling techniques. Roy showed how to add a wash with 50% Future and 50% water with a few drops of black. This is all mixed together and then painted liberally over the entire interior. Amazingly the Future will take the color to the corners without any color rings. It also prepares your cockpit for any decals such as the ones on the head armor. Now I add the detail painting with acrylics prior to adding the pre-painted parts. I sprayed the entire interior with Alclad Flat. Then dry brushed the interior with Model Master Magnesium. The instrument panel was assembled as normal then Krystal Kleer was added to each instrument face. I added Tamiya tape to the rudder pedals and painted them with a leather. And just like that the cockpit was done and it was time to move on to the engine.
The engine on the new kit is a very simple single piece affair with the gearbox on the front. The old kit had a complete engine and was fiddly to add. This is very simple and just as effective. Once painted and dry brushed the fuselage was brought together. It was now that I really noticed the ridge where the parts came together. It didn’t affect the fit but did require some filling and sanding. That sanding necessitated that I restore the lost detail. A Rosie the Riveter and Dymo tape made it easy to restore it.
The fuselage was set aside while I started to work on the wings. The wings actually start on the top part adding a stiffener on it. Don’t forget to open the holes for the wing guns on the top and the bottom wings. Then you have to build up the wheel wells and the wing spar. Everything fit perfectly. I painted my wheel wells in Mr. Paint RLM 02. The wings went together like a dream.
Offering up the wings to the fuselage proved that Eduard is again one of the best model manufacturers in the world. The fit was perfect. The rest of the fuselage parts were added to finish out the engine area. The fit was phenomenal again. The flight controls were added and they literally snapped into place. My rudder isn’t even glued as it went in so tight I didn’t think it needed it. Then just like that the model was a Focke Wulf.
I like to add my landing gear now while I can. The engineering of the struts is the BEST I’ve ever seen on any FW-190 model. It absolutely sets the correct angle and orientation of the landing gear. Just perfect and very sturdy.
One thing that I don’t agree with is the inboard gear doors are not extended on the A-4. I cut off the mounting points on the gear doors and the fuselage part and then just glued mine closed. I cut the retraction mechanism and added it because it is still visible. Don’t forget to add part C22. It is a little bulged part just aft of the center of the gear doors.
Now I just added the front canopy and needed to mask up the canopy, wheel wells and engine opening. The model was sprayed with RLM 66 in the canopy area. Then the entire model was wiped down with Testor’s Plastic Prep then sprayed Alclad Grey Primer and Microfiller. Since the fit of the model was spectacular there was nowhere to clean up.
I elected to do the aircraft of Nowotny with its segmented white camouflage over the Green and Browns that JG54 used. Tamiya NATO Black was pre-shaded onto the model. I added the cross to the fuselage so I could ensure that the yellow stripe was the same size as the markings. This was allowed to dry thoroughly. Then decal was masked over with some Tamiya tape. Mr. Paint RLM 04 Yellow was added to the appropriate areas and allowed to dry. This was masked off then the surrounding area was resprayed Alclad Grey Primer and re-pre-shaded prior to adding Mr. Paint RLM 76 in the area of the “White 10” and swastika. I added the “White 10” and swastika decal to the fuselage sides so that I could mask them off. All the colors on this airplane were hard edged for the most part so the RLM 76 was masked off. At this time I think I should have bought stock in Tamiya tape.
To do the complex camouflage on the upper surfaces I started just like the real thing. RLM 74 and RLM 75 in the area of the wing crosses. I added the wing cross decals and then masked over them when they were dry. I then blew up the instructions 105% for the fuselage and 183% to do the wings and tail. Then I started by painting the brown areas with Tamiya Flat Earth. I cut out Tamiya tape to mask off the areas to keep the brown. Mr. Paint FS34079 Dark Green was then added overall the aircraft. The procedure was repeated with the masks. This left the white areas open for painting. Since it was hard edged it was pretty easy, But what paint to use? I’ve found that Alclad White Primer is the best white for coverage so this was added to the model. The instructions said the white was a washable type of white but the pictures I was able to dig up showed good coverage so I wasn’t worried about having it thinned, except in areas where there was overspray like the yellow on the nose and tail.
I removed the masks. I had to add overspray to the fuselage crosses and yellow on the tail. Touchups were inevitable but they were all minor and I was very pleased with the results. It was quite colorful. The whole model received an overcoat of Tamiya Clear thinned with Mr. Leveling Thinner. Once dried the rest of the decals were added to the model. They were then sealed in with another coat of Tamiya Clear and Alclad Flat.
Then it was time to dirty up my pretty new paint scheme. I start my weathering with a wash of burnt umber artist oil in the panel lines. Then a dot filter was applied to the top surface and blended in. I used titanium buff, titanium white and a very limited amount of burnt umber near the exhausts. Chipping was added with a silver pencil and Model Master Magnesium applied with a sponge. The paint was lightly faded with some Tamiya Buff heavily thinned. Mud was added by Mig Pigments and Tamiya weathering pigments. I flicked some very thinned burnt umber onto the belly to represent the mud thrown up by the wheels. I liked this effect. Some other Tamiya mud pigment were used here and there. Some Mig Pigments and artist oils were added to the exhaust areas to dirty them up.
With that the weathering was done. Just have to add the little things to finish it off. The masks were removed from the canopy and it was polished inside and out. An EZ Line antenna was added and the model was done.
The new Eduard FW-190A-4 is a great kit. The fit is phenomenal throughout. The construction is simple yet effective. No longer do we have to worry about the fiddly engine or gun bays. The only fault I saw on the kit is that the landing gear covers are down. That is a really easy fix. The addition of the photo etch and masks in the Profipack makes this a winner from the very first step. I’ll be building more of these beautiful kits. Eduard continues to go from strength to strength. I think they have the best Bf-109F/G kit and now they have the best FW-190 around.
Thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review copy. You can obtain your copy from Eduard directly at www.eduard.com , may I recommend that you join the Bunny Fighter Club while you are there. You can also obtain them from your local hobby shop or online retailer.
Add new comment