The FW-190A-7 was one of the last versions that Eduard had not covered directly, the other being the A-9. You could always build one from their Royal Class kits but never as a stand-alone kit. Well, Eduard has stepped up to the plate and has hit another home run.
I’ve built their A-5, F-8, A-8, and D-9, so I have some experience with this series of kits. That said, this kit is just as good as those kits and…why shouldn’t it be? It contains the same parts.
The kit contains six sprues of RLM 02 plastic with minimal flash, one sprue of clear parts, two frets of photo etch (one of those being pre-painted), and a set of masks. Of course, there are two decal sheets which contain markings for four aircraft. The instructions are printed on high quality paper stock. I found the instructions to be easy enough to understand.
The cockpit is the starting point and it is an easy assembly process. I paint and weather my cockpit prior to adding the pre-painted photo etch parts. Before you know it, it is time to assemble the fuselage. I found no fit issues. The key here is to make sure that parts I4 and H3 are squared and dried before you add I21, which also should be at a right angle to H3. This is the first KEY point in assembling the model. The fuselage required no filler.
The next KEY point is the assembly of the wings spar. Ensure I16 and K20 are vertical and completely dry prior to doing any work. Now is the time to open the holes for the drop tank. I added the drop tank mount at this time because I could clamp it. Don’t forget to open up the outer gun holes which,, for some reason are not addressed by the instructions. Make sure that the wings are aligned all the way around. Again, this will save you work. I wanted my airplane closed up, so I had to carve out the upper wing part before adding it to the bottom wing. One other thing that the instructions don’t address is the inclusion of part I3 and I7 for the closed option on the wing root guns.
The engine is a nice little kit in itself. Pay particular attention to the alignment of the cylinders. You should be able to align the cylinders so that they would allow airflow. This will ensure that the exhaust parts will fit as designed. The engine cowling is easy enough to put together if you take your time and start at the top piece, then progress to the sides. Line up the panel lines on the upper piece, Part H10.
The tail assembly fit like a champ.
The wheels appear to be a little narrow, but I decided to use them anyhow. I elected to use the smooth tread pattern. Care must be taken in assembling the landing gear to the wheels, as there is plenty of slop in there. I used Blue Tac to hold the struts in place and then used 5 minute epoxy to set the wheels. The wheels were kept straight with the edge of square Gunze bottle. Once the wheels were dried completely, I used my CB Landing Gear alignment tool to ensure the struts sat perfectly. The Eduard landing gear is actually quite robust and ensures a good alignment out of the box.
I added the wing covers and the upper cowling panel. For the upper cowling, I had to cut the guns off the mounts to get a good fit with the panel closed. This is no problem, as you won’t see anything under it. You just need the end of the gun barrels and I took this opportunity to glue them in place.
Now it was time to wash the model with grease-cutting dish soap. Then the model was masked to allow me to wipe it with Plastic-Prep. A coat of Alclad Grey Primer was used to find any spots that needed reworking.
Next, I used Alclad White Primer on the nose. I wanted to paint the stripes, as opposed to the decals provided by Eduard. This wasn’t too hard to do. Once the white had dried, I used Tamiya tape and masked off the stripes and a circle where the JG1 emblem would go. A coat of flat black was added to the cowling. Allowing it to dry overnight, I masked it off and painted the yellow undercowling. I painted the Tamiya Flat Red tail band and trim tabs. This was easy enough to pull together. All these areas were masked and pre-shading was done, especially to the fuselage, as it would be without mottling. A Tamiya mix of RLM 76 was added to the bottom and the fuselage sides. Gunze RLM 75 was sprayed and Polly-S RLM 74 was added, with both colors being lightly mottled on the tail area. Both colors were lightened up with a little flat white for some variation. All the masks were removed and Alclad Aqua Gloss was sprayed over the entire model in preparation for the decals.
Eduard’s decals are thin and react really well with setting solutions. I did notice that the red was slightly out of register on the number, and the swastika was also out of register. That was funny, as the other black and white crosses were perfect. I elected to use EagleCal decals for the number for the same airplane and the swastika. All the decals performed extremely well. I’d recommend and use Eduard’s decals again, the stencils were perfect.
A coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss was used to seal the decals and this was followed with Alclad Flat.
Weathering was kept to a minimum, as the photos show the airplane being very new and only slightly used. A slight wash of Burnt Umber highlighted the panel lines. Some Mig Pigments were used to replicate the mud. A silver pencil was used sparingly to represent chipping. A mix of Tamiya Flat Black and Dark Earth was highly thinned and used to represent the exhaust stains. A final coat of Alclad Flat was added to seal everything.
Removing the masks from the canopy and adding the head armor, and this model was almost done. Some minor details, such as the lower antennas and wire antenna on the tail, and the model was finished.
I’ve built quite a few of these Eduard kits and they all fit really well; if you take your time and make sure everything is tight, they are beautiful. If care is taken, the model builds up easily enough with just a touch of filler here and there, even with the cowling and hatches closed. Try it and take your time. You’ll be glad that you did. Just follow the instructions.
Thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review copy and the opportunity to review it.
Hints and Tips
There are a few keys to a successful Eduard FW-190 kit.
- Hint 1 - The first is to ensure that part I4 and L16 are 90 degrees, as well as part I21.
- Hint 2 - Glue part K20 into its mount on the wings, ensuring it is vertical and thoroughly dry. When that piece is dry, add the wing center spar and ensure that it fits in the cutout and is attached to K20. This will keep the spar vertical and ensure that the landing gear and other pieces fit perfectly. Piece J18 will have no problem fitting.
- Hint 3 - Glue part K18 to the indent in the top of the wheel well and then add the support structure, J25, J34, and J35.
- Hint 4 - Glue the gun trough (part L3) to the mid-cowl ring (K25) and let it dry thoroughly. Then add the side engine cowl panels. This will ensure the cowling is perfect and require no sanding.
- Walk Around 22- Focke-Wulf FW-190A/F, Malcolm Laing and E. Brown Ryle, Squadron/Signal, 2000, ISBN 0-89747-414-7
- Aero Details 6: Focke-Wulf FW-190A/F, Shigeru Nohara and Masatsugu Shiwaku, Dai Nippon Kaiga Co., 1993, ISBN 4-499-22603-1
- Focke Wulf Jagdflugzeug, Peter Rodeike, ISBN 3-923457-44-8
- Photo Hobby Manual #1501-Special Drawings Focke Wulf FW-190 Part 1, Radek Vavrina, CMK, ISBN 9-788090 377844