Fw 190A-8 (early wings) Overtrees
When Eduard released its Fw 190A-8 Royal Class Quattro Combo kit earlier this year it also released overtree sets of each of the four versions that were included in the Combo kit. Kit 70112X was the overtrees of the Fw 190A-8 with a different set of wings than those of the standard A-8. The “early version” only has the two wing root mounted Mg 151 cannons whereas the standard A-8 wing has an additional set of MG 151s mounted outboard of the wheel wells.
As with all of Eduard’s overtree kits, this kit includes just the plastic parts for the Fw 190A-8, there is no photo etch, decals or instructions. The instructions are the easiest item to solve as Eduard posts all of its instructions on its website with the associated kits. I started out by printing off the directions for the Royal Class kit, but when the Weekend edition of the standard A-8 kit was released, I downloaded those instructions as well. The Royal Class instructions assume you will be installing the included photo etch cockpit parts, so they do not indicate which of the several options of side consoles you should install. For the A-8 you need to install parts A5 and A6 if you do not have the photo etch set for the A-8. The kit includes nicely molded upper and lower instrument panels that with careful painting really look great. The instructions have you install the gun sight very early in the build, but I decided to leave it off until final assembly as it is a very small part that could disappear easily once dislodged.
After the cockpit is painted and assembled, you need to paint the engine and engine bay before trapping the engine and the cockpit between the fuselage halves. Be sure that the engine firewall is firmly seated against the molded locating ring inside the fuselage or the rest of the engine will not sit correctly. I was off a little bit in my alignment and ended up having to sand back the very front of the engine in order to get the front engine fan to fit inside of the cowl.
The next area of assembly is the wheel wells and the wings. Eduard’s detail in the wheel wells is exquisite and includes not only the wing spar, but also several of the stiffeners and separate exhaust parts. Take care in locating the wheel wells and ensure they are not too far forward or they will interfere with the fuselage fit at the wing roots when the wings are offered up. I apparently had my wheel wells a bit too far forward and ended up with a little gap at the wing roots and the leading edge of the wing. I repeated this mistake in another Fw 190A-8 kit I was assembling at the same time, but discovered that I could carefully carve/sand down the top front edge of the wheel well enough to eliminate the fit issue. Check your references for the particular aircraft you are modeling as some of them do not have some of the smaller panels or openings on the bottom of the wings, so you will need to fill in some panel lines. The fit of the top wing halves to the bottom wings halves is excellent and only required a quick sanding with a Flexi-file to eliminate the seam. Similarly if you have avoided putting the wheel wells too far forward, the fit of the wing and fuselage is excellent with just a small seam at the bottom rear edge of the wing insert.
Eduard’s engineering is truly outstanding and well thought out as most of the parts that make up the nose of the aircraft are designed to join on actual panel lines and the fit is awesome. The only sanding I had to do was to remove and smooth out the sprue attachment points. As a result the only seams I had to address were on the fuselage aft of the cockpit and under the tail where the kit haves meet, and this did not take much work to remedy.
The rudder and ailerons are all separate parts; however, they are keyed to be glued in the neutral position, so you will need to do a little bit of work if you want to offset them. The kit includes two versions of the FW 190 canopy, both the standard hood and the blown hood, and there are two variants of each depending on whether you are modeling your cockpit open or closed. As the cockpit looks so nice, I elected the standard hood in the open position.
The hardest part of the build for me was the landing gear. Eduard’s representation of the landing gear is very accurate but I had a hard time getting the struts to line up with each other and to have the characteristic canted in look of the originals, so take our time and use some slower setting glue to give you time to get everything lined up front to back, side to side and angled in. I left the main gear doors and wheels off until I was comfortable with my alignment and the struts had set up. I used Brassin’s early FW 190 wheels on the kit and while they look great, it added a level of complexity as now I not only had to get the wheels vertical, I also had to get the flat spots squarely on the ground. In the end I got there, but not without a few attempts.
As this is an overtree set, there are no decals of painting instructions included. Since I did not want to just duplicate the markings provided in the Combo kit, I had to do a bit of searching to find an A-8 with the early wing. Fortunately a club member told me about the Kagero Top Colors publications on the FW 190 and I found a neat Fw 190A-8/R6 in Part II (#38) that had the early wing and a really cool snake down both sides of the fuselage. I used the color profiles in the Kagero book for the RLM 74/75/76 paint scheme with a gloss coat of Future. The Kagero books included decals in 1/32, 1/48 and 1/72 scale for the individual markings for each of the aircraft depicted in the book. The decals are printed by Cartograf and were a pleasure to work with. The wing and fuselage crosses and the swastikas on the tail came from an old MicroScale sheet. A coat of Testor’s flat finished things up.
One other item that I added to this build was Eduard’s Superfabric seatbelts for the FW-190. With the cockpit open, they really stand out and add a great detail. I actually prefer the Superfabric belts over photo etch ones as they are so much easier to apply and to create a realistic droop.
I really enjoyed this kit and look forward to building more of Eduard’s FW 190s. I like the overtree kits as quite often I end up not using the kit decals as I have a particular aircraft I want to model, so I don’t feel like I am wasting something with the overtrees. Unfortunately it seems that the overtrees are only available for a limited time as once the single or weekend edition of the kit comes out, the overtrees are discontinued.
I highly recommend Eduard’s Fw 190A-8 (early wing) as it is a great kit and fun to build. Thank you to Eduard for the review sample and thank you to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.