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Hasegawa's 1/32 Scale New-Tool
Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8

by Jerry Crandall


Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8


Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Fw 190A-8 will be available for pre-order from Squadron.com




As the Focke-Wulf 190 is my very favorite aircraft of all time, I never thought I would see an accurate, large scale kit of this aircraft in my lifetime. When FedEx arrived with the package I opened it to see what I think is Koike's best box artwork to date. It is absolutely stunning of one of my favorite aircraft of Hans Dortenmann's "Red 1" of III./JG 54. A word of caution, Dortenmann's aircraft did not have the upper wing bulges as indicated in the kit instructions.



In the Box


The parts are very similar to the excellent Dora 9 kit and there are no surprises in that respect.

I was anxious to see how they handled the radial engine cowling and gun hood. Taking a page from the Trimaster technique, unfortunately Hasegawa has molded the engine cowling in five separate parts: the top, bottom, the two supercharger bulges and the armored cowl ring. The problem with this is, although it fits, it creates seams in areas in which there are no panel lines. For instance there is a horizontal seam on the forward part of the cowl as it curves toward the front which should not be there and I had to fill and sand. Also, where the cowling meets the wing root area there is another seam line in the extension area between the wing root and the cowl itself, again requiring filling and sanding. I guess they had to do this due to molding limitations but it sure is a pain.



New to the radial engine Fw 190 are the spinner and VDM 9-12067 A metal propeller blades, the most common of the Focke-Wulf 190 props. Unfortunately the spinner is not quite shaped correctly and the propeller blades are slightly too narrow at the tip. The gun cowl could also use a little help.

Inherited from the Dora 9 kit is the 90 degree flap position which of course, is incorrect as all Focke-Wulfs had a maximum of 60 degree flap angle. Also carried over from the Dora 9 kit is the upper wing with the small strip that is notched into the wing root that causes unnecessary problems in mating the wing to the wing root.

The kit-supplied drop tank is actually useless because it is inaccurately shaped and has too many panel lines. I used it in my quick-build simply because I wanted to build out of the box. The kit also supplies a smaller tired tail wheel that is molded to the yoke as in the D-9 kit, but is lacking tread on the tire. The main wheel tires are also lacking tread, the kit simply supplied the late D-9 smooth tire.

The kit-supplied 20 mm cannons for both the inboard and outboard position especially, are poorly rendered and it completely lacks the fairing on the leading edge of the wing for the cannon barrel.





Since our many forthcoming decal sheets on Fw 190 A-8s are not in stock as yet, I used EC#35 with the colorful markings of JGr 10, Schlangenschwarm, featuring a snake along the whole length of each fuselage side.  This unit was the combat schwarm of JGr 10, which was a small unit that experimented with various weapons systems and tactics to combat daylight bombers. This particular aircraft is not equipped with the outboard 20 mm cannon. Other aircraft in this schwarm such as "Red 8", was equipped with 21 cm rockets.



A word of caution - if these colorful markings are chosen, the long wavy snake decal is very fragile and must be handled very carefully so as to not damage the decal.



What's Next?


Under close scrutiny, there are indications future releases will include the A-6 and possibly earlier sub types of the radial engine Fw 190. For instance, the leading edge of the wings have a place to be notched for the inboard pitot tube. There are additional cowling latches that have to be filled for the A-8 but are required for A-6 and earlier versions. The problem with this method is that the gun troughs are correct for the A-8 but the gun troughs for the A-6 and earlier aircraft, equipped with MG 17 machine guns, are longer and closer together than the kit supplied gun troughs accurate for an A-8.



After all this criticism, the good news is, with not too much work this kit finishes up to an accurate, impressive, fairly easy-to-build, Focke-Wulf 190 A-8.



Model and Images Copyright 2004 by Jerry Crandall
Page Created 03 April, 2004
Last Updated 02 April, 2004

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