by: Darren Baker [ ]
IntroductionThe following introduction is written by Revell of Germany;
After the Bf 109 the Fw 190 was the second standard fighter in the German Luftwaffe. The aircraft proved to be both versatile and very robust. The Fw190 F-8 heavy fighter-bomber was produced in large numbers from the beginning of 1944 onwards. The F series was developed in 1943 specifically for the ground attack role. A 700 kg (1500 lb) bomb load could be carried on five external attachment points. The fuselage armour plating and the wing spars in the area of the main landing gear were strengthened; otherwise the F-8 corresponded to A-8 fighter version. After mass production had started a new wooden bladed propeller and a bubble-shaped canopy with reinforced head armour-protection were also installed on the F-8. From the beginning of 1944 until the end of the war more than 6,500 Fw190 A-8 and F-8 versions had been delivered.
ContentsThis large scale model of the Focke Wulf FW 190 F-8 ‘Schlacter’ is unfortunately supplied in one of Revell of Germany’s end opening boxes rather than a tray and lid, that would have made checking through all of the sprues an easier task to manage.
12 light grey sprues
3 clear sprues
1 decal sheet
An advisory sheet
An instruction booklet
A good look over the contents of the box indicates that this is model represents Revell of Germany at their best when releasing all new models. There is no flash to contend with and the only serious fault I detected is some sink marks on one piece, more on that later. Otherwise I found no other areas of concern as regards the mouldings.
The modellers who build their models with what is in the box will I believe be happy with what Revell of Germany is offering in this kit. The instrument panel's upper, lower and sides do look to be very good matches for my reference material on the F-8 despite being in plastic. Revell of Germany has supplied decals for all of the instrument panels, but this will require that all raised detail is sanded away for them to sit correctly. For those who enjoy the after-market goodies I am sure that both resin and photo etched sets will be available that are suitable for this release now or soon. The main improvements from that route is that the instruments will not need to be painted and so provide a better representation and in the case of resin the casting detail will be crisper. In the case of this model I do believe that the model does warrants the added cost should you be a person who likes to take that route.
The cockpit tub is nicely laid out and should be easy for the modeller to work around, also the instructions do a good job of guiding you through the construction. The seat does not have any moulded on harness details a instead Revell of Germany has provided decals of the harness detail. I personally do not feel decals will work on a 1/32nd scale model where there are so clearly visible, but the approach taken does mean that the modeller has the option of going with the decals or looking to aftermarket providers for cloth or photo etched replacements without the need to take a sander anywhere near the model.
While covering the cockpit it seemed the right place to look over the canopy. Revell of Germany has supplied four canopies for the model, a flat and a bubble canopy, you are provided with four as both canopy types can be depicted in an open or closed position. The clear parts are quite thin and so should not cause any noticeable lensing when looked through. On all four canopies the antenna wire roller assembly is well replicated.
The BMW 801 D-2 engine has been very well replicated by Revell of Germany considering it is all plastic and no photo etch has been supplied. Both sets of 7 cylinders and their ignition harnesses have been well replicated and have a nice level of detail. One of the greatest improvements I am pleased to see Revell of Germany starting to use is slide moulding, they have used this on the exhaust and so no drilling will be needed to improve the look of this area. I believe that if Revell of Germany use this moulding method more often that they will attract some new modellers to their camp due to the improved details it will allow them to incorporate. As a modeller I am very happy with the engine detail, buttonless the covers are off very little of this nice detail can be seen.
The propeller blade is supplied as a single moulding and from what I can tell accurate for the model. There is a downside here though, on the rear of each of the three blades there is a sink mark visible that will need to be dealt with. These sink marks are a real shame to find on what is otherwise an excellent model offering from Revell of Germany, but the good news is that filling these sink marks should be an easy task to do and should in no way be a deal breaker.
The panel lines on the fuselage are recessed and very fine, you will need to be very careful when painting to avoid flooding this very fine detail and obscuring it on the finished model. The panel lines look to be accurate, but the fine rivet detail does not look to be present unless my eyes are worse than I thought, that said the rivet detail would not be seen on something of this scale I believe. The radio access panel is well refined on the fuselage. The only area of disappointment for me is the rear engine panel which when opened remains on the plane, very much like the bonnet on a car. The reason for my disappointment is the lack of detail on the inner face.
The wings and tail share the same qualities as the fuselage; the fine recessed panel lines and raised detail on the control surfaces again look to be accurate when compared to my reference. Looking closely at the tail I did notice that the small bulges where the horizontal tail meets the fuselage are not replicated, this is none the less a very small detail and not a big issue. The main wings are also well detailed but the gun breach bulges are missing from the wings just inboard of the outer flaps, these bulges are the only really obvious difference between the A-8 and F-8 aircraft; this is again a very small detail and may be indicative of Revell of Germany’s intention to release other versions of the FW 190 and will not be beyond most modellers to replicate with shaped plasticard. The control surfaces are all supplied separately on this model and so can be set as preferred. The inner wing flaps can be shown open or closed and Revell of Germany has added some nice detail on the interior surfaces, but it is not the best match for my reference and as I cannot find anything that matches the detail closely I cannot be sure if it is accurate or not.
The wheel bays on the wings are well detailed and match reference very well, but as expected some of the finer detail is missing. The missing details are limited to wiring as far as I can tell and so if a modeller wishes to add this detail it should not prove overly difficult with good reference material. The tail wheel bay is not detailed at all, but unless you are planning on showing a destroyed aircraft this will never matter as it cannot be seen past the tail wheel. The wheel struts are very nicely detailed and look to me to have all of the needed detail except the brake lines. The retracting mechanism is also present and well detailed as regards what needs to be there, but again some wiring will be needed for the purists amongst us. The wheels match my reference on the side that can be seen especially well, but the reverse face is devoid of detail not that it can be seen on the finished model. Revell of Germany has supplied the early and late war tyres, the early tyres have the ridge tread pattern and the late war tyres are slicks. There are a separate set of struts for models that are built with the wheels retracted, but with the level of detail present here why would you.
I am really pleased to say that Revell of Germany has taken on slide moulding with this model and the barrels of the machine guns and cannons have benefitted from this; of course if replaced with turned metal barrels it will be an improvement, but if you don’t you will likely still be happy with what is in the box. The 50 kg bombs that can be used in pairs on the wing mounts are a little over simplified for a model of this scale, but the actual mounts are quite good. The centre line 500kg bomb is much better detailed and the mount is again good. Some interesting information I came across while writing this review is that the bombs were no specific colour and were painted with whatever was available. When it comes to underslung items on this model I feel the drop tanks have the best detail of the lot and if I was to use anything it is these that would end up attached.
Instructions and Decals
The instructions follow the typical approach that Revell of Germany use, black and white line drawings guide you very clearly through the construction process and I like that Revell of Germany has not made any stage clustered, this will make it easy for modellers of all skill levels to follow them.
The decals have good colour and very little in the way of excess carrier film where possible. Running a finger over the decals I can feel them slightly raised on the sheet, but I do not feel they are excessively thick/heavy. As is usual with Revell of Germany and for that matter most manufacturers these days the swastikas are missing, but these can be sourced easily depending on how you feel about this symbol. There are two finishing options provided and these are aircraft from the same unit at the same time and location.
Black 6, St.SG 10, Czech Territory 1945
Black 2, St.SG 10, Czech Territory 1945
I am sure if you want more options the after-market producers will meet your needs.
ConclusionI am very impressed with this model taken as a whole. I admit some areas could be better such the interior detail of the rear engine cowling, and the decals for the seat harness detail does not really cut it in this large scale; Eduard has already released. The sink marks on the rear face of the propeller blades are also a disappointment in this offering. However the engine, cockpit and wheel assemblies do lift the model. This is not the cheapest of offerings from Revell of Germany, but the price of £36.99 is not overly expensive for what you get for your money. Detail such as the panel lines are good, but will require care during the painting process to avoid flooding them.
Reference UsedSquadron Walk around No 22 Focke-Wulf FW 190 A/F
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