The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 marked the final development of the Fw 190. After prolonged planning, the aircraft was envisaged in three forms - the Normaljäger, Höhenjäger and Schlachtflugzeug (medium altitude, high altitude and ground-attack fighters). The latter was deferred by mid-1944, but development of the long-span 'H and short-span 'C continued the war's end. The Ta 152C was scheduled to take advantage of the DB 603 engine and, although its wings looked the same as the standard Fw 190's, they were in fact a totally new design. The fuselage for both the 'H and 'C was basically identical, featuring the broad tail and extension plug, but the Ta 152C's cockpit was unpressurised.
A demand for increased fuel capacity led to a new fuselage fuel tank being fitted, but this caused serious centre of gravity problems. These proved so severe that the tank was subsequently deleted and the Ta 152C was declared read for production, despite the fact that rushed final development meant that problems continued to be encountered after production had already begun.
Monogram's "Close Up" for the type lists no less than fifteen Ta 152C prototypes, although most were probably never completed. Four aircraft principally participated in the test programme beginning in November 1944, with the last flying in March 1945. While the brief career of the Ta 152H has caught the imagination - probably due to its elegant wings - it's less well-known that the 'C saw limited service too; on April 30th 1945, Stab JG301 listed two Ta 152C-1/R-31s on strength (the Rüstsätze indicating that the fuselage fuel tank had been removed).
In kit form
I've wanted a 1/48 scale model of the Ta 152C for years. I remember that Trimaster once released a limited edition of their standard 'H with resin extras, but it's been out of production for many years and is probably a collectors' item these days. Luckily, after Trimaster closed, their Ta 152H remained available in a slightly modified form from Dragon (and more lately, Italeri). Taking this excellent kit as a basis, Fusion Models of Canada produce a superb resin conversion set.
The parts arrive packed in a clear plastic box and are well protected with a layer of foam padding. The set comprises 17 parts cast in pale grey resin and decals for two prototype a/c.
The detail and casting quality throughout is quite exceptional. The parts feature finely scribed surface detail and I couldn't find a single air bubble on the parts. Well, that's not strictly true - a small exhaust shield shares a plinth with two other parts and has a tiny bubble. Presumably this proved a stubborn production problem because Fusion include a replacement part cast separately - without the bubble! With care and attention to detail like this, I have no hesitation in awarding the set 100% for its casting.
The kit is cleverly designed. The new nose for the DB 603 is hollow-cast with just a very fine mould-line to remove. Inside the rear of the nose fits a beautifully detailed engine accessories pack which will be visible through the wheel-well. The annular radiator is supplied as a separate ring with a delicately scribed core and this clips neatly in place as a foundation for the cowl ring with open cooling-gills. The exhausts are hollowed out .
A new spinner is provided, along with a paddle-bladed propeller. The separate blades are reshaped compared with the original kit parts and match photos of the original well. The casting plinth doubles as an alignment jig.
The new wings are beautiful. They incorporate the entire top surfaces and partial lower surfaces, with solid outer panels. The conversion involves cutting the plastic lower wing half outboard of the wheel-wells. The new upper surfaces include neat replacement detail for the wells and detailed aileron sockets. The separate ailerons show subtle rib detail to represent the fabric covering.
Instructions and decals
The instructions are unusual , being in the form of a set of colour photos of a prototype model. The text is bi-lingual English-French and is brief, but should be perfectly adequate. The pictures are rather small, but larger versions are available on the Fusion Models website.
Decals are provided for two Ta 152 C-1 prototype aircraft - the V6 W. Nr 1100006 and V7 110007. The painting guide concentrates on the latter and includes a list of the RLM colours needed and a neat depiction of the unpainted panels on the underside of the aircraft. The only point I'd differ on is that the tail appears noticeably darker than the fuselage in photos of the original aircraft, which is probably down to it being a pre-painted sub-assembly.
The decals are printed by Fantasy Workshop. They are thin and glossy, but each design will require careful trimming as the varnish layer covers the whole sheet. A swastika is provided split into two halves.
Fusion Models' Ta 152C conversion is excellent. The casting is first rate and the clever design would make this an ideal first conversion for anyone looking for a distinctive addition to their collection of Luftwaffe types. Thoroughly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
The Ta 152 C isn't available as a standard injected kit, but Fusion Models offer an excellent resin conversion to produce one of the last versions of Kurt Tank's famous Butcher Bird.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...