Prior to Daniel Candal's article about his excellent Gotha P.60A
, Antares Models were unknown to me. I was impressed, and now I knew what that mystery gap in my stash had been designed for! - so I immediately set about tracking down their kits. Looking at their website, one kit particularly caught my eye - the Fw 190 V19, produced in 2004 and now out of production. Undaunted, I contacted Lonewulf Models
(Antares' UK distributor) and found they had just one example left in stock.
The kit arrived promptly and safely in a recorded-delivery package. The parts are sealed in plastic bags within a sturdy end-opening box. Despite being about 4 years old, the kit seems none the worse for wear and comprises:
27 x resin parts (one small part missing in my kit - see later)
11 x white metal parts
4 x etched brass parts
A vacuformed canopy (plus spare)
A short length of steel rod
Decals for 4 x colour schemes
The casting is generally very good indeed. The resin used is hard and quite brittle, so I'll exercise care preparing the parts. I found one or two minor air bubbles and a few other surface blemishes, but clean-up should be quick and easy. Surface detail comprises neatly scribed panel lines and some raised details.
The fuselage is cast as a single part (clearly modified from the Tamiya A'3) and is accompanied by entirely new wings, tail and nose. The wings will come as a real shock to anyone unfamiliar with some of the proposed Fw 190 developments - swept forward at the roots, they are then raked back sharply to the tips. Combined with swept-back stabilizers and radiators for the inline engine mounted on the rear fuselage sides, this promises to be a very radical Fw 190!
Test-fitting the wing, the line-up is excellent and the parts are warp-free, looking set for an easy build. The wing is beautifully cast with a full span lower section and separate top panels. The training edges look nice and thin and there's a detailed wheel well.
Overall, the kit is also quite simple in terms of the number of parts, but still manages to include quite a neatly fitted-out cockpit, complete with etched seat harness. The instrument panel was missing from my kit, but as the fuselage is modified from Tamiya's I'm confident that the latter's instrument panel will fit, so I'll run off a copy. The undercarriage has white metal legs, so there'll be no worry about it buckling under the weight of the finished model.
The model includes a vacuformed canopy, along with a spare in case of accidents. The quality is pretty good - it's nice and clear, but the frame detail is a bit soft. With '190 canopies being easy to obtain, I'll probably either raid the spares box or fit a Squadron/Falcon canopy.
Instructions & decals
Antares provide a clearly illustrated set of instructions that make light work of what is, essentially, quite a simple model and generic colour notes for interior details.
The kit comes complete wih quite a large sheet of decals printed by Condor Decals with markings for four hypothetical schemes that are illustrated in colour on the boxtop and a separate painting guide:
1. "Yellow 5" - III./JG54
2. "Red 2" - JG3
3. "<<" - JV44 "Papegai Staffel"
4. GH KP undergoing tests in overall RLM 02.
I've never used Condor decals, so I can't say how they perform. Along with the national markings (which include swastikas) and unit insignia, the sheet also includes a good selection of stencils. The printing and registration is a little on the soft side, but the items are thin and glossy. Their inclusion is a nice touch, but of course there are a myriad of alternative Luftwaffe sheets available for anyone wanting to concoct their own colour scheme - that's half the fun of Luft '46!
Antares Models' Fw 190 V19 Special is a fine resin kit. It's simple enough to make an ideal starter model for anyone looking to try their hand at resin kits and the finished model will obviously cause a few jaws to drop when placed in any collection of standard Fw 190s! The kit is now out of production, but definitely worth tracking down if you can. Recommended for all Luft '46 enthusiasts.
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