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Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8

 

Hasegawa 1/32

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Kit No. ST21
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 112 parts in grey injection moulded styrene (24 not used); 6 parts in clear; 4 polythene caps; markings for two aircraft
Price: 4,200 Yen
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Accurate; simple & thoughtful parts breakdown; crisply recessed panel lines; options include drop tank and alternate 20mm cannon outer wing lower panels; very thin and clear canopy parts; engineered for more variants in the future; .gorgeous Shigeo box art
Disadvantages: "Down" position of flaps too extreme without modification; some detail is simplified (eg tail wheel assembly, dimpled wheel well "roof", cockpit etc);  decals quite thick.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Brett Green


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

 

FirstLook

 

Almost exactly a year since the release of their new-tool large scale Dora, Hasegawa has launched a 1/32 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8.

The package arrived from Japan yesterday, only days after release in Hasegawa's homeland market. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I ripped open the shipping carton to be smacked in the eye with one of the nicest examples of  box art that I have seen for a long time. The painting was done by the Japanese master artist, Koike Shigeo.

The contents of the box were even more exciting than the artwork.

112 grey plastic parts are supplied on 11 sprues. Four of these sprues are common to last year's Fw 190D-9 kit, including the wings and undercarriage gear. As a result, there are 24 parts not used on this first Butcher Bird version.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


All the parts are beautifully presented in shiny plastic with crisply engraved panel lines. Texture on control surfaces comprises fine raised lines. I like this low-key approach.

Probably in the interests of simplicity, the cooling vents on the fuselage sides are moulded shut. Cockpit detail is adequate, but some modeller will want to enhance this area.

 

 

The engine is supplied as a single part moulded with both rows of cylinders. This is not really a problem because not much can be seen behind the cooling fan once the model is finished. Even so, Hasegawa has moulded an ignition harness onto the front of the cylinders, and also included a separate part with pushrods. Viewed from the front, after careful painting, this assembly should look very effective.

Unlike the Dora, the Fw 190A had a fully enclosed wheel well. The kit wheel well part is attached to the wing spar, ensuring the correct dihedral. The characterisitc dimples in the top of the wheel well are a little too cylindrical - they should look more like the dimples on a golf ball. There are also a few ejector pin marks to deal with on the gear bay and covers.

The late-style smooth drop tank from the Dora remains in this box, in addition to a new standard 300 litre tank. The shape looks a little odd to me.

Options are few. The landing flaps are separate parts and may be depicted dropped, but the locating tabs should be repositioned as the flaps are dropped too far without modification. Two styles of lower access panel and ejector chute for the outer wing 20mm cannon position are offered.

Only the early, flat canopy is included in this kit but it is beautifully thin and free of optical distortion. We will likely see the late bulged version in subsequent releases.

 

 

Construction should not present any problems, although I admit that I shuddered when I saw the parts breakdown for the five-piece engine cowl. It brought back some unpleasant memories of the same configuration on 1/48 scale Dragon kits! Fortunately, it looks like Hasegawa's engine and the solid fuselage assembly will provide enough support to avoid most of the alignment problems experienced on the smaller, older kit. Apart from this, construction should be even simpler than the Dora kit, as there is no open wheel well and engine detail to worry about.

The shape of the overall airframe looks very good. I am certain that we will see a very detailed analysis of the profiles and contours of important details including the spinner, prop blades and more over the coming months.

 

 

Markings are supplied for two aircraft - Hans Dortenmann's Fw 190A-8 "Red 1" from 2./JG54 in June 1944; and "White 10" from 9./JG5 in Norway during February, 1945. In common with the vast majority of Fw 190A-8s, these aircraft are both finished in 74/75/76 greys, but the RV bands and other markings make them both attractive subjects.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Hasegawa has adopted a consistent strategy of designing their new 1/32 scale kits to be accurate in outline, simple to build, reasonably detailed and affordable. Indeed, their recent Fw 190D-9 and Bf 109 kits have not been fitted with astonishing detail, multimedia parts, movable control surfaces, retracting undercarriage, flashing lights or engine sounds.

They have, instead, focused on the basics; and modellers have built these kits in extraordinary numbers.

Hasegawa's new 1/32 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 continues this approach.

After-market companies have embraced 1/32 scale with a flood of updates, conversions, alternate markings and improved parts for modellers who want a more detailed result. I am sure that we won't be waiting long to see the first of these for Hasegawa's big Fw 190A-8.

Also, the parts breakdown and some scribing on the engine cowl suggests that we will see both earlier and later versions of the hard-working and versatile Butcher Bird from Hasegawa in the future.

Congratulations Hasegawa. In my opinion (for all that is worth), you have found the magic formula for bringing joy to the heart of the New Age Luftwaffe Modeller!

Highly Recommended


Review and Images Copyright 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 02 April, 2003
Last updated 02 April, 2004

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