- Published on Monday, 09 January 2012 00:02 Nick Gyte
1:48 Fw 190F-8 'Weekend Edition'
Catalogue # 84111
Available from Eduard for €22,45
The Fw 190 F-8, introduced in 1944, was the designated ground attack version of this series of aircraft. Based upon the same airframe as the Fw 190 A-8 series, but with a series of modifications including a slightly modified compressor, additional armour plating on the canopy, up-rated engine, external cockpit tub, and the removal of the 2 outer wing cannons. Standard armament consisted of 2 MG 151/20 20mm cannon in the wing roots and two 13mm MG 131 machine guns mounted in the cowl above the engine.
Serving in multiple theatres of war from the Mediterranean to the Russian front, the F-8 excelled in its high speed ground attack role, for which it was designated. The F-8 could carry a variety of weapons ranging from the standard 250kg bomb to the BT-1400 heavy torpedo!
It was with great trepidation that I opened this latest release from Eduard. We have all heard the wondrous stories of what is regarded as the best Fw 190 in scale, so what would there new Fw 190F-8 be like.
Eduard's Fw 190F-8 kit comes in a sturdy top opening box (just the way we like it) and when I say it was brimming with plastic, I really mean it. It was like a jigsaw puzzle trying to place the sprues back inside so I could close the lid.
The kit is comes in light olive plastic with the levels of finesse and detail that we have come to expect from Eduard, and moulded across eight sprues, including one clear sprue with 11 exceptionally clear and thin pieces. Two rear canopies are supplied, with one of these being for a closed canopy, and a 'pinched' one for if you wish to display the canopy open. Being a 'Weekend Edition', there are no masks, or any photo etch parts etc, and the instructions aren't the same grade of publication as regular edition releases. What you do get is plastic, and lots of it. Inspection of the sprues show the rivet detail to be restrained and in scale. Panel lines equally matched up with my own sources. I also could not find a hint of flash or sink marks. Ejector pin marks aren't an issue here either. Top marks to Eduard so far.
If you have never built an Eduard Fw 190 before then you are in for a real treat. The engine is simply a work of art. These kits are designed for flaps and gear down, canopy open and engine on display, making them ideal for dioramists too. If you want to build the kit all buttoned up then be prepared to almost double your build time due to the tolerances of the parts and how 'busy' these internal areas are. The engine includes a temporary jig which aids the correct positioning of the complicated exhaust manifolds.
The engine itself is made up from around 20 parts. All that is needed to round this off is some well-placed fuse wire for ignition leads, or even perhaps the Eduard detail set, but that's down to each modeller's decision. The engine is mounted to the fuselage using the scale BMW801 mounting brackets. Due to the scale of this kit, care must be taken with these brackets as they appear to be very fragile. Now, a word of warning. Around 90% of the build is dependent on ensuring correct alignment of all the sub-assemblies, and there is a fair bet that any errors on your part will snow ball if you aren't careful. This could leave you to find that other pieces no longer fit, and you will end up with more sanding and filling then you want or need. The fit of the kit is almost snap tight in areas, but this all assumes that the modeller takes his time, and dry fit every part before committing to glue. Careful assembly will reward you with a perfect Fw 190, not really needing anything in the way of filler etc.
I haven't commented on the cockpit yet, but this is another area of the build where the out-of-box finish is excellent, and not really needing anything in the way of detail sets if you carefully paint and dry-brush the components. The cockpit tub and machinegun base/firewall are made up of around 21 parts. Even the rudder pedals are each separately moulded. The level of detail here is exceptionally high, and as stated, careful painting will really pay dividends. As this is a weekend edition there are no Eduard P.E seatbelts, which is really all that is needed to really set this area off. Time to raid the foil from your wine bottles here!
The landing gear and accompanying gear bays are beautifully detailed, with both spars and forward wing ribs included. All the landing gear really needs are some brake lines fashioned out of some fuse wire, and the wheels weighted using your own preferred method. Once you have that sorted you will have a rather realistic representation. Of worthy note here are how the instructions show you the correct angle to set the undercarriage at, so that your Würger will sit at the correct stance. On an equal note, Eduard also supply you with 2 types of tail wheel; one compressed, and one un-compressed. All I can assume from this is one is for an inflight model, and one is for a fully loaded plane.
With the exception of the elevators, all other control surfaces are individually moulded. The wing root mounted MG's also have displayable bays, which with just a little wiring, should look great.
The instructions depict the constructional sequences in a clear and non-ambiguous way, and printed in an A-4 style booklet over 8 pages. While this is an F-8 Variant and could be armed to the teeth with all manner of weapons, there are still a good number of items on the sprues which are shaded as 'not to use'. If you wish to use these, then the simple solution is to just look at your own references when it comes to locating these items. On a plus note however, I deeply enjoy the fact you are given 2 different forms of heavy calibre cannon to sling under the wings. Shall make a very interesting looking model.
Again of note, the instructions state that you can pose the wing root mounted cannons gun covers closed, however I have heard that this is not actually possible unless you sand off all of the internal detail of the gun covers, and even then a little filler may be needed.
Since this is a 'Weekend Edition' and without all the frills of the ProfiPACK , you only get one colour option and markings for a single aircraft. Now, if you are like me and like something that little bit different, then you may be slightly disappointed with the markings. Personally I find them rather drab and boring, but that's just me and nothing that can easily fixed one of the many aftermarket sheets available.
The available scheme is:
- W.Nr. 584592, Neubiberg, Germany, May 1945
Decals are spread across 2 sheets,and are commendably thin and appear to be in perfect register. Colour is both solid and authentic looking, with minimal carrier film. One sheet of decals, printed as the 2008 Fw 190A-8/R2 release, contains the numerous stencils, whilst the second sheet, specifically for this kit, contains the national and unit markings. Swastikas are also included, meaning you don't need to source the correct size ones elsewhere.
So what do we think?
I am deeply impressed by this kit. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. This kit will build into something truly special with care and patience. Whilst I would not suggest you tackle this kit if you are a complete beginner, anyone with a few kits under their belt, and looking for a longer winter project would not go far wrong with this model. Just remember dry fit, patience, dry fit, glue.
Our sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample used here. To purchase this kit directly, click THIS link.