The entire crew area of the Focke Wulf 189 is housed under a greenhouse, and thus is highly visible. While Great Wall’s 1/48 kit is very nicely detailed and actually does include some photoetch, these Eduard sets augment the kit’s interior in a meaningful way.
- Interior SA set is $33.00, Stock # 49565
- Zoom detail set is $20.00, Stock # FE565
Eduard’s #49565 is the complete interior set, comprising 2 frets – 1 in full color and with self-adhesive backing, and a 2nd with additional interior details. The Zoom set contains just the colored, self-adhesive fret (Fret 1). All the pieces on both sets have Eduard’s typical sharp details.
Fret 1 contains seatbelts, rudder pedals, and all the instrument panel/console surfaces, as well as various knobs and switches and a few other goodies. As with most Eduard sets, you must scrape off the kit’s molded details in many places and apply these. While Great Wall does have PE seatbelts in the kit, having the color ones from Eduard is an upgrade. The stitching on these belts is not something most could replicate by painting, so I see these as a definite improvement to those in the kit. As an aside, I have found that brushing a little grey or brown pastels onto the belts makes the coloring look a little more natural.
A quick comparison of these detail parts to photos of the actual aircraft’s interior (there are very nice detail photos in Squadron’s FW 189 In Action book) show them to look quite accurate. I have always thought Eduard’s instrument panels to be an exponential improvement to most kit-provided panels, and this is no exception. I have included a photo showing Eduard’s pieces next to the kit piece. Great Wall has provided decals for the instruments, which look actually nice, but the color photoetch is just that much better.
Fret 2 (not included in the Zoom set) contains quite a few more upgrades for the interior. Some of the pieces are more refined versions of the kit parts (like ammo boxes), so although they are not critical, they are certainly welcome improvements. Other parts on this fret are outright additions, such as brake lines (yes, in the interior!), trim wheel with its bicycle-like chain, various hand-holds and braces for the canopy, and ammunition belts for the guns.
On Fret 2, there are also perforated cooling jackets for the guns that are meant to replace the kit gun barrels. These will need to be delicately rolled into shape – slightly tricky work, but worth the effort. One of the photos shows the kit barrels in comparison. Injection molded barrels can’t possibly capture the perforations to the same level as photoetch. These jackets and ammo belts really dress up the guns, and a final touch would be to add shell collector bags. These are present in most photos I have seen, and unfortunately not included in the kit itself (nor would they look right in PE). Gunsights are provided on the PE that comes with Great Wall’s kit, and Eduard does not attempt to replace these. An additional sight mounted below the instrument panel is provided by Eduard.
A very nice touch was Eduard’s inclusion of a curtain for the right side of the nose glazing. There are photos in the In Action book clearly showing this on the left side as well, so a very slight omission on Eduard’s part by including only one curtain. I have seen photos of FW 189s with these curtains on the upper areas of the greenhouse glazing as well, and would have liked to have these provided, but I don’t know how standard they were. An even more important piece that Eduard does provide is a glare shield for use in the nose. The placement for this in Eduard’s instructions is a little vague, but photos in the In Action book show its location very clearly.
One thing that Eduard does not address, unfortunately, is the wiring running from the back of the instrument panel. Honestly, I don’t know if this would have looked good in photoetch, and probably is better created from wire, but it seems lacking in a set that is this comprehensive.
Most any kit looks better with Eduard’s PE, but quite often that added detail is all but lost once the fuselage is buttoned up. Not so with the FW 189. A cockpit this visible deserves the “Eduard treatment,” and therefore I heartily recommend these sets.
Thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for providing the review samples.