I don’t think the Focke Wulf 190 needs much introduction, so I’ll keep it short. When introduced in 1941, much to the surprise of the RAF, the fighter design was found to have excellent maneuverability, while being rugged and well-armed. The design went thru a number of changes, with the FW-190A-8 version becoming the most produced model. The FW-190A8/R2 was noted for its increased firepower, with 20mm cannons being replaced with 30mm ones, and increased survivability due to additional armor in and around the cockpit.
Eduard’s Weekend Edition kits normally follow the release of their Royal Edition, and Profipack kits and consists of a scaled back version of the loaded Royal Edition and Profipack. The Weekend Editions include plastic sprues, and usually one or two decal options for the finished model, whereas the Royal and Profipack kits include photoetch, brassin, and multiple options for finishing the model. The difference being that the Weekend edition provides the same quality plastic, just at a lower price.
The FW-190A8/R2 Weekend Edition consists of 92 plastic parts on two dark blue-grey sprues, and one single clear sprue in a circular layout. Although, there are 92 parts, quite a few are not intended for this model, so you’re really only working with about 60 parts. The kit comes with two sheets of decals, one provides the plane’s stencil, and the second sheet has decals for the two model choices. The instructions are printed in a glossy book, which includes a short, but detailed history of the Focke Wulf, as well as full-color four-sided painting diagrams of the two decal choices provided.
The Weekend Edition provides decal options for two aircraft:
- FW-190A8/R2, Werner Gerth, II.(Strum)/JG 3 "Udet", July 1944.
- FW-190A8/R2, Paul Lixfeld, 6/JG 3, late 1944
The quality of the plastic parts is really impressive. The molds are very clean, with just the slightest seam lines on a few parts, and no visible sink marks. The plastic is soft enough that it cleans up with just one quick swipe of the back of a Xacto knife, or sanding stick, but not too soft that you’ll take too much off. The surface detail is comprised of beautifully recessed panel lines and excellent rivet details.
Construction begins, as always, in the cockpit. The cockpit consists of 11 separate parts, including a two-piece instrument panel, and separate gunsight. The instrument panel is nicely detailed with a combination of recessed and raised details. Two separate decals are provided for the instrument panel, or the modeler can forego the decals and paint the highlights. I choose the latter option. Decals are also provided to replicate the seatbelt harness, which I did use. I’d recommend cutting the decals off the sheet and using the decal backing to add some depth to the decals. I didn’t do this, and the seat belts look flat. The rudder pedals provide no details, and are really meant to have the photoetch from the Profipack Edition; however, once the cockpit is assembled and tucked between the fuselage halves, the pedals will be all but invisible, so not having any detail there should not be an issue. Overall, the FW-190’s cockpit is tight in any scale and at 1/72 it’s very tiny and tucked away, but Eduard really did an excellent job detailing the tub, seat, instrument panel, and control column.
Before sealing the fuselages together, the engine and firewall have to be added. The engine is pretty simple, but at this scale, and when tucked behind armor rings and propeller, is more than adequate.
Now that the fuselage and cockpit are attached, the next step moves on to completing the wings. The lower wing is provided as one piece, with wheel well roof molded into the top wing pieces. The wheel wells are nicely detailed and consist of 11 parts. You start by adding the rear wall of the gear bays, and add the remaining pieces to build up the rest of the wheel well from there. The inboard cannons are also added at this point. The level of detail in the gear bays is really amazing, and the fit is superb. Once the gear bays are complete, the upper portions of the wings are added to the lower portion.
After completing the wings, you’ll move to the fuselage and add the cowling and gun covers. There are two choices of cowling, depending on which plane you are building. The first choice is the normal cowlings with depressions for the two machine guns mounted on most FW-190s, and the second choice has the gun areas closed off, which looks like a field modification made on a few specific machines. Either way, no cowling mounted machine guns should be added for either of the model choices in this kit. The Germans found that after adding the additional armor around the cockpit, the extra weight had a negative effect on the plane’s performance. In an effort to alleviate this deficiency, the cowling machine guns were often removed in favor of the reduced weight.
The canopies are nice and clear with a separate windscreen enabling them to be modeled open if wished. The canopy options provide an example of Eduard’s attention to details. On the FW-190, the sliding canopy width varied as it slid open, Eduard provides two canopy alternatives depending on whether you will model the cockpit open, or closed. Once you chose which canopy version to use, the armored head rest and brace can be added to the canopy. Also, depending on which version you plan to build, the canopy has separate armored glass on each side that will need to be added to the canopy. This step caused a little consternation on my part. You’ll need to paint the separate armored “blinkers”, before attaching them to the canopy. I chose to attach them using Klear, instead of glue.
The undercarriage comes last, and consists of two parts for each gear leg with nicely molded tires with separate hubs. Attaching the landing gear is a little tricky, because the attachment point is a very tight fit and it is somewhat difficult to get the correct Focke-Wulf stance, but with a little more patience than usual, I was able to get it to work. The kit also provides a drop tank and a single bomb for a choice of ordinance. However, neither of the planes in the kit would have carried a bomb, so the drop tank is the only option to use.
The decals provided are outstanding. Extremely thin, and in perfect register. When applying the decals, make sure you’re absolutely ready to put them down, because they are relatively unforgiving. I had issues with one, or two, due entirely to carelessness on my part. However, when placed correctly, they are really wonderful.
Overall, the kit is excellent to build. It won’t just ‘fall together’, and a few areas will need some special attention, but the end result is a fantastic model with a really great fit. This kit is highly recommended.
A special thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for providing this kit for review.