Monday 23 May 2011

A round-up of 1/72 Fw 190 Antons - Revell Fw 190 A-8 cowling shape (AZ models, Mastercraft, Quickboost )

(note: this article compiled ahead of the appearance of the superlative Eduard Fw 190s also featured elsewhere on this blog)

Okay I happen to like the Revell Fw 190 (1/72)...aside from the poorly engineered canopy. At the last count I had 17 of them in the display cabinet and with nearly 50 Fw 190 decal sheets in my collection, I plan on adding a few more. Apart from the canopy, Martin W at IPMS Stockholm site believes that Revell also got the cowl wrong. I have to say after carefully measuring the kit against some drawings and comparing it against some decent photographs I can't really see it. What do you think?

 ".....Revell moulded the front opening of the cowling too small. The error is quite large for the scale, being if I remember correctly around 2 mm. As a consequence, the front part of the cowling and the cowling ring tapers too much to meet the small opening. The negative effect is even more exaggerated by the model having its cowling slightly rounded in profile. All this gives the front part of the fuselage an unnaturally heavy "bulbous" look...."    

A few comparison shots, all current 1/72 Fw 190 kits. Click on the image to get in closer. First up the Revell A-8/F-8 and that 'suspect' cowling x4. Generally a lovely little kit although recent production is displaying a fair amount of flash and the clear parts are no longer very clear at all. In fact they need ditching and the canopy replaced with a vac-form item. That requires some minor surgery - removing the rear canopy 'decking' moulded integrally with the fuselage halves. Aeroclub do (did?) a replacement canopy, along with a white metal 'unbulged' upper cowl for the A5-6 variants

Hasegawa A-5 finished in J.Gr Ost markings. The re-tooled Hasegawa kits are very good of course, although the new Dual combo boxings are retailing for upwards of £30 !! Two minor complaints - the overly long landing gear and a slightly misshapen canopy, it being slightly too 'rounded' where it meets the windscreen.

Italeri A-8 cowling (above) and the Academy A-6 below. I quite like the Italeri A-8 and their Dora. The Anton has raised panel detail and no dihedral on the wings unfortunately. The cockpit is quite good though. The Fw 190 A series are easily the worst kits Academy have done in 1/72 scale. Difficult to know where to start - wings, tail plane, cowl, undercarriage - in fact just don't bother is really the best advice with both their A-6 and A-8 boxings. Their Dora on the other hand is very good and doesn't share any parts wih the 'A' variant.

Airfix A-8 finished as Priller's 'Jutta' first issued in 1977. This was the best radial engine Fw 190 kit until the Hasegawa and Revell new tool. The outline was very accurate, although the surface detail featured raised lines and some rather soft cowl details and the kit is missing the cannon breech fairings on the wing upper surfaces.

That just leaves the Tamiya A-3 in this scale, along with the AZ Models and Mastercraft kits. The AZ kits include a resin wheel well insert and metal gun barrels and are thus three times the price of a Revell kit. They do look great in the box but I haven't built any of their range yet which includes an A-0 and an A-1 to A-4. AZ also supply a resin insert for the characteristic pointed antenna post of the A-4 tail fin. Will be starting one soon. Mastercraft look to be poor quality, although feature engraved panel lines and a half-decent decal sheet. And Quickboost (Aires) do a resin replacement cowl ring if you've a mind!


All these kits superseded by the superlative Eduard renditions in 72nd scale, also featured on this blog