In 2006, when Eduard announced that they were working on a new tool kit of the Focke Wulf Fw 190 A-8, it took many modellers by surprise: "do we really need another Focke Wulf?" was the reaction of many. Today, in 2009, the Fw 190 kit is one of Eduard's best-sellers with over 40.000 copies sold in different variants (A-8, A-5, A-6, F-8, Weekend Edition, Royal Class Box etc...). As Rowan Baylis forsaw in his review of the kit (see here
), this has installed the brand Eduard amongst the top players of the plastic model kit industry.
The original kit of the Fw 190 A-8 being sold out, Eduard haved produced a new batch of boxes with a new set of decals. This is good news for those, like me, who missed the first release.
Eduard's "new" Fw 190 A-8 kit is packed within their standard orange box. In the new organisation of editions, this release is labelled "Profipack". This means that in addition to the plastic parts you will also get photoetched parts, masks and a decal sheet covering several marking options.
The kit comprises the following items:
- 6 olive green plastic sprues protected within two plastic bags.
- 1 transparent plastic sprue protected within a resealable bag.
- 1 pre-colored photoetched fret protected within a small plastic pouch.
- 1 set of masks protected within a small plastic pouch.
- 1 decal sheet.
- 1 instruction booklet.
Most of the content of the kit is well known now so I won't go too much into details. If you want to read more about the kit, please check the aformentionned review of the original release by Rowan Baylis. There you will also find many more pictures of the kit parts, especially detail shots.
The quality of the kit in this new boxing remains excellent. The plastic parts have been crisply molded with no traces of flash or sink marks. Surface detail is subtle and the level of detail is extraordinary. The kit is also a big spare parts provider since a lot of options are present on the sprues and not all the parts present on the sprues are needed to build the A-8 variant.
The photoetched parts are destined to the cockpit and will add even more detail to the kit. However, most of them are replacement items for plastic parts (instrument panel, side consoles, rudder pedals etc...). Seatbelts are, of course, also included.
The masks will allow you to protect the canopy and the wheel hubs when airbrushing the model. Unfortunately there are no instructions that show how to use them, so you are left alone here.
The transparency of the clear parts is excellent. It is possible to build the model with the canopy in the opened or closed position. In both cases, the windshield and the canopy are separate. This is because the movable part of the canopy deforms when sliding backwards. This has been accurately reproduced by Eduard.
What makes this boxing different than the original release is the decal sheet. Five different marking options are provided of which four are new. Why not all five? Probably because this would have necessited to re-do the boxart as well.
The decals are very nice and crisp. The five marking options are the following:
A - Fw 190 A-8 Blue 13, Maj. Walter Dahl, Stab/JG 300, Jüterborg, Germany - December 1940.
B - Fw 190 A-8 White 2, Uffz. Julius Händel, IV./JG 54, Poland - August/September 1944.
C - Fw 190 A-8 Blue 8, "Erika", IV./JG 5, Herdla, Norway, Spring 1945.
D - Fw 190 A-8 White 6, Lt. Gustav Salffner, 7./JG 300, Lobnitz, Germany - March 1945.
E - Fw 190 A-8 Black 10, W.Nr.380352, I./JG 11, Darmstadt, Germany, Spring 1945.
All the aircraft wear a RLM 74/75/76 camouflage except for option D which has a top fuselage painted in RLM 83 and option E which wears a late RLM 81/83/84 scheme. Unfortunately, the latter aircraft doesn't benefits from a four side view painting and decalling guide like the others. Only a profile is present on the first page of the instructions. Color references are given for the Gunze range of paints (Aqueous and Mr. Color).
The 16 pages , A4 size, instruction booklet is very nice. I must say I like this format a lot, much more than the panoramic instructions sheets one can usually find in Hasegawa or Tamiya kits. The building diagrams are quite complex but nevertheless well done. Every building step is precisely documented. This is very important given the complexity of the kit. I have seen many internet build logs of Edurad's "Würger" in the last couple of years and the comments about the kit have been different all the time. It goes from "painfull and almost impossible to build" to "excellent and most enjoyable". Often, when the experience was not so good, the modeller tried to build the model all "buttoned up", for what the kit wasn't really designed for. But I also saw superb models with all the access panels closed so it is also possible to build the kit successfully that way. For a troublefree build, I guess it is VERY important to carefully follow the instructions, especially in the stages where the gun compartiment and the engine are fitted.
Eduard's Fw 190 A-8 is back and this is very good news. It's the occasion to pick one up if you missed the original one or to complete your collection of "Würger" kit with a new boxing including new decals. I would recommend the model to experienced modelers though, given the complexity of the kit. This is the price to pay if you want to build the most detailled Fw 190 kit in the market.