Hasegawa's quarterscale Fw 190A-series kits are widely acclaimed as the best interpretations of the classic fighter in this scale, combining excellent accuracy and detail with easy construction. Now their standard Fw 190A-5 returns in a new limited edition boxing with extra parts to create the fearsome 'A-5/U12 variant, a dedicated bomber killer armed with a 6 x MG 151 cannons.
The kit arrives in a very attractive conventional box, with all the sprues and accessories bagged separately. The kit comprises:
63 x grey styrene parts (plus a further 21 not used)
5 x clear parts (plus 2 unused)
2 x grey resin gun packs
4 x brass gun barrels
A set of poly-caps
Decals for 2 x colour schemes
The basic kit needs little introduction, having been available in one form or another for around six years. Jean-Luc Formery's in-box review and subsequent excellent build of the "Pips" Priller boxing, complete with a BMW 327 sports car, can be found HERE
Despite the moulds being in fairly constant use since then, the moulding is still superb, with no flash or sink marks evident - basically, the sample kit is looking as crisp as the first release. Surface detail comprises neatly engraved panel lines and fasteners, along with a nicely subtle fabric effect on the control surfaces. The transparencies are thin and crystal clear.
The main parts of the kit go together like a breeze. The fuselage halves clip together neatly, and the wings have interlocking tabs at the roots to ensure the seams looks just like a panel lines. The cowl assembly (a frequent source of frustration in some other manufacturer's radial engined '190s) is quite straightforward, and the stabilzers again have interlocking tabs to ensure they sit true and square. Basically, modellers with even minimal experience should have few problems with the styrene parts.
New resin and metal parts
The underwing gun packs are very neatly cast, with minimal pour-stubs to clean-up. The parts are clearly marked L and R, and are designed to slot into recessed locations in place of the standard kit's optional panels for the original 20mm MG-FF outboard guns which were not carried on the 'A-5/U12. The fit in my kit is precise enough for them to simply clip in place.
Along with the resin gun packs, the kit provides a set of four turned brass gun barrels. These have hollowed-out muzzles and are a definite improvement over solid plastic barrels, so it's a shame that Hasegawa didn't provide an extra matching pair for the wing-root guns.
Instructions and decals
The assembly guide is produced in typical Hasegawa fashion - very clearly drawn and laid out, with Gunze Sangyo paint matches throughout. The suggested sequence is very logical and this, combined with the excellent fit of the major parts, promises a very straightforward and painless build.
Two sets of markings are provided:
A. "Black 13", W.Nr 410266, flown by Lt. Erich Hondt, 2./JG 11, October 1943.
B. Prototype aircraft W.Nr 150813, civil registration BH-CC.
The decals look very good quality, being printed in perfect register in the sample kit, with a satin finish and minimal carrier film. Stencil markings are included, even the tiniest lettering being quite legible, and instrument faces and side console details are provided for the cockpit to augment the finely moulded styrene parts. There are two styles of swastikas printed at the edge of the sheet - an indication that they may be removed from kits destined for certain markets where the emblem is deemed unacceptable. A nice touch is that the W.Nr for scheme A is printed on a small patch of RLM 76 to avoid the need for masking it on the aircraft's striking white tail.
The only possible fault I can see is that a reference photo of "BH-CC" shows the final 3 digits of the W.Nr repeated in large white numerals on the cowling - although this may not have been a permanent addition.
Like Jean-Luc six years ago, I really find it hard to fault Hasegawa's Fw 190A-5. Apart from the possible slip on one of the colour schemes, it really represents the company at the top of their game and this is a very welcome new boxing of their classic "Wurger". The simple use of resin and metal parts would make it an ideal introduction for any modellers who are new to working with these media. Recommended.
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