The Fw 190A-6 was a continuation of the development that started with the A-5 which had the fuselage extended by 15cm. The nose extension became standard on all subsequent Fw 190A versions up to the A9, and also on the corresponding F types. The wing of the A-6 was redesigned in an attempt to bring down the ever-increasing weight that followed with each variant. The now potent threat of the allied daylight and night time heavy bomber operations necessitated increased and more effective armament. The new lighter and stronger wing incorporated four 20 mm MG 151/20E with larger ammunition boxes while retaining the two MG 17 fuselage machine guns. The wing was also designed to take 30mm armament for the fitting of heavier calibre cannons under the wings. The FuG 16 ZE VHF transceiver was fitted in conjunction with a FuG 10 ZY transceiver. Externally a loop aerial for radio navigation was attached under the fuselage as well as a whip aerial towards the tail. The fuel tank and rack were redesigned, making its removal a much simpler affair. Around 963 A-6s were built from July 1943 until April 1944
The first thing to notice is the superb quality of the raised and recessed detail. Also noticeable with this release is how much simpler the construction of the fuselage should be compared to the first generation of quarter scale Fw 190 A &F’s releases that Eduard started to produce in 2006. Take a look at Rowans review
of the Eduard Fw 190 A-6 from the summer of 2007 to compare and contrast. They were known for their difficult build, due to the intention of displaying the model with lots of internal detail exposed. This second generation quarter scale Fw 190 A’s, which this edition is, began to be released in 2017. There is a caveat to the more simplified construction process of this kit. The first generation of releases are ideal if you want to display your model with hatches and panels off. Also, there is an excellent plastic injected version of the BMW 801 engine in the older offering. Anyway, enough of the old, let’s have a look at the new.
The plastic is fairly glossy and has a slight film of mould release agent on it. It would be a good idea to wash the sprues in warm soapy water before commencing construction.
As always with Eduard’s ProfiPACK releases there are various ways off detailing the cockpit: using the detailed plastic parts, the pre-coloured photo etched parts and decals. There are around sixteen plastic parts and twenty-four photo etched parts making up the cockpit, as well as four decals for the instrument panel and side consoles. There are clear parts for the gun sight and the fuel pipe. Most of the detail parts are attached to the one-piece cockpit tub that also incorporates the decking to the rear of the pilot. Seat harness are included on the pre-coloured photo etched fret. The decals for the instruments look very good and are a viable alternative to detailing the IP and side panels. The raised detail for the IP and side consoles is more than sufficient for detailing and dry brushing if you prefer to represent the instruments that way.
The canopies and windscreen are crystal clear. There are two canopies one for open and one for closed. Paint masks are included for both the windscreen and both styles of canopies. There’s a plastic armour plate/headrest and support or a photo etched brace to add to the canopy. The brace replaces the armour plate for Wilde Sau option [‘C’]. Removing the armour hopefully made it easier to evacuate the aircraft in an emergency at night.
As mentioned previously the fuselage on this Fw 190 A-6 looks as if it will be a much simpler affair to put together compared with earlier Eduard kits of the Butcher Bird. There are locating pins to help with the alignment of the two halves. The upper decking over the engine bay is made up from two parts, the two MG 17’s barrels are moulded separately. The two-part BMW 801 engine is moulded onto a plate that slots into the fuselage. The representation is shallow and pretty simple looking, both banks of cylinder’s are there, but in a compressed form. The engine will be mostly obscured by the fan in front, so it’s an acceptable reduction in detail. The three banks of exhausts are moulded separately, a nice touch is the exhaust blocks for the fuselage side has ‘L’ and ‘R’ on them. There’s even a slight indentation at the ends of the exhaust. The louvre doors behind the exhaust are set in the closed position. If you are going for option ’C’ then there’s a glare guard to add. This aircraft was part of Hajo Hermanns JG 300 ‘Wilde Sau’ unit. The always impressive prop is made up from four parts including the fan. The prop for this version has the narrower cord blades. The radio hatch is moulded closed but there is quite a deep recess around the hatch on the inside of the fuselage if you feel the need to open it up. There is a small amount of detail inside the fuselage where the tail wheel is located. The rudder is one piece with raised detail, the trailing edge is nice and sharp.
As with the fuselage, the wings look a much simpler affair to put together. There are no open hatches to deal with as with the Eduard’s first generation Fw 190. The lower wing is one piece with separately fitted ailerons, but the flaps are integral to the wing. Eduard has engineered a deep recess around the flap area on the inner surface to make the cutting out of the flap easier if you wish to create or purchase a flap set. There were two styles of undercarriage door arrangement on the A-6 and Eduard allow you to model both variations: with inner doors or without. It’s not quite as simple as leaving the doors off though. Eduard has gone to the trouble of using alternate parts to change the look of the area where the wheels are located. Some minor surgery is involved removing the bridging panel and replacing it with alternate part. There’s a good lip around the cut outs for the undercarriage so attaching the side walls will be easy enough. The main spar is represented and forms part of the undercarriage bay. There are around fifteen plastic parts to detail the undercarriage bay and that’s not including the barrels of the two MG FF cannons passing through. Interestingly option ‘C’ carried a searchlight in the left wing for night fighting duties. The light covering is represented by a decal. Its only mentioned in the aircrafts background details in painting instructions.
The tail planes are each made up from two pieces and the two elevators are one piece, again nice sharp trailing edges.
The undercarriage is very well detailed, there’s a real finesse in the way the whole thing is designed. There’s a useful guide in the instruction indicating the rake of the oleo. The oleo has a retracting arm to attach to it which will provide a fair bit of strength and hopefully assist in setting that odd looking rake. The main wheel tyres are each one piece. There’s a choice of treaded or slick tyres. The hubs are separate and can be left off for painting or you can attach them and use the paint included paint masks. The tail wheel has three components and the unit just slides into the fuselage after they have been joined.
You can fit a fuel tank and rack, but make sure you drill out the holes in the fuselage.
Most of the pre-coloured photo etch parts are for the cockpit including seat harness, instrument panel, side panels, levers, rudder pedals.
There are paint masks for the canopy and windscreen as well as the main wheel hubs. I did notice that Eduard has changed the backing from thin card to paper. Not sure I like it particularly, but we will see if it has a marked effect with the ease of removing the masks.
There are a couple of sheets of decals: the larger of the two has mostly the markings printed on it. Full or part swastikas are included. You’ll be glad to know that Lt Heinz-Günther Lück’s Fw 190 that is featured on the box art has decals that reproduce the chequerboard look of the nose. That particular decal set is split into six parts to hopefully fit the contour. Spinner spirals are included as well. The stencils are really well printed the lettering is easily legible.
There are five marking options to choose from including:
flown by Lt. Heinz-Günther Lück, 1./JG 1, Deelen, the Netherlands, August 1943
W. Nr. 550461, flown by Oblt. Helmut Radtke, 5./JG 54, Immola, Finland, Summer 1944
W. Nr. 550453, flown by Hptm. Friedrich-Karl Müller, Stab./JG 300, Bonn-Hangelar, Germany,
flown by Fw. Günther Josten, 1./JG 51, Bobruysk, Soviet Union, January 1944
W. Nr. 550473, flown by Fw. Walter Nietzsche, II./JG 300, Rheine, Germany, Summer 1943 Upper surfaces are all RLM 34 and 35 with RLM 76 on the sides and underneath.
At first glance you might think that these are the usual Butcher Bird paint schemes, but Eduard have found a couple interesting variations with scheme ‘B’ and ‘D’. Scheme ‘B’ has a patch of RLM 70 on the side of the fuselage. On scheme ‘D’ other than the obvious over painting of the upper surfaces with white, RLM 34 and 35 are painted much lower down the fuselage sides. One advantage of scheme ‘D’ is that the overpainting in white covered all the stencils and wing walkways on the upper surfaces, so a great scheme to go for if you loathe applying stencils.
Instruction comprise of a sixteen-page A4 booklet. There are numerous stages of the build over ten pages. Black line drawn illustrations are very clear and they looks easy enough to follow. Just be aware of any subtle variations depending on which marking option your going for. Finally there are five pages of the marking options in colour and a greyscale page stencil guide.
This is one of the easiest kits I have built for some time. Parts go together really well needing nothing more than extra thin glue for the plastic parts. Everything you need for a detailed kit is in the box. The much simpler build process of Eduard's second generation quarter scale Fw 190's makes this an enjoyable build, it was completed in eight days. I was dubious about the new style paint masks, but there are no issues using the. I did find the decals a little too keen to settle, so stopped using Microsol and prepared the surface using water instead. Go out and acquire one or two a great kit to re-acquire your build mojo.
This is a tremendous looking release from Eduard and one that just begs to be built immediately. The new look mouldings will appeal to modellers that just want a clean representation of the aircraft without having to blend in separate cowls, covers and hatches. The inclusion of the additional pre-painted photo etched parts to detail the cockpit and the paint masks is a real plus.