by: Rowan Baylis [ ]
It was bound to be only a matter of time before Eduard released their popular quarterscale Butcher Bird as an Fw 190F ground attack version. And it's high time that we saw this important variant of the '190 available in this scale again because, with the Tamiya kit currently out of production, there's been a glaring gap in the market for some time. Add to this the fact that Eduard's Fw 190s score over their Tamiya counterparts on a number of well-documented accuracy counts and this new kit is all the more welcome.
The 'F arrives in an attractive and suitably solid top opening box with all the sprues and accessories bagged for protection. The box is certainly well stuffed(!), containing most of the parts of the earlier fighter versions, plus a number of new sprues for the ground attack wing and stores. The kit comprises:
237 x pale olive styrene parts (plus a number unused)
6 x clear styrene parts (again, plus a couple not needed)
208 x etched parts
Decals for 5 x colour schemes
We've noted in the past that Eduard's '190s aren't really suitable for inexperienced modellers and one glance at the parts count confirms that's still true for the new version. While not especially difficult kits, they are quite complex, with detailed cockpit and engine compartments and gun bays that can be displayed open. With the new version, a lot of the added complexity can be accounted for by the under-wing stores, because Eduard have really gone to town in this department - no less than 103 of the styrene parts are new!
Along with the new wing lower surface, there are weapons racks and panniers, rocket tubes, rocket rails, under-wing cannons, 6 types of bombs/weapons cannisters and, last but not least, drop tanks.:
AB 250 x 3
SC 250 x 3
SD 250 x 3
SC 50 x 8
Ps 2 x 2
Mk 103 x 2 (2 styles)
Pb 1 x 6 (2 styles of launchers)
All the bombs and rockets feature etched metal tail fins, making this the most detailed and comprehensive set of Luftwaffe weaponry yet released by a mainstream manufacturer in this scale.
Instructions & DecalsBacking up the new parts, Eduard have provided a typically detailed 20-page assembly guide, printed in colour on glossy paper. 3 pages are devoted to the weaponry and there's a very useful load-out diagram to show just what can hang where. The assembly diagrams are very clear, breaking the complex assemblies down into manageable chunks. Gunze Sangyo paints are indicated throughout.
Eduard provide decals for 5 colour schemes:
A. < Yellow K, SG10, Ceske Budejovice, Czechoslovakia, May 1945.
B. Yellow 14, W.Nr. 584592, Neubiberg, Germany, May 1945.
C. Red 10, I./SG 4, Piacenza, Italy, June 1944.
D. Yellow 2, 9./SG 77, Chudim, Czechoslovakia, May 1945.
An additional scheme is featured on the instructions' front page: Black 7, 5./II./SG77, Pardubice,Czechoslovakia, May 1945.
The decals are printed by Cartograf and are perfectly in register in the sample kit. The items are thin and glossy, with minimal carrier film. 2 sheets are provided, with national and unit insignia, plus a comprehensive set of stencils and other markings for the weaponry.
ConclusionEduard's Fw 190F-8 looks set to build into an excellent model. Quite complex and highly detailed, it's really aimed at modellers with a fair bit of experience. The cockpit can be built without the etched parts, but not most of the under-wing stores. The '190F has been missing in the 1/48 scale ranks for a while, but Eduard's new release surpasses all previous kits of this variant by a considerable margin. Highly recommended.
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