by: Tim Hatton [ ]
The production of the Fw 190 A-2 quickly followed the A-1. The first production version of the Fw 190: the A-1 was introduced into service in June 1941 and was quickly joined in service by the Fw 190A-2 in November 1941. The Fw 190A-2 was powered by the BMW 801C-2 radial engine and armed initially with two nose mounted 7.9mm MG 17’s and two wing mounted 20mm MG 151’s. Later Fw 190A-2 had additional pair of wing mounted 20mm MG FF’s. This went on to be the standard weapon arrangement of Fw 190. The introduction of the A-2 marked a shift in air supremacy over the RAF’s Spitfire Mk V. German production records make no real distinction between A-2s and A-3s, which were very similar aircraft. The total combined production was 910 airframes between October 1941 and August 1942. In addition to Focke-Wulf and AGO, a new subcontractor, Arado, built A-2s and A-3s at Warnemünde.
This is the latest tooling of the Fw 190, not the complex release Eduard first released. Overall the recessed panel lines and rivet detail is very subtle. Also the fuselage has a lot fewer parts than the previous releases. This release offers the earlier two or later four gun wing. Contents include:
●6 x injected grey plastic sprues.
●1 x injected clear plastic sprue
●1 x pre-coloured photo etched fret.
●1 x set of paint masks for canopy and wheels.
●2 x resin inner undercarriage doors
●3 x decal sheet
As is the norm for Eduard higher end releases there are three ways of creating the cockpit detail: using the pre-coloured photo etched parts, decals or painting. The quality of the painted photo etched parts is very good. Parts not only include instrument panel and side consoles there is also a seat harness, rudder pedals with straps, trim wheel and various handles. The decal instruments are not nearly as good as the PE parts. The decals are laid on smooth plastic parts to make adhesion easier. There are also plastic parts with low relief detail for those that would much rather create the look of the cockpit with paint. The plastic parts of the cockpit are nicely moulded with fine detail. A tub makes up the majority of the cockpit, onto which is added the seat and instrument panel. There is what I thought was an irritatingly placed raised ejector mark on the inside of the right side of the cockpit wall, but no it’s the locating point for the trim wheel. Once complete the cockpit will sit nicely on the narrow shelf moulded on the inside of each half of the fuselage. The gun sight is made from clear plastic.
The canopy and windscreen are separate parts. They are very clear and thin. The unglazed area of the canopy has a slightly matt look to it. The canopy can be posed open or closed and there are two different canopies one for the open and another for the closed position. There are a couple of plastic items to fit to the inside of the canopy. Being a ProfiPACK release there are paints masks included. The canopy frame has some interesting curves which would be challenging if you were creating your own mask. So the pre-cut masks will be very helpful.
The fuselage has none of the complexity of the older butcher birds from Eduard. You only need to add to the fuselage a couple of rings at the nose and the cannon fairings in front of the windscreen as well as the one piece rudder. The rudder has fine raised detail replicating the taped canvas. The radial engine looks decent enough, but only the front cylinders and a separate piece for the reduction gear are represented. Not much will be seen behind the cooling fan and tight fitting cowl. There are a couple of banks of exhaust pipes to install before the fuselage halves are joined. Each has ‘L’ or ‘R’ marked on it to avoid any confusion when gluing in place. There is also a third bank of exhaust pipes these can be fitted after the fuselage halves are joined. The prop is made up from two pieces with a curious small section of the prop arms that is separate. The prop itself looks good with sharp edges. The ventilation slots on the fuselage are deeply recessed and not cut outs.
There are two choices of wing: the two guns or four guns wing. The biggest visual difference other than the extra guns is the large blister on the under wing gun access panel. If you are building the four gun wing then the location points of the outer gun barrels need to be drilled out, there is a mark indicating where to drill. The two cannons by the wing root have protruding barrels. Whichever wing you choose they are made up from three parts; the full span lower wing is one piece. There are a considerable number of parts that need to be attached around the wheel bay in the lower wing including a nicely detailed wing spar and parts that make up the roof of the wheel well. Again these parts are very well detailed. You will be rewarded with a very good looking wheel bay. The raised tape of the fabric of the ailerons is finely done, each aileron is one piece. Each of the horizontal tail planes is made up from two pieces with a one piece elevator. The elevator surfaces have the same raised detail replicating the tape as the other control surfaces.
The undercarriage looks the part with detailed legs and separate torque links. The actuator arms for the main undercarriage are separate as well. These will be very useful for setting the angle of the legs. There is a useful diagram in the instruction illustrating the angle of the undercarriage. The wheels have separate detailed hubs so making painting much easier. There are two masks for the outer side of each hub. The tail wheel is made up from three pieces and has some good detail on it. The tail wheel unit slots into the fuselage towards the end of the build.
There are two types of under fuselage fuel tanks included, but these are not fitted on this release.
Fw 190 marking options
There are five options with this release including:
●W. Nr. 0125228, flown by Ofw. Erwin Leibold, Stab I./JG 26, St. Omer-Arques, France, July 1942
●W. Nr. 0125281, flown by Oblt. Siegfried Schnell, CO of 9./JG 2, Théville, France, June 1942
●W. Nr. 0122125, flown by Oblt. Max Buchholz, CO of 5./JG 1, Katwijk, the Netherlands, Summer 1942
●W. Nr. 0125310, flown by Hptm. Josef Priller, CO of III./JG 26, Wevelghem, Belgium, June 1942
●Flown by Oblt. Egon Mayer, CO of 7./JG 2, Théville, France, Summer 1942
There are three decal sheets printed by Eduard. Colour and definition looks good. There is very little carrier film evident. Full swastikas are included as well as the compound ones that need to be made up. You may be glad to know that the distinctive spinner bands are included as decals.
The 16 page instruction booklet covers all the bases regarding the build and finishing of the Fw 190 A-2. The construction diagrams are not overly busy, but you do need to look at each stage carefully if you want to get the most from the builds. The coloured marking section is a bonus along with the four views of each aircraft. There are separate illustrations covering the location of stencils and wing walkways.
This is another fine and welcome release from Eduard. The kit represents probably the best mouldings that can be achieved at present. There are images of built examples on the Eduard website that should inspire anyone interested in modelling the butcher bird.