by: Tim Hatton [ ]
The FW 190 F-8 was built with close support of ground troops in mind. So it was out with the outer wing cannons and in with extra armour. Lower altitude performance was improved with the fitting of a modified injector on the compressor. The F-8 was also fitted with the improved FuG 16 ZS radio unit, which provided much better communication with ground combat units. Armament of the Fw 190 F-8 was two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon in the wing roots and two 13 mm MG 131 machine guns above the engine. Also munitions could be carried on the belly and wings.
The kit was previously released by Eduard, it says so on the sprues. Mark 1 Models has not only included two kits in one box, but also added a couple of resin cockpit tubs and four marking options. The parts are contained within the side opening box. No need to open the box up to see the marking options as they are all printed in colour on one side. The cockpit area is faired over so you will need to cut away the plastic to fit the resin cockpit tub. The canopy and windscreen is one piece and very clear.
The recessed panel lines are delicately done. The prop and spinner is one piece, the shape of the blades look pretty good. The twelve blade fan is depicted within the separate front ring of the cowling. The indentation in the fuselage directly behind the exhaust pipes looks an odd shape. Some careful filing or trimming will be necessary to create a more realistic look. The bulge on either side of cowling is not very pronounced. Whilst in this area there is no representation of the three cooling slots although if it bothers you they could be simply scribed in. The fuselage cannon breach cover is a separate part. The height of the fuselage looks a little shallow.
The one piece wing looks very good including recessed panel lines The wing is for the A-8 version so the outer cannon barrels will need to be removed to represent a F-8. The blister for the MG 151/20 look nicely done. The undercarriage bay looks well detailed if a little shallow. The ETC belly rack for the single bomb or fuel tank is separate. Mark 1 have provided a one piece bomb and a two part fuel tank to mount on the ETC rack. The cannon barrels are a little long, but this can be easily rectified. The two rear stabilisers are each one piece.
The main under carriage features one piece oleo and under carriage door and look absolutely fine. The wheels have solid hubs which is spot on. The main gear actuator is not included so you may want to fabricate one. The tail wheel is moulded onto the fuselage's left side.
The decals look very good, well printed, good definition and the colours look strong. The wing walkways as well as the first aid and fuel stencils are included on the decal sheet. The spirals for the spinners are not included. From past experience the quality of the decals should be assured and respond very well to Microsol.
The instructions printed on a folded A4 sheet feature black line drawing illustrating the building process though three stages. All the written instructions are in English. The painting and decal guide feature colour illustrations.
Mark 1 have come up with a good choice of markings for this release. See images opposite for the colours.
-Fw 190F-8, White T, II./SG 77, Luftwaffe, Lemberg (Lvov) airfield, Ukraine, summer 1944
-Fw 190F-8, White 11, I./SG 4, Luftwaffe, San Damiano-Piacenza airfield, Northern Italy, May 1944
-Fw 190F-8, Yellow 14, II./SG 2, Luftwaffe, Neubiberg Air Base, Germany, May 1945
-Fw 190F-8, Black M, III./JG 3, Luftwaffe, Sweden, May 1945
All the camouflage colours have RLM reference numbers.
The one piece wing really speeds up the build. The fuselage halves go together rather well. Just a touch of filler was needed on the belly along the wing/fuselage join. The resin cockpit tub improves the look of the kit significantly. Do take your time removing the excess plastic in the cockpit. The clear canopy fits very well.
This is a good release from Mark 1 Models. You could have quite a collection of 1/144 FW190's on your flight line. The choice of marking is superior to the original Eduard releases. This release would be a good antidote if your suffering from builders block. It could be easily built in a weekend. It took me a couple of evenings to have this kit ready for painting. Highly recommended.