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  1. 1:32 Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8 cockpit and gun bay (for Revell kit) Eduard Catalogue # see article for code and price Available from Eduard Following hard on the heels of the undercarriage struts and wheels that we looked at recently, are two brand new sets that are designed for Revell’s recent Fw 190F-8 kit. Having built the test shot, and being in receipt of the production kit, I do know there are a few areas where the new Würger is let down a little. Whilst the cockpit is passable, it isn’t state of the art, and the forward gun bay is probably the worst feature of the kit, due to being both poor and lacking in much detail. The plastic parts, for me, were quite rudimentary, and the gun cowl was thick and lacked any interior detail. That pretty much kills that area for me, and you would either need to be a super-scratchbuilder or simply not bothered about it, to be able to display this area. Again, Eduard come to the rescue with these two new Brassin releases. 632056, Fw 190F-8 cockpit, 37,45 € 632060, Fw 190F-8 MG131 mount, 29,95 € Fw 190F-8 cockpit This set, presented in Eduard’s familiar satin black box, is designed to be a simple, drop-replacement set for the kit plastic parts. A quick scan of the instructions shows that to be the case, with no surgery needed to the host plastic, whatsoever. Inside the box, we see the three-sheet instructions, folded over some soft grey foam. Lift this out and you will find a one-piece resin cockpit tub, three small zip-lock wallets of resin, two photo-etch frets (one in colour), and a small decal sheet. Just as Revell made their tub in one piece, Eduard has designed theirs to fit the kit using the attachment points already present on the Revell styrene. As I know the Revell part very well, I have to say that, for detail, there is no comparison. The detail here is more numerous, accurate and certainly sharper. The ugly moulded-on throttle of the Revell part is a separate part here, which will attach neatly to the lever channel. Eduard really have made a beautiful job here, with a better looking foot plate and shield that covers the control column linkage, and the turtle-deck is a big improvement too. Not only is the stowage door is provided as a separate piece, there are two PE options provided. Removal of the casting block should be fairly easy too, and remember to also remove the resin web from the wall behind the pilot’s seat. Packet 1 Six parts are to be found here, cast in the same light grey resin that the tub itself is made from. Eduard’s seat really is excellent, being both thinly cast, and containing neat rivet detail and mounting attachment points. Two optional parts are also included for this. These are the main seat cushion, and separate lower back padding. The latter was missing from the Revell release. Also included here are resin replacement parts for one headrest option. Eduard supply a new instrument coaming too. Packet 2 Cast in a darker grey resin, the second canopy internal frame option is included. The armoured headrest for this is in the next package. Here you will also find a perfect-looking control stick (vastly different from the weedy looking thing in the kit!), the rudder pedal frames. Connection of the frame and canopy interior are easy to saw through, being thin resin membranes that require minimal effort to remove. Packet 3 Notice that Eduard have opted NOT to include a colour PE instrument panel here. The bezels and other detail on the Fw 190 instrument panel, perhaps don’t lend themselves too well to the 3D relief that is required? Maybe. Either way, the split level panel is supplied as resin parts, with blank instrument dial faces into which you can apply the decals that come with this set. As you can see from photos, the detail is really very good, with wiring also included. Optional panels are also included for WGr.21 rockets, or for the MG FF controller unit. These themselves are attached to one of two panel options. Another floor mounted instrument panel is included, as are two gun-sight option, with clear acetate parts for the lenses. Other parts include hood release handle. Photo Etch As standard, Eduard seem to include the colour-PE seatbelts in these cockpit upgrades. If I’m really honest, I’d much prefer to see the inevitable textile set included instead, as these are far more realistic and easy to manipulate. Still, a full set of belts is included, and printing is very good. The brass fret contains the bulk of the extra detail for this set, including stowage panel door options, levers, rudder pedals and mounting frames, forward hood facing, sliding hood elements etc. As you can see, quality is everything you would expect from Eduard, with narrow, thin attachment points, and fine detailing. Decals All instruments are supplied as separate decals, and ideally, you should punch them out so as to eliminate every trace of carrier film. This will make them easier to apply. Decals are included for the warning shield on the pilot’s headrest. Just a thought, but if these are included, maybe some replica placards would be good too, such as those that Barracuda produce for the Mustang and Corsair. Again, just a thought…. Printing is very good, and is thin, in register and there is minimal carrier film. Instructions You really should have zero problems in assembling this product. Illustrations are clear and concise, and optional parts are self-explanatory. Mr Hobby paint codes are supplied throughout too. There are three folded A4 sheets here that makes use of different coloured inks to show the demarcation between resin and plastic parts. Fw 190F-8 MG131 gun mount This set corrects perhaps the weakest element of the Revell kit. Discard those plastic parts and install this beautifully detailed gun bay, complete with a thinly cast and amazing looking gun cowl! Packed into a clear blister packet, this set contains TEN resin parts, and a further NINETEEN photo-etch pieces, all designed to totally transform this area of the host kit. Resin parts are cast in a combination of light and dark grey resin. It seems that the darker resin tends to be used for the more fragile parts, perhaps with a slightly different and more flexible property to them. The light grey parts include the upper weapons tray, ammunition boxes, feed chutes and empty shell chutes. Just compare the kit part against Eduard’s resin weapons tray, with its connectors, wiring and other detail. Then look at the guns for comparison. Now you can see why I consider this set to be essential, if you wish to pose this area in an open position. I think these MG131 guns are an absolute work of art. Ammunition boxes have their riveting, neatly cast strap handles, and of course, hollow shell ejector chutes. It did seem that Revell perhaps knew their gun bay detail was more than a little bit pants. They made no real effort to produce a thin, detailed cowling. The clunky and internally featureless affair isn’t very good. However, Eduard’s resin alternative is a world away in terms of quality. It is so thin that light streams through the resin when it’s held to the light. Externally, the detail of this looks great, with neat riveting, and recessed cowl latch areas. Internally, all the constructional elements can be seen, including the rear of the latch recesses. Also the hinge matches up perfectly to that moulded on the weapons tray. Now….who will be the first to try and drill/pin these so they move? The PE parts include a sheathing for the kit bulkhead, providing some good detail, as well as a couple of frames that attach to this. You will also find the cowl latches here and a nice addition too, namely the windscreen wash tubes. With the latter, I would still possibly make these from thin lead wire, but at least Eduard included them. Again, the instructions are easy to follow, but you will have to conduct the most basic of surgery to the internal bulkhead. Colour call-outs are supplied for Mr Hobby paints. Conclusion. I love what Eduard has created for this kit. Revell did a great job with the new 190F-8, generally. The look and feel of it, to me, is correct, and these sets add that detail that I just love to see. Both sets are reasonably priced, and won’t break the bank. Surgery is minimal, if any is required at all, and as a result, a relative notice should be able to fit these to their model too. What I now wonder is if we’ll see a super-detailed BMW801 engine to compliment these sets. I really do hope so! VERY highly recommended! My sincere thanks to Eduard for these review samples. To purchase directly, click the links in the review. James H
  2. 1:32 Focke-Wulf Fw 190D upgrades EagleParts Catalogue # see article for code and price Available from Eagle Editions You will perhaps note that most of these sets aren’t exactly what you could call new releases. In fact, these sets range from being 11 to 12 years old. So, why look at them again, you may ask? Firstly, this is for two reasons. Judy Crandall kindly sent them over to me for a future magazine project where I will do a full detail build of the Hasegawa kit, and more importantly, these are still probably the very best resin sets available for the 1:32 Hasegawa ‘Dora’ kit. As we stand at the moment, that particular kit is still the only mainstream Dora in 1:32. Another reason to look at these sets now is that they are now joined by another release; namely a brand new set of Fw 190D-9 propeller blades! Whilst we are all flooded out with choice for the Me/Bf 109, there is simply a real lack of new Fw 190 releases for large scale. Of course, Revell has slightly readdressed this recently with a new-tool F-8, and of course, ZM are promising a range of Würger too. The four sets I’ve received are: EP#40-32, Fw 190D series cockpit, $34.50 EP#42-32, Fw 190D ‘3-piece’ gun cowling, $11.50 EP#43-32, Fw 190D radiator cowling, $9.50 EP#64-32, Fw 190D-9 propeller blades, $14.50 Fw 190D series cockpit Yes, there were differences between the cockpits of the main variants of the Fw 190, and this set is only suited for use in the Dora. This release is packaged into a quite large blister packet which contains not just the resin, but a fret of photo-etch parts too. Two instruction sheets are folded and placed within too. If I have any reservations about the packaging, it’s that the resin parts are loose within, and possibly prone to damage amongst themselves or in contact with the PE fret which is in a small zip-lock and not protected with card. The package itself is sealed with a product label which requires cutting or tearing away. This set comprises of TWENTY-EIGHT pale grey resin parts, cast both separately and in combination with a small number of casting blocks. The largest part is the cockpit tub, which extends from the forward bulkhead, backwards to the rear of the radio bay to the rear of the pilot. There is no block as such to remove here, but you might need to thin the floor a little. Detail on this part is exceptional, with some great detail on those busy-looking consoles, and with a map case and map moulded onto the starboard console side. This blows away any injection moulded Fw 190 pit I’ve seen, including the new tool F-8 from Revell. Rails exist to the rear of these, and the seat will slot into place just in front of the shoulder armour. The floor contains control linkage and box, foot plate, secondary instrument panel and a good deal of wiring and plumbing. A cockpit-builder’s dream. Both sidewalls are separately cast. One of mine had a warp in it, but a few seconds in hot water, and this was fixed. Again, detail comprises of stringers, rails, fuel and electrical port rear areas, wiring looms, and of course, the interior of the radio access door. When it comes to the seat itself, Eagle have given a couple of options here. You can choose to either use the part with the cast seatbelts in situ, or a bare seat onto which you can add your own belts. A set of PE buckles and clasps are supplied, but not the actual belts themselves. Made up with a textile set from HGW, this would look amazing, but don’t underestimate the look at the seat with cast belts. This looks great, and I may even decide to use that part instead of attaching separate belts. Options are also given for you to choose to install either early or late versions of the foot pedals, which are supplied as PE parts. You can also choose to model the pit with or without the chronometer. The pilot would usually remove this when he exits the cockpit, but the option is there, or you could use as part of a dio, with the pilot holding it. As the Dora can be built as a JABO machine, a separate bomb control panel is also supplied. Even the control stick ‘boot’ gets the options treatment with both a standard part and an animated one, allowing you to display the control stick cocked over to one side. I think that covers all bases!! To fit this cockpit, the biggest job will be to thin the kit cockpit sides, removing the moulded detail. The instructions DO state that this isn’t a drop-fit, so please be aware of that. A certain degree of plastic butchery will be required, and a little patience. Having already fitted one of these, I can tell you that patience pays dividends. Part of that butchery will involve removing the instrument panel coaming. A corrected resin part is supplied, with detail moulded both on the inside as well as the outside. Whilst a much improved instrument panel is supplied in this set, Eagle suggest you use the kit decals to detail it. I suggest you don’t, as they are pretty crap. Instead, consider the superb sets that Airscale sell, including cockpit placards. That will really help to make this a masterpiece. Even the PE parts provide further options for you here. To the rear of the pilot is the battery and radio compartment, and above this sits a photo-etch turtle deck. Parts are supplied to either complete this with a standard lid for this area, or with a vented lid. You’re spoilt for choice. All resin here is beautifully cast, with no visible flaw anywhere that I can see. Fragile parts are protected by walls on their casting block, and those blocks will be easy to remove in every case. The PE fret contains around 40 extra parts, such as rudder trim wheel, foot pedal options, turtledeck, battery compartment lid options, seatbelt buckles, and also the two undercarriage indicator sticks which fasten to the wing! PE production is also very good, and should present no problems, as long as it doesn’t get banged in transit. Pictorial instructions are supplied, with plenty of text to guide you. Read this carefully. I know it will pay off, having once used this set on a previous project. All parts have labelling too, for easy identification. Fw 190D ‘3-piece’ gun cowling An area that few companies manage to portray properly on the Dora, is the forward gun cowling. Hasegawa also failed to get this correct. Thankfully, we have folks out there who can indeed do this, and these replacement parts are available through Eagle Editions. Eagle actually sell both the three and five piece gun cowls, but my project called for the three-piece part. Hasegawa’s attempt leaves the cowl looking a little odd with pronounced gun bulges creating a sort of plastic ‘cleavage’. The three-part cowl, moulded as one piece, was the type fitted to the later Fw 190D machines, so you will need to check your references to see whether you will need the three or five part item. Jerry Crandall’s Fw 190D volumes are an excellent reference. The number of parts actually refers to those used on the fore, gun cowl, and not the forward trough section. The replacement part is quite literally a single piece of light grey resin which simply needs removing from its casting block, with no further modifications required. Removal will be easy as it’s connected to its block via a thin resin wall that is connected to the canopy side of the part. A few small resin ribs will need to be shaved away too. As even this cowling could vary due to the numbers of small bulges on them, all are cast here, and you just need to nip and sand away those that don’t pertain to your own machine. Fw 190D radiator cowling Again, this is another ‘drop-in’ part that directly replaces the incorrect kit component. The problem with the Hasegawa part is that the front section of the cowl opening doesn’t properly depict the aerodynamic profile of the real thing, and it simply moulded as a rounded edge. Eagle’s part addresses this and corrects it. The side profile of the Hasegawa part is also too rounded, giving a slightly incorrect character to the final appearance. Another aspect of the Dora cowl that Eagle have included, are the plates on the cowl sides, which are used to join the cowl ring together on the real aircraft. These had a common interlocked hole, by which insertion of a pin was the means by which the cowl halves were secured to each other. The kit part omits this detail entirely. This replacement part is connected to its casting block by a very narrow wall of resin, and you’ll need to be extra careful when removing it. Fw 190D-9 propeller blades A very simple upgrade, designed to fit the Hasegawa D-9 (is there any other?). This addresses the inaccurate paddle-blade prop parts in this kit, with a newly sculpted option that more accurately captures the appearance of the real thing. In fact, the basis for this correction set is an original 190D-9 prop which is in a private collection. These are packed into another blister packet, and each blade is cast in light grey resin, on its own casting block. Casting is excellent with no flaw, and these will look real good in conjunction with the replacement cowl parts. Conclusion Even after a decade, these upgrade parts for the Fw 190D simply cannot be beaten. Their casting is as sharp as I remember them when I used my first set about 8 years ago, and the detail is just amazing. I love the cockpit work on a project, and this simply cries out for some special care and attention. Even if you don’t bother too much about the cockpit, I really do recommend the gun cowl, prop blades and radiator ring. These help to transform the front end of the Dora. Very highly recommended My sincere thanks to Eagle Editions for the samples you see before you. To purchase directly, click the links in the article. James H
  3. Focke-Wulf Ta 154 "Moskito" Monograph 3D Edition #51 Marek J. Murawski / Marek Ryś Kagero Books (3051) Available from Kagero for €20,40 Have you ever stared at a black and white photograph from ww2 studying construction and dimensions? Trying to look into black portions of shadows and making out what goes where? I have, and it's almost impossible. You need multiple photographs from various angles to understand a wheel bay or engine mounting. With 3D software being put to it's full use in the modeling world, it was only a matter of time before entire vehicles were rendered in Cad programs to be dissected in a book. Kagero has done just that, giving the avid modeler grip and understanding of a subject. Marek Rys' 3D work is true magic. His renderings need a second and maybe third look to discern between real and unreal This latest 3D Monograph edition cover the Focke-Wulf Ta154 inside and out. A welcome addition to my reference library, since this subject is not widely covered. If you want to model this plane in 1/32, you'll have to scratch it or use the ID models Vacform kit. Jerry Rutman made a detail set for this 'model' with gear and pit. However, I'm sure it won't take long before a brand like Revell decides to cover this beauty too. What's in the book? History, drawings, profiles and lots and lots of 3D renderings full airframe and separate subassemblies. History The first chapter explains the german demand for a Luftwaffe counterpart of the British Mosquito. A wooden airframe that would utilize the large stocks of Jumo 211 engines. A plane that would be a good platform for conventional bombing runs and a night fighter version to defend german cities against RAF night bombings. Kurt Tank himself supervised this project from scratch himself. We get photographs of the first mock-ups, prototypes and Kurt Tank flying the first prototype himself. This chapter cover: origins of the design, prototypes, production aircraft and the use and evaluation. Modelers heaven After having covered the history, the modeler is treated to a nice set of 5 drawings sheets in 1/72 scale by Marek Rys showing front, side and top plans of the Ta 154. Two pages further on and the drawings come to life in amazing 3D renderings of the Ta 154 from different angles. This goes on for several pages and is followed by interesting close ups. The close ups cover the FuG 220 antennas, gun ports, cockpit framing and fuselage, wing and engine details. The cockpit is one of those aircraft section that can be sketchy at times. Well, not with this book no more. Instrument panel, left console, right console, close ups, switches, gunsight… nothing is left unrendered! On to the gun bay. After rendering the plane with open gun bays, Marek takes out the guns and renders them separate, to give us and idea of the structures. Both the MG 151 and MK108 canons come to their right in this section of the book. The same is done to the gear. Separated from the plane, to solely focus on the parts we need to understand. Even the retraction sequence is covered. I guess it's superfluous to mention that I'm in love with these series (actually they had me with the Fokker D.VII book…). Specs 104 pages. A4 size. Full color. Soft cover. Glossy finish. Conclusion This books is made to give the modeler a tight grip on his subject. It takes away any guessing on structural level. I'm keeping it on the shelf until a 1/32 Ta 154 hits the shelf. In the meantime you can practice on the 1/48 version by Dragon, ProModeler or Revell. Very highly recommended Our sincere thanks to Kagero Publishing for the review sample. To purchase directly, click HERE. Jeroen Peters
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