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  1. Focke-Wulf Fw 190A “Wulf Pack vol.1” Exito Decals Catalogue # see article for codes, links and prices Available from Exito Exito are perhaps a name that you’re not familiar with. They are a Polish company that has a retail online store selling the sort of things that we’d expect from such an entity. I know that I’d never heard of them until I was asked to do a little text for them, announcing the launch of their very own decal brand. Exito set themselves apart from regular aftermarket sets in that they provide A4-sized, print-quality posters as the profile sheets instead of regular weight paper with standard printing. The really good thing to add to this is that these sets don’t seem to really cost any more than your standard decal fayre. So, let’s take a look at these offerings from the new kid on the block. 1:48 Focke-Wulf Fw 190A “Wulf Pack vol.1”, €10,82 1:72 Focke-Wulf Fw 190A “Wulf Pack vol.1”, €7,20 Exito’s decal sheets are presented in a re-sealable A4 clear sleeve with a standard printed profile insert at the front. In this case you can see that there are three scheme options to choose from, and all quite startling in their differences. It’s also to be noted that each pack is quite weighty too with a serious piece of stiffening card sat within. This protects not just the decals but also the high-quality poster art within. The back of the packet shows a simple paper insert with some contact details, plus you can also see the decal sheet that’s included. Having three schemes means that Exito has provided each of these on light grade card with a satin finish, and the printing on them is absolutely superb! In fact, very much akin to what I would expect to see in a high-quality publication. I don’t just mean that in terms of the quality of print, but also the profile rendering and artworks themselves. For me, I’ve not seen anything quite this good when it comes to aftermarket decals. Whilst the front of each scheme sheet contains both port and starboard profiles of each scheme (one with gear down) plus the emblem for the machine and name of pilot etc. (unadulterated with annotation for decal placement), the reverse of the sheet contains an upper planform for the aircraft, and wing lower panels, plus a section showing the tail. All of these graphics are annotated for decal ID, plus an RLM chart is provided, with paint reference codes for Mr Hobby and AK-Interactive paints. A single decal sheet contains everything that you’ll need for these schemes, with the exception of the stencils that you’ll need to either source yourself or have provided for you in the kit (such as Eduard). A small bonus stencil is included for the rear fuselage door, so I assume this is normally missing in the stencils provided with kits. The sheet itself is clearly broken down into sections of which each contains decals for a single scheme. It has to be noted that my sample has both full swastikas as well as the halved ones which I presume will be for those lucky customers in Germany. Printing is by Cartograf too, and these glossy-finish decals are nice and thin, have minimal carrier film, plus solid and authentic colour. Registration is also perfect. The machines depicted are A-3, A-4 and A-5 types, and as none of these relies on shared decals, you can build three complete models from this release. The three schemes provided in this release are: Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-3, flown by Oblt. Detlev Rohwer, Kapitän of 6./JG 1, late spring 1942 Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-4, W.Nr.0799, coded SK+OU, probably belonging to I./SG 101, France 1943 Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-5, coded “Yellow 5”, flown by Fw. Karl ‘Charly’ Willius of 3./JG 26, Dno, Soviet Union, early April 1943 Conclusion For Exito’s debut on the decal market, this is mighty impressive. Not only do we have poster-quality prints that really are worth framing, but the subject choice and schemes will prove to be highly popular. The fact that three models can be built from one release also increases the value for money even further. I really can’t wait to see their future releases, and I hope they also extend to 1:32 scale in future. My sincere thanks to Exito Decals for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the links in the article.
  2. 1/32 Focke-Wulf Fw 190C (V18) Känguru Conversion for Hasegawa A5/A8 kits Planet Models Catalogue # PLT233 Available from Special Hobby for 1079 Kč (approx. £38) Whilst there is no doubt that whilst Kurt Tank’s Fw 190A series was highly successful, it’s real Achilles heel was its lack of performance at high altitude, whereas its biggest contemporary and competitor, the Bf 109, was a far more capable performer. This lead Tank to look at ways of addressing the altitude performance problem early in the program. In 1941, he proposed a number of versions featuring new power plants, and he suggested using turbochargers in place of superchargers. Three such installations were outlined; the Fw 190B with a turbocharged BMW 801, the Fw 190 C with a turbocharged Daimler-Benz DB 603, and the Fw 190 D with a supercharged Junkers Jumo 213. The aircraft would also include a pressurized cockpit and other features making them more suitable for high-altitude work. Prototypes for all three models were ordered. The C model's use of the longer DB 603 engine required more extensive changes to the airframe. As the weight was distributed further forward, the tail of the aircraft had to be lengthened in order to maintain the desired centre of gravity. To test these changes, several examples of otherwise standard 190As were re-engined with a supercharged DB 603 to experiment with this engine fit. These were the V13 (W.Nr. 0036) with the 1,750 PS 603A, the similar V15 and V16, with an 1,800 DB603E being fitted to the latter after a time. With this engine, the V16 was able to reach 450 mph at 22,310ft, which was a considerable improvement over the 400 mph at 17,060ft of the basic A models. V18 followed, the first to feature the full high-altitude suite of features, including the pressurized cockpit, longer wings, a 603G engine driving a new four-blade propeller, and a Hirth 9-2281 turbocharger. Unlike the experimental B models, V18 had a cleaner turbocharger installation, running the required piping along the wing root, partially buried in the fillet, and installing both the turbocharger air intake and intercooler in a substantially sized teardrop shaped fairing under the cockpit. This "pouch" led to the "Känguruh" (Kangaroo) nickname for these models. V18 was later modified to the V18/U1, with a "downgraded" 603A engine, but a new DVL turbocharger that improved the power to 1,600 PS at an altitude of 35,105ft. Four additional prototypes based on the V18/U1 followed: V29, V30, V32 and V33. It is the V18 which is perhaps the most interesting, and the subject of this conversion set review. The kit Planet Models’ Fw 190C/V18 ‘Känguruh’ conversion set is packed into a reasonably large box, as befits the full fuselage replacement that it contains. The box lid has a large sticker with a product label attached, showing a rather sleek-looking 190C. This is quite a nice angle to see this at, as other angles would show the aircraft to be a little clunky in places, but still a very interesting aircraft in the evolution of the 190 series. Whilst it is generally said that the Fw 190D-9 was the aircraft that went on to be the genesis of the Ta 152 development, the Fw 190C, with its wide-chord fin, is also said to be an important step towards what was to become perhaps Germany’s most impressive piston-engine fighter. As stated on the label, this conversion contains fuselage halves, exhausts, main gear wheels, coolers, propeller, vac-form sliding hood, and decals. You will of course need a Hasegawa Fw 190A-5/A-8 kit which will donate its wings, cockpit, gear struts, stabiliser etc. All components within this conversion are packed into heat-sealed sleeves, with the fuselage halves being separate items in themselves. It’s these parts that I’ll be looking at first. The overhaul of the fuselage on the 190C/V18 was so extensive that it required an entirely new fuselage. As with the original kit, these are supplied as halves, and they pretty much exhibit the same standard of detail that is seen on the original kit parts. By this, I mean fine panel lines and port access details. There is no riveting. When I come to build this, I will river the whole airframe, including the wings and this new fuselage replacement. The instrument coaming and forward upper fuselage areas are cast integrally with the remainder of the fuselage. You can clearly see the wing root fairing into which the turbocharger pipework will recess, as well as the intake that sits below the annular radiator. The tail fin is also wide-chord, as with the Ta 152, yet the fuselage isn’t extended as was seen on the 190D series, despite the length of the nose. Presumably the intake under the bellow helped to offset the change in the centre of gravity. Also note that the rudder is cast separately. Internally, there is no detail as this would come from the Hasegawa cockpit parts. There is a very small stub on the underside of the fuselage, which is a remnant of the casting block, so this will be a breeze to remove. Other parts in this release include the long turbocharger pipes that tuck under the wing root fairings and exhaust further down It doesn’t appear that the wing root gun bay wing-moulded detail needs to be modified, so all looks good there! Of course, there is the large intake which sits below the belly of the 190, in P-51 style, and there is a small section of plumbing which needs to be fitted here, stretching to the fillet that separates the main gear bay. There is a new part which fits between the bays, and to fit the large intake itself, some plastic will need to be trimmed from the belly plastic that is moulded to the rear of the main, lower wing panel. It all looks quite simple to execute. A small intake grille fits within the belly intake, as does a separate part that fits into the nose intake area. That belly intake is provided in halves, so there will be a seam to remove, as with the fuselage. This machine was designed to be armed, and although there appears to be no wing guns, the fuselage ones were still installed. Evidence of this is shown on the forward nose cowling, where the gun ports are actually found, unlike other 190 series where there were channels on the upper cowls for this purpose. With the 190C, the cowl changes meant that these were now embedded within the cowls due to the change in depth of the nose. Note also how angular the nose cowl is, unlike the large curved radius of the A-series machines. This gives the 190C quite an unusual appearance. Radiator details are cast within the main nose ring cowl. Of course, a new 4-blade Hirth propeller is included, along with a new spinner, again giving a highly unusual feature for the 190. A set of main gear wheels are also supplied to replace the Hasegawa plastic. Resin quality is very good, with everything being cast in an unusual shade of grey. Where casting blocks remain, then they will be easy to remove. Where they are already removed, then final clean-up will just consist of removing a resin tag or thin resin web. There is a little flash to remove in places, and a slight scratch will need to be buffed out on one fuselage half. Many people dislike vacform parts, but that’s what you have here for the pressurised cockpit rear hood with its canopy framing. Planet Models supply TWO canopies, just in case you make a mistake, but they really aren’t as difficult as you’d imagine. To cut these, I fill the interior with Blue-Tack which makes the part more rigid. A brand-new scalpel blade is used to cut the plastic, with Dymo tape being used as a guide. It would only take a few minutes to complete this task. Vacform clarity. No masks are supplied with this release, so you’ll need to mask it using your own methods. Lastly, a single, small decal sheet is supplied for the V18 prototype. This consists of the national markings, split swastika, and prototype codes. A couple of small stencils are included for the wings. You may need to supplement this with kit stencils, but I don’t know if this would be historically accurate. Printing is excellent, with the decals being nice and thin and having minimal carrier film. Registration is void because the decals are either black or white, with no multicolour elements. Two A4 instruction sheets are supplied and folded into A5. A history of the 190C is supplied, and a photo of the parts, with identifier numbers. Twelve black and white images are included which shows construction of the model, along with notes as to which resin part is which. Annotation clearly indicates the Hasegawa plastic. When it comes to sawing and modifying the plastic, you will need to measure things yourself as no dimensions are supplied. Conclusion For me, this is a very exciting conversion set in that it really recreates a transitionary and evolutionary change between the A and D versions, and Tank’s attempt to push the metaphoric envelope with his design so it could be operated at high altitude. There’s no doubting the historical significance of the C-series birds, despite them not really being at the forefront of our attention, or indeed print articles etc. Planet Models has created a rather nice set which should easily convert the Hasegawa Fw 190A-5/A-8, and as this is quite a simple conversion, it should be ok for those who have limited but some resin experience. All in all, an excellent and relatively inexpensive conversion set. Highly recommended My sincere thanks to Special Hobby for the review kit shown here. To purchase this directly, click THIS link.
  3. Hi all, I recently finished another rush build for Tamiya Model Magazine International. This time it was the new tool Fw 190A-8/R11 in 1/32. I built the F-8 2 or 3 years ago and loved it. This has the same fun factor. I also fitted it with numerous Eduard PE and resin sets. Paint is MRP. Look out for this one in the December issue of TMMI, out on November 16th.
  4. Hi, Friends. I'm in with this: The version will be one of the supllied with the box, some like this: I just need to buy some aftermarkets...
  5. 1/32 Focke Wulf Fw190 A-5 'Nowotny' Hasegawa Limited Edition Series Catalogue #08224 Available directly from Hobby Easy for £30 As you expect with Hasegawa, after they release a newly tooled kit, there will be a few different variants or Special Editions planned in their future releases... One of the latest Limited Edition releases from Hasegawa is a interesting one! This boxing covers two Fw190 A-5's, of the Luftwaffe's 5th highest ranking ace, Walter Nowotny of Jagdeschwader (JG54) Grünherz (Green Hearts) that were base on the Eastern Front. JG 54 is well known for using non-standard camouflage schemes on their aircraft. Walter Nowotny Walter Nowonty was born in Gmünd, a small town located in Lower Austria on the 7th December 1920. During his younger years he moved to a few different towns due to his father's job as an Railway Official. In his teens, Nowotny was interested in all kinds of sports, he played Football/Soccer for the school team in Waidhofen and in 1937, took first place in the Javelin and third place in the Lower Austrian 1,000 metres track and field championships. For his Reichsarbeitsdienst (Mandatory Reich Labour Service) he joined the Luftwaffe on the 1st October 1939. On the 19th August 1940, he completed his flight training and received his pilot badge and then trained as a fighter pilot at the Jagdfliegerschule 5 located in Wien-Schwechat till 15th November 1940. This was the same fighter school that Hans-Joachim Marseille had attended a year previously. After graduation from Fighter school, Nowotny was transferred to the I./Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe Mersburg on 16th November 1940, flying fighter cover for the Leuna industrial works (Oil Factories). Nowotny was posted to the Ergänzungs-Staffel of Jagdeschwader 54 (JG 54) on 1 December 1940. Nowotny flew a Messerschmitt Bf109 E-7 "White 2" on his 24th operational mission on 19 July 1941 and claimed his first two enemy aircraft kills, both Polikarpov I-153, over the island of Saaremaa.. He was shot down in the same engagement by the Soviet Ace Alexandr Avdeev. Nowotny spent three days in a dinghy in the Gulf of Riga, until finally being washed ashore on the Latvian coast. For the rest of his combat career, Nowotny always wore the trousers that he had worn during those three days in the Gulf of Riga, for the exception of one day... In 1942, Nowotny increased his tally of victories. Shooting down a further five aircraft on a single day (32nd – 36th victories) on 20th July and seven (48th – 54th victories) on 2nd August. After having downed three more enemy aircraft on 11 August, Nowotny carried out three victory passes over his airfield, despite having sustained combat damage to his own Bf 109 "Black 1". In the subsequent landing, his aircraft somersaulted and he sustained moderate injuries. Nowotny was awarded the Knights Cross on 4 September, after a total of 56 aerial victories. In January 1943, JG 54 started converting their aircraft to the Focke Wulf Fw190. With the new aircraft, Nowotny scored at an unprecedented "kill" rate, often averaging more than two planes a day for weeks on end. As of 1st February 1943, Nowotny, Karl Schnörrer (Nowotny's wingman, since late 1942), Anton Döbele and Rudolf Rademacher, formed a team known as the "Chain of Devils" (Teufelskette) or the Nowotny Schwarm, which during the course of the war was credited with 524 combined kills, making them the most successful fighter team in the Luftwaffe. Nowotny scored his 100 kill marker on 5th June 1943, on his 344th combat mission. By 24th June, he would accumulate a further 24 victories increasing his total to 124. On 21st August, Nowotny was made Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 54. In August 1943 alone, he shot down 49 aircraft, bringing Nowotny's total to 161 victories. On 1st September 1943, he scored ten victories in two sorties, which took his tally to 183. Seventy-two hours later that number had risen to 189, earning him the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves on 8th September. The award was to be personally presented by the Führer, Adolf Hitler, on 22nd September 1943. By this date Nowotny had claimed his 200th victory on 8th September, and on 15th September he claimed his 215th victory, making him the highest-scoring pilot in the Luftwaffe at that time. On 14th October 1943, he became the first pilot in the Luftwaffe to reach 250 victories, scoring it on his 442nd combat mission. Nowotny was celebrating this feat in a Bar in Vilna (Lithuania), when he received a phone call from Hitler himself, announcing that he had been awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, making him the eighth of 27 men to be honoured with award. Nowotny claimed his final two aerial victories on the Eastern Front on 15th November 1943. In total, Nowotny had claimed 255 confirmed kills plus a further 50 unconfirmed, before he was taken off combat duty and sent on a propaganda tour through Germany. In September 1944, Nowotny was made commander of a specialist unit dubbed Kommando Nowotny, flying the newly developed Messerschmitt Me262 Jet out of airfields near Osnabrück, Germany. The unit not only had to contend with the enemy, but also with working through the teething phase of the Me 262 and developing the tactics appropriate for a jet unit. Generals Alfred Keller and Adolf Galland had scheduled an inspection at Achmer on the 7th November 1944. Galland had already visited Kommando Nowotny several times and was deeply concerned over the high attrition rate and meagre success achieved by the new Me 262 fighter Jet. After inspecting the two airfields at Achmer and Hesepe, several pilots openly expressed their doubts as to the combat readiness of the Me 262. The next morning, 8th November 1944, the Generals arrived again at Nowotny's command post and Keller declared that the aces of the past years had become cowards and that the Luftwaffe had lost its fighting spirit. Shortly after this, news reached the command post of a large bomber formation approaching. Four Me 262 were prepared for take-off, Erich Büttner and Franz Schall at Hesepe, and Nowotny and Günther Wegmann at Achmer. At first only Schall and Wegmann managed to take off because Büttner had a punctured tire during taxiing and Nowotny's engines initially refused to start. With some delay, Nowotny took off and engaged the enemy on his own, after Schall and Wegmann retiring from the action after sustaining battle damage. Nowotny radioed that he had downed a B-24 Liberator and P-51 Mustang before he reported one engine failing and made one final garbled transmission back to the airfield containing the word burning. It still remains unclear whether Nowotny was killed due to engine failure or whether he was shot down by USAAF east of Hesepe. In recent years, United States military historians proposed that Nowotny's victor may have been P-51D pilot Lieutenant Robert W. Stevens of the 364th Fighter Group. Many witnesses observed Nowotny's Me 262 A-1a Werk Nummer (factory number) #110 400 "White 8" dive vertically out of the clouds and crash at Epe, 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) east of Hesepe The Wehrmacht announced his death on 9 November 1944 in the daily radio report. On the day Nowotny died, he wasn't wearing the "lucky" trousers that he had worn during the three days that he spent in the Gulf of Riga... Hasegawa Plastic The plastic included within this kit is the same as the standard 1/32 Fw190 A-5 kit (ST23), that was released back in July 2004. As you expect with Hasegawa, after they release new tooling there will be a few different variants or Special Editions to follow. Normally these kits will include a few additions to back/forward date it to the required variant required and new decals. Since this kit has been on the market for around for 8 years there are few well documented builds and reviews on the internet, so I will give you a quick rundown on it. The plastic is moulded in light grey and clear plastic with a total of 108 parts spread across 13 sprues. Some of these sprues are the common spures that are shared with the pervious A-8 Butcher Bird and D-9 Long nosed Dora releases. All the parts are cleanly presented without a trace of flash on any of the parts, which feature crisply engraved panel lines on the exterior of the airframe. Cockpit detail is adequate out of the box for most modellers, but modellers that suffer from AMS (Advanced Modellers Syndrome) will wish to add extra detail to this area with photo etch and/or resin replacement parts. The BMW 801 engine is supplied as a single engine circular plug that has both rows of cylinders molded in place. Most of the detail will be hidden away under the cooling fan once the model is finished. Wheel wheels are molded correctly as fully enclosed. Unfortunately there are a couple of injector pin marks to take care of in this area, and on the landing gear covers also. One thing that Hasegawa overlooked with the Fw190 A-5 kit, is that they have included in the incorrect style of tyre and hub. The style of wheel that Hasegawa has included is the later type that is used on A-7, A-8 and A-9 variants. Eagle Editions does a resin replacement for the correct earlier style hub and tyre that is required (Eagle Parts #53-32). Overall shape of the1/32 Fw 190 A-5 is pretty good and keeps most rivet counters at bay. Also another note to keep in mind, that the instructions show the attachment of the FuG 16zy antenna to the underwing... This is incorrect for the A-5, as it wasn't used until the A-7. A single sheet is included that carries the decals for two Nowotny schemes, which include a full set stencils and National markings. The decals appear to be printed thinly in a semi gloss/matt tone. However there are some glossy patches randomly over the decal sheet. Carrier film is a bit of a mixed bag, some of the smaller decals have large areas of carrier film and larger decals have small areas. One of my minor annoyances with Hasegawa decals is that, any areas that should be white are an off white/cream colour... Some of their past releases seem to have this problem solved, but it is not the case with this release. The two schemes for Walter Nowotny are – I./JG54 Kommandeur Hautmann Walter Nowotny, Russia, October 1943 I./JG54 Staffelkapitän Oberleutnant Walter Nowotny, Russia, Summer 1943 So what do we think? Again Hasegawa delivers another fantastic and interesting repop of a past kit! A must for all Large Scale Luftwaffe fans! Highly recommended! Our sincere thanks to Hobby Easy for the review sample used here. To purchase this directly, click the link at the top of the review article.
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