Sword's 1/72 Focke Wulf Fw190A-1

By Chris Banyai-Riepl


Anyone who is remotely interested in the Second World War is surely familiar with the Fw190. Its distinctive snub nose and sloping canopy make it simple to pick out in photos, and its performance in the air made the Allies sit up and take note. When the Fw190A took to the air, it could best just about anything the British could throw at it, prompting a change in their star fighter, the Spitfire. Alongside the Bf109F, the Fw190A put air superiority back in German hands, at least for a short period of time.

The Fw190A-1 was one of the first Fw190 variants produced, roughly based on the Fw190V-7. Changes from the Fw190A-0 included refined cowling panels, changes to the cowling side blisters, an enlarged spinner, and increased ammunition for the wing MG FF cannons, resulting in bulged underwing panels. While the Fw190A-1 quickly proved its worth in combat, engine problems quickly brought about design changes, resulting in the Fw190A-2 (with MG 151 cannons in the wing root) and Fw190A-3 (with the BMW 801D engine standard).

The Kit

To the best of my knowledge this is the first injection-molded kit of the early Fw190A-1, with everyone else concentrating on the more numerous Fw190A-3 and above. The subtle differences between the A-1 and later variants will only be apparent to the true Fw190 aficionado, but set it next to a Hasegawa kit and the differences will become apparent. This kit is well molded, but not up to the standards Sword set in their Bearcat or Seamew kits. The plastic isn't as crisp or as hard, and there's more flash. That said, it's still very buildable.

The cockpit is a one-piece resin affair which will be fun to paint up. The detailing is exquisite, though, and some careful brushwork here will really pay off. Also in resin are the wheels and the wheel wells, which, like the Bearcat, are very well done and offer a complete wheel bay. The downside to the interior is the instrument panel, which is provided in injection plastic. This will look very different than the rest of the cockpit molded in resin, but then again the instrument panel is tucked away under the hood, so it may be passable. Some extra work won't hurt, though.

The rest of the kit is nicely done, with the parts broken down pretty much like all the other Fw190 kits out there. Two fuselage halves, with the upper cowling provided as a separate part; a one-piece lower wing, right and left upper wing halves, and solid tailplanes. One nice feature on this kit is separate flaps. While the parts are provided in plastic, they are well done and will require only a little thinning to get that realistic look.

The decals are nicely done, printed by Techmod, and are in perfect register, even down to the fuel filler markings (notorious for being out of register). Swastikas are included, albeit split diagonally. There's only one choice for markings, and that's for Werk Nummer 027, flown by Oblt. Walter Schneider of II./JG 26. At the time the decals depict, Schneider had 18 kills on his rudder. The decal sheet has the number and II Gruppe bar in brown, while the Squadron In Action states that it should be red. Careful study of the photos in the In Action book are not entirely clear, but there's enough difference between the numbers and other red markings on the plane to make me say that they should be brown, as in the kit.


While there may be too many Fw190 kits out there, this is a welcome addition purely because it is an accurate Fw190A-1. While getting to an A-1 from an A-3 is doable, it is a fair amount of work (if you want to do it accurately, that is) and this kit makes easy work of the task. If you're a Focke Wulf fanatic you'll definitely want to grab this kit up right away.

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