MPM's 1/72 Fw 189B-0 &
Fw 189A-1 Upgraded Kit
It was only a matter of time before we'd see this from MPM. When they first came out with their Fw 189A-1 kit its engineering lent itself well to producing some of the lesser known training variants. An upgraded kit was also inevitable, and since both of these releases only add or change a few parts, I thought I'd review them together and just refer you back to the earlier full review of the original Fw 189A-1 release.
The Fw 189B-0 Kit
The trainer version of the Fw 189 features a new fuselage mated to the same wings, booms and tail surfaces as the original A version. As such, the kit merely replaces the fuselage tree from the original kit with a new one. This tree has the new fuselage, split into right and left halves, as well as all the requisite innards. A new canopy tree is also included, as the clear parts are different as well.
The interior is made up of a one-piece floor; three separate seats, a front console, two control yokes, and a rear console, as well as an instrument panel. The fuselage sides have some small sidewall detailing. There's lots of room for improvement here, and at the very least you'll want to add seat belts. The other main change between this kit and the Fw 189A is with the landing gear. The gear on the Fw 189B features a single strut versus the original H-shaped strut.
The decal sheet offers a total of three different options, but the only difference between them is the codes. All three are finished in overall RLM 02 gray, with RLM 70 black green spinners and all date from early 1940. No specific unit information is given, and the three codes are BQ+AX, BQ+AZ and BS+AA.
The Fw 189A-1 Upgraded Kit
When I heard that MPM was coming out with an upgraded Fw 189 kit, I eagerly anticipated it, figuring on a nice resin interior and perhaps a neat photoetch fret. Well, this kit does come with resin and photoetch, but it falls a bit short from what I thought would be included. Actually, it falls far short. Instead of adding details to the interior (where resin could really have made a difference), the upgrade provides a single engine, its corresponding panel, two wheels, two bombs, and their respective racks. The photoetch consists of nothing more than the fins for the bombs. The rest of the kit is the same as the original release.
For something different, the Fw 189B-0 kit will provide a slightly different look to a familiar aircraft. Its overall RLM 02 scheme will provide contrast to the usual Luftwaffe schemes out there. If you want to build the more familiar Fw 189A, the Upgraded Kit will build up nicely, but the 'Upgrade' really isn't worth the additional cost. I'd recommend tracking down the original release and build that one up.