Revell's 1/32 Fw 190F-8
The Focke Wulf Fw 190 is one of the most famous German fighters from the Second World War, and the Fw 190F-8 was the ground attack development from the basic fighter airframe. For the most part the F-8 variant resembled earlier Fw 190s, but a beefed up armament layout made it much more formidable against ground targets. Underwing bomb racks added to the main rack under the fuselage, increasing the bomb load to four 50kg and one 250kg bombs. Flown on every front during the war, the Fw 190F series proved itself time and time again, both with its hitting power and its durability.
This kit looks quite familiar, and when I saw the "Made in Japan" paper inside I realized that this kit is the old Hasegawa kit. But there's more to this kit than the original Hasegawa release. To make this into an F-8 Revell has added a new canopy and a sprue of bombs for the underwing armament. This sprue also includes the larger bulges for over the wing as well as a new instrument panel and headrest, showing that Revell has done their homework with this kit.
For those not familiar with the Hasegawa kit, the parts are molded in a light gray plastic with finely raised panel lines throughout. There's a lot of detail included in this kit that was considered cutting edge when the kit first came out, but in today's age of resin and photoetch many modelers will want to add a bit more. The cockpit is one areas that screams out for a nice resin replacement, and perhaps with this release we'll see some new detail sets soon. Still, out of the box you'll have a decent interior, with the cockpit tub having adequate sidewall detailing, a separate forward bulkhead, a seat with seatbelts molded on, separate control stick & rudder pedals, and the new instrument panel.
This isn't the only thing to put between the fuselage halves, though, as this kit comes with a full engine from the engine mount forward. The cylinders are separated into the front and rear rings, both split in front and rear halves. Onto these two cylinder banks goes quite a few extra details, from the impeller on the front to the engine support frame. The completed engine will really look nice and about the only thing that really needs to be added is some wiring. There's even a pair of machine guns to sit above the engine. The big omission, though, is the complete lack of detailing inside the fuselage where the engine sits. If you want to display the engine compartment opened up, you'll want to do something with all of that empty space.
The rest of the construction is pretty straightforward, with the wing having a one-piece lower section and right and left upper sections. The landing gear is pretty basic and could probably use some additional detailing in the form of hoses and thinner oleo scissors, but the kit parts are quite sturdy and should have no problem supporting this kit. The flaps are molded separately, allowing you to display them in the down position. The new bombs and bomb racks to put underneath the wings are nicely done, although the fins could use some thinning down. A full load under the wing of this plane will really add some impact and it's nice that Revell has provided all the weapons you'd need.
The decals provide two choices, one from Schlachtgeschwader 2 and another from an unidentified unit out of Bohemia. The SchlG 2 plane has an interesting scheme consisting of an RLM 74 base with RLM 76 squiggles sprayed randomly on top of that. The undersides are also RLM 76, with yellow wingtips and fuselage band. All of the crosses are simple outlines. The second scheme is the one seen on the boxtop, featuring the standard RLM 74/75/76 scheme with a yellow band around the cowling and a yellow rudder. The decals are well printed and includes swastikas, which is nice considering how difficult it is to find large scale swastikas.
This is easily the best 1/32 injection-molded Fw 190 kit out there. It's also the only injection-molded 1/32 Fw 190, but that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with the kit. I'm sure that we will see some aftermarket resin and photoetch for this kit soon, taking care of all those modelers that want to add a lot of detailing, but for a straight out-of-box build you'll end up with a nice-looking Fw 190.
Our thanks to Revell-Monogram for the review sample.