Revell recently has made it easier for inexperienced modelers to have a kit with a decent paint scheme. The Focke Wulf offers markings for an Fw190F from 1/SG4 Based in Sardinia Italy in 1944.
Under the pre-painted parts is the original Monogram Fw190 kit. Underwing stores include air-to-air and air-to-ground ordinance as well as drop tanks.
As this kit is intended for inexperienced modelers, I gave in to the dreamy look in my 9-year-old's eyes and allowed him to build it as long as he allowed me to photograph the different stages and made notes of any problems or interesting points along the way.
Step 1 is the engine cowl/propeller assembly. A full prop or a propless spinner may be used. This step includes 5 parts but the assembly is very simple and the pre-painted cowl, nose ring and prop actually look pretty cool.
Step 2 is the cockpit. Painted in what appears to be RLM 66 it lacks an instrument panel and the side console details aren't totally accurate but look well after a little drybrushing. A pilot figure is included with an olive uniform and flesh colored face and hands. He needs to be glued in place in this step as he won't fit through the opening once the fuselage is assembled.
Finishing step 2 is the assembly of the canopy. All canopy framing is pre-painted to good effect.
Step 3 is the assembly of the fuselage halves. Pinch the tailwheel strut between the 2 halves and glue as you go. The fuselage top/gun cover fit wasn't perfect but with some fiddling you can get an acceptable fit. Sanding of any seams would ruin the pre-painted effect so we kept that to a minimum. It was at this point also that Ian noted that the camo splotches between the 2 fuselage halves and the upper fuselage part didn't match.
The landing gear can be assembled in either the raised or lowered positions in step 4-wing assembly. Interior portions of the flaps as well as the gear is painted in RLM-02 however the color of the plastic is used for the RLM-76 areas. So decide if you want the gear up or down then add the 2 upper wing halves. Some smoothing of the seams was done at this point and the white tips were touched up with a brush and Model Master flat white.
Step 5 consists of bringing all these sub assemblies together. As you might expect with a kit of this age the fit isn't the best. Gaps were found along the wing roots and under the fuselage where it meets the lower wing. The engine fit was acceptable as well as the horizontal tail pieces and cockpit.
Step 6 is for the suggested armament for this particular aircraft. A centerline 1100lb bomb and two wing mounted 550lb bombs. Ian however decided to assemble the twin 20mm pods as well as the 30mm pods and drop tanks because he discovered they could just pop in place for now without glue (for a little while till the holes wear out).
I have to admit the plane actually looks pretty good once the decals are on. The waterslide decals went on with no problems and snuggled down fairly well with some Solvaset. You'll have to scrounge for a set of swastikas if you want them.
Ian enjoyed building this kit. He has filled and sanded before and painted his own kits but this was a sit down, build and fly project. This is a no-fuss, fun project for any child in my opinion. There's another at Wal Mart, the P-51 Mustang. I suppose Ian'll be needing that one to duel this 190.....