Eduard 1/48 FW190A Early Versions Royal Class
This is Eduard's Royal Class edition of their Focke-Wulf FW 190A Early kit. You get a lot of bang for the buck: it includes 2 complete kits, a bag of resin parts, photo-etch, rice paper masks, a poster suitable for framing, and the piece-de-résistance, a beer glass. So let's take a look at the elements of this Royal Class box.
You get 410 parts between the 2 kits. 338 of these parts are plastic, 12 are resin, 61 parts are photo-etch plus a set of rice paper masks. The fuselage halves have the following differences:
Version A, which is applicable to the A-2 and A-3 variants features the cooling slots for the BMW 801D radial engine and the vertical tail antenna housing in the leading edge of the fin.
Version B (A-4) includes the cooling slots plus an antenna post on top of the fin.
Version C (late A-4 and A-5) has cooling gills instead of slots and the antenna post on top of the fin.
The 2 pairs of upper wings are identical. One pair of lower wings has the bulged doors for a pair of 20mm Oerlikon MG FF cannons in the outer wing gun bays and the other pair omits the bulged doors. The upper wing bulges for the outboard cannons are separate pieces.
You have plenty to choose from in the under wing stores department including the ETC 501 rack, SC 250 bomb and 2 styles of 300 liter drop tanks.
There are 3 photo-etch frets. 2 of them are identical and include the instrument panel, sidewall consoles, rudder pedals, seat harness, etc. The 3rd fret is a pair of inlet doors for the tropical filters plus a spare. The bulk of the parts are pre-painted.
The FW190 cockpit is a complex and detailed multi-piece assembly. You can use instrument panel decals if so inclined or opt for the greater detail and realism of the photo-etch parts. The photo-etch rudder pedals, seat harness and other items help you produce an accurate and busy cockpit.
The resin parts include a pair of cowlings with tropical filters, a pair of inner landing gear doors and 2 pairs of resin wheels. All of these parts have Eduard's customary finesse and superior detail.
One of the hallmarks of the Royal Class edition is 14 different decal options to choose from. They are:
"Yellow 2", FW 190A-2, W. Nr. 120282, Fw. K. Nowak, 9./JG 2, Théville, France, May 1942. This plane was painted in the mid-War Luftwaffe Fighter colors of RLM 74/75 Greys over RLM 76 Light Blue. The lower cowl and rudder were RLM 04 Yellow, the spinner was RLM 70 Dark Green and there was a stylized eagle head and wings on the fuselage sides.
"Black Chevron", FW 190A-2, W. Nr. 120206, Fw. W. Grünlinger, Stab III./JG 26, Wevelgem, Belgium, September 1942. This plane was also painted in the mid-War Luftwaffe Fighter colors of RLM 74/75/76 Light Blue. The lower cowl and rudder were RLM 04 Yellow, the spinner was RLM 70 Dark Green and there were stylized eagle wings on the fuselage sides; the eagle head was missing.
"Yellow 13", FW 190A-2, W. Nr. 120325, Ofw. J. Heinzeller, 3./JG 2, Trickqueville, France, June 1942. This FW 190 was painted RLM 74/75/76 Light Blue. The lower cowl and rudder were RLM 04 Yellow and the spinner was RLM 70 Dark Green.
"White 6", FW 190A-2, W. Nr. 132259, Uffz. G. Josten, 1./JG 51, Lyuban, France, Soviet Union, Autumn 1942. This plane was painted in the early-War Fighter colors of RLM 70/71 Greens over mid-War RLM 76 Light Blue. The lower cowl and narrow fuselage band were RLM 04 Yellow and the spinner was RLM 70 Dark Green.
"White Chevron", FW 190A-3, W. Nr. 135313, Oblt. A. K. Faber, III./JG 2, Morlaix, France, June1942. This A-3 was painted RLM 74/75/76. The lower cowl and rudder were RLM 04 Yellow, the cooling gill area was black, the spinner was RLM 70 Dark Green and there was a dense RLM 74/75 mottle on the aft fuselage.
"Yellow 16", FW 190A-3, W. Nr. 125425, Fw. K. Kundrus, 12./JG 5, Herdla, Norway, December1943. This plane was painted RLM 74/75/76. The lower cowl, wing tips, spinner and rudder were RLM 04 Yellow. The 74 and 75 Greys were carried low down the fuselage sides with solid applications and dense mottling of both colors.
"Black Chevron", FW 190A-3, W. Nr. 130541, Oblt. A. Dickfield, CO of II./JG 2, San Pietro, Italy, November 1942. This A-3 was painted RLM 74/75/76 Light Blue. The lower cowl and rudder were RLM 04 Yellow, the spinner was RLM 70 Dark Green and the fuselage band was white. There were stylized eagle wings on the fuselage sides.
"White 12", FW 190A-3, W. Nr. 130541, Fw. E. Mayer, 9/JG 5, Herdla, Norway, March 1945. This plane was painted RLM 74/75/76 and carried the ETC 501 rack and 300 liter drop tank. The spinner was black with a white spiral.
"White Chevron", FW 190A-4, Major Hubertus von Bonin, CO of JG 54, Pskov, Soviet Union, Spring 1943. This colorful Wurger was painted in experimental Eastern Front colors of Bright Green/Brown/RLM 70 over 76. The lower wing tips, lower cowl and rudder bottom were RLM 04 Yellow. The spinner was RLM 70 with an RLM 65 Light Blue tip.
"Black Chevron & Bar", FW 190 A-4, W. Nr. 140581, Lt. E. Burath, Stab I./JG 1, Deelen, the Netherlands, April 1942. Another colorful plane painted RLM 74/75/76. The cowl had wide white and black horizontal stripes. The cowl ring was white, the spinner was RLM 70 and the lower cowl RLM 04. There were remnants of the stylized eagle motif on the fuselage aft of the cooling gills. The RLM 75 extended downwards on the fuselage to provide a "fill" for the fuselage crosses.
"Black Double Chevron", FW 190A-4, Hptm. H. Phillipp, CO of I./JG 54, Krasnogvardeysk, Soviet Union, January 1943. This plane was RLM 74/75/76 with a dense application of white winter distemper paint on the upper surfaces. The fuelage band, lower cowl and lower wing tips were RLM 04 and the spinner was white. The prominent Grünherz (Green Hearts) insignia was carried below the canopy on both sides.
FW 190A-4, W. Nr. 140634, Maj. H. Graf, CO of Jgr. Ost, Toulouse-Blagnac, France, April 1943. Another colorful A-4 in RLM 74/75/76 with a 76 cowl ring and RLM 04 cowling and rudder. The cowl carried a red tulip motif with a similar design on the rudder along with a "lightning bolt" on the fuselage side.
"White 1", FW 190A-4/Trop, W. Nr. 145614, Ekdo 19, Benghazi, Lybia, November 1942. This plane was painted in the African Theatre colors of RLM 79 Sand over 78 Light Blue. The Spinner was RLM 70, the lower cowl was RLM 04 and the fuselage band was white. This A-4 had the cowling mounted Tropical filters and carried the ETC 501 rack.
"Yellow 4", FW 190A-4, W. Nr. 142317, Fw. L. Seif, 11./SKG 10, Sidi Ahmed, Tunisia, January 1943. Another 190 painted in 74/75/76 with a white spinner and fuselage. The lower cowl was RL 04 and this A-4 also carried the ETC 501 rack.
There are 4 decal sheets. You get 2 sets of stencils, a giant sheet of national insignias and aircraft markings and a tiny correction sheet. The decals are up to Eduard's customary standards. They are spot on in registration, with bright colors and legible printing. The instructions are also exactly what I expect: a parts map, a clear and logical build sequence with excellent illustrations, color profiles for each aircraft and a stencil application guide. The color call outs are for GSI Creos (Gunze) Aqueous and Mr. Color paints.
The poster is a superb print of Piotr Forkasiewicz's painting of a pair of FW190A-4s of 11./SKG 10 flying low during their attack on Bona Harbor in Algeria, January 1943.
The Beer Glass
The beer glass features colorful artwork celebrating Kaiser Friedrich III Anton von Werner.
What a superb package and excellent value for your money. Eduard's Fw190s are regarded as the most accurate Wurgers on the market. They are accurate and well detailed and you get enough extras in the box to build a contest winning model. All of the decal options are of colorful and interesting aircraft, and the poster and beer glass are just icing on the cake. I recommend this Royal Class kit and I would like to thank Eduard for the review sample.
Focke-Wulf FW 190, Volume 1, by Krzysztof Janowicz, Kagero Publications, 2003
FW 190 in action, Aircraft Number 170, by Brian Filley, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1999