Aoshima 1/72 Focke Wulf Ta 152H-0
The Focke Wulf Ta 152H was a high-altitude fighter-interceptor derived from Kurt Tank's impressive Fw 190 family. The Ta 152H was set apart from the other variants by its long wings, which gave it excellent high altitude performance. The first Ta 152 entered service in January 1945, and less than 50 production examples were delivered before the war ended.
The long-wing Ta-152 is probably the most attractive iteration of Focke Wulf's Fw 190 family, and the Aoshima kit does a good job of capturing the look of the plane. Molded in light gray plastic, the kit features recessed panel lines, optional cowlings, and a decal sheet with several options.
One large benefit to the Aoshima kit is its simple construction. This kit is designed to go together quickly. The cockpit is a one-piece tub with a separate seat, separate instrument panel, and separate control stick. The instrument panel and sidewall detail comes from decals, while a pilot figure fills the seat. The kit comes with an optional open canopy, but also includes a one-piece closed canopy, so no extra effort is needed in the cockpit should you wish to go the simple route.
The fuselage is split into right and left halves, and the upper cowl is separate to better capture the detail there. In some kits this would mean a large opening that could cause fit problems, but Aoshima wisely molded this solid, so the nose keeps its shape during assembly. The completed cockpit fits in from the bottom, so one could get quite a bit of assembly done before adding the cockpit in place. The cowling has optional open or closed cowl flaps, with the propeller having a separate hub. The entire fuselage assembly is probably the most complex part of this kit, and overall this could go together in a day easily.
The wings are next, and these long shapes are best handled the way this kit does it: with a one-piece lower wing providing the proper dihedral and separate upper right and left halves fitting onto that. I would recommend gluing the lower wing to the fuselage and then fitting the upper halves in place, as that will help eliminate any wing root seams. The landing gear is next, and this has a one-piece strut mating up to the gear door before getting the separate wheels. The addition of the drop tank and aerials completes this model and brings us to painting.
The kit comes with simple markings, mainly just the standard Luftwaffe crosses and fuselage code letters. There are several options for the code letters, but nothing in the way of colorful squadron markings. The decals look to be well printed and should present no problem in application.
The Aoshima Ta 152 is a great weekend project, as it goes together easily and is not bogged down in lots of over-complicated detail bits. For those who want to go all out, it also forms an excellent starting point for a super-detailed model. My thanks to Dragon USA for the review sample.