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KIT REVIEW


Eduard Fw 190A-8 ProfiPACK Edition -- 1:48 Scale



The Fw 190 was, at least according to some (including a number of Luftwaffe pilots), the best German fighter of WWII.  The Fw 190A-8 was the definitive version and most numerous of the “short-nosed” 190s.  Beginning in 2017, Eduard launched a new, re-tooled family of 1:48 scale Fw 190A kits.  In 2019, the A-8 was finally released, and one just happened to land on our review bench.  Let’s have a look at the ProfiPACK edition of their Fw 190A-8.

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In 1934, the German Ministry of Aviation (RLM) issued a call for proposal for a modern fighter design to definitively rearm and modernize the Luftwaffe.  Arado, Focke-Wulf, Heinkel, and Messerschmitt developed prototypes for a fly-off.  The Messerschmitt 109 was selected in 1936 as the winning design.  During the following year, the RLM saw a need for a second fighter to complement the Me 109.  Focke-Wulf designers led by Kurt Tank took another look at their losing Fw 159 prototype and began to develop a range of new designs, drawing on the 159’s virtues but also transcending its weaknesses.  Design studies reached maturity when they included an air-cooled, 14-cylinder BMW 139 radial engine paired with innovations that achieved a low-drag cowling which also optimized engine airflow and cooling characteristics.  Other features included extensive use of electrical versus hydraulic controls, control rods (as opposed to cables) that made handling more crisp and responsive, and various airframe refinements including increased wing loading.

The first Fw 190 Würger (or Shrike) V1 flew on June 1, 1939.  This marked the origin of one of the most prolific production runs of any WWII-era fighter, involving some 20,000 airplanes that spanned (by my count) 77 variants and sub-types.  Many were powered by the twin-row BMW 801 radial engine.  It was arguably the Luftwaffe’s most effective day fighter, serving in every corner of Europe and North Africa.  It also excelled as a fighter-bomber, dedicated ground-attack platform, and night fighter.  In the opinion of many pilots, the Fw 190 was superior to the Bf 109 in terms of its heavier armament and superior low to mid-altitude performance.

The Fw 190A-8 entered production in February 1944 and its manufacturing run lasted until the end of the war.  Some 6,500 were built.  A-8s were powered either by the standard BMW 801 D-2 or the 801Q powerplants.  These engines had a number of small improvements including a C3-injection Erhöhte Notleistung emergency power boost system.  This could push the engine to nearly 2,000 hp for a short time but at the cost of extremely high fuel consumption.  Internally, more fuel was added.  A-8s were also fitted with wooden propellers.  The canopy was outwardly bulged and a whip antenna was fitted to the underside of the port wing.  Further, the A-8/R2 was more heavily armored and armed.  It swapped out the outer wing 20 mm cannon fitted to earlier short-nosed Würgers with a 30 mm MK 108 cannon.

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Eduard’s ProfiPack edition of their new-tool Fw 190A-8 comes in their standard top-opening box.  The kit comes on five blue-gray sprues holding a total of 185 parts (about 100 will be used; see below).  Ten clear parts are on also found on one sprue.  As the ProfiPACK edition of the kit, there’s also one fret of pre-painted photoetched metal parts containing 46 parts and one pre-cut vinyl mask set for the masking of the clear parts and wheel hubs.  The decal sheets provide full airframe stencils and markings for five airplanes:

Strengths:  The new generation of Eduard Würgers has addressed all the previous critiques of their first generation 1:48 scale 190s.  All of the observations and accolades that apply to their previous new-issue Fw 190s (see reviews HERE) also apply here.


Eduard seems to have done a great job representing with the A-8 variant with the new fuselage and wing parts along with other A-8 specific details.  Furthermore, and just like all their other new 190s, parts breakdown and overall engineering result in a kit that is quite straightforward and easy to build.  Construction will not be particularly time consuming.  Surface detail is outstanding as expected from Eduard, with beautifully executed and restrained recessed panel lines and elegant recessed rivet details arrayed into complex (and as best I can tell) ultra-accurate patterns including the fuel tank access hatch on the bottom of the fuselage for the A-8.  I snipped out the fuselage halves and wings to dry fit them, and they appear to line up in airtight fashion.  No filler required here.     


The plastic cockpit parts by themselves are a bit simplified, but the 49 pre-painted photoetched metal parts for the instrument panel, side consoles, shoulder harnesses, and lap belts (among other detail parts) add an impressive level of detail (as it would seem Eduard intended from the get-go).  Engine exhaust stacks are okay for 1:48 scale.  While the exhausts themselves are not hollow as a resin casting can achieve (and there’s an Eduard Brassin set for that), the kit parts do feature slightly recessed faces and a good wash of a dark color can achieve the illusion of a deeper exhaust.


The landing gear, tires, and tailwheel assembly are all very nicely detailed and molded.  The rudder, elevators, and ailerons are all separate parts.  At least for the rudder, the mounting tab seems to force a straight-in fit and a little modification might be necessary to fit the rudder in a deflected position.  The clear parts are gorgeous and possess pretty much perfect optical quality with no seams present.  Likewise, the pre-painted photoetched parts are beautifully made.              


There are a lot of unused parts in this kit – about 80 in all.  These include an additional propeller, other MG 17 fairings, underwing dipole night fighter antennas, and alternate gear doors, rudders, and ailerons for other Fw 190 variants.


The decal sheets were printed in-house by Eduard and cover the five well-chosen and eye-catching schemes described above.  I really like the colors in ALL of them!  There’s also a complete set of airframe stencils.  Alternate decal versions of the instrument faces are also provided if working with the PE parts is not the builder’s preference.  Printing appears perfect.  Everything is in register, colors look great, and carrier film is finely restrained. 


Weaknesses:  There is very little to critique here.  First, the landing flaps are not molded as separate parts, but there’s an Eduard PE set for that.  Second, I do believe the inboard main gear well doors should be closed in the parked position, as I understand that they cycled open and then closed when the gear was either retracted or extended.  Third, the cockpit and gear wells are just a bit simplified.  I can confirm this particularly as I had my head up into the cockpits and gear wells of a pair of 190s last weekend at the Military Aircraft Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Again, there’s plenty of photoetched and Brassin sets to take care of any “minimized” detail there, and almost anyone can add the appropriate wiring/plumbing in the wells with very little effort.  At the end of the day, these three points do not represent substantive critiques but are things to think about as you plan your build.

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Once again, Eduard nails it with another great 1:48 scale kit of the Fw 190.  The quality, detail, and interesting paint schemes hit on all the right points to pique my interest.  For those interested in adding even more detail to their second-generation Eduard Fw 190A-8, they have simultaneously released cockpit, engine, machine gun, landing flaps, cannon bay detail sets, and more.  The sky is just about the limit with this one.  

Sincere thanks are owed to everyone at Eduard for the review sample.  You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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