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KIT REVIEW


Revell Fw 190A-8/R-2 "Sturmbock" -- 1:32 Scale



The Fw 190 was one of the best-known combat aircraft of the 20th century.  In 2015, Revell released the first of a new family of Fw 190s kits in 1:32 scale.  In 2019, they added an Fw 190A-8/R-2 to this range of Würger kits.  Let’s check it out.

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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 of course selected in 1936 as the winning design but 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 its 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 that 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 an increased wing loading.

The first Fw 190 Würger (or Shrike) V1 flew on 01 June 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, powered either by the standard BMW 801 D-2 or the 801Q powerplants.  These engines had a number of small improvements including a power boost system that could push the engine to nearly 2,000 hp for a short time.  Further, the A-8/R2 was more heavily armored and armed.  It swapped out the outer wing 20 mm cannon fitted to early short-nosed Würgers with a 30 mm MK 108 cannon.

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Revell of Germany’s Fw 190A-8/R-2 comes on nine sprues containing 158 parts, though around five parts won’t be used in this issue of the kit.  The 11 clear parts come on three sprues (including four different canopy style options).  The markings come on a single Zanchetti-printed decal sheet for the following two airplanes:   

Strengths:  In 2016, one of our very first reviews was the inaugural 1:32 scale Fw 190F-8 kit by Revell (which you can see HERE).  This new kit is based on that same tooling, so all the nice things and critiques we had of that kit apply nearly equally here.  But to recap:

The Revell 1:32 scale Fw 190A-8/R-2 possesses fine and nicely executed recessed panel lines and screws.  Overall, the quality of molding and level of detail is excellent for an injection molded kit.  It does appear to have an accurately shaped airframe.  The clear parts are blemish-free and feature excellent optics.  As usual, I snipped off the wings and fuselage from the sprues and did some test fitting.  My sample demonstrated a just about perfect fit between the principal assemblies.

Interior details feature an accurate and reasonably well-detailed injection molded cockpit and wheel wells.  In the cockpit, instrument bezels are raised while the instrument dial faces are represented in the kit by high-quality decals.  The quality and detail of the BMW 801 engine is a true highlight.  It is a small model on its own.  The various engine bay access panels can be displayed opened-up, allowing viewers to enjoy these details.

All of the control surfaces are provided as separate parts.  There’s a big spar in the inside center of the lower wing assembly, and it will help modelers achieve the proper and precise dihedral as one fits the wings to the fuselage.  Other optional details include provisions for retracted landing gear, the pilot’s step, smooth or treaded tires, and gun covers for the top of the wings.  To match the late war markings in the kit, I think modelers should go with the smooth tires, but check your references to be sure.

It appears that the key Fw 190A-8/R-2 details were accurately captured in this kit.  It has the proper wing configuration with the deleted outboard guns that were replaced by the whopper 30 mm cannons.  The overwing fairing that accommodated the cannon breach is also nicely represent as are the shell ejection chutes.  The proper metal propeller is represented in the kit.  No less than four versions of the canopy are in the kit and include open and closed versions of the canopies.

The kit also comes with a circular stand to mount the model on with the gear up or down.  The stand has a range of motion that allows for both tilt and swivel.

The two markings options are interesting and rather colorful (and includes some interesting notes and alternate decals regarding how to represent debated colors of Wk.Nr. 682204 – a very nice and nuanced touch!).  The decals are high quality – researched and designed by AirDOC and printed by Zanchetti.  Their decals are Cartograf-like in their clarity, color, and print quality, which are all outstanding here.  Carrier film is very restrained and practically invisible.

Weaknesses:  As is often the case with Revell kits, the box is not particularly strong and somewhat over-sized for its contents, and that makes it potentially vulnerable to crush damage, either during shipping or sitting under a pile of kits in the hobby shop or in your model stash.

Mold ejection pin markings are relatively few in number and are well-placed so they won't require an arduous clean-up.  The shoulder harnesses and lap belts are represented by decals.  Many modelers will probably want to use an aftermarket part in lieu of the decal belts.  While the control surfaces are all separate parts, the instructions seem to show the ailerons, rudder, and trailing edges of the horizontal stabilizers just going straight in, fitted in the neutral position.  Deflecting or dropping them may require alteration of their locator tabs.

In my sample, the engine vents located on the forward fuselage were unevenly occluded by flash, but are easily cleaned out by a swipe or two of a #11 blade.  With the way Sprues G and H were stacked on top of each other, there was some light scuffing of the canopies on Sprue G.  And of course, being produced in Germany, the decal sheet does not include the swastikas that were painted on either side of the vertical stabilizer.  Scale modelers can easily source those markings from a wide variety of aftermarket decal sheets.

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Just as with their pervious new-tool 190s, Revell of Germany has again provided scale modelers a very well detailed, well-engineered, and accurate Fw 190A-8/R-2 in 1:32 scale.  These are strong competitive alternatives to the Hasegawa family of Fw 190s that are also very well priced.  Just out-of-the-box, it will build into a solid replica of a distinctive version of the Fw 190 family.

Sincere thanks are owed to Revell for the review sample.  You can find them on the web at http://www.revell.com/germany.

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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