Monday, 29 January 2018

Hobbyboss Focke Wulf Fw 190 V18 - 48th

So Hobbyboss have produced an 1:18th scale Fw 190. It looks terrible, very toy-like. Not much better is this one which landed on my bench early last year. I've picked it up again recently. The Focke Wulf Fw 190 V-18 was an attempt to produce a high altitude fighter prototype using the DB 603 in-line bomber engine which featured an enormous Hirth exhaust-driven turbocharger located under the fuselage - ultimately an example of failed rather than innovative German engineering! While it could manage 400+ mph at 31,000 ft, it could only do it intermittently. The V-18/U1 was fitted with the broad Ta 152 tail-fin and the supercharged DB 603 drove a large four-bladed prop - makes for an 'exotic' looking machine and I guess we should be glad that a reasonable replica is available in kit form and not just as some short-run resin.

The problem with this kit is that it doesn't know which variant it really wants to be. It doesn't help that the box-art is rather more detailed than the kit itself, which lacks the Hirth turbocharger exhaust fairings on the fuselage and upper wing. There's only one or two builds of this kit out on the net. One 'John Miller' has a very nice build on a few sites. I've borrowed his pic of the cockpit (looks decidedly oversized) and supercharger engine detail alongside as I didn't take a picture of mine before hiding it away.

John reckons the biggest issue is the nose cowl with its two large intakes that weren't present on the V18 (easily filled in and faired over). That said I notice that the Fw 190 V15 prototype which trialed the exhaust pipes had these intakes and did not have the fairings, so perhaps the Hobbyboss kit designers got their variants mixed up. There are more curious omissions and inclusions on the kit. But there is no armoured head-rest on the real machine above, John. That was introduced later in development. One tip I've picked up from John's build is the area of heavy riveting underneath the cockpit. The exhaust-driven turbocharger unit is included but can only be seen through the rather bare and open wheel well. The large open rear cockpit decking will be covered with some Eduard etch. Still the grau/alu finish looks quite striking, just remains to be seen if it builds into a reasonable replica.

Box and sprue views here

No comments:

Post a Comment