Monday 30 January 2012

A round-up of 1/72 scale Fw 190s -last edited January 2022

Above;  72nd scale Eduard Fw 190 A-5 'heavy fighter' 

Until the appearance of the Eduard Fw 190 kits in 72nd scale  the best small scale Fw 190 kit was almost certainly the Revell 1/72, especially as it is/was widely available and so much cheaper than the Hasegawa kits. At the last count I had built around 17 of them. There are/were a few 'issues' with the kit. In addition to the shape of the canopy (much less obvious than Hasegawa's 'flattened' effort) some modellers believe that Revell also got the cowl wrong. I have to say after carefully measuring the kit against some drawings and comparing it against some decent photographs I can't really see it. What do you think?

 ".....Revell moulded the front opening of the cowling too small. The error is quite large for the scale, being if I remember correctly around 2 mm. As a consequence, the front part of the cowling and the cowling ring tapers too much to meet the small opening. The negative effect is even more exaggerated by the model having its cowling slightly rounded in profile. All this gives the front part of the fuselage an unnaturally heavy "bulbous" look...."    

A few comparison shots, all current 1/72 Fw 190 kits. First up the Revell A-8/F-8 and that 'suspect' cowling x4. Generally a lovely little kit although recent production is displaying a fair amount of flash and the clear parts are no longer very clear at all. In fact they need ditching and the canopy replaced with a vac-form item. That requires some minor surgery - removing the rear canopy 'decking' moulded integrally with the fuselage halves. Aeroclub do (did?) a replacement canopy, along with a white metal 'unbulged' upper cowl for the A5-6 variants

Hasegawa A-5 finished in J.Gr Ost markings. The re-tooled Hasegawa kits are very good of course, although the new Dual combo boxings are retailing for upwards of £30 !! Two minor complaints - the overly long landing gear and a slightly misshapen canopy, it being slightly too 'rounded' where it meets the windscreen.

Italeri A-8 cowling (above) and the Academy A-6 below. I quite like the Italeri A-8 and their Dora. The Anton has raised panel detail and no dihedral on the wings unfortunately. The cockpit is quite good though. The Fw 190 A series are easily the worst kits Academy have done in 1/72 scale. Difficult to know where to start - wings, tail plane, cowl, undercarriage - in fact just don't bother is really the best advice with both their A-6 and A-8 boxings. Their Dora on the other hand is very good and doesn't share any parts wih the 'A' variant.

Airfix A-8 finished as Priller's 'Jutta' first issued in 1977. This was the best radial engine Fw 190 kit until the Hasegawa and Revell new tool. The outline was very accurate, although the surface detail featured raised lines and some rather soft cowl details and the kit is missing the cannon breech fairings on the wing upper surfaces - not at all a bad thing if you were thinking of adding an 'unbulged' cowl cover and back-dating to an A-6 or similar, as I have here with this model in the overall hellblau-grau markings of the night-fighter Staffel of JG 2, summer 1943..

Lots of new Fw 190s released since 2012. I am currently building my first 72nd scale Eduard 190. The 'new' tool Airfix A isn't bad at all ...and goes together easily - my latest with added FuG antennae in the markings of JG 300 ace Klaus Bretschneider - markings from EagleCals.

and the Zvezda A-4 on the shelf. Replacement wheels from True Detail, but yes, spoilt by some silly omissions..but for a 'snap-fit' kit, not bad at all..

That just leaves the Tamiya A-3 in this scale, along with the AZ Models and Mastercraft kits. The AZ kits include a resin wheel well insert and metal gun barrels and are thus three times the price of a Revell kit. They do look great in the box but I haven't built any of their range yet which includes an A-0 and an A-1 to A-4. AZ also supply a resin insert for the characteristic pointed antenna post of the A-4 tail fin. Will be starting one soon. Mastercraft look to be poor quality, although feature engraved panel lines and a half-decent decal sheet. And Quickboost (Aires) do a resin replacement cowl ring if you've a mind!

More 72nd scale Fw 190 builds on this blog;

Airfix new-tool Fw 190 A-8

Zvezda Fw 190 A-4 in 72nd scale

Jes Touvdal model collection - Luftwaffe fighters 1/72

I imagine most Luftwaffe modellers know of Jes Touvdal from or the LEMB or will have seen photo features on his models on sites such as the 109 Lair. I was recently chatting to Jes and thought it would be an idea to put together the following small feature on Jes and his models. (This is a re-post from my Luftwaffe blog, which I've now stopped so that I can actually build some mdels this year!)

Hi Jes, can you tell us something about yourself please?

Hi Neil, I was a regular reader of your old Luftwaffe blog which I found very interesting and informative. About me ..I am 53 years old, live approx 40 km from Copenhagen, in a small town named Viby. I make my living as a sales consultant selling Ford and Kia at the moment. I’ve been modelling since I was approx 10 years old. I learnt my English when I was out in Singapore for a number of years.

Just how big is your collection of Luftwaffe fighters ? Are you still adding to it and how quickly do you build ?

As for my collection it is 160 Bf 109, and 59 Fw 190, and still growing. 99% of my builds are 1/72 scale aircraft, although I have build some dio. in 1/48 and 1/32, and a few panzer dios in 1/35. My total collection is 600+. How quickly I build is hard to say, normally I build in batches approx 10 to 20 at a time, so it is hard to say how long I take on each model..maybe 3 hours for a 72nd scale fighter. I think I will always be adding to my collection, there is always something new coming up. And now Zvezda has announced a F that will be affordable - I have at least 50 schemes in the books for this variant. I know that Fine Molds kits are super but for my use, a bit on the expensive side.

What are your favourite kits and your favourite subjects ?

Favourite kits are the Emil by ICM , it is quite a good accurate kit, the E-3 canopy has a bad fit though. For the Bf 109 G I use mostly Academy, it goes together very nicely. It has a few shortcomings though, the tail planes need a little reshaping, the wing is too thin, nothing really I can do about that. For the 109 K it is the old Heller although I've only built a few of these. The best Fw 190 A-3/4 is the Tamiya, a very nice kit and for the A-6/7/8 I prefer Hasegawa also nothing say about that. Unfortunately there isn't a A-5/6 really available. The Fw 190 D-9 by Academy is also a nice fit. I know that the rivet counters have something to say about all these models, but I think that if the look is okay when seen from a ‘scale distance’ then I am happy. Actually I just read your article on 1/72 Fw 190s, I vote for the Hasegawa, I have held it up against the 1/72 drawings in the Japo FW190 F-G book and it is spot on as far as I can see and if it should be perhaps 1/10 of a mm out in some places the Hasegawa kit looks like the real thing at scale distance. As to what is right or wrong, my approach is, if it looks okay to the eye it is okay - who can see whether a model is 1 mm to long or short, not many I think. Sometimes discussions can get a little too extreme as regards size or length. I look forward to doing some Zvezda Bf 109 F, especially JG 54 as they have some colorful and intriguing schemes in the locally mixed greens. As for favourite builds, I would say some of the machines flown by JG 300. The two volume history of this unit was fascinating. Reading the books and the story of those brave men, in some cases no more than boys, was an inspiration. They went into the air against all the odds day in day out, until they were shot down and killed in many cases.

Do you ever find yourself having to make your own decals?

I make my own decals in a few cases. As an example take the Emil flown by JG 51 ace Fw. Arthur Hasse (photo top) of 6./JG51, (ref. p 166 in JG 51 by Stipdonk/Meyer). The initial drawing was copied from the photo and drawn in felt-tip onto some clear decal sheet. But as a general rule I have a lot of decal sheets so it is possible to combine from these, badge and numbers.

What about your reference library?

As for references I have a large library, favourite books are the Prien series, I have been buying them since the first JG 53 book was published many years ago, and now the JV series is super. Yes I speak and read German. When it comes to modelling I never make a plane that I do not have a photo of. And for the all fighter planes I build I usually only build subjects that can be associated with a named pilot. This is very essential for me in order to be able to build the model.

Jes' model of  'Green 1' flown by the CO of JG 300 during the wilde Sau period and based on the photos featured in Lorant's JG 300 history. No relation to the fanciful Airfix 1:24 scale Fw 190 kit box top artwork!

And what about storage though ?

As for storage I have glass cupboards, with glass shelves taking each 100 single engine a/c. The photo (above) of my 109s and 190s on display was taken at the Esbjerg open day in 2008.

Thanks Jes for answering my questions. Great work and a super collection!

new Fly Henschel Hs 123 1/72

From the feedback ratings of my preferred Ebay seller the Fly Hs 123 is 'flying' off the shelves. Given the antique nature of the Airfix kit the new Fly offering looks superb with its finely moulded resin, plastic and etch parts - at least in the box. The 'Eastern Front' boxing includes four options on the decal sheet (the Legion Condor and 'China' options feature in a separate boxing). A selection of resin parts including the one-piece cowl are bagged separately, along with two sets of fuselage halves, with and without head rest fairing. From the parts break down - undercarriage legs moulded separately - an 'unspatted' or partially 'spatted' build will also be possible..

Reference images from Der Adler (issue 2-1942), Ebay, Luftfaht International (3 issues from 1974) and Jan van der Heuvel collection (see link below)

An excellent selection of reference shots from Jan van der Heuvel's collection can be found here