by: Adie Roberts [ ]
Introduction The British Supermarine Spitfire was facing several challenges by mid-1942. The debut of the formidable Focke Wulf Fw 190 in late 1941 had caused problems for RAF fighter squadrons flying the latest Spitfire Vb.
By this time Rolls-Royce engineers were already working on a new version of the Merlin incorporating two-stage superchargers; the combination of the improved Merlins and the Spitfire Mk VC airframe in a "stop-gap" design allowed the RAF to combat the Fw 190 on equal terms. In a second stream of development Supermarine was working on an improved, reinforced Spitfire airframe which incorporated several new features and was designed specifically for the Merlin 60 and 70 series engines. This new airframe later formed the basis for the Rolls Royce- Griffon powered Spitfires.
The Mk XVI was the same as the Mk IX in nearly all respects except for the engine, a Merlin 266. The Merlin 266 was the Merlin 66 and was built under licence in the USA by the Packard Motor Company. The "2" was added as a prefix in order to avoid confusion with the engines, as they required different tooling. All Mk XVI aircraft produced were of the Low-Altitude Fighter variety. This was not determined by the length of the wings (clipped wings were fitted to most LF Spitfires), but by the engine, which had been optimised for low-altitude operation. All production Mk XVIs had clipped wings for low altitude work and were fitted with the rear fuselage fuel tanks with a combined capacity of 75 gal. Many XVIs featured cut-down rear fuselages with bubble canopies.
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (English:Shrike) is a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s and widely used duringWorld War II . Along with its well-known counterpart, the Messerchmitt Bf 109 , the Fw 190 became the backbone of the Luftwaffe's Jagdwaffe The twin-row BMW 801 Radial engine that powered most operational versions enabled the Fw 190 to lift larger loads than the Bf 109, allowing its use as a day fighter, fighter bomber, ground attack aircraft and to a lesser degree, night fighter.
The D-9 series was rarely used against heavy-bomber raids, as the circumstances of the war in late 1944 meant that fighter-versus-fighter combat and ground attack missions took priority.
Contents First impressions upon looking at this new concept from Eduard, EduArt is the impressive piece of art work on the front of the box which you get as a piece of art work by Koike Shigeo (Eduard did not supply the art work for this review). So opening the box it is crammed full of beautiful Eduard plastic.
1. Eduard instruction booklet
2. 2 bags of medium grey colour sprues four in total for the Spitfire XVI
3. 2 further bags of medium grey colour sprues five in total for the Fw 190D-9
4. 1 bag containing the clear sprue for the Spitfire XVI
5. 1 bag containing the clear sprue for the Fw 190D-9
6. 1 bag containing two decal sheets one with the individual markings for both planes and the second decal being the stencils for both planes
7. 2 bags containing the masks
8. 2 bags containing the photo etched frets for both planes
I do think that Eduard is on to a very good thing with their new concept EduArt the chance to own not just some fantastic kits but also some very nice Art work is going to be very tempting for a lot of modellers. I for one will be one who would like to collect them and interesting to see how frequently they release them and the different subjects they do, I hope that they will do some Armour in their EduArt range. Like their limited editions and Royal classes these will be limited run so please make sure you get one before they are all gone.
Review I opened the packet containing the Spitfire Mk XVI first it is what you would come to expect from Eduard crisp panel lines plenty of detail. The fuselage was the first sprue I picked up and on this one were also the tyres, wheels, internal structural detail and elevators. The main fuselage with its inspection panels and riveting detail really is hard to find fault with, the engraved panel lines are just right it is one of those kits that is hard to put down once opened, I did try a dry fit and it went together without any issues whatsoever. Moving around the sprue there are some internal rib structures which look so good, the tyres and wheels are good but maybe a set of resin wheels would possibly enhance the kit. The elevators are nice with some deeper recess panel lines depicting the moving parts. The under part of the cowling with air scoop certainly looks very good with some tiny details and some larger detail around the inspection panels.
Next sprue from the same bag was the wings upper and lower, starting with the upper wings the surface detail with its panel lines and again inspection covers is very nice. Raised area on the top of the wings is very accurate looking from some technical pictures that I looked at, turning these over they have included some nice wheel well detail. Injector pin marks on the inside of both the upper and lower wings should be invisible once the wings are joined. The lower wings I have to say are very nice a mixture of panel lines and inspection covers but it looks so good very crisp detail. The only thing I could say here is that the plastic is quite thin and there are some small stress marks on the top of the upper wings where the wheel well detail has been done. This said once together and painted you really would not notice them.
On opening the second bag that contains two sprues for the rest of the parts for the Spitfire, it is just full of parts. The exhausts two separate sets are really nice and even include hollowed out ends giving it the effect that normally you would be buying aftermarket set to get that level of detail. Propeller is huge as you would expect but also looks good too, I did notice some residual plastic left on the top of them where they have come out of the mould but I do mean you really have to look for them. Guns are on this sprue, various small panels that once again for small parts held some really fine detail. Landing legs further wheels and tyres some intricate detail some small interior parts are also on this sprue.
On the last sprue from bag number 2 and the final parts to the Spitfire was again full of plastic parts these being the cockpit with an instruments panel that looked good in itself but married with the Eduard pre-coloured photo etch parts is going to take the detail level even higher. Such small parts on this sprue that were easily recognised such is the level of this kit like the control column with its thumb trigger to fire the main machine guns. The ailerons were very nice in detail and the tail with its rudder and more elevators giving you even more choices, two internal panels for each side of the cockpit with a lot of intricate detail for surface controls and levers is very good. Ariel's and more internal ribbing structures with again such a great level of detail is so good, so many tiny intricate parts which I have to say are just incredible and a credit to Eduard for trying to give us modellers something that not only looks like a Spitfire but makes it such a great detailed and more accurate kit.
The next bag to be opened contained the fuselage and wings of the Fw 190D-9, the first sprue had the main fuselage which just like the Spitfire has some superb detail. Recessed panel lines and rivets that did not stick out to far. Inspection covers are nice, the propeller is large and has some small detail on the blade inserts a couple of the cowling parts and the interior wheel well.
The second sprue in this bag is the upper wings and lower wings attention to detail is something I feel Eduard try hard to give us modellers panel lines that really pick out the detailed covers or moving surfaces a tiny amount of flash on one of the wings will not cause any trouble.
On opening the second bag containing the Fw 190D-9 there is three sprues inside one much larger than the other two. So looking around the largest sprue has the cockpit tub in this has some detail on it, there are the control levers instrument panel which is crisp again will be enhanced with the addition of the pre-coloured photo etch fret. The main landing gear is also on this sprue along with a wing structural part that separates the wheel bay, the tyres have some tread to them. The elevators again with panel lines separating the moveable surfaces ailerons with some ribbing to them, wheel well detailed parts, tail wheel and the main machine guns which look nice.
Second sprue has some engine detail a couple of control surfaces, spinner, engine front cowling exhausts. After the exhausts on the Spitfire I have to say I was disappointed with the lack of hollowing of the ends however still crisp, couple of Aerials, control stick that for something so small was quite well detailed I did feel that the Dora was missing some of the more refined detail present on the Spitfire.
The last sprue of the Fw 190D-9 had two great looking machine guns and more parts of the engine including some pipes and wiring some structural parts all the parts are all with some level of detail and I do feel will build into a nice kit of the Fw 190D-9.
Clear sprue starting with the bubble top spitfire glass is very nicely done very clear great rivet detail, there is light lenses for wings and gun sights. The Fw 190D-9 clear sprue has different options for the glazing but all are very clear and with the same level of detail.
Photo etch sheets the Spitfire has a pre-coloured instrument panel which brings some great detail and realism, seat belts some tiny control levers and some panels all of these are very well done and will only enhance this kit.
The Fw 190D-9 has it's own pre-coloured instrument panels that again look very nice, some very small pre-coloured control levers. All of the etch is of course good quality and is what Eduard are know for. There is two bags with masks for the Spitfire and the Fw 190D-9
Instructions and Decals Instruction booklet is I have to say are glossy colourful in places, front page is another look at the incredible art work of Koike Shigeo first page is key to the symbols and each of the sprues and what should be on them and of course what is used and what is spare.
There is three decal sheets, the main is for the Eduard RAF roundels and markings also the German Luftwaffe, there is also two separate sheets for stencils for both the Spitfire and Fw 190. The decals I have to say look nice and crisp and not too thick, the stencils for both aircraft carrier a great amount of detail and it is all clear enough to be read excellent.
Conclusion This new concept from Eduard EduArt is looking to be a winner again for Eduard with not only two of their great kits but artwork as well. This may not be the first time kits have come out with a piece of artwork but I do feel it is the best one that I have seen. I hope that this is going to be another series of kits from them with varying titles that may see the return of the Hetzer or other armour. It does seem to me that pretty much what other kits, etch, brassin, or resin seems to turn to gold and I sure think that this new series of kits are going the same way.