by: Pedro Matos [ ]
The Focke-Wulf Fw 189 Uhu ("Eagle Owl") was a German twin-engine, twin-boom, three-seat tactical reconnaissance and army co-operation aircraft. It first flew in 1938 (Fw 189 V1), and entered service in 1940 being produced until mid-1944. It should not be confused with the Heinkel He 219 night fighter also named Uhu. In addition, Focke-Wulf used this airframe in response to a tender request by the RLM for a dedicated ground attack aeroplane, and later submitted an armoured version for trials. However, the Henschel Hs 129 was selected instead.
In 1937, the German Ministry of Aviation issued a specification for a short-range, three-seat reconnaissance aircraft with a good all-round view to support the German army in the field, replacing the Henschel Hs 126, which had just entered service. A power of about 850Ė900 hp (630Ė670 kW) was specified. The specification was issued to Arado and Focke-Wulf. Arado's design, the Ar 198, which was initially the preferred option, was a relatively conventional single-engine high-wing monoplane with a glazed gondola under the fuselage. Focke-Wulf's chief designer Kurt Tank's design, the Fw 189, was a twin-boom design, powered by two Argus As 410 engines rather than the expected single engine and a central crew gondola designed with a heavily glazed and framed "stepless" cockpit forward section, which used no separate windscreen panels for the pilot (as with many German medium bombers), while Blohm & Voss proposed as a private venture something even more radical: chief designer Dr Richard Vogt's unique asymmetric BV 141. Orders were placed for three prototypes each of the Arado and Focke-Wulf designs in April 1937.
The Fw 189 was produced in large numbers, at the Focke-Wulf factory in Bremen, at the Bordeaux-Merignac aircraft factory (Avions Marcel Bloch's factory, which became Dassault Aviation after the war) in occupied France, then in the Aero Vodochody aircraft factory in Prague, occupied Czechoslovakia. Total production was 864 aircraft of all variants.
The kit is very well packed with the kit sprues protected with a plastic bag, and the clear parts have a plastic bag of their own.
Contents of the kit
The box looks very robust with a Drawing of the Fw-189 flying above the clouds.
The kit has 158 parts and the parts breakdown is the following:
1 Booklet Instructions Sheet
1 Clear sprue
2 Grey Sprues -(Attention that the instructions manual makes reference to a C2 Sprue, but this one is attached to the A Sprue, also there is a C1 Sprue attached but I think itís only used for the A1 Version).
1 Decal Sheet with 2 Different Markings
The instructions are very well printed in black & white colours with some red warnings with what you must do, with colour call outs to 2 different paint manufacturers (Revell and Tamiya). The drawings are very good and clear. The paint Schemes are printed in colour which is a nice touch.
I compared the kit with some plans that I have and I found that the kit is very accurate, at least with the plans that I have, they are an almost perfect match.
For a 1/72nd scale kit, I am impressed with the overall level of detail, it is very good. The panel lines are crisp and very finely engraved, you get a very good level of detail on the cockpit with ammo crates for the machine guns, I think in this scale you donít need to go aftermarket. The landing Gear is very good, you also get workable flaps and horizontal tail rudder (Do not glue them!! The kit's instructions donít make reference to that).
The problems that I encountered on this kit were very few, the kit has some ejector pin marks most of them you will not see because they are placed on hidden areas, but you have to take care of the ejector pins on the interior of the two fuselage half, on the wheel wells side bays and I also found one Ejector pin on the pilots seat (Part A16) and on the back landing gear door (Part A3). Further I also found some minor flash in some parts, the wheels are not weighted and the decals donít provide Swastikas.
The clear parts looked very good to me with no seams, with almost no distortion.
As for the decals, you get 2 aircraft options to make, 1 Summer Camouflage scheme in Finland and one Winter Scheme in Russia. The printing of the decals looks good with good colours perfect alignment and in the registry. The only downsides for me are, I think that they are a little bit thick and donít provide the Swastikas as I mentioned before.