by: Tim Hatton [ ]
The A-5 was developed after it was determined that the early mark Fw 190 could easily carry more ordnance. The D-2 engine was moved forward another 15 cm (6 in) as had been tried out earlier on the service test A-3/U1 aircraft. Moving the centre of gravity forward allowed more weight to be carried aft. The nose extension became standard on all subsequent Fw 190A versions up to the A9, and also on the corresponding F types. Large-scale production of the A-5 was initiated in April 1943. The A-5 had an identical wing to the A-4.
Eduard has taken on board the criticism of the challenging nature of the build of the older 1/48 scale Fw 190’s and has created new moulds for a new line of Fw 109’s. First impressions opening the box is how restrained the surface detail is. Both recessed panel lines and rivet detail is very subtle. Also the fuselage has a lot fewer parts than the previous releases. Inside the box you will find:
●5 x injected grey plastic sprues.
●1 x injected clear platic sprue
●1 x pre-coloured photo etched fret.
●1 x set of paint masks for canopy and wheels.
●2 x decal sheets
●1 x A4 16 page instruction manual.
All the contents except the instructions are in self-sealing plastic bags.
As is the norm for Eduard ProfiPACK releases there are three ways of creating the cockpit detail: using the pre-coloured photo etched parts, decals or painting. The quality of the painted photo etched parts is very good. Parts not only include instrument panel and side consoles there is also a seat harness, rudder pedals with straps, trim wheel and various handles. The decal instruments are not nearly as good and these are laid on smooth plastic parts to make adhesion better. Finally there are the plastic parts with low relief detail for those that much rather create the look of the cockpit with paint. The plastic parts of the cockpit are nicely moulded with fine detail. A tub makes up the majority of the cockpit, onto which is added the seat and instrument panel. There is what I thought was an irritatingly placed raised ejector mark on the inside of the right side of the cockpit wall, but no it’s the locating point for the trim wheel. Once complete the cockpit will sit nicely on the narrow shelf moulded on the inside of each half of the fuselage. The gun sight is made from clear plastic.
The canopy and windscreen are separate parts. They are very clear and thin. The unglazed area of the canopy has a slightly matt look to it. The canopy can be posed open or closed and there are two different canopies for the open and closed position. There are a couple of plastic items to fit to the inside of the canopy. Thankfully being a ProfiPACK there are paints masks included. The canopy frame has some interesting curves which would be challenging if you were creating your own mask. So the pre-cut masks will be very helpful.
The fuselage has none of the complexity of the older butcher birds from Eduard. You only need to add to the fuselage a couple of rings at the nose and the cannon and fairings in front of the windscreen as well as the one piece rudder. The radial engine looks decent enough, but only the front cylinders and a separate piece for the reduction gear are represented. Not much will be seen behind the cooling fan and tight fitting cowl. If you want more detail invest in Eduards superb looking Brassin engine . There are a couple of banks of exhaust pipes to install before the fuselage halves are joined. The prop is made up from two pieces with a curious small section of the prop arms that is separate. The prop itself looks good with sharp edges.
The wing is made up from three parts; the lower wing is one piece. There are a considerable number of parts that need to be attached around the wheel bay in the lower wing including a nicely detailed wing spar and parts that make up the roof to the wheel well. Again these parts are very well detailed. You will be rewarded with a very good looking wheel bay. There is also a third bank of exhaust pipes and wing cannon barrels to fit as well. The one piece ailerons have a slight ribbed detail on them. Each of the horizontal tail planes is made up from two pieces with a one piece elevator.
The undercarriage looks the part with detailed legs and separate torque links. The actuator arms for the main undercarriage are separate as well. These will be very useful for setting the angle of the legs. The wheels have separate detailed hubs so making painting much easier. There are two masks for the outer side of each hub. The tail wheel is made up from three pieces and has some good detail on it.
Ordnance includes one SC 500 bomb and centre line bomb rack. The bomb comes with photo etched sway braces for the fins. There are also two types of under fuselage fuel tanks, but these are not fitted on this release.
There are five marking options including:
A. W. Nr. 0157 298, flown by Maj. Josef Priller, CO of JG 26, Lille - Vendeville, France, May 1943
B. W. Nr. 1501, Oblt. Walter Nowotny, CO of 1./ JG 54, Orel, Soviet Union, Summer 1943
C. Flown by Oblt. Rolf Strohal, Stab I./JG 1, Deelen, the Netherlands, April 1943
D. W. Nr. 0152 594, flown by Maj. Hermann Graf, CO of JGr. Ost, Toulouse – Blagnac, France,
E. W. Nr. 538, 6./Schl.G 1 , Deblin - Irena , Poland , January 1943
There are two sheets of decals: one with markings and the other is mainly stencils and wing walkways. The quality looks superb: good colour density, minimum carrier film and thin. Just be careful removing the decals from the clear plastic bag. One of the white upper wing crosses managed to stick to the adhesive that keeps the bag closed. Unfortunetly the cross is useless now, so be warned.
Instructions are well presented on glossy A-4 booklet format with sixteen pages. Building instructions are clear and were necessary there is a paint guide for individual parts. Paint references are given using Aqueous, Mr Color, Mr Metal Color and Mr Color Super Metal. The painting guide for the various marking options are in full colour with four profiles for each aircraft. There is a detailed set of diagrams providing the location of the stencils and walkways. The legs of the main undercarriage have four stencils each, which gives you the sort of detail that Eduard has provided.
This looks to be a superb release from Eduard with the sort of thought of design and detail we now expect from Eduard. This new range of Fw 190’s promises to be a much simpler build than the previous line of Butcher birds from Eduard. Judging by the number of parts that are not used there is the possibility of a few more versions including a night fighter in the future.