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|Contents and Media:
||Long-run injection moulded plastic -
88 parts in grey styrene; 4 parts in clear styrene
||USD$21.00 RRP although available for
much less through many retailers.
||By far the best quality plastic by
MPM/Condor/Special Hobby to date; gorgeous surface detail - finely
engraved panel lines, subtle fabric detail and delicately raised
wing-walks; perfect clear parts; well-executed small details; thoughtful
||Care with alignment will be required
due to complex shape of aircraft and lack of locating pins.
At the IPMS Nationals in Chicago this year, MPM announced that their new kits
would be manufactured using copper or composite molds. It was claimed that this
would result in a superior product with smoother plastic, less imperfections and
Condor's (an MPM brand) latest release is the 1/72 scale Focke-Wulf Fw
189A-1. This new kit lives up to the promise of a superior product. It is
certainly the best quality MPM/Condor/Special Hobby kit I have seen.
Condor's 1/72 scale Fw 189A-1 is moulded in medium-grey plastic. There are no
multi-media parts in this kit - it is 100% styrene. The 88 grey plastic parts
have obviously been produced using metal moulds. The surface texture is smooth,
there are no ejector pin marks in visible places or in areas that will interfere
with fit, and the only three sinkmarks I can find are on the back of detail
parts. The surface detail is just gorgeous. Panel lines are finely engraved and
perfectly consistent. Rivets are also recessed. Fabric surfaces are restrained
and convincing. Condor even depict delicately raised walkway strips on the upper
Cockpit detail is quite good for this scale, and small parts such as machine
guns and rudder pedals are very well executed.
Exterior detail is also very good. The wheels, undercarriage gear and bomb
racks will be fine to use straight from the box. The main gear doors have
lightening-hole detail moulded onto the inside surfaces. Three parts are
supplied to box-in each undercarriage bay. Trailing edges of wings and tail
surfaces are quite thin. The flower-shaped spinners are very well done. My only
real criticism is the empty space behind the radiator opening on the front of
each nacelle. Modellers may wish to block off this space with sheet styrene.
The large cockpit of the Fw 189 is a glasshouse, so the transparencies are a
critical aspect of the kit. Fortunately, the clear plastic matches the quality
of the grey styrene. The four clear parts are very thin and free of distortion.
Canopy framing detail is crisply raised from the surface. Nevertheless, care
will be required when joining the clear parts to avoid getting glue on the
visible inner surface.
The absence of locating pins will require extra time spent dry-fitting and
ensuring correct alignment. However, engineering of the kit has been designed to
assist the correct alignment of major parts. For example, the top of the rear
engine nacelle is moulded as part of the upper wing. The upper wing overlaps the
boom and lower nacelle, ensuring a solid and unambiguous bond. The
mostly-transparent cockpit unit is mounted on the lower centre wing panel. This
is, in turn, overlapped by each upper wing. The assembly has been well thought
Markings are supplied for two aircraft. One scheme is a squiggle pattern of
76 over standard 70/71 Greens, and the other is a white distemper scheme over
70/71. Decals are printed by Cartograf.
It may be possible to see the future of our hobby by looking into the
contents of this box.
Condor's 1/72 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 189A-1 is comparable to most new
releases from major Japanese and American manufacturers. The sole clue to
the origins of these sprues is the absence of locating pins. The quality
of the plastic, the level of detail and the presentation of the kit is
very impressive indeed. If this kit is an indication of the standard we
will see for MPM/Condor/Special Hobby new releases, then the future looks
This kit should deliver an excellent replica of the Focke-Wulf Fw
189A-1 with little more effort than a mainstream Japanese kit.
Thanks to Filip of MPM for the review
Review and Images Copyright © 2001 by Brett
Page Created 29 July, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003
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