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Focke-Wulf Fw 189A-1

Condor

 

 


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S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: C72005
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: Long-run injection moulded plastic - 88 parts in grey styrene; 4 parts in clear styrene
Price: USD$21.00 RRP although available for much less through many retailers.
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: 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 engineering
Disadvantages: Care with alignment will be required due to complex shape of aircraft and lack of locating pins.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

FirstLook

 

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 finer detail.

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 wing roots.

               

 

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 out.

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.

 

 

Conclusion

 

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 rosy!

This kit should deliver an excellent replica of the Focke-Wulf Fw 189A-1 with little more effort than a mainstream Japanese kit.

Highly Recommended.


Thanks to Filip of MPM for the review sample.


Review and Images Copyright 2001 by Brett Green
Page Created 29 July, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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