Reviewed by Brett Green
Cutting Edge expands their range of 1/32 scale accessories with this new cockpit set for Hasegawa's dated Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8. Although the Hasegawa kit has some outline and detail problems, there is no doubt that this impressive detail set will enhance the model considerably.
In this large scale the cockpit details are highly visible - especially in an aircraft with such a big sliding canopy as the Fw 190.
The cockpit set comprises 22 parts in dark grey resin, and one clear acetate sheet with printed instruments. There are no casting imperfections on my sample.
The cockpit tub is moulded as one large piece. Side consoles and floor details are cast in place. The pilot's seat is the centrepiece of the set. Seat cushion and harness are moulded onto the seat. The whole assembly looks terrific, and will look even better after careful painting.
The instrument panel is supplied in six pieces and includes an optional centre auxilliary panel. In this scale the three-dimensional nature of the panel assembly is quite obvious. Resin represents this very well.
In common with their recent 1/48 scale cockpits, Cutting Edge offer the option of acetate instruments. The rear of the clear acetate is painted to permit the crisp instrument dial details to show through. I believe that this is by far the easiest and most convincing way to represent instrument dials. If this option is chosen, the back of the instrument panels must be gently sanded to remove the resin instruments. The resin instruments may be left in place if the modeller chooses to paint the resin dials.
Remaining details are supplied in resin, including control column, rudder pedals, armoured headrest and rollover bar, REVI gunsight, canopy crank, throttle and the upper deck behind the pilot. The only extras required are acetate for the gunsight reflector glass (which can be cut from leftover instrument-dial material) and some lead foil or paper for the rudder pedal footstraps.
Cutting Edge thoughtfully supply replacement upper wing bulges for the inboard cannon. These replace the odd, teardrop shaped items on the kit.
The instructions are well up to Cutting Edge's high standards, with parts description, general notes, construction notes, painting tips and plenty of diagrams to assist placement.
The replacement cockpit demands very little cutting of the Hasegawa kit. A few details must be scraped off the starboard upper sidewall, and the spreader bar should be removed from between the arms of the canopy. No further kit modifications are required. The resin parts should be simple to remove from their casting blocks too. The cockpit tub should be usable without further preparation.
The replacement bulges require that the kit wing bulges are sanded off. This will certainly remove surrounding raised detail, so scribing the upper wings (at least) should be considered for this project.
It is pleasing to note the expanding range of decals and accessories for 1/32 scale kits.
Cutting Edge have already made a significant contribution to this trend, and their Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 cockpit is a welcome addition. Every dial and switch will be visible through the cockpit opening, and all the detail should look terrific after careful painting. Its simple engineering and relatively small number of parts also means that this detail set will be appropriate for most modelers.
Highly recommended to anyone contemplating Hasegawa's aging Fw 190A-8.
Thanks to Meteor Productions for the review sample
Cutting Edge Modelworks Resin Conversion Kits are available at Meteor Productions Website
Review and Image Copyright © 2000 by Brett