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Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8

1/32 Scale

 

 

J. Rutman

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Not Quoted
Price: USD$95.00 including decals
USD$85.00 without decals
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 76 pieces in cream coloured resin; 3 parts in white metal; 2 steel tubes; 1 perspex piece; 14 photoetched parts; decals for one marking option.
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Easily the best Fw 190 in this scale; impressively cast; hollow casting; ample detail; robust engineering for wing.
Disadvantages: Sketchy instructions (actually labelled Construction Tips); some modelling skills required.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for experienced modellers

 


HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron.com

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

F i r s t   L o o k

 

1/32 scale model aircraft are back in the spotlight with exciting new releases from Trumpeter, Hasegawa, Revell and Tamiya.

Rutman Productions never took its eye off the large-scale ball, maintaining a candlelight vigil at the bedside of a score of old 1/32 scale kits. Rutman's conversions, details and accessories have breathed new life into such "classics" as the Revell 1/32 scale Stuka, Fw 190D-9, P-47, Bf 109 and more. A few original 1/32 scale kits have also been released with the main parts in vacform plastic and details in resin.

This latest release takes Rutman Productions to an impressive plateau. 

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 is one of the most significant aircraft of WWII. Its debut sent shockwaves through the RAF with its instant dominance over the Spitfire V. The Wűrger (Butcher Bird) was tough and versatile, acting in the roles of dogfighter, bomber destroyer, fighter bomber and more. It remained a workhorse right up to the end of the war, operating in all Luftwaffe theatres. 

Jerry Rutman's 1/32 Fw 190A-8 represents the most numerous of all the Wurgers. 

The kit comprises 76 resin parts, 3 parts in white metal, 2 steel tubes, 1 perspex piece and 14 photoetched parts. All the major parts are resin.

The resin parts are cast in a high quality, lightweight material. The texture is slightly waxy, but this will change after the recommended wash in warm water. The large parts (fuselage and wing halves) are impressively thin and free of warpage. Surface detail is very good. Panel lines are crisply and evenly engraved. Fabric rib detail on the wings is equally well done.

The fuselage is cast in two main parts. This breakdown should simplify construction - no six-piece jigsaw-puzzle engine cowls here! The armoured front cowl ring is supplied separately. Slots need to be opened for the exhaust stubs. The fuselage has upper fuselage structural detail cast onto the inside surfaces. Clever stuff! The wheel well is designed to be trapped between the fuselage halves and protrude out from either side. 

 

 

The wings are supplied as left and right, upper and lower halves. A raised spacing bar is cast onto the inside surface of the wing forward of the ailerons. This will assist the task of maintaining the correct wing thickness before the ailerons have been added. The trailing edges of the wings will need thinning before assembly. Don't forget to continually test fit the wing with the wheel well before the wing is committed to glue.

When completed, each wing should slide onto the protruding sections of the wheel well, which will act as a wing spar. With careful preparation this should lead to trouble-free fit and positive dihedral. Control surfaces are supplied separately except for flaps. Even these may be dropped with minimal extra work as structural detail is cast onto the inside trailing edge of the upper wing. The wings and tail feature recessed joining surfaces to make assembling and positioning ailerons, elevators and the rudder. The horizontal tail surfaces simply butt up against the empennage, so reinforcement with brass or steel rod will be required.

The wings lack outer armament. The model was based on a profile of Hptm. Robert Weiss' "Black 10". This aircraft was the "light armament" version, not equipped with outer-wing cannon. However, Weiss' Wűrger should have the upper wing bulges. These were standardised on all A-8s and F-8s, even if no armament was carried in the outer position. My sample did not include these covers, but Jerry Rutman advises that all new sales will include the parts. You could get 20mm or 30mm cannon panels and ejector chutes as well if you wanted to depict a more heavily armed configuration.

This wing arrangement also makes it relatively easy to convert the model to an F-8 with the addition of a set of ETC 71 wing bomb racks. Fortunately, all these accessories and more are available from Rutman Productions.

 

 

The cockpit is nicely detailed without being over-engineered. The cockpit tub is a chunky resin casting that incorporates the front of the rear decking and the pilot's stowage bin. Sidewall detail is cast on to the main tub. The seat is nice too. A textured cushion rests on the seat, and the lumbar roll is also depicted. Buckles, harness attachment points and rudder pedals are supplied as photo-etched parts. The top instrument panel is cast as part of the instrument coaming. The lower panel and Jabo panel are supplied as separate parts.

The engine face and crankcase cover are well depicted, although they will be mostly hidden by the fan. The propeller spinner cap, backplate and pitch collars are cast as a single part. The propeller blades butt against the flat surface of the pitch collars. This join should be reinforced with wire.

The undercarriage will be solid thanks to the white metal gear legs. The main wheel well is very nicely detailed, but the modeller is left to their own devices to build a bulkhead on which to secure the tailwheel strut.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Undercarriage and Wheel Well parts

Engine and control surfaces. The small tabs are aileron hinges.

Cockpit details

Seat

Cockpit Tub


A centreline rack is provided. A 300 litre drop tank is available separately from Rutman Productions. The Morane mast and FuG 25 IFF antenna will have to be sourced by the modeller too.

Instructions are supplied on five sheets of letter sized paper. These sheets are actually labelled "Construction Tips", and this is a good description of the nine exploded-view drawings and associated notes. Some aspects of construction are not specifically described, but experienced modellers will not find too many challenges identifying parts and figuring out the best method for assembly.

Markings are supplied for Hptm. Robert Weiss' "Black 10", of JG 54. The decals are produced by Mike Grant Decals. Registration is perfect and colours look quite accurate. The carrier film covers the entire sheet, so each decal will need to be individually cut out.

 

 

Notwithstanding the high quality and straightforward engineering of this kit, it is not a "shake and bake" proposition. Some modelling skills will be required to prepare the parts for assembly by cleaning, trimming and sanding. If care is taken with this preliminary stage (with particular attention to the wheel well fit inside the wing, and ensuring that the fuselage is the correct width when assembled), the kit should be fairly straightforward to finish.

 

 

Conclusion

 

With this release, Rutman Productions have delivered the best 1/32 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190 to date.

There is little doubt that, after careful preparation of resin parts, this will be a great looking kit straight from the box. Surface detail is authentic, parts breakdown is quite straightforward and the sheer size of the model will make this Wűrger a real head-turner.

It is also nice to have the opportunity to customise the model with alternate armament and ordnance available separately from Rutman Productions.

The price tag of USD$95.00 reflects the large amount of resin and the labour-intensive production method.

If you like the Wűrger, you will love this kit. Furthermore, with no rumours of a 1/32 scale Tamiya or Hasegawa new-tool Fw 190 on the horizon, this is the only option that will be available for some time.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Jerry Rutman for the review sample.


The full range of J. Rutman's kits and accessories may be viewed and ordered from his new website at http://jrutman.playnet.com/


Review and Images Copyright 2002 by Brett Green
Page Created 10 January, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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