Reviewed by Brett Green
Fans of the Butcher Bird have been well served in recent years with some terrific kits in 1/48 scale from Tamiya and Dragon/DML. The modeller can choose between the "shake-the-box" construction approach of Tamiya's Fw 190A-3, D-9 and F-8; or the more challenging but accurate Dragon Fw 190A-4, A-5, A-8, D-9 (together with their odd hybrid D-12), G-2/3 and G-8.
Teknics produce a series of cockpit super detail sets for some of the major Wurger variants - the Fw 190A-3, A-8 and D-9.
The three sets share all components but one. Each set features a 50mm x 45mm brass fret with over thirty parts, a tiny 15mm x 10mm stainless steel fret with some of the smallest metal parts you will ever see (or perhaps not see), six resin parts and one acetate sheet. This last item is the only differentiator between the sets. The D-9 and A-8 set share a clear sheet that offers alternative instruments for the lower panels of the appropriate aircraft. The A-3 set has an appropriately different instrument arrangement.
Even the instructions are identical for the A-8 and D-9. The A-3 instructions differ in the exclusion of armour for the "blown" hood, and the inclusion of instructions for the impossibly tiny harness buckles. The instructions comprise one double-sided sheet of diagrams in ten steps (8 for the A-3). Paint colours are called out during each step. The instructions are adequate for the relatively fiddly construction job required.
Brass parts are nicely etched in half-relief on 10 thou metal. Many detail parts are supplied in this medium, including structural detail for the upper sidewalls (missed by all the available kits) fuselage turtledeck and separate stowage hatch door, canopy details, throttle, switches and canopy crank handle. The instrument panel face is supplied in brass with a sheet of acetate providing the instrument detail. This combination is my personal preference for realistic depiction of an instrument panel.
The steel parts, while a technological triumph, look like a serious challenge to anybody without watchmaking experience! Some of the parts are barely visible. I expect it will be next to impossible to thread the metal harnesses through the 3 thou thick (honest - I measured it!) buckles and adjusters.
The resin parts are cleanly cast in a creamy yellow material. The tub is one large casting that should not require any cleanup. The seat must be removed from a block attached to the base - take care not to cut through the bottom of the seat!
I dry-fitted the tubs to the Dragon Fw 190D-9 and A-8; and the Tamiya Fw 190A-3 and F-8. The fit looks good for either brand. In fact, the solid Teknics cockpit may add some much-needed structural rigidity to the wobbly Dragon kit fuselage.
I did not remove the cockpit tub locating tabs inside the kit fuselages during this test-run, but it would probably be advisable to do so during construction.
With a few modifications these sets could easily be adapted to Tamiya's F-8 and Dragon's A-4, A-5, G-2/3 and G-8 kits.
These are impressive sets that will fashion a super detailed cockpit for most 1/48 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190s. Due to the small detail parts I'd recommend these Teknics kits for modellers with some multi-media experience.
Review Copyright © 1999 by Brett