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Eduard Fw 190A-8

This is one beautiful offering from Eduard! The surface detail on the injection-molded parts rates as some of the nicest I’ve ever seen. A fret of 36 optional pre-colored photo-etched (PE) parts can be used to enhance the model. There’s also a set of 13 masks for the windshield and canopy — make that canopies, plural. There’s an option of the flat hood or the later blown one, and each choice has two canopies — one to close up, and a slightly narrower one to pose open. Other features include: separate, posable ailerons and rudder; a choice of main gear doors, wheels, and hubs; and five marking options. Color callouts reference GSI Creos paints, including RLM designations.

I have a couple of other Eduard kits in my stash, but this newly tooled Fw 190A-8 is the first of those that I’ve built. With two mediums I’m not very familiar with — photo-etched details and self-adhesive masks — this kit was a learning experience for me.

The extensive instructions provide clear views of all parts and how they fit, plus full-color, four-view painting and markings illustrations. I elected to use the PE parts for the cockpit and belly.

With two exceptions, the fit is great. I used a little filler on the forward fuselage ahead of the wing. The misfit may be due to me or some interference between the wheel wells, engine, exhausts, cowl, and cockpit. The separately packed glare shield was too narrow for the cockpit. I shimmed it with styrene strips on either side.

The scale-size attachment points for some parts with small purchase areas are attached with tiny spots of glue and are fragile. But they look great when assembled.

From the super-nice marking choices, I built Maj. Walter Dahl’s aircraft from Stab/JG 300; I liked the contrast between the red fuselage band and blue numerals.

The masks worked well, and for my first effort with them they turned out OK (though not perfect), with the left side adhering poorly to the smaller-radius curve of the canopy.

The decals are a high point of the kit. There’s different color stenciling for each markings option, but Eduard also has provided extra decals for each. That’s a huge comfort to those of us who tend to mess one up here and there along the way. The decals were basically perfect — opaque, they fit well and settled onto the surface beautifully.

I spent 25 hours building the model, slightly more than my norm for a single-engine fighter. Eduard has produced a real honey for the money. It offers a ton of flexibility: It can be basic or a craftsman’s build, depending on how extensively the PE is used. Eduard hits a home run with this one.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the July 2016 issue.

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