1/72 Resin Conversion to FW-190A-5 and A-6|
For the Revell FW-190A-8
|Stock Number: 7253|
|Reviewed By Brian R. Baker, IPMS# 43146|
Supplied by UMM-USA John Vojtech (umm-usa.com )
This accessory kit is intended to help the serious modeler modify a Revell-Germany FW-190A-8 kit, also issued by Monogram Pro-Modeler in the U.S., into some of the earlier variants. When I was first made aware of this kit, I thought, "This will help correct some of the basic errors in Monogram's otherwise excellent kit." Unfortunately, I was disappointed.
The kit consists of one vacuform canopy with very faint framing detail, and such items as a new machine gun cowling cover, a partial wheel well insert for the center section but not out to the landing gear struts, new landing gear covers, inside landing gear doors, the retraction mechanism for same, under wing fairings for the outboard cannon breeches, and a new cooling fan, which in this case was damaged with three blades broken off. The idea is to replace the A-8 machine gun fairings with the new resin pieces, effectively converting the model to an A-5 or A-6 variant. There were no instructions or drawings included with the kit except for the short description on the box top.
The photo of the 'completed model" on the box top is the only indication of what is actually inside the box, and looking closely at it, one would assume that the term "new cowling" means precisely that. Since on the Revell-Monogram kit, the forward cowling is the major inaccuracy in the kit, and one which, in my opinion, makes the kit useless in the face of some of the other 1/72 scale FW-190A's on the market, I was hoping that a new cowling would be provided to correct the problem. I hope, for the sake of the manufacturers, that the cowling was accidentally left out of the review sample supplied to me, but there was no new cowling in the box I received. Also, the new top deck replacement fits the kit fuselage perfectly, with the same error built in. Hope springs eternal……
The problem with the Monogram-Revell kit is that the forward part of the cowling is too rounded, causing access hinge lines to be curved to the point that they would never work. This causes the front of the cowling to be way too small for the engine to receive adequate cooling. When you compare this with the cowlings of the Hasegawa, Airfix, Academy, Tamiya, and even Hobby Boss kits, the difference becomes obvious. The photo on the box top shows a cowling that appears to be corrected, but, alas, there was no new cowling in the box. An article in the IPMS Sweden web publication of several years ago clearly explains the problem. I'll include a photo which also illustrates the differences.
In addition, although the cockpit interior is very good, better than Hasegawa, the canopy is molded in such a way as to prevent leaving the hatch open so you see all of this interior detail. The resin conversion includes a vacuform canopy that solves this problem. More on this later.
Making the Conversion
I obtained a Monogram Pro-Modeler FW-190A-8 kit from a local hobby shop and began the production process. After detailing the interior, the fuselage halves were joined, and the wings were assembled. Looking at the wheel well details, which were virtually identical to the details in the kit's wheel wells, I opted against using them. If it ain't broke-don't fix it. I installed the cowling machine gun breech cover unit, which fitted perfectly onto the forward fuselage. The problem was that it didn't correct the basic problem I was hoping to correct, the forward cowling outline. Since the resin piece follows the same outline as the original provided in the kit, I am led to believe that there actually isn't a new cowling after all. At this point, I proceeded to finish the model in a simplified scheme, in this case, a French-built NC-900, which was a rebuilt FW-190A-5 used briefly by the French after the war.
As for the inside landing gear well doors, I know that most FW-190A's left the factory with them installed, but they were almost always removed in the field, and you almost never see pictures of operational radial engine FW-190's with the doors on. I added them because I have a photo of a different NC900 that has the gear doors installed. The pitot tube has to be relocated from the right wingtip to a position outside of the outboard wing cannon mounting location.
I did install the gun breech covers underneath the wings, and they fit reasonably well. I did neglect to use the vacuform canopy, which I will save for a better kit, as it is nicely done with very subtle framing lines. The landing gear strut covers were also well done, and I used these, saving the Monogram covers for an old Airfix FW-190A-8 that I was building at the same time.
Although the Monogram-Revell FW-190A kit does have its good points, including cockpit interior and wheel well detail, there is no need to go to all of the trouble to convert it into an A-5 or A-6 variant when the Hasegawa kit does so well almost out of the box. There are other aftermarket cockpit interiors for Hasegawa's offering, and the forward cowling is already accurate in outline. My thanks to John Vojtech and UMM for the review sample.
Available from Goffy Model, Na Veseli 15, 140 00 Praha 4, Czech Republic.
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