Eduard’s ProfiPack edition of their 1:48 scale Fw 190A-8/U3/U8 comes in their standard top-opening box. The kit comes on five blue-gray sprues holding a total of 185 parts (about 100 will be used; see below). Ten clear parts are also found on one clear sprue. In this Limited Edition issue, there are also one fret of pre-painted photoetched metal parts containing 49 parts, one smaller fret containing three unpainted parts, six cast resin parts, and one pre-cut self-adhesive masking set for the masking of the windscreen, canopy, and wheel hubs. The decal sheets provide one full set of airframe stencils and markings for five airplanes:
- Fw 190A-5/U8, W. Nr. 152596, flown by Uffz. Werner Öhne, 1./SKG 10, Poix, France, June 1943
- Fw 190A-5/U3, W. Nr. 0150 1437, flown by Ofw. Johannsen, 7./SchG. 2, Catania, Sicily, July 1943
- Fw 190A-5/U3, 1./SchG. 1, Orel, Soviet Union, July 1943
- Fw 190A-5/U8, W. Nr. 51353, flown by Oblt. Kurt Hevler, Stab IV./SKG 10, Cognac, France, June 1943
- Fw 190A-5/U3, W. Nr. 0150 1339, 9./SKG10, Gela – Ponte Olivo, Sicily, July 1943
Strengths: the new generation of Eduard Würgers has addressed all the previous critiques of their first generation 1:48 scale 190s. All of the observations and accolades that apply to their previous new-issue Fw 190s (see reviews HERE) also apply here.
But to recap: the longer A-5 nose added about six inches to the airframe, and that’s an additional 3.1 mm in 1:48 scale. Measuring these with my digital calipers, the fuselage halves on the new Sprue R is exactly 3.1 mm longer than the Fw 190A-2, A-3, and A-4 produced by Eduard. The new wings on Sprue G are retooled so as to only have the inboard MG 151s fitted. The cast resin bomb racks and external fuel tanks are gorgeous. The casting is exquisite. The centerline bomb rack and bomb are also provided sprues.
Parts breakdown and overall engineering result in a kit that is quite straightforward and easy to build. Construction will not be particularly time consuming. Surface detail is outstanding as expected from Eduard, with beautifully executed and restrained recessed panel lines and elegant recessed rivet details arrayed into complex (and as best I can tell) ultra-accurate patterns. I snipped out the fuselage halves and wings to dry fit them, and they appear to line up in airtight fashion. No filler required here.
The plastic cockpit parts by themselves are a bit simplified, but the 49 pre-painted photoetched metal parts for the instrument panel, side consoles, shoulder harnesses, and lap belts (among other detail parts) add an impressive level of detail (as it would seem Eduard intended from the get-go). Engine exhaust stacks are okay for 1:48 scale. While the exhausts themselves are not hollow as a resin casting can achieve (and there’s a Brassin set for that; see review, among many other sets for the Eduard 1:48 Bf 109s, HERE), the kit parts do feature slightly recessed faces and a good wash of a dark color can achieve the illusion of a deeper exhaust.
The landing gear, tires, and tailwheel assembly are all very nicely detailed and molded. The rudder, elevators, and ailerons are all separate parts. At least for the rudder, the mounting tab seems to force a straight-in fit and a little modification might be necessary to fit the rudder in a deflected position. The clear parts are gorgeous and possess pretty much perfect optical quality with no seams present. Likewise, the pre-painted photoetched parts are beautifully made and appear just about perfect.
There are a lot of unused parts in this kit – about 80 in all. These include an additional propeller, other MG 17 fairings, underwing, dipole nightfighter antennas, and alternate gear doors, rudders, and ailerons for other Fw 190 variants.
The decal sheets were printed in-house by Eduard and cover the five well-chosen and eye-catching schemes described above. There’s also a complete set of airframe stencils. Alternate decal versions of the instrument faces are provided if working with the PE parts is not the builder’s preference. Printing appears perfect. Everything is in register, colors look great, and carrier film is finely restrained.
Weaknesses: There is very little to critique here. First, the landing flaps are not molded as separate parts, but there’s an Eduard PE set for that. Second, I do believe the inboard main gear well doors should be closed in the parked position, as I understand that they cycled open and then closed when the gear was either retracted or extended. Third, the cockpit and gear wells are just a bit simplified. I can confirm this particularly as I had my head up into the cockpits and gear wells of a pair of 190s recently at the Military Aircraft Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Again, there’s plenty of photoetched and Brassin sets to take care of any “minimized” detail there, and almost anyone can add the appropriate wiring/plumbing in the wells with very little effort. At the end of the day, these three points do not represent substantive critiques but are things to think about as you plan your build.