The introduction of the Fw 190A created a crisis for Great Britain’s Royal Air Force Fighter Command by presenting an opponent that outclassed the Spitfire in almost all aspects. The Fw 190A would soldier on throughout World War II and develop into even more potent versions.
It is nice to see the initial version of the 190 in Pacific Coast Models’ Fw 190A. Well-molded in neutral gray plastic, the parts have the glossy surface finish of previous Pacific Coast kits.
The plastic is supplemented by some excellent resin parts for the cockpit and wheel wells. A prepainted photoetched-metal fret is provided for the seat belts and instrument panel.
Options are limited to a second set of main wheels and armament.
I started construction by determining the proper fuselage parts for the variation being built. The multipart fuselage went together well. Take care installing the engine, though. If it’s too far back, the propeller/fan assembly will not attach to the engine mount.
I deviated from the instructions by assembling the fuselage halves without first installing the cockpit, bringing the assembled cockpit into the fuselage through the open bottom. I found this allowed me to properly align the cockpit tub between the fuselage halves and center the instrument panel.
The wheel well is a single chunk of resin; as many can attest, this is a trouble spot in some Czech-produced kits. I had hoped I would have an easier time with this one, as the casting plug was on the back edge, but this optimism was short-lived. After removing the plug, I tested the fit of the wheel well and wing components. Sure enough, the casting was too thick and would not allow the top wings to join properly. Repeated sanding of the resin part and test fitting was required before the wings would attach with the wheel well in place.
After attaching the wings to the fuselage, I found there was a tapering gap starting mid-wing at the wing root. I confirmed the wings were properly aligned and the fuselage was assembled properly; I believe the solution is to widen the middle fuselage a bit with a spreader bar below the cockpit tub or a small plastic wedge installed between the fuselage parts at the bottom joint.
Surprisingly, there are no cannon barrels for the outboard MG FF cannons. Work-ing with what was in the kit, I pressed the unused .30-caliber resin gun barrels (parts PUR2 and PUR3) into service – not really accurate, but better than nothing.
The landing-gear attachment points are a bit vague. I made some modifications by flattening the top of the leg where it hits the wheel-well roof. Multiple test-fits are recommended to line up the angle of the legs. Otherwise, you will have a lopsided Fw 190! I used both super glue and epoxy to achieve a solid attachment of the legs, as they have a lot of weight to carry.
I painted my Fw 190 with a combination of Tamiya and Hobby Color acrylic Luftwaffe colors.
Decals are given for eight different machines! The decals are printed by Cartograf and are simply excellent, applying very well with a bit of solution on a gloss undercoat. I must note that the kit does not include the “Yellow 2” codes. I wanted to do one of the eagle-motif JG 2 aircraft, but not one of those on the decal sheet. I modified the kit decals to produce the yellow numbers by spraying yellow over the white 2 included on the decal sheet to match an aircraft of Ludwig Hartmann I found in my references.
My primary reference was Model Art No. 316 Focke-Wulf Fw 190 (ModelArt, ASIN B000KL08JM). For camouflage and marking info, I found Luftwaffe Colours Volume Four Section 1: Holding The West; 1941-1943 (Classic Publication, ISBN 978-1903223345) extremely useful. The kit matches well to these photos and plans.
One concern is the model has the wing molded with the underwing bulge for the outboard 20mm cannon. As these were not present on the A0 version, some surgery would be needed for accuracy.
I completed my Pacific Coast Models Focke-Wulf in 27 hours. As with most limited-run kits, there are construction issues. But, in this case, they were few and manageable. I really like having a Focke-Wulf 190A to place next to my late-version Fw 190s.