Revell of Germany's torpedo carrying Focke-Wulf 190 F-8 / R-14 is my first build outside of 1/48 in years. Long ago, I decided to focus on quarterscale aircraft for the availability of subjects, accessories, size and most importantly, detail. The main drawback of the scale is the lack of large aircraft and space to put them. Today's tooling gives us 1/72 models that rival, and surpass, many 1/48 kits. This is one of those gems.
I gave no mind to writing a review while building, so here goes a memory test! Revell's kit consists of about 50 pieces of gray plastic. There are a few extra parts for different versions. The surface detail is appropriately recessed and relief, the control surface covering perhaps a bit exaggerated. The gun tubes seem thick and the pitot tube - I can't recall, I broke it off; replaced with wire. The antennae, DF loop and step are molded clean and thin.
The canopy is not to the same quality as the rest of the kit.
Cockpit detail is great for this scale; a nice seat, plenty of knobs and buttons for the Butcher Bird's "brainbox" and instrument panel - though you can't see it when assembled. The joystick is well detailed but seems bulky. In lieu of interior color RLM 66 I used cousin Panzer Grau.
Mating the fuselage halves together required a bit of filling and sanding along the seams. Half of this was my unnecessary mistake: the FW-190 had a prominent seam along the top of the fuselage where the skin was lapped, though I don't know about the bottom of the fuselage. Additionally, you will need to fiddle with the nose gun cowling/fuselage seams.
The wings gave me no problem, but mating them to the fuselage left a small gap at the roots. These were filled with a trick of mine: fill the gap with 5-Minute epoxy and wipe it away with either a baby wipe, or Q-tip (ear bud to our English/Australian friends) dipped in alcohol. Viola, the gap is full and smooth and no surrounding detail is marred. Careful, too much alcohol will lift the epoxy and deposit it in little gobs.
Ditto for the stabilizers on the appendage.
No engine is included but that's OK. You really can't see past the cooling fan.
Ah, the wheel wells and landing gear - very nice! A bit of scraping faint seam lines is all that is required. Extra long and heavily braced for the weapon clearance, the tail wheel looks a bit odd but scales well.
Torpedo assembly is quick, just the halves and tail, which took some care to align. You'll have to "scale the fish" as it has obvious off-center seams. The rack did not fit flush to the belly (photos I've seen usually show a gap on the real FW belly racks) and the stabilizer brace is very over-scale.
Painting & Decals
The painting guide calls for standard FW colors of dark gray/green topside and RLM 76 flanks and belly. I thought that operating against shipping that the maritime RLM 72 and 73 would look interesting. But what are these? I found a site with Luftwaffe samples and it seems 72/73 is a sea-grayified 70/71. I didn't know Model Master makes these so I "guesstimated", using Feld Grau and railroad color Grimy Black - a greenish dark gray. Eschewing RG's paint brands I used Polly Scale throughout.
Decals for an operational unit and a test unit are included with lots of stenciling, data and two types of Balkenkruz, but you must supply your own swastikas. These decals are a bit thick though didn't silver with Micro Set/Sol over Future. The red G fuselage code is a bit unregistered (and translucent), as are a couple other markings, though only nit-pickingly so. I couldn't resist my penchant for "personalizing history" and used a DML/Dragon logo decal as the unit badge - it looks sea monster-esque!
Heavy exhaust from a recent flight defacing a semi-gloss finish completes the bird. I figure that by this stage of the war attrition prevented many Luftwaffe planes from getting too weathered.
Apparently this use of the -190 is a footnote. While the airframe/powerplant could lift and carry the load, as well as oversized bombs on other versions, these planes were too vulnerable against the massed Allied flak and fighters guarding the convoys. It probably didn't have much fuel to attack much beyond the coast, either. A fine model of a legendary aerial weapon.
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...