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Focke-Wulf Fw189 A-1
Night Fighter

Great Wall Hobby, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Description and Stock No.:

Great Wall Hobby Kit No. L4801 - Focke-Wulf Fw189 A-1 Night Fighter

Contents and Media:

188 parts in light grey and clear plastic; photo-etched fret; decal sheet.

Price:

TBA

Scale:

1/48

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Easily the best “out of the box” kit of this type available in any scale; crisp and finely recessed panel lines; raised surface detail where appropriate; sparkling clear parts; full engine detail provided; very high level of detail including photo-etched parts; die-cut self-adhesive canopy masks incuded.

Disadvantages:

Small ejector pin marks in a few inappropriate places; canopy framing a little heavy; rudder finesse; main wheel tyre tread pattern.

Recommendation:

This kit just screams to be built. I don’t think that we will see a better Uhu in the foreseeable future.

 

Reviewed by Luke Pitt


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FirstLook

 

The Focke-Wulf 189 was the eyes of the Luftwaffe.

The twin boom design with its distinctive large enclosed glass house fuselage offered an unparalleled view of the outside world.

I have always liked the design and remember making the old Airfix 72nd scale kit as a kid. That kit was in a word, horrid. This kit, by comparison, is the complete antithesis and is, in a word, superb, but, as with any, kit it is not without its own faults. 


 

What’s in the box?

Great Wall Hobby released their Fw 189 A-2 in late 2010, and have now followed up with the Fw 189 A-1 night fighter. Not surprisingly, the bulk of the parts are the same as the debut release, with some new parts supplied for the night fighter’s unique elements.

Great Wall Hobby’s 1:48 scale Fw 189 A-1 comprises 188 parts in medium grey and clear plastic on six sprues with a small photo-etched fret and a decal sheet with one marking option. The plastic parts are very well done and show a remarkable amount of finesse in regard to the detail offered and the engraved panel lines present. This, in my view, is quite surprising given that this is the first aircraft release for this company. The engraved lines are more like a Tamiya or Hasegawa offering - in a word, outstanding.

The new plastic parts are contained in the corner of Sprue C, and include the radar array and flame dampening exhausts.

 

 

The kit is engineered conventionally, with provision for all the control surfaces to be moveable. Two highly detailed Argus engines are provided that each contain seven parts plus a photo etch wiring loom. The engine covers are mounded as separate items and are relatively thin.

 

 

The only down side here, is that there are very shallow injection pin marks on the inside surface that they may prove too difficult to remove without damaging the moulded-on detail. 

 

 

The cockpit contains around 30 parts and like the engine is highly detailed. The control surfaces are very well done for the most part with the only negative being the twin rudders. The fabric sag is a tad heavy and will either need to be sanded down or perhaps reduced by filling the recesses. 

 

 

The wheel wells feature very fine detail but have very shallow ejector pin marks on the inside surfaces. This, however, is not a major issue as most will be hidden when the booms are glued together. 

The tread pattern on the tyres are a little overdone. The detail is crisp but a bit too deep and wide. I think it would best be filled. The undercarriage legs however are wonderfully detailed. 

 

 

As a bonus two maintenance platforms and two wheel chocks are provided that are finely rendered. A medium-sized photo etch fret provides the wiring loom for the Argus engines, rudder pedals, harness straps, interior  for the wing flaps and some very fine gun sights for the machine guns .

Good canopy clarity is a must in any aircraft kit and on this particular design essential. The canopy scores top marks for clarity but the framing is a little wide. The canopy plastic itself is not overly thick. The fit, (on a dry run) is first class. Provision has been made for the cockpit canopies to be displayed in the open position.  Pre-cut canopy masks are a very welcome inclusion for this complex glasshouse.

 

 

The decal sheet is basic but relatively thin and very usable. A single night fighter aircraft is offered.

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Great Wall Hobby’s 1/48 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 189 is a great kit.

Surface textures rival the best available today. The detail level is quite high, with the cockpit for example requiring almost nothing in the way of aftermarket enhancement. It is accurate in outline and has more options you can poke a stick at.

While the kit has a few minor issues, none are earth shattering or overly hard to fix.

This kit just screams to be built. To be honest, I don’t think that we will see a better Uhu in the foreseeable future.

Highly Recommended     

Thanks to Great Wall Hobby for the sample


Review Text Copyright 2011 by Luke Pitt
Images Copyright © 2010 & 2011 by Brett Green
Page Created 21 July, 2011
Last updated 21 July, 2011

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