In typical Hasegawa fashion, the kit arrives in a very attractive box with all the sprues packed in one bag and the decals, clear parts and accessories sealed in a second. Unpacking the parts, I noticed some slight scuffing where the sprues had rubbed together in transit, but it'll only be a minute or two's work to polish the areas again. The kit comprises:
73 x grey styrene parts (plus 11 unused)
8 x clear parts (plus 1 spare)
2 x etched parts
A set of polycaps
Decals for 2 x colour schemes
Building on Hasegawa's Fw 190 A-5 covered excellently by Jean-Luc Formery (see Review HERE
), the kit shares many parts so I won't bore you going over the same ground again in much detail. I've basically finished the follow-up standard 'A-8 and fully concur with his conclusions; rooted in the old Trimaster/Dragon kit, Hasegawa's '190 has been completely re-engineered to the latest standards, and has the edge over its Tamiya rival in terms of accuracy, while also providing a more straightforward build than the Eduard version.
The moulding throughout is very good, with hardly a trace of flash. There's no sign of any sinkage and the designers have kept ejector pins out of harm's way as far as possible. The surface finish consists of finely engraved panel lines with raised fasteners etc. The only odd inconsistency is how the fabric surfaces are handled - plain ribs on the rudder and elevators, and rib tapes on the ailerons. To be honest, both styles are a bit exaggerated and I'll tone them down.
Interior detail is quite simple, but still effective, with a 9-part cockpit that includes a choice of crisply moulded or decal consoles and instruments. There's no seat harness provided, which is a little disappointing, seeing as this edition of the kit includes other etched parts, but aftermarket belts are widely available.
The engine is made up of 7 parts - ample really, considering that most of it is hidden behind the propeller and cooling fan. The undercarriage is well handled, with quite detailed legs and wheel-well and captures the sit of the '190 nicely.
So what's new?
The new Sturmbock parts are rather interesting interesting, because Hasegawa have taken a different approach to both Tamiya and Eduard. Tamiya used self adhesive vinyl to represent the fuselage armour, while Eduard went the whole hog and moulded a new fuselage with the armour in place. Hasegawa have kept their original fuselage, but included both moulded styrene armour and etched metal panels that are pre-gummed and supplied ready to use on a backing sheet. I'll try both, but I expect I'll end up going with the moulded versions to best capture the thickness of the original armour. Test fitting the moulded armour, it conforms to the fuselage contours perfectly.
Turning to the canopy, there are clear side armour panels (best attached with PVA or slivers of double-sided tape) and finally, there's a pair of MK 108 cannon barrels to replace the original MG 151s in the outer wing bays.
Instructions & decals
The assembly diagrams are very clearly illustrated, as you'd expect with a Hasegawa kit, and the sequence is straightforward and logical. Colour matches for Gunze Sangyo paints are provided.
The kit includes decals for a pair of Sturmbocks:
1. "Yellow 12", "Muschi", 6.(Sturm)/JG 300, flown by Uffz. Paul Lixfeldt, November 1944
2. "Blue 13", JG 300, flown by Kommodore Maj. Walther Dahl, June 1944.
The decals look excellent quality. Thin and printed in perfect register with a satin finish. There's a good selection of stencil markings and swastikas are included.
Hasegawa's original 'A-8 is an excellent kit and this limited edition release looks set to build on that with its straightforward construction and novel approach to the fuselage armour. Hasegawa and Eduard share the laurels with their quarter scale '190s, but Hasegawa's is the more suitable of the two for average modellers. Highly recommended.
Hasegawa's Fw 190A-8/R2 was kindly provided for review by HobbyLink Japan. Visit HLJ for Japanese kits at Japanese prices.
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