Focke Wulf Fw189 A2
This kit is from Great Wall Hobbies, and is the only one of their kits I have built. The FW-189 is a very striking looking aircraft with a twin boom – which I really like as an aircraft format. I think my fondness is due at least in part to the fact that 2 was always my favourite Thunderbird. Yes I know it wasn’t actually twin boom, but take a look and you will hopefully see what I mean.
This is a great kit – the detail is excellent, and for such a delicate aircraft it builds extremely well. Obviously the central part (and focus) of the plane is the greenhouse cockpit – so good quality clear parts are essential – and these don’t disappoint. I read a review that said the spars were a bit heavy – and they probably are, but it works well and it all fits together very smoothly.
The kit also comes with some photoetch, masks for the canopy and also a nice set oif wheel chocks and a work platform that can be used with the very nicely detailed engine.
As I say, the model builds extremely well, with all the parts fitting nicely with minimal filling and sanding. The canopy is particularly good, and fits together very well and joins the main body of the aircraft without a noticeble joint. The engine builds into a nicely detailed extra, and with the completed platform creates an interesting feature that would clearly make an excellent diorama if that was your choice. I made it with the engine panel raised (it seemed a shame to hide that engine away completely) and I built the platform to go with it – but the kit doesn’t include any figures, so you would have to add these if you want them. I was happy with the ‘Marie Celeste’ mantenance team.
The weakest point in the kit is the antennae on the front. These are always hard to reproduce in plastic, and if I was making it again I would either leave it off, find an aftermarket one or scratch build one in wire.
Paint & Decals
This is the night-fighter version of the FW-189, so the colour scheme is fairly neutral with a hand done swirly pattern across the upper surface. I think with hindsight I made this far too subtle – the effect should have been more distinct with finer swirls. The yellow bands and under wing-tips are a nice counterpoint though – and overall I was happy with the feel of the scheme.
Decals were good and went on easily – but there aren’t actually a lot to apply anyway. I used the usual softener to get them to sit cleanly, and although there is a bit of silvering they workd pretty well.
I didn’t really want to go too far with this – I didn’t want the aircraft to look ‘factory fresh’, but at the same time I didn’t want it to look tatty. I applied a water based wash to all the panel lines, and used this to also give the overall aircraft a fairly dirty feel – hopefully looking well used but cared for as I figured a German reconnaissance plane would.
A lovely kit that builds into a really interesting project. At some point I would like to do a heavily weathered version in winter camoflage – and possibly even break my rule about dioramas and put some ground crew on that platform.
I think this is one I will definitely revisit.
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