Great Wall Hobby

1/48 Focke Wulf Fw189A-2 model kit

 product # L4803

Product Article by Steve Bamford on Nov 19 2010

 

Lion Roar is a Chinese company that produces a variety of high quality detail sets for plastic model kits including photo-etched frets, tools, cast metal, turned alloy and even resin figures.  All of these items are produced to a very high level of detail and accuracy.  Great Wall Hobby is a line of model kits produced by Lion Roar and they are well known among the armour modellers and I'm pleased to see them releasing aircraft kits.  

This latest release from Great Wall Hobby is a multi-media plastic model kit that includes photo etch brass detail items and canopy paint masks. 

History

In 1937, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) issued a specification for a short-range, three-seat reconnaissance aircraft with a good all-round view to support the German army in the field, replacing the Henschel Hs 126, which had just entered service. A power of about 850-900 hp (630-670 kW) was specified. The specification was issued to Arado and Focke-Wulf.  Arado's design, the Ar 198, which was initially the preferred option, was a relatively conventional single-engined high wing monoplane with a glazed gondola under the fuselage.  Focke-Wulf's chief designer Kurt Tank design, the Focke-Wulf Fw 189 was a twin-boom design, powered by two Argus As 410 engines rather than the expected single engine and a central crew gondola, while Blohm & Voss proposed as a private venture something even more radical: chief designer Dr. Richard Vogt's unique asymmetric BV 141. Orders were placed for three prototypes each of the Arado and Focke-Wulf designs in April 1937. 

Possibly the best reconnaissance aircraft to operate during World War II, the Fw 189 was produced in large numbers, at the Focke-Wulf factory in Bremen, at the Bordeaux-Merignac aircraft factory (now the Dassault Mirage plant) in occupied France, then in the Aero Vodochody aircraft factory in Prague, occupied Czechoslovakia. Total production was 864 aircraft of all variants. 

This kit includes;

  • 5 sprues of grey styrene

  • 1 sprue of plastic styrene

  • 1 fret of photo etch brass

  • canopy painting masks

  • 12 page instruction booklet

  • 2 page large 4 view colour profiles

  • decal sheet with markings for 2 different aircraft

  • parts are all packed in plastic bags....including the clear styrene parts

  • sturdy box

There are some parts on the sprues that aren't needed to build this variant of the Fw189, so I can only assume future versions and different painting options of the Fw189 are planned, which is standard practice for most manufacturers. 

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At first glance I am quite impressed with what I see.  All panel lines are recessed and very crisply done.  Flying surfaces are pose able, cockpit sidewalls includes ribbing, engines are included, tires are weighted, pilot figure is included, clear styrene is very clear and includes actual raised frames just like the real aircraft.  Some of the delicate framework parts have rivets.  

The photo etch includes gun sights, engine wiring or fuel lines, flying surfaces, seat belts and a few other tiny parts.  In the instruction booklet, the photo etch parts are shown in gold making them very easy to find in the pages of instruction booklet.  

Engine cowls have detail on both sides making posing them in the open position to show off the lovely engine detail a very attractive option.  The cloth covered control surfaces appear overly ribbed. The propeller blades are nice and thin.  

Some canopy windows are separate from the main canopies permitting you to pose them in an open position to show off all that wonderful interior detail.

Other extra features of this kit include bombs and underwing bomb racks as well as a boarding ladder or raised work area that could be used for posing a mechanic figure working on an engine in a  diorama setting.  The Focke Wulf Fw189A-2 had a crew of three, pilot and 2 rear gunners, but only one figure is included in the kit, but considering the cockpit detail, I suspect most modellers will chose not to use the pilot figure that is included.

Markings

I'm pleased at the 2 choices for markings, both are from the Russian front and one is in one of my favourite camo schemes....Russian Front Winter camo.  

  • Fw 189A-2, (5D+FH)-1(H)/31, Russia, 1942
  • Fw 189A-2, (werk Nr 2317 5D+CK)-2(H)/31, Russia, 1943, winter camo scheme

I'm pleased to see Swastika's are included on the decal sheet, but they are broken up to comply with laws in certain countries.

For paint, the instructions list the numbers for the new Gunze Creos colours as well as RLM colours, so you can use pretty well any line of paints that you prefer.

Great Wall Hobby shows a high degree of quality in this model kit and I can't wait to see their next kit.....they are a company well worth watching.......I expect continued high quality model kits from them.  You will not be disappointed with their Fw-189A-2  

You can purchase this and other fine products directly from Great Wall Hobby or from the many retailers that carry their products.  

Steve Bamford

I would like to thank Great Wall Hobby for providing me with this review sample.

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Photos and text by Steve Bamford