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Border Models' 1/35 scale
Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6
Scale: 1/35
Contents and Media: 217 parts in grey injection moulded plastic; seven parts in clear plastic; 28 pieces in brass plated photo-etch and markings for seven aircraft, although only four of these are correct for this variant
Price:

Will be available online from Hannants for £67.49 UK Price (£56.24 Export Price) plus postage

AUD$99.95 plus shipping available online from BNA ModelWorld


Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Crisp and appropriately fine surface textures; hollowed out guns and exhausts; includes full engine detail (if you like that kind of thing); poseable control surfaces; decals feature good colour and registration; 1/35 scale will permit crossover with many military vehicle and figure subjects.
Disadvantages: Numerous ejector circles in noticeable places; strange harness straps; open canopy will overhang the fuselage sides; instructions only show the main landing gear in the closed position; 3 of the 7 decal options are for the Fw 190 A-8, not Fw 190 A-6; kit is labelled "Messerschmitt Fw 190 A-6" repeatedly in the marking guide; incorrect colour call-outs in marking guide; decals have a flat finish.
Recommendation:

There's a lot to like about this 1/35 scale Fw 190 A-6 from Border Models.

The fine surface textures are particularly well done and quite appropriate. The cockpit is well detailed and if you like to display your engine, this one will look great with open cowls.

I can't see any obvious shape errors. There are no gimmicks this time around either.

The three marking options for the wrong variant are baffling but fortunately there are four other marking options in the box that are correct for this kit.

I will be ditching the slightly weird looking harness straps and will replace them with a set of Eduard 1:35 scale harness straps for the Bf 109 G-6. The straps for the Wurger and the Gustav are essentially the same.

But really, these are all only nit-picks. This is easily the best of Border Models' three 1/35 scale aircraft kits to date.

Even with full engine detail, the parts count of 217 doesn't look particularly daunting. It seems to be a good compromise between buildability and detail.

I paid AUD $99.95 (USD$66.32, GBP£52.12) from local Australian online hobby shop BNA ModelWorld for my kit, which also seems like very good value.

I'll be curious to see what they choose to release next.

Background

 

The Fw 190 A-6 was developed to address shortcomings found in previous "A" models when attacking U.S. heavy bombers.

Modifications of the type to date had caused the weight of the aircraft to creep up. To combat this and to allow better weapons to be installed in the wings, a structurally redesigned lighter, stronger wing was introduced. 

The normal wing armament was increased to four 20 mm MG 151/20E wing root and outer wing cannon with larger ammunition boxes while retaining the two MG 17 fuselage machine guns. New electrical sockets and reinforced weapon mounts were fitted internally in the wings to allow the installation of either 20 mm or 30 mm (1.18 in) ammunition boxes as well as for underwing armament. Because the outer wing MG 151s were mounted lower than the MG/FFs, new, larger hatches incorporating bulges and cartridge discharge chutes, were incorporated into the wing lower surfaces. 

It is believed the fuselage MG 17s were kept because their tracer rounds served as a targeting aid for the pilots.

 

 

A new FuG 16 ZE radio navigation system was fitted in conjunction with a FuG 10 ZY. A loop aerial for radio navigation, mounted on a small "teardrop" base was fitted under the rear fuselage, offset slightly to port, with an additional short "whip" aerial aft of this. These aerials were fitted on all later Fw 190 variants. 

The A-6 was outfitted in numerous ways with various sets, Rüstsätze (field modification kits); more flexible than the factory upgrade kits for previous versions, these field upgrade kits allowed the A-6 to be refitted in the field as missions demanded. 

In late 1943, the Erla Maschinenwerke's Antwerp factory designed a simpler rack/drop-tank fitting, which was more streamlined than the bulky ETC 501 and could be quickly fitted or removed. Several A-6s, A-7s and A-8s of JG 26 were fitted with these racks (one such aircraft was A-8 W.Nr.170346 Black 13 flown by Obstlt. Josef Priller during the Normandy invasion on 6 June 1944.)

At least 963 A-6s were built from July 1943 ending in April 1944, according to Ministry of Aviation acceptance reports and Focke-Wulf production books. 

Adapted from Wikipedia

 

 

FirstLook

 

1/35 has long been the default scale for military vehicle kits and figures.

The closest common aircraft scale is 1/32. You'd think that these two scales would be close enough to work together, but the difference really is noticeable.

Border Models has now closed this gap with two recent 1/35 scale aircraft model releases - a Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 and a Junkers Ju 87 G-1/G-2 Stuka. These offer a legitimate crossover between air and ground military subjects, allowing modellers to take advantage of an almost limitless number of vehicle and figure subjects to display with these new 1/35 scale aircraft kits. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Border has now added to the family with a third 1/35 scale aircraft - a Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6.

Border Models' 1/35 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 comprises 217 parts in grey injection moulded plastic, seven parts in clear plastic, 28 pieces in brass plated photo-etch and markings for seven aircraft, although only four of these are correct for this variant.

 

  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Border Models Kit No. BF-003 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A-6 Review by Brett Green: Image
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Surface textures look great, with a combination of recessed panel lines and rivets. This is a massive improvement compared to Border's debut Bf 109 G-6, where the mad rivetter had been hard at work.

 

 

The cockpit looks good and is also a very noticeable improvement compared to the earlier Border 1/35 releases.

 

 

The tub has well-detailed side consoles and I like the plastic instrument panel.

 

 

The seat features a separate cushion and harness straps are supplied on the kit's photo-etched fret. The harness is probably the worst aspect of the kit. It is another case of "close but no cigar". All straps, including the shoulder straps, have what I can only imagine are supposed to be anti-chafing pads but they should only be on the lap belts, they are the wrong shape and in the wrong place. The buckles are the wrong shape too, and the straps themselves seem to be threaded the wrong way in the case of the lap belts.

 

 

Fortunately, Eduard has already released a set of 1/35 scale harness straps for Border Models' Bf 109 G-6. These will be perfectly acceptable replacements for the slightly weird kit straps.

 

 

Decals are supplied to overlay the instrument panel. I'd be inclined to punch the dials out and apply them individually. At the very least I would recommend cutting off the heavy black outlines. I am sure we will see cockpit enhancements including instrument panels from Eduard and others soon.

 

 

The Border Models kit offers a well detailed BMW 801 engine that may be displayed by simply leaving the cowls open or off.

 

 

The complex exhausts are well produced and the ends are hollowed out.

 

 

Kit breakdown is conventional with fuselage halves and separate engine cowls.

The wings are designed with a full span lower part with separate port and starboard upper wing halves. There is a wing spar supplied that should ensure the correct dihedral.

 

 

Control surfaces including landing flaps are separate parts and should be poseable.

 

 

Landing gear looks good. There are a number of ejector pin circles on the inside of the main gear doors, amongst other visible places on the kit. These will be quite obvious even when the model is complete, so you will need to attend to these prior to assembly.

 

 

The main wheels are all-plastic and feature nice lettering on the sidewalls. The tyres are neither flattened or bulged. A few minutes with a coarse sanding stick will address that.

 

 

The dimpled main wheel well looks really good.

 

 

Strangely, the instructions only show the main landing gear in the closed position - no directions on how to build the landing gear down. I'm sure you'll be able to work it out though.

There are a couple of optional bits and pieces including a 300 litre centreline drop tank and two Werfer-Granate 21 under-wing rocket launchers.

Clear parts are thin and free from distortion. Armoured glass panels are supplied for anti-bomber Sturmbock variants but they will not apply to the Fw 190 A-6.

 

 

The sliding canopy section looks good, but only one part is supplied. On the real Fw 190, the sliding canopy section pinched inward as the canopy slid back. The further the canopy slid back, the narrower the front of the canopy.

Presumably, the kit canopy will be designed to fit in the closed position and if it is posed open, the canopy will overhang the fuselage sides. This is the reason that Eduard supplies different parts for their open and closed 1/48 scale Fw 190 kits.

 

 

Even before cutting the first parts from the sprues, I found the instructions a little lacking in clarity and detail, especially with repect to optional positions of parts.

I'm not entirely sure, but it looks as though the centreline ETC 501 rack may be located in the more forward position of the Fw 190 A-8.

Check your references carefully.


 

Markings

Markings are supplied for seven aircraft, but three of the options are not correct for the Fw 190 A-6.

 

 

Three of the marking options are actually very well-known Fw 190 A-8 aircraft. These are Blue 13 flown by Walther Dahl of JG 300, Yellow 12 flown by Paul Lixfeld of JG 300 and Double Chevron flown by Wilhelm Moritz of JG 3. These decals cannot be accurately used on the Fw 190 A-6.

This still leaves four correct marking options.

Be wary of the colour callouts though. It is suggested that the upper surface colours of Priller's < - - ; White 11 and Hackl's JG 11 Wurger are RLM 75 and RLM 81. In reality, these were almost certainly painted RLM 74 Grey Green and RLM 75 Grey Violet. The white tail marking extension under the empennage and the white spinner spiral on Hackl's aircraft also look wrong to me. Check references carefully.

Similarly, Olive Drab and Medium Sea Grey are called out as the upper surface colours under the winter camouflage of White 14. Once again, RLM 74 and 75 are far more likely.

I was surprised that there were no checker decals for the cowling of White 11.

 

 

The colours and registration are good. The decals themselves are flat in finish, which always makes me a bit nervous. Make sure you have a nice glossy finish on the model before you apply the decals.

And finally, Border has labelled the model as "Messerschmitt Fw 190 A-6" in the marking guide, and refer to kit number XXXX (which is the name of a beer here in Australia...)

 

 

Conclusion

 

There's a lot to like about this 1/35 scale Fw 190 A-6 from Border Models.

The fine surface textures are particularly well done and quite appropriate.

Cockpit detail is nice and if you like to display your engine, this one will look great with open cowls.

I can't see any obvious shape errors. There are no gimmicks this time around either.

Even with full engine detail, the parts count of 217 doesn't look particularly daunting. It seems to be a good compromise between buildability and detail.

The three marking options for the wrong variant are baffling but fortunately there are four other marking options in the box that are correct for this kit. Be careful with the colour callouts though - all four look suspect.

I will be ditching the slightly weird looking harness straps and will replace them with a set of Eduard 1:35 scale harness straps for the Bf 109 G-6. The straps for the Wurger and the Gustav are essentially the same.

But really, these are only nit-picks. This is easily the best of Border Models' three 1/35 scale aircraft kits to date.

I paid AUD $99.95 (USD$66.32, GBP£52.12) from local Australian online hobby shop BNA ModelWorld for my kit, which seems like pretty good value.

I'll be curious to see what they choose to release next.

Review kit purchased by the Editor

*Historical text adapted from Wikipedia


Review and Images Copyright 2022 by Brett Green
Page Created 29 June, 2023
Last updated 29 June, 2023

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