Review: Eduard 1/48 Fw-190 A4 ProfiPACK – Kit review
Hello and welcome to this review. The kit was provided by iModeler for you, to have a closer look at this new Eduard release.
• Kit no# 82142 (Fw-190 A4 ProfiPACK)
• plastic parts: about 100, plus etched parts
• No. of decal options: 5
• decals: Eduard
• PE parts: yes, color
• painting mask: yes
• resin parts: no
• Year of release: 2017 (initial)
• No engine parts, just basic shape plate
This kit by Eduard is one of their wide range of Fw-190 kits in 1/48.
In this case, we have a ProfiPACK Version of their new Fw-190 A4 for review.
The company Eduard is located in Mirova, Czech Republic. Since 1990 they produce photoetched parts for plastic models. The first PE set was for a 1/48th scale Su 25K. In 1993 they began to produce their own kits, a Sopwith Schneider and a Sopwith Baby, both in 1/72nd scale were their first kits.
Eduard have four product ranges: ProfiPACK – Scale Kits, Limited Edition – Scale Kits, Weekend Edition – Scale Kits and Royal Class – Scale Kits.
A few words about the ProfiPACK Edition, which this Fw-190 A4 kit belongs to:
ProfiPACK means in Eduard's words: High standard plastic kit edition, with a complete plastic model kit and additional items for various subvariants, PE parts, Eduard masks, and a large decal sheet covering four to six markings options including stencils. The line is easily recognizable by its orange color. ProfiPACK kits are designed for all moderately experienced modelers.
What is in the box?
You find four sprues in gray-blue plastic, plus one sprue for the clear parts. In addition, one PE fret and one sheet with masks are included. Eduard provides two decal sheets, one for the stencils and one for the five marking options.
The instructions are on 15 pages, printed in color on semi-gloss paper. All Sprues are packet in foil, two to each bag, but the clear parts are packed in a robust zip-bag to save them from damage or scratches.
There are no resin parts included, but available from their website for example.
The box itself is made from stable cardboard and I saw no damaged ore loose parts while unboxing. The sprues fill the box completely, so nothing can slip around too much.
One thing is most noticeable: There are no parts for an almost complete engine like with the other Eduard kits of the Fw-190A in this scale, for example the Fw-190 A8. So if you would like to show the engine, you must buy the perfect but expensive additional brassin parts. On the other hand, building this kit should be easy going, because many small parts be omitted.
The quality of the engravings is beautiful, and I cannot see any visible flash or sink marks at all. Eduard provides some extra parts, like three versions of the engine cooling fan and two different cockpit tubs, but they are not needed (obviously for other Fw-190 versions). Molding quality of all parts is very good.
The clear parts are without distortion and crystal clear. Eduard provides two versions of the canopy, the very common standard and the “blown” one, which was used on later Fw-190 Versions, like the A8, F8 an A9s. Furthermore you have the option to show your model with an opened or closed canopy. Because of this, you get a narrow and a wide version of each canopy.
The PE parts are mainly for the cockpit, with nice details, including seat belts. It's up to you to use the PE parts for the main instrument panel and the side walls, because it is also possible to use the provided plastic parts.
The masks are very welcome, because this little extra saves a lot of time in my opinion. I never had difficulties to deal with them on other Eduard kits, very handy!
The Decals are printed in register and sharp. Compared with Cartograf decals, the paint is a bit thick. This is not a big problem for the markings, but the typo of the stencils is to bold for this scale. The kit contains swastikas (segmented), the one-piece ones are cut off for the European market. Always keep in mind that it is forbidden to display this signet in many countries (i.e. Germany), please respect that.
You have the agony of choice between five profiles coming with the decals.
• W. Nr. 746, Oblt. S. Schnell, 9./JG 2, Vannes-Meucon, Francie, leden 1943
• Maj. J. Trautloft, JG 54, Sovětský svaz, začátek roku 1943
• W. Nr. 749, Oblt. E. Rudorffer, 6./JG 2, Sidi Ahmed, Tunisko, prosinec 1942
• W. Nr. 760, Fw. R. Eisele, 8./JG 2, Brest-Guipavas, Francie, leden 1943
• ObLt. W. Nowotny, 1./JG 54, Staraja Russia
The Fw-190 A4 kit itself
Sure, there are many kits of the FW-190 A on the market. When I looked for an early Fw-190A in this scale, I always noticed the nice and very easy to build Tamiya (Fw-190 A3) kit, then the Hasegawa kit from 2010, because there were no real competitors at this time, except maybe for the old and a bit “overengineered” Dragon kits. But one thing that I really missed until now was a kit with nicely engraved rivet lines. This Eduard kit has them and in my opinion it really brings additional life to the model.
The sprues contain three different options for the ETC centerline rack, two different styles of the 300lt drop tank and an SC250 bomb, but none of these are required or documented in the building instructions, so you can keep them in your spares box.
I like that the engine is reduced to a basic shape plate, because I do not want to show what's under the cowling. This saves a lot of time and makes the build straight forward.
When you compare the fuselage and wings of this kit to blueprints / plans from Valiant or Kagero Topdrawings, you can discover some inaccuracies, but no major issues. The wingspan is a little bit over (about 1mm) and the wheel wells are slightly too long for example, but I am sure the finished model will look like a Fw-190 A4 with no major errors regarding the shape.
The full color manual gives you very clear instructions what to do in each step during the build.
Each color profile is shown in starboard and port views as well as top and underside views. Eduard references the original RLM colors to Gunze/Mr. Hobby colors.
The stenciling positions are printed on an extra page and give you a very clear guide, what to do.
Eduard did a good job on this kit in my opinion. However, this is a kit with many parts, even though the engine is simplified here. My advice: Eduard kits need a little more attention than the easy to build Tamiya kits and it is advised to work very accurately to avoid difficulties during the build. The PE parts give the plane extra life, but even without them you can turn this kit in a nice model. Eduard provides the instructions for nearly all of their kits as PDF on their website.This is a welcome service and you can see what challenges await you before you buy the kit.
A final note: I think lots of details does not necessarily mean lots of parts. I like the idea of manufacturers like Zvezda (Fw-190 A4 in 1/72) to simplify their kits, because they are less complex, but providing a good level of detail, but this is only my opinion. You definitely get a high-quality kit for your money that you can turn in a little masterpiece. Take a look at the website of this manufacturer to see additional and superb brassin parts like the fuselage guns, wheels or PE landing flaps.