As time ticks down until the due date of my second child in early October, I feel a desperate need to get in as much building as possible. I doubt I will have much bench time after “she-the sequal” arrives, at least until we get things smoothed out. Speaking of, Sun Tzu aptly states that you should only engage in combat if you have the advantage. For the foreseeable future, it will be me and two dogs versus three women. This distribution of mamallian force *might* have given me the advantage 5,000 years ago, but my modern pawed calvary consists of two neutured animals (maybe three, depending on who you ask). To be fair, my side would win decisively if finding someplace quiet to take a nap, being grumpy, or looking for a snack was the key to victory.
Seeing that I really want to get some builds completed before my Family Medical Leave absence from the hobby, and seeing that I have recently transititoned from the Allies to the Axis powers when I built Eduard’s stellar new tool BF 109G6, I decided to stick with this theme to balance out my stable of allied airpower. My goal is to add the major Luftwaffe aircraft to the world war 2 collection, and after a 109 the 190 was an obvious choice. The real question was what to build as the third. After batting around a JU 87, HE 111, BF 110, or even an ME 262, I settled on the Stuka. With a BF 109, an FW 190, and a JU 87 I will have the staples of the Luftwaffe represented. Once I get the latter two completed, I feel like I can be satisfied with a few months of poop diapers and spit up rags.
I dug into the stash and pulled out Eduard’s 1/48 FW 190A-5 and Italeri’s 1/48 JU 87 B-2. The 190 is a striking aircraft with smooth lines and a fierce reputation. I decided to dig into that first. Perhaps it is the comparison to Eduard’s 2016 achievement exhibited by the 109G-6, but the step down in quality was shocking. As a general rule, I love Eduard, even their earlier kits (the X-1 and the Tempest stand out as a solid finished product that I am proud to display, but a build that left much to be desired in a world populated by shake and bake). If given the choice between anything and a Eduard Profipack, I’ll choose Eduard most every time. But, going from one of the finest examples of plastic I’ve ever built, to one that the internet has given the dreaded label of “fiddly” ,”tricky”, or even “difficult” was jarring.
Between travelling and a lack of motivation it has taken me a couple of weeks to just get the 190’s wings together, and the cockpit primed. Compare that to the Stuka. I started on it yesterday and already have the cockpit in the fuselage, and the wings mounted to the cockpit. The Stuka will take some minor sanding and clean up, but it’s well out in front of the 190.
Italeri also decided to include some impressive little photo etch parts in this kit. If they would have just thrown some masks in the box, it would fall somewhere between the quality of Eduard’s Aerocobra and Hellcat profipacks- solid but not exceptional, better than many, but with room to improve. For the first time in a long time I am going to build a model without the crutch of Eduard’s pre-painted PE for the cockpit. After I quit hyperventilating, I actually think I’m okay without Eduard PE.
One thing that really stands out is the size of these two aircraft. The 190 is larger than a Mustang or BF-109, but smaller than a Thunderbolt or Hellcat. The Stuka is, well…bigger than I imagined. Check out the difference in wing area. I pulled a 1/48 Dauntless out of the stash and compared the wings of that aircraft, a more apples to apples comparison, and found the Stuka was still about 1/5th bigger.
If I can get more time tomorrow, I plan on returning to the 190. I think with another day like today, I could get it caught up to the Stuka.
EDIT: I was right. Another six hours at the bench today, and the FW 190A-5 is caught up with the Stuka (nose is taped on for a test fit).