1:48 Focke-Wulf Ta 152C-1 from HobbyBoss

HobbyBoss
Catalogue # HBB81702
Available from Creative Models for £14.99

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Having been out of the reviewing loop for almost a year now due to other commitments, it was with great pleasure that Jim Hatch, our genial webmeister, informed me that he had a couple of Hobby Boss kits which he thought would be right up my street on at least 'one point five' counts.

First of all they were both Luftwaffe subjects – a big 'tick' here - and secondly, at least one had a 'paddle' on the front. How aircraft can fly without at least one of those, I just don't know! This kit is the subject of this review – the Focke-Wulf Ta 152 C-1 (the Me 262 A-1a/U5, or glider as I call it, will be reviewed later).

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I have a particular interest in the Ta 152 as I am just at the painting stage of the 1/32 Zoukei-Mura kit of the Ta 152 H-1 so it will be interesting to see how Hobby Boss and ZM have approached the basic model engineering concept. Z-M are to be congratulated on their late, and very brave, entry to the model aircraft market place and for endeavouring to produce their kits with engineering so that the model builder follows, as close as possible, the actual full size construction techniques. However, as commendable as this is, there is always the danger of falling into the trap of over engineering for model building purposes, in other words, what works for full sized aircraft doesn't always work for something 32 times smaller.

Back to this kit. Why was this Focke-Wulf aircraft prefixed with the letters Ta instead of Fw? This was an acknowledgement to Kurt Tank (designer of the Kondor) who led the evacuated design team developing the Fw 190 series of aircraft. His brief was to produce:

  1. a pressurized, high altitude, high speed day fighter/interceptor, the Ta 152 H (Höhenjäger) or High Altitude Fighter, powered by the mighty Jumo 213E engine and sporting an enormous, but beautiful, wing span of 48 feet 6 inches, and,
  2. a narrower wing spanned (36 feet 1 inch)version for medium altitude operations and ground attack, powered by the Daimler-Benz DB603 engine – the Ta 152 C-1 – our Hobby Boss kit.

So, let us open the box and see what we get. First impressions for me are good.

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What looks like a black and white A4 sized instruction 'booklet' opens out, concertina style, into an eight paged document with very clear self-explanatory line drawings detailing 11 operational building steps and includes a whole page sprue check list. There is also a separate full colour A4 semi -gloss sheet giving the camouflage markings, decal numbers and the colour call outs in four model trade names together with the respective RLM codes. Well done Hobby Boss.

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I liked the way that most sprues were separately packed in clear plastic envelopes with the clear sprue wrapped in protective Styrofoam. A nice touch.

Flash? What flash! An examination of all sprues, of which there are eight, revealed no flash at all so minimum clean-up will be required before the application of sticky stuff. Etched detail of panel lines and rivets is just about perfect, in my view, for 1/48 scale, and the rendering of the fabric covered ailerons, tailplane and rudder was very nicely done in a 'soft' way that actually looks like fabric covering. Some manufacturers produce the ribs much too sharply, but Hobby Boss have got this just about perfect.

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There is no engine to build so the complete fuselage with engine covers and fin is produced in two parts which enclose the cockpit 'tub' assembly and just the rear half of the DB 603 engine because this can actually be seen from the wheel well area. The round engine cowling is an optional 'open gills' or 'closed'. One thing I did notice about the moulding of the fuselage sides was that Hobby Boss have actually managed to reproduce a different look to the plastic for the fuselage extension plug which is located in front of the fin! How did they do that? It looks like the full sized insert – very clever indeed. Unusually, each exhaust 'stack' is divided into two pieces, top and bottom. It will therefore be easier to open out each stub to an orifice instead of a blank 'wall' as kitted.

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The bottom wing moulding and centre section is full span and a wing spar/wheel well wall is provided to ensure correct dihedral, location points for the two wing mounted guns and  wheel housings. Ailerons and flaps are separate items and the builder has the option of posing them in operational mode.

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The decal sheets are in perfect register, thin and with minimal carrier film – one sheet carries the Balkenkreuz , factory primary identification codes and airframe stencils and, as is usual, the swastika is divided into two pieces – ugh! The second, and smaller decal sheet displays the instrument panels.

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The photo etched fret contains seat belts, rudder pedals, rear cockpit panel which is an alternativeto the plastic part, and exhaust gas shield for the supercharger intake.

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But how does it all fit together?  I quickly parted the wings and fuselage sides from the sprue frames and, without sanding the 'nibs', taped together the fuselage sides and test fitted the wings. Even in that condition, the fit was excellent which bodes well for the finished model. The keen eyed amongst you will have noted the pre-used Tamiya tape! Frugal is my middle name.

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So what do we think?
This kit represents excellent value for money at £14.99, and from my experience of the kit so far, overall fit looks excellent. All in all, this looks to be a very nice kit and one that I am looking forward to building in the very near future.

Highly recommended!

Our thanks to Creative Models for the review sample. To purchase this item direct from these good folks, click THIS link.

Peter Buckingham

 

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