1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by Light.Inf.Scout » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:59 am

Any news from anyone about a US supplier getting these for Christmas?
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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by tmanthegreat » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:20 am

I have not heard or seen anything with any of the major small retailers. Even further, my contact at my local Hobbytown store (who knows the people at Merit) and notes that usually a couple months before something will be released, he will get an order form from Merit for the upcoming item. He has not received anything to date for the FW190.

Given the lack of word on the US side of things, I gave in and have an FW190 on order from overseas. It should arrive in a few weeks (hopefully!) This is where I ordered from: http://www.ec-hobby.com/. They are legit and have been easy enough to deal with thus far.
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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by Light.Inf.Scout » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:39 am

Thanks
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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by Studly » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:21 pm

Thank's for that Tman, i just ordered mine. :D

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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by Axis Nightmare » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:14 pm

So we went through a missed opportunity for U.S. distributors and retailers to sell FW's over Thanksgiving Weekend and the so-called "cyber Monday". It's looking like Merit and others simply don't want to invest in a prebuilt 1/18 plane at this time. Sales must have been really soft on the Harrier and the last round of overpriced MiGs and other reboots.

Apparently there really isn't anything to a name whether it's JSI, "Flight Wings" or Merit as far as assuring U.S. distribution. :(
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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by Coreyeagle48 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:29 pm

Greetings

I purchased an FW-190 from EC Hobby in Hong Kong. Here is a look.

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First off, this is the way to pack a plane. The entire box was wrapped in foam cushion and the plane had been opened and foam shreddings added to the inside of the box. This plane arrived intact, unbroken and in perfect shape from Hong Kong. EC-HOBBY did a fantastic job packing her for the long trip. I wouldn't hesitate ordering anything from them in the future .

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The FW-190 in my opinion looks great. Some of the high points of the model are the smooth assembly. The wing fits so well I doubt you would need the screws to hold it in place once its in correctly. Paint application is excellent and the way Merit designed the screw plugs for the bottom is fantastic. The model also comes well packed, much better than anything 21st put out in their stupid window boxes which were so prone to failure. Colors seem to be correct for the plane Graff flew according to many color profiles available.

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The low points of the model would be the lack of cockpit detail and the stance of the landing gear, which is incorrect for the FW-190. The weathering is not too terrible. The cockpit is tight, and it will be difficult to insert any pilot into it. I have a feeling the not very visible cockpit might be why Merit cut the detail in that area or it was some compromise to make it cost less or with the Chinese manufacturer.

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Highly recommend this plane. It is a great model and makes a very nice display piece. It is certainly on the level of quality of the SBD but may lack some of the finer details. Nice to have 1/18 models you can open without fear of paint touchups or missing/broken parts. Great job on this one by Merit. I hope they consider making more 1/18 models. I thinkt here is a niche market they could fill for many collectors.
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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by tmanthegreat » Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:45 pm

I got my Merit FW-190 today after also having ordered one from EC Hobbies in China 8) It is a beautiful model and hands-down one of the best WWII German aircraft we have in 1/18 scale, right up there with the BBI BF-109 and the 21c ME-262. I am liking the Hermann Graf livery more than I thought I would and hope Merit will eventually release more paint schemes for the plane. I will eventually get some pictures up of the model, particularly some comparison shots with other 1/18 planes...

Positives about the model:
It comes very well packed by Merit (or whoever released it). Sturdy, but attractive box and liberal use of foam padding under every wire tie.
Assembly is straight-forward: just attache the wings, horizontal stabilizers, drop tank, and propeller. Merit ingeniously uses the droptank pylon to cover a couple of the screw ports and provides two other "caps" that fit flush with the fuselage. Wings are difficult to get on, however, as I detail below...
Quality control on the Merit FW-190 is excellent. Mine has a perfect paint job with no real discernible flaws. It makes a lot of the 21c stuff look like a joke... Only the Merit Dauntlesses and some of the BBI planes come close to this quality.
I actually like the landing gear, or at least the push-rod component that extends when you lower the gear. Big improvement over what we got with the 21c FW-190D9. It is possible to have the plane sit with the correct stance (more-or-less) without modification.
Lots of functionality in terms of moving control surfaces, flaps, opening gun bay, etc.
The cockpit does have certain details that have not shown up well in some of the previous pictures, including the side control consoles.
I rather like that the canopy is completely removable - it helps with figure insertion and during aircraft assembly.

But with any great model, there are some flaws... For one, the radiator fan does not turn when the prop is spun. The lack of that feature surprised me as my little 1/48 scale Hobby Master diecast FW-190s all have the radiator fan spin when you turn the prop and it would have been easy-enough to do it with this model. Heck, the turbofan on the Merit Harrier turns!
The cockpit could have been much better. The instruments and switches are there, just nothing is really painted. Granted the FW-190 has a small cockpit so it would be hard to see them to begin with, but when I look at the fantastic cockpit detail on some of my 21c and BBI models, I can't help thinking Merit skipped out on this plane's cockpit.
The cockpit is also very tiny - so tiny that you can't really fit a figure without modification. I tried to fit the "midget" BBI BF-109 pilot, but it sat too high. I was able to fit the upper torso section of a 21c BF-109 pilot (with legs and waist removed) and it looks decent.
Lastly, inserting the wings onto the fuselage is very difficult. The fit between the two parts is very tight and it takes a bit of effort to get them together correctly. But once together, they are on tight and the model overall feels very solid.

Merit did an excellent job with this FW-190 and it was worth the wait. I strongly recommend getting one from overseas. I have no idea why these have not been released stateside just yet, but my experience ordering from EC Hobbies in China was first rate. They maintained excellent communication (in English), shipped quickly, and as Corey showed above, took great care in packaging the plane so it would arrive undamaged. I am very happy with this long-overdue 1/18 aircraft release :D
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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by norman888 » Sat Dec 03, 2016 9:54 am

Just as an alternate place to purchase;

Bought mine from RLC-Modellbau for 159Euro shipped.

https://www.rlc-modellbau.de/Focke-Wulf ... Merit-1-18

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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by tmanthegreat » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:10 pm

Here are some more pictures of the Merit FW190, including several comparison shots with other 1/18 planes. I added the swastika markings using some spare 21c ME262 tail decals. The Merit FW190 seems to fit better with BBI aircraft than with the 21c planes. The 21c work is just so much more simplistic in a way... Enjoy :D

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Cockpit closeup to show the figure I put in. The figure is just the upper torso, arms, head of a 21c BF109 pilot. The figure was falling apart on me, so worked for this scenario where I only needed a partial figure...
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Comparison shot with the BBI P-51:
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Comparison shot with the BBI "Hartmann" BF109G. These two planes look really good together!
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Comparison shot with the 21c/JSI ME109E to show how far the quality of 1/18 aircraft design has advanced over the past 14 years...
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And the one you've all been waiting for - the 21c FW190D9 compared with the Merit FW190A. Really, there isn't much of a comparison at all...
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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by supersonicfifi » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:22 am

Great Photo report . Thanks!
CAN you swap the wing And tail unit between the two brands.
In order To Check if the moulds are the same .....
1/18 mirage 2000 & RAFALE should i say more ?

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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by mountian-man » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:25 am

Now the big question: Merit Fw-190a Vs. 21st Century 1/32 Fw-190a ?

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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by normandy » Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:49 am

Nice comparison shots Tman and I like the runway / airfield display you've made.
This Merit FW 190A sure looks good.

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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by tmanthegreat » Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:40 am

Thanks for the comments, everyone, and Normandy, glad you like my diorama board. I've made a couple of these to liven up my display table - the concrete tarmac one pictured and a grass field board. I'm thinking of switching to the grass field...

Supersonicscifi, although similar, the moulds are completely different between the Merit and 21c planes. You could not swap the Merit Wings onto the 21c fuselage without some major work and a lot of putty. Rudders are also tooled differently as well.

And for Mountain-Man's big question, I actually have to say the 21c 32x FW190A on this comparison. The Merit plane is excellent, but the 32x aircraft has the slight edge in details, like the various antennas, step ladder, painted cockpit instruments, and of course you can fit a figure in the cockpit! But what 21c got largely wrong - their QC efforts - Merit seems to have done right as my model is near-flawless. The only paint chips and scratches on my Merit FW190 are the ones Merit simulated :wink:


On a side note regarding the Merit plane, I can see the biggest gripe being the inability to fit a figure in the cockpit without modification... After some close inspection, what seems to be preventing a figure from fitting without modification is that the seat is raised up a little on a post or something. It sits a bit high and you can see there is about a gap between the seat and the cockpit floor. Not sure if this is accurate or not, but 21c did something similar on their first-series ME109 from back in 2000. I suspect that if one could cut the post and lower the seat, a smaller 1/18 pilot figure like the BBI BF109 pilot or 21c FW190D/BF109G pilot could fit without modification.
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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by Axis Nightmare » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:11 pm

Looks like no U.S. distribution for 2016. Might have to be classified as a "foreign exclusive" 8)
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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by tmanthegreat » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:03 pm

Axis Nightmare wrote:Looks like no U.S. distribution for 2016. Might have to be classified as a "foreign exclusive" 8)
Part of me wants to know "what gives?!?" but it is disappointing. Granted I'm not hurting because I got my plane from China, but it would have been nicer to order from in the US. The model is beautiful and very much accurate to the plane it is supposed to depict. Certainly it is one of the best Luftwaffe aircraft we have in 1/18 scale.

If one can be had from Germany for $159 Euros shipped (as Norman888 noted above) then I would go for that and quit waiting for a US distribution. They would likely cost in the $150-$180 range in the US anyways, so you wouldn't be loosing out on too much cash. The place in China both Corey and I got ours from was more expensive, but you can see in Core's photos they did a phenomenal job packing the item and both ours arrived in perfect shape. Just get one from overseas - you likely will not regret it!
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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by teebird » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:07 pm

My second one arrived today. No difference from my first. I modified the gear immediately and now I'm happy! It's going into primer for a full repaint:)) I'm ordering a 3rd if I can ever get them from a U.S. Seller.....sigh.... Definitely a fantastic model. Worth every Pfennig!

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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by normandy » Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:02 am

A full repaint, that sounds interesting. Looking forward to it!

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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by Studly » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:38 pm

WooHoo . My 190 just turned up today , i am a happy little Vegamite. :D

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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by snake » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:57 pm

Glad to see that the FW 190 A has finally been produced. That took a long time, and was having serious doubts about whether it would ever get past the teaser stage.

Not sure why they wouldn't release in the US, as easily the biggest market for 1/18.

Does look pretty good, and much better than the somewhat shoddy 21C Dora effort, one that I was quite disappointed in.

Price seems reasonable, but certainly not cheap. You would have to be an existing 1/18 fan, or a Focke Wulf fanatic to get one though. Not going to entice newbies at this price, but those days are long gone.

All in all, think it is a solid effort, at a fair price point given what diecast goes for these days. And somewhat relieved that it was completed, and put up for purchase, even though it looks like the numbers will be small.

Good news for 1/18 collectors, as know everyone regarded this as basically a last gasp, and if the 190 A didn't sell, or even get done, that was probably it. Hopefully it will do well enough to keep the interest, and spark, alive.

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Re: 1/18 FW 190A - BACK OPEN

Post by teebird » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:23 pm

I decided to try EC hobbies as a supplier for another A model. It arrived in about 3 weeks to the central USA and was in perfect condition after shipment with no issues. This is the 4th one I have bought from 4 different distributors and they have all arrived in good condition in 4 weeks or less. I plan to continue buying a few more at a slow pace as long as they are still for sale as new stock. My feeling is that I will eventually repaint them or modify them as I have with many of the Dora versions. It's a great model as it's delivered, with a couple simple mods it's really outstanding:) I'm optimistic that there will be some board members that create some cool mods and accessories for it as time goes on. I have been looking for a properly sized ready made torpedo for the naval attack variant. Many experimental weapons kits and production armament variants were produced. Hopefully someone gets their ambition up and starts producing underwing arms mods and the like!

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