Fw 189A-2

In 1937 the RLM issued a specification for a tactical reconnaissance aircraft carrying three crew members, offering all around defensive cover and possessing a higher performance than anything previous in this category. The Fw 189 was Kurt Tank's answer to that specification. The prototype flew in July of 1938, 15 months after an order was placed for prototypes. After testing had been completed production orders were received for the A-1 model. Armament consisted of 2 MG 17 machine guns in the wing roots and 2 MG 15 machine guns on flexible mounts. Racks were provided under the wings for 110-lb bombs. The A-1 was succeeded on the production lines by the A-2 in mid 1941 which differed from the A-1 in having twin machine guns in the two flexible positions. Used predominately on the Eastern front, "The flying Eye" was to prove to be supremely versatile, universally popular with its pilots and one of the most reliable aircraft ever to see Luftwaffe service. A few were even fitted with radar and used as night fighters on the Eastern front.

The Kit

The Great Wall Fw 189 comes in a medium sized top open tray type box with nice artwork on the top. Inside the box we find three large individually bagged sprues and two smaller sprues bagged together. All are molded in sort of a gray green color. The bags are all resealable and the two smaller sprues are both the same containing all the smaller parts of which two are required. The clear parts sprue was bagged separately and wrapped in foam. Also included in the box is a packet containing masks for the clear parts, the decals and a photo etch fret. The parts are well molded with no sign of flash. Surface detail consists of finely engraved lines and some raised detail where applicable. The control surfaces are all molded separately including the flaps. The fabric representation is a bit over done for my tastes but are not that different than found on many other kits. I did find some ejector pin marks on the inside of the flaps, in the gear wells and the insides of the engine cover panels. I did not find any surface defects on any of the airframe parts. Lets take a look at the sprues.

The close up shows the structure inside the gear wells and the ejector pin marks there. These will be hard to see when the model is complete.

The next photo shows the engraved as well a raised surface detail, all quite nice for the scale.

The interior is quite well appointed and should make most happy with the level of detail, there is even a pilot figure included.

The kit contains two complete engines and these can be displayed with the engine covers open. The wheels are weighted. There are also parts for two maintenance stands and two wheel chocks.

The clear parts are quite nice, thin with well defined frame lines and nice and clear. There are two forward canopy sections only one of which is used the other will be for a night fighter version which was released later.

The kit comes with a photo etch fret that has the upper wing area of the flaps if you decide to leave them down, wiring harness for the engines, seat belts and harness, gun sights, rudder pedals, mud guard braces and a couple other items.

As if that wasn't enough I also got the Eduard color Zoom set which duplicated a few things and adds a bunch more.

The decals have markings for two aircraft. Some stencils are included. The decals are in register and have a glossy finish and only a minimum of excess film.

The kit also comes with a set of canopy masks but I have heard many complaints about them not sticking well so I acquired a set of Eduard masks for mine.

The instructions are an A4 sized booklet 12 pages long. Page one reprises the box art and has a parts map, page two starts with the usual safety warnings and an icon chart and goes into the assembly. The assembly is a continuous process that is not divided into discrete steps. There was a correction sheet inserted in mine for page 6. The last page has the diagram for placing the masks. A separate sheet A4 size and printed in color on glossy paper has the painting and marking instructions. Colors are called out GSI Creos Hobby Colors.


This was Great Wall's first foray into aircraft after building quite a good reputation for their armor kits. When it was first released a couple of years ago the accuracy Nazi's beat it up a bit because the booms should not be as slab sided as the model and should have a subtle bulge near the center of the boom. If this sort of thing bothers you it is not hard to fix but does require as bit of filling and sanding, neither of which are favorites of mine. Quite honestly the extra work wouldn't be worth it to me as I really don't have the eye for minor shape errors. From all that I have found most report that the kit is a relatively easy build with only some very minor fit issues. The only other kit in this scale is the limited run kit from MPM which is a much more laborious build and a review of it can be found here. Needless to say this kit would be a much better choice and would recommend it to modelers of all but beginner level.

Links to kit build or reviews

A review / build can be found here.


"Warplanes of the Third Reich" by William Green

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Updated 9/1/14