SMER 1/72 Fw-56 Stosser






Two aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The FW-56 was first built in 1933 as an advanced trainer and one that could be called into combat if needed as it was armed with 7.7mm machine guns. A Kurt Tank design, this high winged monoplane showed exceptionally clean lines and as such, had a very sprightly performance. Powered by an Argus 240 hp As 10C eight cylinder inverted vee air-cooled engine, the plane was extremely strong and able to dive and pull out safely. It was a mixed construction of tube frame and fabric with sections built of wood.

Over 1,000 aircraft were built and used in most of the Axis air forces during WWII. Some survived the war to be used in flying clubs, though I am unaware of any that are still extant. It is such a neat plane an one that provides relatively high performance without all the problems of your normal warbird, that I'm surprised that someone has not built a new one from scratch.


I can hear some of you saying "Whoa, dude. This is the Heller kit." Yep, that is exactly what it is. In these days of musical molds, one really never knows what one will find when the box is opened. I can remember a friend opening a Revell of Germany 1/72 He-115 only to find the Matchbox kit inside. Even today if you buy a 1/32 Revell Spitfire I, you get a Hasegawa kit with a new wing! SMER did, indeed, rebox a number of Heller kits as well as some old Frog kits and undoubtedly will do so again. Generally, these kits are not in the current catalogue of the loaning company, so it is not a real problem.

The kit itself is one of Heller's better models. The parts are very crisply molded, and though there are raised panel lines and other details, it in no way detracts from the kit itself. The interior  is a bit basic for modern kits, but there really wasn't much in there in the first place. In terms of optional bits, well, there aren't any. That is one thing about trainers; they usually don't come with a lot of optional bits and pieces. I can tell you that it builds into a really neat model and I'm surprised that I have only built one. Though the real plane may have been strong, mine succumbed to the loving care of the movers several moves ago!

The instructions for the kit are more than adequate for such a simple kit. Colors are given in generic names and Humbrol numbers. Luftwaffe fans would know what colors to use. There are two decal options. One is for a silver Stosser from FFS A/B 112 in late 1940. The other is a Hungarian plane in RLM 71 with the undersides of the wings and stabilizers in RLM 65. It has a yellow fuselage band and underwing tips. The decals for this kit are a major plus and probably worth the price of the kit. Unlike the Heller decals, which I have never liked, these are Propagteam. They are crisp, in register and ultra thin. If you don't like the kit options, research will show a number of other very nice schemes for this plane. Definitely one that 1/72 Luftwaffe enthusiasts should have in their collection.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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