The Focke-Wulf 190D-9 was a superb aircraft but situations in the war prevented it from being really effective. The production of the aircraft was done by sub-contractors with final assembly taking place at various locations. Occasionally, the sub-contractors couldn’t keep up; such is the case of this version of the 190. It appears that approximately five aircraft received the Ta-152 type tail at the Mimetall factory, but the exact number is not known. There is photographic evidence of at least two aircraft. The Germans did not see the quandary that they would cause model builders in the future but they didn’t have any different designations to denote the new tail.
Eduard’s FW-190s are in my opinion are the best ones on the market. They were criticized for their A models as being over engineered and fiddly. I found them to be really nice but I could understand the modeler’s viewpoint. Well Eduard listens to the model builder and with the Dora series they have taken pains to simplify it. What results is, in my opinion, the best Dora available in 1/48thscale.
What do you get in the box? Well inside of the beautiful box art is the typical RLM 02 colored plastic with parts on six sprues. My example had very minimal flash on some parts. Nowhere where it created a problem but there was some flash. First thing you will notice is that there are two fuselage halves included, the standard tail 190 and the larger tail 190. I think it is great that Eduard didn’t short cut this and provide a resin tail. Way to go Eduard.
A clear sprue provides the canopy and other smaller parts. To go with this there is an Eduard Mask set made of Kabuki tape. The other part is a pre-painted photoetch set which includes the instrument panel and seatbelts. I love these pre-painted pieces because there are details that are pre-painted that I could never paint.
The instructions are printed on high quality paper in full color. The quality is indicative of Eduard’s commitment to excellence in its models.
The decals are printed by Cartograf and markings are provided for five aircraft, three with the large tail and two late war ‘plain’ D-9s. One of the large tail Doras is speculative but the markings and color on all these aircraft are very unique and colorful.
As is the usual construction begins in the cockpit. The modeler has to decide whether or not to use the photo etch parts or the plastic ones. I elected the pre-painted method and found that everything works as advertised. I don’t add the PE until after I’ve painted and weathered the cockpit. Now you have to remember that late war aircraft were very rarely well used. They would be built and destroyed in a few hours so weathering was kept to a minimum. I pre-shaded with a flat black and then covered with Gunze RLM 66. Details were picked out with Apple Barrel paints. A wash of artist oils lamp black and a dry brush with some RLM 02 made the cockpit look less than factory fresh. Some sponge weathering was added with aluminum paint, but again this was kept to a minimum. Once the weathering was done it was time to add the PE. The PE was attached with superglue. I airbrushed some flat on the PE and the cockpit to blend them together. Once this was dry each instrument panel had a drop of Krystal Kleer added to the gauges to replicate the glass and help hold the PE together.
The next area the instructions have you tackle is the gun mounts and engine. Pay attention to the instructions. Your life will be easier. The instructions are very clear but there is a lot of stuff going on. I decided to have my cowlings open since I don’t have any that way in my collection. The amount of detail on the backside of the engine is really nice. Super detailers will have a field day but since I was building out of the box the detail was more than adequate. It will all be seen through the wheel well even if you close the upper cowling. Do the assemblies in order as they are presented and there are no problems. Some careful detail painting and washes makes this area come alive.
Before I knew it I was assembling the fuselage halves with all the things sandwiched in between. The fit was impeccable with no filler used anywhere on it.
Next up were the wings. Again since I didn’t have any models in my collection I opted to have the gun covers open. The fit of the wings and everything inside of them was really tight. One area that I had to thin some was on the gun bay forward wall. No one can tell what color the interior of the wheel well was. Maybe it was RLM 02, RLM 76 or unpainted natural metal. I opted for natural metal on the upper wing and RLM 02 on the spar. It is important to paint it prior to assembling the wings as some areas are difficult to get to when assembled.
One of the keys for assembling any of Eduard Focke Wulfs is that it is essential to get the spar attached properly. If you screw this up you are in for lots of trouble. The lower wing is exactly the same as the A series so it should present no big issues. One thing I did notice was that they would have you open a hole for the FuG-25 antenna on the belly but they give you no physical indication where. The instructions show an area on the wing. The wings fit together perfectly.
Offering the wings up to the fuselage showed a very slight gap at the rear and a slight gap at the front. Both areas were filled with some styrene but certainly nothing drastic and easily handled.
The tail plane assembly and rudder fit like everything else perfectly.
I like to assemble as much as possible prior to painting so I added the landing gear as well. Prior to adding them I painted one in RLM 02 and the other in RLM 66. Since this aircraft was a hodge podge of parts from various manufacturers I wanted to convey this so the gear got two colors as would the wheels.
I love the Eduard canopy masks and took this time to add them. They fit perfectly and cut the whole process down to a few minutes. A quick squirt of some RLM 66 was added to the canopy and then I added the upper instrument panel and the front canopy.
With that it was time to paint. I washed the model with grease cutting dish soap and then I wiped the kit with Plastic Prep. The model was primed with Alclad Grey primer and surprisingly only a few areas needed touch up. Since I already had the grey primer down I sprayed the bottom of the model with Alclad Aluminum. Tamiya tape was my friend for this model. The natural metal portion was masked off. Then the model was pre-shaded with Tamiya NATO Black. The next portion was to start the RVD bands. I used the new Alclad White Primer. Let me tell you, wow! This stuff covers in a single pass and doesn’t require thinning. This is the perfect white paint. It dried almost immediately. I also painted the spinner in white. Then it was masked off and the yellow portion was added with Tamiya Flat Yellow. After waiting for it to dry, I masked it off and started to camouflage. First it was RLM 76 which was a mix of Tamiya paint, and then the Sky color was applied. First Tamiya Sky was laid down and then Gunze Sky which was lighter was added to add variation and weathering. The RLM 82 area on the fuselage spine was sprayed free hand with Gunze. A mix of Tamiya RLM 81 Brown Violet was added to the fuselage and wings. This was really stark compared to the RLM 76 but I liked it. It was certainly different looking than any other D-9 I’d built. Finally Gunze RLM 83 Dark Green was added on the replacement nose cowling. I forgot to paint the trim tabs so I had to mask them off and paint them with Model Master RLM 23. The whole airframe was then covered with Alclad Aqua Gloss. Again wow, what great stuff. I got full coverage on two passes with it.
While waiting for it to dry, I masked off the spiral and then painted the spinner with Alclad Black Primer. Again this stuff is great right out of the bottle.
Time to decal. Cartograf decals are perfect. They performed flawlessly, well okay; I had issues with my crosses. They wanted to curl on me. I ended up screwing up one of the fuselage crosses too much and had to replace it with something from my decal collection. This was my fault and not the decals.
Weathering has already started with the pre-shading. This was just highlighted with a light panel wash of burnt umber artist oils to the panel lines, rivet lines and certain panels. A heavier wash was added to the bottom of the engine cowling and the area around the exhausts as these got really dirty.
This was followed up with silver pencil and some sponge technique using a silver stamp pad from my wife’s Stampin Up set. The wing leading edges, wing walk areas and canopy sill are highlighted this way.
Exhaust stains were replicated with a very thin mix of Tamiya Dark Earth and Flat Black. I tried to keep this a little restrained as these aircraft rarely lasted more than 20 hours. What I do is have three drops of DE and one drop of Flat Black and build up a base. Then I add another drop or two of Flat Black and highlight the center of the stain. Near the exhaust pipes a quick swipe with some red/orange pastels is added to indicate the heat there. While I have the pastels out I added some color to the exhausts.
Dried Mud Mig Pigments was added on the wing roots and the wheels.
A very thinned overspray of Tamiya Buff (95-5%) was added from front to back on the wings and top to bottom of the fuselage. This adds a little of ‘dirt’ to the airplane and attaches it to the ground.
One area of the Eduard FW-190 kits that I don’t like is that the wheels are loose. I’ve never been able to get them perfect despite five minute epoxy and being careful. I got pretty lucky on this one. I thought that the Eduard wheels are a little narrow so I substituted a set from Ultracast which fit perfectly. I used my CB Tools Landing Gear alignment tool to set the wheels this time. I think it is the way to go.
This is the first time I’ve been able to get the loop antenna to work for me. The PE seatbelts were added to the seat and it was dropped in from the top of the cockpit. The PE blade antenna was added to the belly. I added the FuG-25 antenna under the fuselage.
Adding the cowling, gun covers, propeller and canopy, along with an EZ Line flexible antenna brought this model to a very satisfying conclusion.
I enjoyed the entire build process. This large tail late D-9 will stand out in my display case. First because the large tail and second for the different paint scheme. Eduard learned from their A series and have produced what I think it the best Dora out of the box. There is plenty of area for the super detailer to have fun but if you are like me out of the box is just perfect. OK the wheels look anemic to me but your mileage may vary. Ultracast or True Details will fix it if you don’t like the kit offerings. I thoroughly enjoyed the build and the end results. I’ll build more of these kits I’m sure. I still need a D-11 in my collection. That is the best recommendation I can give any kit.
Thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review copy. You can obtain yours from you Local Hobby Shop, online retailer, or directly from Eduard at www.eduard.com
- The Focke-Wulf Fw-190 Dora-Volume One, Jerry Crandall, Eagle Editions, 2007, ISBN 0-9761034-5-1
- Focke-Wulf FW-190D: Camouflage & Markings Part II, Marc Deboeck, Eric Larger, Tomas Poruba, JaPo, 2007, ISBN Unknown