Focke-Wulf Fw190A-6/R11 Nachtjäger
by Ian Robertson
The Fw190A-6 was essentially a Fw190A-5 airframe with greater strength added to the wing structure to accommodate the escalation in weight resulting from constant upgrading. Wing armament was improved by replacing the A-5's drum fed 20mm outboard cannons with heavier belt fed 20 mm cannons with longer barrels. The wing root cannons and fuselage mounted machine guns remained unchanged.
The majority of A-6s were deployed in the West in Defence of the Reich missions against Allied bomber formations, with some finding there way to Nachtjäger (night fighter) units defending against nocturnal RAF bomber attacks. Some A-6 nachtjägers were equipped with FuG 217 Neptun radar (the R11 Rüstsätze, or field conversion) to help pilots locate bombers in the dark. During 1944 the single-engined night fighters were gradually replaced by twin-engine radar equipped aircraft like the Ju.88G and Bf110G.
My Fw190A-6/R11 model is based on Dragon's 1/48 Fw190A-5, which was re-boxed by Hasegawa along with some new decals. The kit has impressive detail, particularly in the undercarriage and sliding mechanism of the canopy. In many respects the Dragon kit is superior to Tamiya's Fw190s; however, fit at the wing roots is poor (but not impossible to correct), and the multi-piece cowl is fiddly to work with. In the end I would purchase either one... I mean both, again.
A number of minor modifications were required to convert the A-5 into an A-6. The underwing armament access panels were filled, sanded and then rescribed into the A-6 configuration using drawings from Squadron's "Fw190 In Action" book as a reference. Bulged cartridge chutes for the outboard cannons were fashioned from small bomb racks in my spares box. I replaced the kit's wing cannons and pitot tube with syringe tubing, making sure to extend the length of the outboard cannon barrels. A fuselage ETC rack was provided with the kit, but I had to raid a Tamiya Fw190F-8 kit for the 300 litre fuel tank.
The FuG 217 radar antennae were added as a last step (i.e., after paint and decals). The kit's wing sections and fuselage halves have locator marks for the radar installation although the instructions make no mention of them. I opened the locator holes with a drill prior to assembling the model. Pieces of wire (28 gauge uncoated tie-wire), purchased at a craft store, were cut to size and then attached to the model using small amounts of 5-minute epoxy.
The model is shown in the markings of an aircraft belonging to 2./NJGr 10 in Germany, 1944. The colour scheme was taken from a side profile in "Aircraft Monograph #4: Fw190 A/F/G/S" published by AJ Press. According to the monograph, "Black 8" was camouflaged in RLM 74/75/76, with a "Wilde Sau" (Wild Boar) emblem on the cowl.
The yellow background plate and blue trim of the emblem were painted on, whereas the boar's head was trimmed from a decal. I painted the cockpit RLM 66, the wheel wells and undercarriage RLM 02, and the radar antennae RLM 75 followed by a coat of thinned "burnt metal" lacquer to make them stand out better. Exhaust stains were applied by airbrush using thinned black paint followed by a mixture of Italian red-brown and rust.
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Model, Text and Images Copyright © 2000 by Ian