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Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9

by Ian Robertson

 

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9

 


Tamiya's 1/48 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 is available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

The four known Doras of JV44 (three D-9s and one D-11) were responsible for protecting Me.262 jets from marauding Allied fighters during takeoff and landing. 

 

 

These Doras were flamboyantly marked with red and white stripes on their undersides to reduce the risk of being shot down by friendly ground fire. My model is of "Red 3", a D-9 piloted by Hptm. Waldemar Wbke during the spring of 1945.

 

 

Tamiya's Dora and its Modifications

 

The Tamiya 1/48 Fw.190D-9 is well known among modelers of WWII aircraft, particularly Luftwaffe enthusiasts. The kit is very well engineered and goes together beautifully. Out of the box (OOB) it produces a very nice model that is unmistakably a Dora. However, there are a number of shortcomings to the kit with regard to accuracy that modelers may wish to correct. I have attempted to address these shortcomings using a resin update set from Eagle Editions (EagleParts #4) and a few additional modifications.

Perhaps one of the most obvious errors in the Tamiya kit is that the landing gear is too short, resulting in a nose that sits too low to the ground. This problem is exacerbated by wheels that are too small. To illustrate, I have shown two Tamiya Fw190D-9's nose to nose, the one on the left having corrected landing struts, the one on the right built OOB. 

 

 

The problem with wheel size was easily corrected using the replacement parts from Eagle Editions. Lengthening the landing struts presented a more difficult problem. I opted to cannibalize struts from an Italeri (ex DML/Trimaster) Fw190D-9 kit; the struts in this kit are the proper length. However, I did not simply replace the Tamiya struts with the Italeri struts. Instead, I made a graft between the upper part of the Tamiya strut and lower part of the Italeri strut. The graft was held together with a wire pin and CA glue. Unorthodox perhaps, but it gained me the added length I was after without compromising the solid fit and positioning of the strut to the wing. Looks like the Italeri kit will now have to be built in a wheels-up display!

Although you might expect the Tamiya gear covers to be too short once the struts were lengthened, this was not the case, at least in the finished model. I simply made sure that less of the of the wheel cover was tucked up in the wheel well than is normally the case with the Tamiya model.

Another shortcoming of the Tamiya kit evident in the nose to nose photograph is that the spinner is too small and pointy. The replacement parts from Eagle Editions corrected this problem, and included slightly modified propeller blades.

One of the more subtle improvements offered by the update set is the gun bulges on the cowl. At first I thought the difference was minor; however, head-on shots of the corrected and uncorrected kit reveal that the gun bulges with the Tamiya kit are much more bulbous than those produced by Eagle Editions. The lines of the corrected model are more elegant in my opinion.

 

 

The changes I made to the Tamiya kit are summarized in the head-on comparison of the OOB and JV44 models (photo above). The left frame shows the original kit OOB. The right frame shows the JV44 model with new gun bulges (1), new spinner and propeller blades (2), larger wheels (3) and lengthened struts (4).

 

 

Paint, Decals and Weathering

 

The model was painted with Polly Scale acrylics. I used the artwork of Tom Tullis (see reference) as a guide to painting the camouflage for this aircraft. 

The scheme consisted of RLM 82/83 on the upper surfaces and RLM 76 on the side of the nose. The fuselage sides behind the leading edge of the wings were painted a tan color found on some late war Luftwaffe fighters. This color is often identified as RLM84, a fictitious designation as it turns out. Polly Scale's "RLM84" looks too much like RAF Sky "S" for my taste - I opted for a home mix of RLM76 and light brown with a drop of red (again, my goal was to approximate the artwork I used as a reference). I also toned down the brightness of Polly Scale's RLM82 (light green) by adding RLM83 (dark green), and I darkened Polly Scale's RLM83 with RLM81 (brown-violet). This is similar to the paint scheme I used for my Tamiya Do.335 posted on Hyperscale. 

 

 

The undersides of the model were painted a mixture of RLM23 Red and "Soo Line" Red. The propeller blades were painted RLM70 (black-green), the cockpit RLM66, and the wheel wells and struts RLM02.

Decals are from EagleCals #14. This set includes markings for all four JV44 Doras. Highly recommended. The slogan reads "By Order of the State Railway"

The canopy was dipped in Future for a polished appearance. Exhaust stains were airbrushed using highly thinned black paint with a touch of brown. Additional dirt and grime was added with uneven coats of highly thinned black paint. Stretched sprue was used for the sagging antenna wire.

 

 

Reference

 

Pollard, S. (2000). Doras of the Galland Circus. In: Military In Scale, January 2000 edn. Pp 46-51. [Artwork in the article was reprinted from Jerry Crandall's book of the same title]

 

 

Additional Images

 

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Model, Images and Text Copyright 2001 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 28 June, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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