Hasegawa 1/32 Focke-Wulf Fw190 D-9
Model, Text and
Photos by Steve Jantscher
|Plastic Quality:||B+ (For fit)|
|Decal Quality:||A+ (Eagle Editions #57)|
I've always liked the Fw190 D-9. Perhaps it is my favorite Luftwaffe fighter. So it was natural that I dropped what I was doing (building a review sample of the Trumpeter Spitfire V) when the recent Hasegawa kit made it's way to our part of town. I took my time, and completed it in about a month of off and on evenings. I purchased my kit from Roll Models, and as such, my kit came with the extra photoetch, of which I used the rudder pedals, belts and the part supplied for the FuG16ZY antenna loop. I also added two very short pieces of brass rod to act as main landing gear down and locked indicators. I also fabricated with a scrap piece of PE the red emergency canopy jettison lever. It's practically invisible with the canopy closed, but does add just the right splash of color in a dark and rather uninteresting cockpit (Focke-Wulf's, not Hasegawa's cockpit). I prefer the profile of the aircraft with the blown canopy, and generally like the looks of the aircraft with the canopy closed. It also makes rigging the antenna wire easier (I used invisible thread), however I plan on using some of the Aeroclub stretch thread to simulate an open canopy on my next blown canopy 'D-9. That thread has no memory at all, and will make a perfect drooping scale antenna wire after coloring with a Sharpie pen.
I considered adding the sometimes visible rivets as some have done, but after a little trial and error on scrap plastic, decided to put it off 'til the next kit.
Construction was pretty straightforward, with my only problems of fit coming when I attempted to attach the wings. These required many trial and error test fittings and trimmings to get just right. The main area of concern was at the trailing edge of the fuselage/topwing-root joint. Be careful there! The exhausts were also a bear. Those required plenty of cutting and thinning to get to fit right.
I know plenty of my fellow builders who have built one of Hasegawa's '109s in 1/32nd scale, and after comparing notes, I've come to the conclusion that the build on the Dora is more difficult than the Hasegawa Me 109 series.
The landing gear are a very tight fit into the locating holes on the wings, and I did not get to test fit it prior to gluing, but fear not. There is no way to install the landing gear and not get a perfect angle on those ungainly gear. To address some of the criticism surrounding the stance of the aircraft, I arranged to position the tail gear up into the fuselage about 1mm to 1.5 mm more than the parts would otherwise indicate. The effect is subtle.
I used Xtracolor paints for all the exterior camouflage colors except for the patches of RLM 81 Braunviolett which were from an old bottle of Floquil Military color. I like the looks of that color, adding a bit of color to an otherwise pedestrian scheme. I chose Blue 9 from a recent Eagle Edition decal sheet, #57. Jerry Crandell, "Mr 'D-9" is generally recognized as one who is to be listened to when making pronouncements of photographic interpretation, and to be totally honest, his decal sheets call for the lower fuselage and wing color as RLM 76. I on the other hand wanted to try it with a version of RAF Sky color which is close to one of the two unofficial late-war colors (the other being a tan color close Tamiya XF-57 Buff). I like what I got as a result, and after all, I paid for the kit, I can paint it any way I want to! I also painted the engine hood an off shade of green to give the impression of having be subject of a swap-out of parts with another Dora. All these things are purely for esthetics, with only a wink and a nod to ultimate "realism". This is a hobby after all.
One word about the decals, they're excellent! I did however have trouble with the white spinner spiral that was supposed to go with the Blue 9. It just wasn't big enough, so I grabbed another one from the sheet and went with that one instead.
The light weathering was done using Tamiya smoke, and careful application of grey ink via a technical pen applied to the recessed panel lines. I like this method, and plan to complement this with some pastels soon. Tamiya Smoke is great for panel lines. When thinned it takes a number of passes with the spray brush before the effects are noticeable. This capability makes any slight errors in following a panel line less noticeable, and the average of the mistakes balance out, leaving the panel lines slightly shadowed. The exhaust was a mixture of Tamiya Smoke and a very small amount of brown. I may also get around to adding some wear in the form of silver pencil and minutely applied RLM 02 along edges where the paint might be expected to be worn down to the primer, but not all the way down to the metal.
I like this kit more for the state of
the art on this aircraft, than as a fun build. It had average fit, but above
average detail and fidelity of outline when compared to other D-9s on the market
now. I've already purchased an MDC cockpit and more Eagle Edition decals to
build Red 3 of the Papagei-Staffel. I know that the red bottoms have been done
to death, but that's because it's such a cool looking scheme. And, I'll be able
to use my Tamiya Buff color for the rear fuselage undersides. 'Til then, keep
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