Hasegawa 1/32 FW-190A-5
KIT #: 08073
PRICE: $44.95 MSRP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Tom Cleaver
NOTES: Eagle Cals sheet #82 used.


     The Fw-190A series was so right in design that - once the problem of providing adequate cooling for the BMW 801 radial engine was solved - the airframe went through little modification other than minor changes associated with changes in armament.

     The one major change between the early subtypes A-1 - A-4 aircraft and the later series following the A-5 subtype involved  a change in the engine mount for center-of-gravity problems associated with use of various armament fittings.  This lengthened the forward fuselage 5.9 inches, just ahead of the wing leading edge.

     The Fw-190A-5, which maintained the armament of the A-3 and A-4 sub-types of two MG17 7.62mm machine guns in the forward fuselage, two MG151 20mm cannon in the wing root and two MG-FF 20mm cannon in the outer wing position, replaced the A-4 in production in April 1943.  The Fw-190A-5 was phased out of production in June 1943 in favor of the Fw-190A-6 which differed in having a modified wing with a lighter structure and the outboard MG-FF cannon replaced by the far superior MG151. 

     Both the A-5 and A-6 subtypes remained in service on the Eastern Front well after the introduction of the heavier and more heavily-armed A-8 subtype, because their light weight and superior maneuverability was needed in the low altitude fighter-versus-fighter air combat found on the Eastern Front, where the heavy armament of the A-8 - so necessary in opposing the American heavy bombers - was not needed.  The last of these sub-types did not leave service with JG 54 until the end of 1944, and that was primarily due to their being worn out in operations.

Walter Nowotny:

     Walter Nowotny Born December 7, 1920 at Ceske Velenice/Gmünd on the Czechoslovakian/Austrian border, Known as “Nowi,” Nowotny joined the Luftwaffe on October 1, 1939, undergoing  flying training at Jagfliegerschule 5 at Schwechat, near Vienna, after which he was promoted to Leutnant and posted to JG 54 on  February 23, 1941. Leutnant Nowotny was assigned to 9./JG 54.

     Nowotny first saw combat following the invasion of the Soviet Union, when he claimed his first victories,  two Russian I-153 biplane fighters shot down over Ösel Island on July 19, 1941, being immediately shot down in turn by an I-153, flown by the future Russian ace Alexandr Avdeev over Riga Bay.  He spent  three days and nights at sea in a rubber dinghy before finally reaching shore, to discover he was about to be listed as killed in action. 

     By  September 13, he scored his tenth victory.  Always a good shot, he found his “shooting eye” in the summer of 1942, when he shot down five Russian fighters on  July 20th, following that on August 2 with a claim of seven enemy aircraft shot down for his  48th through 54th victories. On August 11, he shot down two MiG-3s, though his Bf-109G-2  was hit and caught fire. He managed to bring the burning fighter  back to his base for a crash-landing.

     Nowotny was awarded the Ritterkreuz September 4, 1942, for 56 victories, and was  appointed Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 54 on October 25th, where he began to fly the Focke-Wulf Fw-190A.

     On March 26, 1943, Nowotny got into a fight with the first Russian-flown Spitfires, operated by the 26 GvIAP ,and shot down one for his 79th victory. Over the month of June 1943, he shot down 41 aircraft, including five on June 1, six on June 8,   his 100th victory on June 15th , six on June 21,  and 10 on June 24.

     Nowotny was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 54 on August 10th, and shot down  49 enemy aircraft that month, including nine on August 13th , six on August 18th,  and seven on August 21st. His scoring continued in September when he shot down 45 enemy aircraft, including  ten on September 1st; five in a matter of 12 minutes on a morning sortie and the other five in nine minutes at noon, following this with six victories the  next day. He was awarded the Eichenlaub and promoted to Hauptmann on September 4th for 189 victories. He shot down number 200 among five on September 8th, then scored six each on September 14th and 15th, bringing his total to 215.  The Schwertern was awarded on September 22nd for 218 victories. 

     During his last ten days of combat on the Eastern Front, Nowotny shot down 32 Russian aircraft, including eight on October 9th , six on October 13th and a final six  October 14th, to give him 250 victories.  With this, Nowotny was the first fighter pilot in history to pass 250 victories.  In recognition of his status as the top-scoring fighter ace of the Luftwaffe,  he was the eighth recipient of the Brillanten on October 16th.  He was then withdrawn from combat, being sent to various Luftwaffe bases for morale-boosting until he was given command of JG 101, an operational fighter training unit, on April 1, 1944.  That July he was placed in command of what became known as Kommando Nowotny, the first Luftwaffe unit to take the Me-262 jet fighter into combat.  He was shot down and killed in his Me-262 by fighters of the 8th Air Force on November 8, 1944. 


     This is the third kit in Hasegawa’s line of 1/32 Fw-190s, being their first release of an early-version A-model.  I think they went with the A-5 due to the fact that the different parts - lower wing, gear doors, fuselage gun cover -are minimal from the A-8. 

     Those modelers who have gotten the Fw-190A-8 will see that the only changes are the parts listed above.  Unfortunately, Hasegawa did not do the early wheel with the lighter hub, and they also have created an early seat that is mostly a modification of the later seat from the Dora-9, which is quite different from that used on the A-models.  While not entirely accurate as an early seat, it is useable and I did so with this kit.  Eagle Editions does make a more accurate seat for those who need it.

     The kit provides decals for two aircraft - one Fw-190A-5 flown by Major Hermann Graf before it was modified with the supercharger intakes on the cowling sides, and another A-5 of JG 2.  Fortunately, several of the aftermarket decal makers have started producing sheets for the early Fw-190A-5/A-6, and I used Eagle-Cals Fw-190A-5 sheet EC 82, which includes Nowotny’s final Fw-190A-5. 


 Construction differs only slightly from the Fw-190A-8 kit, and so I will only comment on those.

     I used the kit seat, with Eduard photo-etch seatbelts.

The unfortunate thing about the Fw-190 is that - when the model is complete - one can only really see the seat, so that all the nice detail one gets from a resin cockpit is hard enough to see that it might as well not be there, though the seat belts really improve the kit seat to the point one doesn’t need even the resin replacement here.

     As to the rest of the kit, the only difference in assembly is the wheel well doors, which include the inner doors that completely enclosed the wheel well on the early A-models.  Just as I was about to use these inner doors, I checked with the Eagle Cals sheet and realized that Nowotny didn’t have the inner doors on the final airplane, as it was equipped with the later, larger wheels, since they were operating in such muddy conditions.  This was good news since I didn’t have to get the resin early wheels, which are really needed on this kit

     Most of the Fw-190s on the Eastern Front did not use the drop tank, so I left that mounting off in the assembly.

     Past that, I will refer you to the other full-build reviews of the Fw-190A-8 here at Modeling Madness for a more detailed discussion of the assembly process, since it is the same for this kit.



     The most distinctive early-model Fw-190As to see operational use with the Luftwaffe were those operated by JG 54 during 1943.  The unit was in a static location on the northern front, and all the aircraft were repainted in the field from the standard 74/75/76 camouflage, with the upper surfaces painted in either RLM70/71 or a combination of the two standard Greens with RLM79 Sandy Brown.  No two of these aircraft looked exactly the same, and it is important to have a photograph available if you are trying to determine whether a particular airplane was in the two greens or the green/brown scheme.

      The Eagle Cals decal sheet has detailed painting instructions for Nowotny’s airplane, which had the fin and rudder still in the original 74/75/76 scheme, with the rest of the airplane overpainted in a freehand camouflage pattern of RLM 70 Schwartzgrun and RLM 71 Dunkelgrun, over RLM 76 Hellblau with yellow theater markings around the rear fuselage, under the cowl and under the wing tips.  I used Xtracrylix paints for all of this.


     Since the airplane was painted in the field, it’s likely that all the overpainted stenciling was not replaced, so all I did was apply the very nice Eagle Cals markings, which went on without trouble.  The model was then given an overall coat of Xtracrylix Flat Varnish.


     Since this airplane was only used for the final month Nowotny was in combat, I didn’t give it a lot of “dings,” but did give it exhaust staining.  I attached the landing gear, flaps, and the canopy in the open position after unmasking the windscreen and canopy.



 I swore when I started this that it would be the last big Hasegawa Fw-190, then saw at the local hobby shop that among the kits now being sold off of the collection that never got built from the local obsessive-compulsive kit collector who died this fall was the limited-run Fw-190A-6 with checkerboard cowl.  So, as Hemingway once said of cats - “one cat leads to another” - so one more Fw-190 is likely to be built.  That said, I have long wanted to do Nowotny’s airplane because it looks so different from all the others, and this finished model looks very good sitting next to all the other Wurgers 

Review kit compliments of my wallet.

Tom Cleaver

December 2008

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