ProModeler 1/48 FW-190D-11

KIT #: 5969
PRICE: $
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Lee Fogel
NOTES: A good but incomplete step forward for a D-11. Dragon molds

HISTORY

The Fw 190 series of aircraft is regarded by many as one of the finest piston-engine fighters of World War II.   For some modelers the definitive version of this aircraft is the D series.  The amazing variety of markings and variants makes for both passionate building and a unique looking model every time you build one.  The aircraft of JV 44 hold a special interest for many modelers especially the Me 262 Protection Focke Wulfs. 

THE KIT

Awhile back I traded for the Monogram Pro Modeler Fw 190D-11 release.  Based on the Trimaster molds I had read a few reviews about the kit and they were generally favorable.  But it does have a few faults that keep it from being a 100% correct representation of this fighter.   

-Initial Assessment-

Opening up the box we find the old Trimaster kit and a few new additions.  These molds have seen quite a bit of use and they reflect this.  There is plenty of flash and scarring on the plastic.  The plug for the new D-11 tail section has been grafted onto the Trimaster fuselage molds.  This area needs a bit of sanding to streamline it to the fuselage halves.  The lower wing panel has had the Mk 108 cannon cover molded into the wing.  However there is a mold line from the insert and this requires a bit of sanding to make it flush with the wing panels.  Monogram also molded a new gun cover/upper cowling to reflect the lack of cowling guns.  Perhaps the biggest change is the lack of any PE fret.  Monogram replicated the PE parts in plastic and most of these parts, in my opinion, lack the finesse of the PE versions.  The instructions are borderline adequate and have some odd color call outs for the camouflage.  The decal sheet looks very nice with excellent print quality and choices for two aircraft.

CONSTRUCTION

 As mentioned before I had received this kit in a trade.  Fortunately for me the previous owner had already sanded down the fuselage plug and the wing cannon inserts areas.  So, this sped up things a bit.  I proceeded to assemble the cockpit using Model Master RLM 66 and painting the instruments and assorted panels flat black and picking out the finer details with red, blue, white and yellow.  For the seat cushion I used Floquil Medium Brown.   A light dry brushing with Testors Silver and weathering with my pastels finished up the basics. After picking out the instruments with Flat White I used clear gloss to replicate the glass dials.  Unfortunately nearly all of this detail is lost once you mate the fuselage halves together.  Still, it looks good and represents what a D series cockpit should look like.   I glued the fuselage halves together at this point and added the completed cockpit as well.  The tail wheel gear was glued into place at this point.

 Moving forward I cleaned up the wing section, painted the gear bay Model Master RLM 02 and then glued the gear bay and braces into place.  Donít forget the wing cannon barrels.  I nearly did just that!  (Note: At this time all of the D variant kits have the gear bay cover molded to the gear bay.  Newer information has surfaced that the D series did not have this cover in place.  So, to make this accurate one would need an engine plug and do some moderate scratch building).  Once this was done I then attached the upper wing panels with Plastistruct liquid cement and set the wings aside to dry for the night. The following day I mated the fuselage and wing assemblies.  The starboard side wing root had a pretty decent sized gap that I filled with super glue.  The rest of the fit is pretty good with few gaps elsewhere.  There is a small step on the port side of the wing where the lower and upper halves join.  I think that the alignment pins on that side may have gotten worn down due to the heavy use of these molds over time.  This area will require some clean up and rescribing.  I also added the horizontal stabs at this juncture of the build.  They went on fine and fit very well.

 The cowling was assembled per the vague instructions.  Make sure to pay close attention to how the inner ring fits to the engine screen.  I painted the screen flat black and then dry brushed the part with Testors Steel.  You have the choice of open or close cowl flaps.  I prefer the look of open flaps and went with that choice.  It can make masking the Papagei Staffel scheme a bit more difficult so keep that in mind.  Anyhow, I attached the cowling and upper gun cover/cowling at this time.  The gun cover was warped so I glued one end down and then came back about 30 minutes later and glued the other side down.  Take your time lining this up and you can get an acceptable fit here.  And itís here that you run into the biggest pair of accuracy problems with this kit.  The gun cover should have a slight bulge on either side.  This is to replicate the larger engine mounts for the Jumo 213 motor.  Monogram molded the part flat-sided and it looks wrong.  I thought of replicating these cover bulges with some sheet styrene and sanding but completely forgot until I had already finished the model!  The other issue is that the intake scoop on the side of the cowling is too small and incorrectly shaped.  There are a few companies that have made correction/conversion sets for this.  I decided to just deal with it instead of spending more money on the kit. 

The remaining parts were added in preparation for painting.  These included the drop tank/bomb rack, antenna, pitot tube, main landing gear and boarding step.  The landing gear was painted RLM 02 and the main wheel hubs flat black and dry brushed lightly with RLM 66.  I assembled the canopy slide and headrest and painted this and the inside of the canopy Model Master RLM 66.  The assembly procedure for this is another area in the directions that are vague.  I assembled this in the canopy as it helped to line things up easiest with them in place.  Make sure to pay close attention so that everything lines up inside of the canopy.

COLORS & MARKINGS

The canopy was masked off with Bare Metal Foil and attached to the airframe.  After much debate I decided to use the kit supplied white stripes instead of painting them.  I then put down a base coat of MM flat white.  I did this to get a proper base coat for the RLM 23 ďRoteĒ paint.  The MM RLM 23 looks a bit too ďpinkĒ in my opinion so I made a mixture using 2/3rd  MM RLM 23 and 1/3rd  Testors Flat Red.  I like the results and it went on with no issue.  I then very carefully masked off the red areas in preparation for the RLM 74/75/76 scheme.  I used Floquil enamels for the remaining colors.  Avoid the instruction sheet callouts for the camouflage colors as they seem suspect.  (Note:  I found all kinds of information on the colors of the Papagei Staffel Ds and to be honest Iím not sure that my model is 100% accurate.  I found enough variations and interpretations that I am just living with what I applied).  Also, something to keep in mind when building a Papagei Staffel 190D is that the stripes were not 100% uniform.  So, whether you paint them or use decals donít fret if one of more of the white stripes are not 100% uniform with the rest.  The plane was then set aside and was given a coat of gloss in preparation for decals.   

The decals are very cleanly printed.  The colors are very good, on register and the white is opaque enough to use the ID stripes over the red paint.  However, the decal instructions are pretty shoddy.  There are eight decals (mostly stencils) that are not accounted for and there is a pair of stripes (#69) that are not shown at all.  Itís best to use what references that you may have and use the decal sheet as an addendum and for stripe placement.  A few of the stripes are short and need to be touched up.  I used MM Flat White for this and it matched perfectly.  The decals respond very well to Solvaset and will take plenty of poking and prodding in getting them in place.  The wing walk stripes do need to be trimmed as they are all too long.  Included are the cuts I made for each stripe:

#42 (and #57)-remove three red blocks

#59-Remove three red blocks

#58-Cut in half and use one half for each wing placement

#56-Remove eight red blocks

Overall this is a terrific decal sheet. 

The prop blades were painted with Floquil RLM 70 and the hub detailed with black and silver paints.  The spinner was painted Floquil RLM 70 with the front of it being painted Floquil RLM 04.  This appears to be a bit sloppy in the pictures I have seen of this airframe.  Therefore I did not paint it ďperfectĒ and itís slightly off-center on purpose.   You have to guess a bit at the proper blade pitch as there are no positive location pins on the blades.  The drop tank was attached to give a bit of contrast to the RLM 23 underside.  The last additions were the gun barrels and these were painted MM flat black and the dry-brushed with Testors steel.  The canopy was attached in the open position by sliding it into place. 

Weathering consisted of using Formula P3 Armor Wash for an oily wash on the drop tank and main gear.  For panel lines, exhaust, gear bays, wheels and gun residue I used my trusty set of chalk pastels and a .07 Pentel mechanical pencil.  The landing lights were painted using Tamiya clear red and green.  I specifically left the underside very clean due to the limited time that this airframe saw day to day action.  The topside was also lightly weathered but a bit more so than the underside. 

CONCLUSIONS

Well, if you are familiar with the old Trimaster/DML/Dragon molds then this kit is like seeing an old friend.   However the small PE fret is sorely missed.  Iíve put too many of these kits together over the years and just am biased a bit on this point.  The fit is still pretty decent especially for the mileage these molds have seen.   

Is this a definitive D-11?  Unfortunately it is not.  Can the problems listed above be corrected by the builder?  Absolutely, especially if you choose to go aftermarket to replace the incorrect cowling cover and intake scoop.  This is not a completely accurate D-11 out of the box but it is a good start and with a bit of work can be made into a very presentable replica.  I recommend this kit but do stress that it needs the accuracy issues to be addressed.  And, if possible, I would compliment the instructions/stencil placement with a copy from a Trimaster/DML/Dragon kit. 

REFERENCES

German Aircraft Cockpits 1911-1970, Cohausz, Peter W., Schiffer Publishing, 2003. ISBN: 0-7643-1873-X, pp 176-177

The Great Book of World War II Airplanes, Grinsell, Robert, Zokeisha Publications, 1984.  ISBN: 0-517-459930, pp 501-502.

Osprey Modeling Manuals 20: Focke-Wulf Fw 190, Sommerville, Donald (series editor), Osprey Publishing, 2002.  ISBN: 1 84176 268 7, pp 33-43, 48-51.

Osprey Masterclass: World War 2 Luftwaffe Fighter Modeling, Coughlin, Geoff, Osprey Publishing, 2000.  ISBN: 1-84176-060-9

Experten Decals: History, Camouflage, and Markings of JV 44 and JG 6 Fock-Wulf 190D-9s No.48-1, Brown, David E. and Wadman, David, Halifax printing, 1993.  ISBN: 0-9696819-0-9-1495

Experten Decals: History, Camouflage, and Markings of JV 44 and JG 6 Fock-Wulf 190D-9s No.48-1 Addendum, Brown, David E. and Wadman, David, Halifax printing, 2003.  *Note: addendum sheet found on www.stormbirds.com

 Experten Decals: History, Camouflage, and Markings of JV 44, JG 6 and JG 1 Fock-Wulf 190Ds No.48-3, Brown, David E. and Wadman, David, Halifax printing, 1995.  ISBN: 0-9696819-0-11-1595

Experten Decals: History, Camouflage, and Markings of JV 44, JG 6 and JG 1 Fock-Wulf 190Ds No.48-3, Brown, David E. and Wadman, David, Halifax printing, 2003.  *Note: addendum sheet found on www.stormbirds.com

http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2002/10/stuff_eng_dacoba_fw190d.htm

Lee Fogel

November 2009

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