Hasegawa 1/48 FW-190A-9

KIT #: 07213
PRICE: $29.99 on sale ($58.99 SRP)
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Limited Reissue (2012)

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (Shrike) was a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s and widely used during World War II. Powered by a radial engine, the 190 had ample power and was able to lift larger loads than its well-known counterpart, the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The 190 was used by the Luftwaffe in a wide variety of roles, including day fighter, fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft and, to a lesser degree, night fighter.

When the Fw 190 started flying operationally over France in August 1941, it quickly proved itself to be superior in all but turn radius to the Royal Air Force's main front-line fighter, the Spitfire Mk. V. The 190 wrested air superiority away from the RAF until the introduction of the vastly improved Spitfire Mk. IX in July 1942 restored qualitative parity. The Fw 190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front in November/December 1942; though Soviet pilots considered the Bf 109 the greater threat, the Fw 190 made a significant impact. The fighter and its pilots proved just as capable as the Bf 109 in aerial combat, and in the opinion of German pilots who flew both, provided increased firepower and manoeuvrability at low to medium altitude.

The Fw 190 became the backbone of the Jagdwaffe (Fighter Force), along with the Bf 109. On the Eastern Front, the Fw 190 was versatile enough to use in Schlachtgeschwader (Battle Wings or Strike Wings), specialised ground attack units which achieved much success against Soviet ground forces. As an interceptor, the Fw 190 underwent improvements to make it effective at high altitude, enabling it to maintain relative parity with its Allied opponents. The Fw 190A series' performance decreased at high altitudes (usually 6,000 m (20,000 ft) and above), which reduced its effectiveness as a high-altitude interceptor, but this problem was mostly rectified in later models, particularly in the Junkers Jumo 213 inline-engine Focke-Wulf Fw 190D series, which was introduced in September 1944. In spite of its successes, it never entirely replaced the Bf 109.

The Fw 190 A-9 was the last A-model produced, and was first built in September 1944. The A-9 was fitted with the new BMW 801S, called the 801 TS or 801 TH when shipped as a more complete Triebwerksanlage version of the Kraftei or "power egg" concept, unitized engine installation (an aircraft engine installation format embraced by the Luftwaffe for a number of engine types on operational aircraft, in part for easy field replacement) rated at 2,000 PS (1,973 hp, 1,471 kW); the more powerful 2,400 PS (2,367 hp, 1,765 kW) BMW 801F-1 was still under development, and not yet available. The armour on the front annular cowling, which also incorporated the oil tank, was upgraded from the 6 mm (.24 in) on earlier models to 10 mm (.39 in). The 12-blade cooling fan was initially changed to a 14-blade fan, but it consumed more power to operate and did not really improve cooling; thus BMW reverted to the 12-blade fan. The A-9 cowling was slightly longer than that of the A-8 due to a larger annular radiator within the forward cowl for the oil system. The bubble canopy design with the larger head armour was fitted as standard. Three types of propeller were authorised for use on the A-9: the VDM 9-112176A wooden propeller, 3.5 m (11 ft 6 in) in diameter, was the preferred option, however, many A-9s were fitted with the standard VDM 9-12067A metal propeller and some had a VDM 9-12153A metal propeller with external, bolt on balance weights. The A-9 was also designed originally as an assault aircraft, so the wing leading edges were to have been armoured; however, this did not make it past the design stage in order to save weight. The A-9 was very similar to the A-8 in regards to the armament and Rüstsätze kits. A total of 910 A-9s were built between April 1944 and May 1945, mostly in Focke Wulf's Cottbus factor.


As some of you may know, Hasegawa's 1/48 FW-190s are pretty much the Dragon kits of many years ago. Some have stated that Hasegawa made some small improvements such as more positive main gear positioning or an easier to assemble multi-piece engine cowling. Be that as it may, the kit is very nice and has sold quite well under the Hasegawa brand.

It features a nicely done cockpit with separate side consoles, rudder pedals, control stick, seat and instrument panel. One thing about the 190 is that the cockpit becomes somewhat invisible once the fuselage halves are together so it is important to at least add a seat harness as that is what is most often seen. The kit comes with separate wheel wells and a back spar to which it is attached. There are various holes in the wing which need to be opened for gun breech bulges, antenna and the centerline rack. As this aircraft has wing mounted 30mm cannon, there are inserts for those.

Mentioned earlier is the five piece engine cowling so one has to be careful when assembling this piece. The A-9 has two major differences over the earlier A-8 and that is a 14 blade engine fan vice the normal 12 blade one and a broader prop. These two items are included as metal parts and that accounts for the higher price of the kit. For under the wing you have only a drop tank as this version was not equipped for bombs. Two different canopies are provided, which are different for each of the markings options. This kit offers clear wing tip lights which are simply inserted into holes in the tips.

Instructions are well done and provide information on differences between the markings options and also any parts of the kit that must be modified in order to properly portray this variant. Both of the markings options are listed as being painted in RLM 74/75/76 and perhaps they were, but one should do a bit of research on this as often late war planes had a different upper surface combination of shades. The two planes provided on the sheet are the box art plane from 6./JG 301 and a plane from Stab./JG 4. The second option has the flatter canopy and a black and white rear fuselage band. The decal sheet is very nicely done and should work with your favorite setting solutions.


It has been a while since I built a 1/48 FW-190 and, inspired by a markings scheme for this version on an old Aeromaster sheet, I decided to go with it. Especially as the kit had the requisite 'done to death' markings options and the one on the Aeromaster sheet was not all that common.

As I mentioned before, this one seems like it was derived from the Dragon kit as there is a lot that is similar in the two. Initially, I glued together a few subassemblies that would receive the same color and pre-painted most of the RLM 66 and RLM 02 parts. I used a set of Eduard p.e. belts on the seat as though you can't see much in there, the seat is quite visible and these help. Note that adding the etched belts makes the seat an extremely tight fit.  I also plunked the decals atop the raised detail for the consoles and instrument panel despite the instructions telling me to sand these areas smooth. A good dose of Mr. Mark Softer is needed to get them to snuggle down, but they did and look very good. l should add that the decals for this kit are very good and unlike the older kits, these loosen from the backing in a very short time and work well with cold water.

Meanwhile, I opened all the required holes in the upper and lower wings for the canon bulges and the antennas/tank rack. The upper wings have some very odd holes in them that are not called out in the instructions. They are shown, but no indication on whether they should be filled or not. Those holes for things like radar antennas are flashed over their purpose can only be guessed. I also assembled the three piece wheel well assembly that includes a short wing spar and installed this ,followed by the upper halves. 

With the cockpit done, it was installed into one fuselage half and the halves closed. I then attached the tailplanes and after opening the holes more for the 30mm wing cannon (do it before gluing the wing halves as it will be MUCH easier) and attaching those pieces, the wing was installed. Fit is excellent except for the back portion that has a considerable gap that will need to be filled.

I then moved on to the cowling. This is a challenge to get to fit properly thanks to all the pieces. I eventually got everything to line up, but it took more effort than I'd have liked as the tabs are not very large. Eventually that was done, the engine painted and dry brushed then inserted into the cowling. Frankly, with the fan in front of it, you won't see very much so no need to go nuts on the engine. The fan was painted black and attached then this assembly attached to the fuselage. Fit is only fair but can be improved with a bit of trimming.

I then built up and installed the gunsight. This was followed by the later armor plating assembly before the clear bits were masked. These were then glued in place using some clear glue that works very well. I had to trim a bit on the back of the canopy rail as apparently I installed the back of the cockpit assembly a bit too high. The wheel wells were filled with Silly Putty, tape was put over the fan and trimmed before heading for some paint.

Since I already had paints mixed for the previous 109 build, I decided to do another scheme from the Aeromaster Bodenplatte sheet. As usual, the lower RLM 76 was sprayed then masked where there were issues with overspray. I then sprayed on the dark green and freehand sprayed the dark brown. This was followed by some masking and the rather convoluted fuselage pattern was painted. This took several runs to get just as I wanted it.

Once the colors were pretty much on, I sprayed on a gloss clear before attaching the decals. This time I coated the markings I was going to use with Microscale decal film to keep them in one piece. This worked just fine, but with it came a bit of a problem. My standard Mr Mark Softer setting solution caused the decal to curl. Same happened with Solvaset. I washed them down with water and then used Microsol (red bottle). This did the trick, so you may wish to keep that in mind. I used kit decals for common markings when I could as those work very well.

Then I concentrated on attaching the rest of the parts. This started with the landing gear. I used Ultracast wheels as they are just a bit nicer than the kit ones. Not a big fan of split forks as on the tail wheel, but it worked out OK. I used Tamiya's Tire Black for the rubber. I see others using panzer grey and frankly, it looks too light to my eyes. I should mention that Hasegawa's main gear is a fairly tight fit so you do get your landing gear at the proper angle when all is dry. You do need to attach the retraction strut piece rather firmly as the gear is a tad on the wobbly side due to its length.

I also attached the myriad gun barrels, the drop tank and rack, and the various antennas. The prop blades on this one apparently had some rather crudely painted white bands on the front of them, so that was done. Note that the prop itself, like the engine fan, must be primered before painting as they are metal and your standard paint won't stick all that well to the bare metal. One item I really did not like were the teensy wingtip lights. These are nearly impossible to hold and clean up prior to installation. I ended up stretching some clear sprue to the proper diameter after losing these pesky lights. I simply installed them and clipped the ends. Good enough. After a clear coat I sprayed Tamiya smoke for exhaust stains. Then the masking was removed, the prop pushed on and that was it.


I had always heard that this kit was based on the Dragon kit. Well if so, it is 'based' like a movie is 'based' on actual fact. The general assembly is far better and Hasegawa has certainly put a lot of work into ensuring that a number of variants can be done with the same basic tooling. I still do not know what those holes on the upper wing are for, but they certainly do not detract from the finished model.



5 October 2018

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Thanks to me for picking this one up on sale.

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