Tamiya 1/72 FW-190D-9

KIT #

60751

PRICE:

$16.50 MSRP

DECALS:

Two options

REVIEWER:

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

 

BACKGROUND


Please visit the preview for a look at what is in the box and a brief history on the type.           

CONSTRUCTION

I started with the wings on this one since they had already been removed from the sprues. This was a swap meet kit that also had a number of other bits cut from sprues. Once they were together, I sanded the join areas to remove any of the glue that had oozed out. Setting it aside, I then turned to the cockpit. This area consists of a tub, seat, stick and instrument panel. I had a bit of trouble getting the seat to properly fit into the tub. Not sure what the reason, but it was not a simple task. Once all the bits (minus the instrument panel) were in place, this assembly was painted RLM 66 dark grey as was the instrument panel and the interior walls of the fuselage. The walls of the fuselage had some ejector pin marks that had to be sanded down or would have been visible. I used the decals from the kit for the instruments and the seat belt, giving them a touch of Solvaset so they'd snuggle down. Frankly, these items fit very well and I'd really like to see things like this on every kit I buy. Decal seat belts are better than none, in my opinion. When dry, the instrument panel was glued to the interior tub.

When dry, I glued the interior into one fuselage half and glued the fuselage halves together. I also inserted the section behind the seat (which had already been painted RLM 66) and glued it down. It is important that these four parts be glued in at the same time to prevent any problems with misalignment. With the halves together, the wings were glued in place. Fit is really very good, though some may want to add a touch of filler at the forward and aft lower joins. I managed to sand down any problems and no filler was used on any of the joins.

Tail planes were next. These have different size tabs so getting them on the wrong side will be difficult at best! Next the upper cowl was glued on  as were the two parts to the forward cowling. There is a plastic insert that has to be installed to hold the prop at a later date. Only one cowl flap option is provided; the closed position. I do wish that the 1/72 version had the droppable flaps and the two cowl flap options of the 1/48 kit, but, typical of Tamiya's downsized kits, they didn't.           

With those bits installed. I decided to paint the underside of the kit. I chose a scheme from Aeromaster 72-060, Reich Defense pt VI, which was apparently a plane which had some bits and pieces from others tacked onto it. The underside was RLM 84 and that was sprayed on using some now defunct Aeromaster enamels. With that on, I finished doing a bit of drybrushing to the interior and glued on the windscreen. I was doing a later 190D so went with the 'blown' canopy and the later head armor. Those were masked and it was time to get a bit more serious with the painting!

COLORS AND MARKINGS

This endeavor will be an exercise in 'supposition' camouflage. Supposition camouflage is what you have when the publishers of the book or decal sheet can't really tell for sure just what the colors are so they 'suppose' that it was the way that they state it. You can take any of the experts in the field and they will tell you that judging colors from a black and white photos is difficult at best. Even more so when the image is not that good or if they are using some orthochromatic film. Sure, you can get darn close and come up with some great looking schemes, but until time travel becomes a reality, there is no way to be absolutely sure in many cases. Therefore, you have supposition camouflage. Late war Luftwaffe enthusiasts perform this exercise a LOT!

What it means is that the 1994 decal sheet I'm using may not be 100% accurate, but it does have a really neat scheme. This one starts with the underside, sides and upper right wing of the plane being painted in 'RLM 84', a color that does not appear on any official charts and which most feel is just a poorly mixed or contaminated RLM 76. These were masked as appropriate when dry. I used Aeromaster Enamel for this color. Next was some RLM 75 from ModelMaster's enamel line. This was applied to the upper surface of the fuselage, tail plane and left wing. The instructions stated that the outside of the gear doors were painted either RLM 75 or RLM 66 so I chose RLM 75. Those areas were masked (in 1/72, a hard edge demarcation line looks a lot better than a grossly over-scale freehand airbrush job). Then the tailplane and upper fuselage were painted RLM 74, also using ModelMaster enamel. This was then masked to stop any overspray, and the upper wings were then painted RLM 82, using, you guessed it, ModelMaster enamel. The rudder and fin were then painted with ModelMaster's enamel RLM 76.

By now, you can see that this is a rather interesting combination of colors, the main reason that I chose this scheme. However, it isn't over. While the majority of the fuselage has no mottling of any kind, this cannot be said for the tail section. On the fin and rudder, there is some RLM 84 mottling over the 76, while at the tail join area, RLM 75 was used, probably to help cover the often bare metal tail extension plug.

Once the major painting stuff was done the model had the step, pitot tube, and radio mast glued in place. Then the landing gear were installed. I painted those RLM 02, though they could just as easily have been done in the underside color or even in RLM 66. I also painted the inside of the gear doors RLM 02 but left the wheel wells in RLM '84'. Thing about late war Luftwaffe was all the different combinations that one could find on an airframe. I also wrapped strips of Bare Metal Foil chrome on the oleos. Then the model was given a coat of Future in preparation for decals. The neat thing about adding the clear gloss acrylic is that it actually helps to differentiate between colors that are similar, such as the RLM 76 and '84'.

With the plane nice and glossed, I applied the Aeromaster decals. They went on flawlessly, despite being 10 years old and succumbed to Solvaset quite nicely. Then the kit was given a coat of 'flattened Future' clear acrylic to seal in the decals.

FINAL CONSTRUCTION

Meanwhile, I started doing some final painting of some of the bits that were left. This meant the wheels. Unfortunately, somewhere between painting the hubs black and doing the tires in a very dark grey, one of the wheels went missing. I'm going to blame cats, but they always look so innocent when being interrogated that the answer must lie elsewhere. After much (fruitless) searching, I came to realize that the wheel was gone forever and so was able to pick up a set of True Details resin wheels (#72031) as replacements. These not only have the overly flattened tires, but they have an angle to the bottom that is opposite to how they actually fit on the plane! A bit of sanding took care of that and some of the overly done bulge.

With the wheels in place, the gear doors were attached as were the exhaust. I then gave the airplane a dose of pastels for the exhaust and a touch of gun stains. Dirty thinner was used to provide a wash for the gear wells and I thought of using it on the rest of the plane, but decided that I'd mess things up do didn't.

The prop assembly was pushed onto the nose, the drop tank and the wing guns glued in place. Then I had the usual final painting which included the red stripes on the step and lower antenna as well as painting on the wing and tail tip lights. The masking was removed from the clear bits and I was done. I decided not to screw up a good thing with a radio antenna, though most will want to add this bit to their model.

CONCLUSIONS

The kit built as well as one would expect from Tamiya. Like all model kits, it isn't perfect, but it is about as close as one can come. Those who like pretty much hassle free modeling will be building a lot of these kinds of kits. For me, it adds yet another 1/72 FW-190 to my growing collection!

February 2004
#1303 in a series

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