|NOTES:||Fiddly cowling construction|
From the instructions: "The Fw 190 was developed to perform a supporting role to the Luftwaffe's mainstay fighter, the Messerschmitt Bf 109. The Fw 190 was powered by a radial engine, a rare feature in a European fighter of the era. With a tough construction and superb maneuverability, the efficiency and practicality of the design afforded the Fw 190 considerable versatility, and modifications and variants meant the aircraft was able to perform a wide variety of combat roles through to the end of the war. The A-3 model was fitted with the more reliable BMW 801D engine in place of the less dependable BMW 801C that had powered the earlier A-2 model. The new engine also offered an additional 140hp of power, boosting the Fw 190's top speed to 660km/h. Outward appearance and fixed armament did not differ much between the A-2 and A-3, with the latter model fitted with two MG 17s 7,92mm machineguns and 4x MG 151 20mm cannons. Other Fw 190 variants also began to appear around this time. A total of 509 A-3 models were produced."
Coming inside Hasegawa's usual attractive top side boxart, top opening box, there're a total of 9 sprues, 7 in light hard grey plastic, a clear sprue, and 4 poly caps to hold the propeller once the aircraft is finished. There's also the instruction sheet of the foldable style with 9 construction steps and two painting indications. There're two decal options: Hans "Assi" Hans's plane and the one I did, Fw 190A-3 "Black 13" with the stylised Eagle Head on the front of the fuselage.
I started construction by painting most of the subassemblies on the sprues. Cockpit parts and fuselage side walls were painted RLM 66, and the landing gear parts were covered in RLM 02. I then painted the propeller and nose cone in RLM 70 with a natural metal cooling fan. The prop was then put together and set aside until the end. With that subassebly done, I glossed the cockpit IP and side consoles and placed the instrument panel decals overt the raised details. The decals then received some brushes with Mr. Mark Softer, which worked perfectly and made the decals conform into the raised details. I then put together the wheels wells and glued them to the lower wing of the 190, trapping it with the upper wings minutes later. With the wings done, I glued the cockpit to the fuselage and trapped it with the second half. I then added the cooling slots that go on each fuselage side, and glued the wings to the fuselage. Unlike later variants of the Hasegawa 190A, this time I didnīt have fit issues with the fit between the wings and fuselage. It was at this time that I glued the ailerons (they come as separate parts). It was time to glue the engine and cowling together. In my attempt to get to the painting stage as soon as possible, I assembled the cowling and ended up with a rather messy result. This was then remedied with some CA filling, but that shows that scale modelling isn't a race to get the finished model as soon as possible.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I had decided early on to paint this aircraft as Black 13 with the stylised Eagle Head on the nose. This aircraft was part of 8/JG 2 in France, 1942. As such, the place sports RLM 74/75/76 camouflage with yellow lower nose and rudder. I first painted the yellow bits and masked them. Next came the RLM 74, 75 and 76 for the fuselage and horizontal stabilizers. The wings were painted next. Once the colours had dried, I applied the gloss varnished and placed the decals. These were ver brittle, with the 13 of the right hand side breaking when being placed. I was able to put it together OK though. Upper crosses are of the late Luftwaffe style with the thin white outline. All the decals received some coats of Mr. Mark Softer, especially the Eagle Head. They conformed perfectly to the imperfections of the nose after the softening solution had gone off. I then applied the matt coat.
With the aircraft fully decalled, I added the main landing gear, wheels and gear doors. The propeller was also added. The guns and canopy were also glued in place, and I was able to call this aircraft complete.
This was a fun kit to build, meaning that the Eduard kit is still available, one can get joy from just constructing the simpler Hasegawa model. Fit issues described in the build were of my own doing.
Colours used were all Revell Aqua paints: RLM 66 (Revell 78 Tank Grey), RLM 02 (Revell 45 Light Olive), RLM 74 (Revell 69 Granite Grey), RLM 75 (Revell 75 Mouse Grey), RLM 76 (Revell 49 Light Blue), RLM 04 (Revell 15 Yellow).
30 January 2023
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