Trumpeter 1/24 FW-190D-9
Scott Van Aken
The Fw 190 D (nicknamed the Dora; or Long-Nose Dora, "Langnasen-Dora")
was intended to improve on the high-altitude performance of the A-series enough
to make it useful against the American heavy bombers of the era. In reality, the
D series was rarely used against the heavy bomber raids, as the circumstances of
the war in late 1944 meant that fighter-versus-fighter combat and ground attack
missions took priority. A total of 1,805 D-9s were produced. Production started
in August 1944.
The liquid-cooled 1,750 PS (1,726 hp, 1,287 kW) Jumo 213A could produce
2,100 PS (2,071 hp, 1,545 kW) of emergency power with MW 50 injection, improving
performance to 426 mph (686 km/h) at 21,650 ft (6,600 m). Early D-9s reached
service without the MW 50 installation, but in
the meantime Junkers produced a
kit to increase manifold pressure (Ladedrucksteigerungs-Rüstsatz) that increased
engine output by 150 PS to 1,900 PS, and was effective up to 5,000 m (16,400 ft)
altitude. It was fitted immediately to D-9s delivered to the units from
September, or retrofitted in the field by TAM. By the end of December, all
operational Doras, 183 in total, were converted. From November 1944, a
simplified methanol water (MW 50) system (Oldenburg) was fitted, which boosted
output to 2,100 PS. By the end of 1944, 60 were delivered with the simplified MW
50 system or were at the point of entering service. The 115 L tank of
the Oldenburg system would hold the MW 50 booster liquid, which was single
purpose, while later systems were to be dual purpose, holding either MW 50 or
The fighter lacked the high turn rate and higher rate of roll of its
close coupled radial-engined predecessor. It was a bit faster, however, with a
maximum speed of 680 km/h (422 mph) at 6,600 meters (21,650 ft). Its 2,240
horsepower with methanol-water injection (MW 50) gave it an excellent
acceleration in combat situations. It also climbed and dived more rapidly than
the Fw 190A, and so proved well suited to the dive-and-zoom ambush tactics
favored by the Schlageter pilots. Many of the early models were not equipped
with tanks for methanol, which was in very short supply in any event. At low
altitude, the top speed and acceleration of these examples were inferior to
those of Allied fighters. Hans Hartigs recalled that only one of the first batch
of Dora 9s received by the First Gruppe had methanol water injection, and the
rest had a top speed of only 590 km/h (360 mph).
Due to the failure of multiple attempts to create an effective next
generation 190, as well as the comments of some Luftwaffe pilots, expectations
of the Dora project were low. These impressions were not helped by the fact that
Tank made it very clear that he intended the D-9 to be a stopgap until the Ta
152 arrived. These negative opinions existed for some time until positive pilot
feedback began arriving at Focke-Wulf and the Luftwaffe command structure.
Sporting good handling and performance characteristics, the D-9 made an
effective medium altitude, high speed interceptor, although its performance
still fell away at altitudes above about 20,000 ft (6,100 m). When flown by
capable pilots, the Fw 190D proved the equal of Allied types.
A while back, at the local IPMS meeting, a friend of mine brought
in this kit and offered it to me for $10.00. He stated that the kit had been
started and that the owner of it wanted to get rid of all his big scale kits
as he knew it would never get completed. I did a cursory look through the
box and not seeing anything really horrible, bought the kit. On bringing it
home, I discovered that about 40% of the kit had been assembled. The
assembly was good though nothing had been prepainted. It included the
complete engine minus the accessory section, the interior, main wings, and
the tailplanes. He has started to build the forward cowling and had
assembled the open cowling option. Comparing what was left on the sprues,
the only thing I found missing was the gun sight. $10.00 well spent.
When Trumpeter first started with its large scale kits, they decided to use
metal hinges for all the flight control surfaces. They also included
springs for the main landing gear legs, not realizing that with the gear
doors attached, the legs would not be able to move. I ran into this with
their 1/24 109G-6 and their 1/32 F4U-4. Anyway, the kit does include a full
engine and accessory section. You need to install these as you can see the
accessory section in the main gear wells and the engine is required as a
place to attach the prop and exhaust.
The cockpit is nicely done and provides a clear upper instrument panel with
a section of acetate for the instruments. The lower section is raised
detailing, that I thought was a bit odd. Why not do both in clear and
provide acetate instruments for both? What is missing are photo etch
seat belts, something you really need to have for a kit like this as the
seat is quite visible. The cowl guns attach to an assembly in front of the
cockpit and one then attaches the engine to that. This means you are ready
to close the fuselage halves, trapping the tail gear strut and rudder.
Next the guns are installed along with the area behind the cockpit.
Tailplanes are then built and attached. Then the wings are assembled after
installing the main gear legs, gear well and wing guns. The wing is attached
to the fuselage, the wheels assembled along with the forward cowling and the
drop tank. The cowl flaps can be posed open or closed. There are two canopy
styles provided, though there is no indication of what fits on which of the
markings options. The upper cowling pieces are installed (there are two
different gun cover pieces to choose from), the prop and supercharger intake
assembled and attached along with the clear bits and various antennas, and
you are done.
Trumpeter's usual instruction booklet is provided with Gunze paint
references. Two markings options are provided, both in RLM 81/82/76. The box
art plane is with JG 2 and the other with K(J)G/54. Decals are nicely
printed. Aftermarket are few and far between with most that I've seen being
Montex paint masks.
The scheme I chose was in RLM 81/83/76. For the underside, I chose Mr. Color
and for the upper surfaces, Model Master enamels. All three colors went on
very smoothly and as usual, there was quite a bit of overspray. Some masking
then the usual back and forth resulted in a pleasing looking camouflage
I used the kit decals for this one as there isn't much in the aftermarket
for 1/24 Doras. Even though I gloss coated the airframe, the decals all
initially silvered to
some extent or another. Repeated applications of fairly strong solvent took
care of nearly all the issues. The biggest negative of the decals is that
the fuselage bands are too short and do not fit at all well. This resulted
in some additional painting to cover up the gaps. I also found large decals
like the band to be fairly brittle and this one cracked quite a bit where it
had to go over curves. I'd recommend painting on any bands you would use
with this kit.
After looking things over again, I decided that the first step would be to
do some painting. I mentioned that the previous owner had built up quite a
few of the subassemblies, but had done no painting prior to building. So I
painted some of the completed bits that included the engine, cockpit, and
the prop. I then went to work on the inside of the flaps and main gear wells
along with the interior sidewalls.
Then I painted the engine mounts and attached them along with a tank at the
back of the engine. The cockpit had the lap belts installed. I used
KitsWorld decal belts for this. With those dry, the instrument panel was
built up and installed. Then the engine was attached to the cockpit section.
If you are wondering if all this
stuff has to be added to the engine, th
e answer is yes as much of it will be
seen when looking into the open wheel well. What won't be seen is the large
MW 50 tank that fits behind the cockpit. This tank and the
interior/engine assembly was then glued into one fuselage half. The tail
gear was also built up after painting and glued in place. Then the other
fuselage half was taped on to ensure all was properly aligned. When I was
sure all was good, the rudder was attached and the fuselage halves glued
With that in place, the wing was next. It had been assembled and was ready
to go. Fit isn't bad though there was a fair gap at the lower rear and the
lower front had a step that needed to be sanded out. Upper wing root was
good. The tailplanes were then attached. The next item was the assembled
cowling. This had the radiator detail painted aluminum prior to attaching.
This only has two fairly small attachment points. One is the upper section
and a small stub on the engine that hits on the lower part. The windscreen
was masked and glued on. Then the canopy was built up with the late head
armor and once dry, was masked and then attached with a small bit of
Cementine to hold it in place during painting.
After this it was simply a matter of applying a matte coat, and then dealing
with the landing gear. With the springs installed, the gear was far too
tall. So I removed the springs and glued things in place. After attaching
the wheels and gear doors, it was apparent that it was now too short.
Nothing to do but live with it and move on. I then attached antennas, prop,
drop tank and so on. An exhaust stain was applied using Alclad II smoke.
Masking was removed and the canopy attached in the open position. A bit of
touch up painting and that was it.
The kit wasn't a difficult build, but it did require
some care in construction. Aside from the decal issues, the major down side is
the landing gear. I highly recommend the various metal gear as not only is the
kit's gear fairly wobbly, but as you can see, it is too short. Regardless, it
makes into a very nice and very large model.
6 January 2023
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