Hasegawa 1/72 FW-190D-9 'JV-44 Papagei Staffel'


51368 (AP108) 


1300 yen MSRP


Two Aircraft


Scott Van Aken


1994 Limited Edition boxing


Late in the Second World War, German fighter ace and hero,  Adolf Galland, was ousted as General of the Jagdwaffe due to his alleged incompetence and inability to prevent Allied bombers from laying waste to Germany. Actually, the story is much more complicated than what it seems as it always is when political in-fighting gets to be the most important part of the job and not the mission at hand.

Needless to say, Galland was a bit on the insubordinate side, but not enough to have him shot. Instead, he requested to start a new jet unit called JV-44 and to use not only the Me-262, but to call in the best pilots (that were left) from around the Luftwaffe to join him. The word spread and a number of very famous and capable pilots joined with Galland when he got things going in early 1945. Of course, by that time of the war, the Germans were advancing to the rear at a rather high rate, so the unit spent most of its time moving and did very little in the way of shooting down enemy planes. I would not be too far off to say that in the few months of existence, JV-44 probably brought down only a few dozen planes if that many.

Now one of the problems of the 262 was that it was quite vulnerable during the landing and take-off phase. Since the Germans were unable to maintain air superiority over their own country, this meant that quite a few jets were shot down by marauding Allied fighters during this phase of operation. In order to protect the jets, most jet units had a dedicated 'protection flight', generally made up of the best piston powered fighters around, and that meant the FW-190D.

JV-44's protection flight consisted of around 4-6 planes, each with the underside gaudily painted in red (and some say black as well) with white stripes. These were to keep the local anti-aircraft batteries from blasting them out of the sky!. Due to these very colorful markings, they were called the 'papegei' or parrot Staffel. They are probably one of the most modeled units around. I can remember painting up an old Airfix 1/72 FW-190D-9 back a couple of decades ago. I used white stripe decal for the stripe and scrounged the spares box for the numbers.


This is the second tooling of the FW-190D-9 done by Hasegawa. The earlier kit wasn't bad, but this aircraft and several other favorites were provided with new tooling in the late 1980s. That means the required engraved panel lines, optional bits for the head rest and canopy, and the interior that uses decals for instrument panels and side consoles. A drop tank and rack are also provided. Some 190D-9s were used in the fighter bomber role, but not often and no bomb or bomb rack is included. Thanks to Hasegawa's penchant for putting all the bits in one bag, mine had several pieces knocked off the sprue and the pitot tube had been broken off the wing tip. I'll leave it to the rivet counters to tell you if the kit has any accuracy problems, but it looks just fine to me.

The instructions are well done and typically use Gunze paints for the color references. Both aircraft have separate windscreen/canopies so you can pose them open. If you do the later 'blown' hood, you should remember that there was no antenna tensioning system in it so the radio antenna just lay along the fuselage when the canopy was open. The decals themselves are house decals from Hasegawa. That means they are a bit thick, and the whites are actually ivory. This is the first boxing that has Papagei planes on it. A second one was done in 2004.  In this case, the planes are black 1 and red  13. This kit has the white stripes grouped for ease of application, but I would seriously consider an aftermarket sheet unless you have not issues with the off-white color.


This is a very nice kit and like all of Hasegawa's 1/72 kits can be made into an equally nice model. There are lots of aftermarket bits for it as well if you want to spend more $$ on it. It is one I can recommend to nearly all skill levels.

February 2022

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