IBG 1/72 FW-190D-9 (early)

KIT #: 72531
PRICE: $35.00 shipped from the Republic of China
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: 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 additional fuel.

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.

IBG is a company out of Poland who have produced mostly military vehicles with some 1/72 aircraft. Not surprising is that until this kit, all of the previous aircraft kits have been of subjects that operated with the Polish AF. The company also does multiple boxings of these aircraft and continues that with the 190D-9.

The kit is superbly molded and includes a photo etch fret. Each of the sprues is individually package so no worries about the plastic being scratched. It appears that you can do pretty much any variant from what is provided, though the markings options are only for the early D-9. What makes it an early version is the 'flat top' canopy and earlier drop tank.

A full engine is provided and one has to build it in order to have somewhere to attach the exhaust and prop. The engine does include the accessory section and the main gear well is open so you will be able to see it in the finished kit. The upper cowling is a separate piece so you could show off the top of the engine and the cowl guns if you wish. You will have to use at least some of the photo etch to build the kit, with this material used for braces, seat harness, and antennas, to name a few items. A little bit of trimming is needed, but that is clearly shown in the instructions. The kit also provides decals for the instruments.

Instructions are very nicely done and in a booklet similar to what you get with an Eduard kit. Color reference provides mulitple brands of paint so you should have no issue finding something to use. I like that you are provided a painting section for things like the cockpit and engine that is separate from the construction section. One thing I'm not sure about is that this section shows the prop and spinner in black whereas I've always painted German props in RLM 70 black green.

There are three markings options with the all planes in RLM 81/82/76. Each also has a Reich defense band that will need to be painted. The box art plane is with JG 2 and has the greenish RLM 76 that has at times been called 'RLM 84'. One with a blue band is from 11/JG 54, and there is the white/black band 6/JG26 plane. All are from the last months of the war. There are two nicely printed decal sheets by Techmod with one containing stencils. Two of the instruction pages cover placement of these stencils.

This kit certainly has a goodly amount of detail and the molding of the parts is excellent. This kit has had a lot of hype about it and that is what prompted me to buy one of them. Typical of modern kits, there are a lot of fairly small parts so I'd say it is more appropriate for experienced builders. I'm looking forward to eventually building this one.

May 2022

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