Focke-Wulf Fw 190D - Eduard Review-Build
Starting constructionTo evaluate the overall quality of a kit, I always go through the instructions from the first step to the last one and then assemble as much parts as possible. Proceeding like this allows me to reduce the number of parts and eliminate the optional pieces which are always rather numerous in Eduard productions. In the case of the new Fw190 D-9 kit, I have assembled the cockpit tub, the upper machine guns compartment, the visible rear part of the engine, the wheel bays etc...
Once the sub assemblies were ready for the first painting session they were seperated in three groups, depending on their color: RLM02, RLM66 or silver.
Interior paintingThe RLM66 (dark grey) was mostly applied on cockpit parts and the RLM02 (brownish light grey) mostly on the interior parts like the wheel bays, gear legs, engine bay, etc... The silver and dark iron color were applied on the engine parts and the rest is black/brown (exhaust) and yellow (coolant tank). Once the paint had cured I drybrushed the parts with Prince August paints and then applied a wash (tinted Klir/Future).
For the cockpit interior, I have used the pre-painted PE parts provided in the kit. Fitting everything inside the fuselage prooved to be easy for the cockpit tub (I didn't used any glue) but more fiddly for the gun bay and rear engine assembly. I also had to work on part W1 so to get it to fit inside. If you sand just a little (red areas on accompanying photo) the part will move inside smoothly. I didn't spent to much time painting the gun bay since I wanted to glue the upper gun cowling in the closed position later.
Main constructionWith some persuasion and a lot of tape, the fuselage halves did go together and the wings as well. I didn't had to sand the rear face of the spar and the front of the bays like Rowan in it's build (see here) but maybe it is because I used the optional wing root gun bay parts (closed position). However, I have noticed that, at the front, were the wings meet the underside, there is a small step so I have used a clamp and a piece of plastic to keep the surface level while the glue dried.
For the fuselage guns, I haven't followed Eduard's instructions. They want you to use optional part Y22 which only represents the gun muzzles. Since the MGs are visible from the wheel bay opening, I wanted to find another solution, so I have cut the forward end of plastic parts W12 and W20 which were designed for the opened gun bay option and sanded them until they didn't interfere with the cowling part anymore. This way I can show the model all closed but when looking from the bottom, the machine guns remain visible. See accompanying photo which shows the modified gun on the left while the other is still complete. Note also that a small piece of the ammunition box (part W27) has been cut as well.
While the overall fit of the Eduard kit is not perfect, with some adjustments and a minimum amount of filler, I think it is acceptable. I found the fit on the underside excellent though. The supercharger intake needs some sanding to slide into the recess of the fuselage (see A on accompanying photo). I have rescribed the engine's underside cowling and added the three latches which have disappeared in the sanding process (see B). There are no panel lines were the wings meet the fuselage at the leading edge wing root (see arrow on picture C) since the fairing is one piece. I have also filled two small rectangular panels which I found nowhere on pictures nore drawings in the Crandall book or in the Squadron Walkaround.
Camouflage and markingsPrior to painting I have masqued the cockpit and landing gear bay openings and the clear parts as well. I usually don't buy extra masks for the clear parts and do the job myself but when some are included in the kit it saves a lot of work! I have also prepared the attachment point for the aerial wire on the rudder (loop made of small wire).
I have started the painting process by applying the underside RLM 76 color. First I have pre-shaded the model with Tamiya XF50 (Field Blue) and the applied my own mix of light blue. Finally, white was added into the airbrush cup and a lighter final coat was airbrushed. Sometimes, some areas of the underwings of D-9s were left in bare metal. It seems to have been the case on this particuliar JG 4 aircraft, so I have applied some aluminium paint were appropriate. I have experienced some problems with the Mr Metal colors from Gunze I have used this time. Maybe it was too cold in my workroom which is located in the basement. I was told that colors don't like too low temperatures. Anyway, I had to do many touch ups because in some places the paint peeled of under masking tape.
Once the underside was finished, I did the upper camouflage. Paintbrushing was done freehand and the colors (own mixes) were sprayed over a black pre-shading. The black/white/black fuselage band was done in two steps (white then black) using masks made with Tamiya masking tape. finally, I have applied a coat of Klir varnish (French Future) over the model to protect the paint and have a glossy surface for the decals.
Applying the decals is what I like the most. I have never had any problems with Cartograf decals provided in the Eduard kits so I was not surprised to see that they worked well this time as well. However I found that they were overall too large. It's as if the original artwork file has been resized by 5 or 10% somehow during the design process. But they are usable nevertheless as you can see on the photos.
Once the decals were dry, I have applied a wash on the model. The mixture I've used is oil paints diluted with White Courtrai Drier. The latter speeds up the drying time of the oil paint so one can work a lot faster. The wash reveals how much Eduard have made a nice job on the surface finish of the model. Once everything was done, a coat of flat varnish was applied over the entire model (Gunze H20 Flat Clear).
Final constructionFinal work consisted in glueing the smaller parts such as the landing gear, windscreen, canopy, antennas, propeller etc... and doing some weathering (paint chips, exhaust stains, dust etc...). Tamiya weathering pastels were used amongst other stuff for this.
In the Jerry Crandall book about the Fw190 D-9 it is written that this machine wasn't fitted with the aerial wire pulley system. However, the flat sliding hood provided in the Eduard kit is fitted with such a device so I have decided to represent the aerial wire straight on my model.
ConclusionEduard's 1:48 scale Fw190 D-9 is a high quality plastic model kit. If build from the box, it will make into a faithfull replica of the famous German late WWII fighter. Of course there are always a couple of things which can be ameliorated but in my opinion these are only details which don't have a dramatic impact on the overall look of the model. However, the modifications to improve the Eduard kit aren't very difficult so if you want to go this route, please read the article of Rowan Baylis about the same subject (see here).
I wouldn't recommend this kit to beginners though. Construction is easier than the models of the Fw190 A serie of kits by the same manufacturer, but still complicated because of the open/close options of the gun bays. So be very carefull and patient while assembling this kit, otherwise you will end up having big troubles. However, if you have successfully built your model, you will be rewarded with the best looking 1:48 scale Dora model that it is possible to do with the kits currently on the market.
Copyright ©2021 by Jean-Luc Formery. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of AeroScale, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2010-04-10 00:00:00