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Mike

Focke Wulf Fw.190D-9 Late ProfiPACK (8189) 1:48

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Focke Wulf Fw.190D-9 Late ProfiPACK (8189)

1:48 Eduard

 

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The Fw.190 was designed by Kurt Tank, and initially gave the RAF a bit of a fright when it first appeared. The D, or Dora, was often known as the "Long nose" due to the elongated nose cowling to accommodate the liquid cooled Jumo 213A engine. It came into production in late 1944, and over 1800 examples were manufactured before the end of the war.

 

The Kit

This ProfiPACK edition from Eduard is a reboxing of their original kit from 2011, and depicts a late airframe, and three of the aircraft have been fitted with Ta.152 tails, which is suggested by some to be due to a shortage of the correct Dora tail.  It is noticeable because it has a more sloped leading edge and less square profile.  The box art has been reused (if it ain't broke), and Inside are six sprues of grey styrene that contrast with the original olive drab, a very slightly amended sprue of clear parts, a Photo-Etched (PE) fret of pre-painted brass parts with the new clear glossy overprinting on the dials, a pre-cut set of canopy masks, and two sheets of decals, which have also been redesigned. The instruction manual is full colour and well detailed, giving some of the thoughts and research behind the choice of airframes for the decal sheet.

 

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On opening the box, you notice that there are four fuselage halves – this is due to the squared off Ta.152 tail unit being moulded-in, rather than supply separate tail parts, saving the modeller from having additional joints to deal with.  Detail stands up well given the seven years since it was originally tooled, although the latest 190As are somewhat more detailed on the exterior.  The improvement in the PE and the decals have been noted, and it is good to see that some thought has been put into the rerelease, rather than just pumping out exactly the same box contents.

 

Construction starts with the cockpit, and here the majority of the PE is used to upgrade the instrument panel and side consoles. The styrene parts have detail on already, which must be removed if you use the PE, and the areas to be removed are helpfully marked in red on the instructions. The instructions are typical Eduard style, leaving no vagaries as to the location of parts. Forward of the cockpit is the nose machine gun bay, which can be detailed with a large number of parts if it is to be left open, or with the omission of the MGs and their ammo boxes, the bay can be closed up with the use of a pair of MG stubs that glue into the bay cover. As the engine ancillary units (including the super-charger and engine mounts) are in the same bay as the MGs, leaving it open also shows off the nicely detailed parts.

 

The main part of the engine is not depicted in this kit, but the exhaust stacks are mounted from the inside of the fuselage in their own recesses, and are held in place by the front bulkhead of the MG bay. The detailer will want to open up the exhaust stubs to add a little realism here, or stump up a few shekels for the resin parts that are available from Eduard. Once these are installed, the modeller can close up the fuselage after choosing which type of tail wheel to use, depending on which tail unit the fuselage has. Eduard are helpful in providing a key to which type to use based upon the paint schemes.

 

The wing underside is a single piece unit, with a long spar running along the back of the landing gear bay, to which additional ribs are added to detail the gear bays themselves. The wing mounted cannons go through the bays here, and must be added at this point due to their tapering shape. It may be wise to chop off the last section and replace it later in the build with a piece of fine tubing if you are a tad clumsy like this reviewer. The upper halves of the wings can have the cannon bays left open to expose the breeches of the 151/20 cannons, or if left closed, a blanking section can be substituted. The flaps are moulded integrally, but the flying surfaces can be posed at an angle to give a little extra visual interest, and are added after the wing halves are joined. The whole wing is then offered up to the underside of the fuselage, so test fit before applying glue.  The rear empennage is standard, irrespective of which tail you have opted for, and the rudder for both tails is poseable, while the elevators fit to the fuselage with a large attachment tab, so should stay horizontal, but check anyway.

 

The landing gear on the 190 is long and canted in slightly, which is shown by the helpful diagram, and the modeller has a choice of two wheel types here with either smooth or treaded tyres. The wheels themselves should be installed at an 8o angle to the oleo strut, which would be fun to measure if it weren't for the 1:1 scale drawing that is provided. The retraction jacks fix within the bay to large contact points, so a strong landing gear should be the result.

 

The modeller can choose to pose the cowling flaps open or closed, which are provided as separate rings that slot in behind the main cowling onto a large cylindrical spacer. The super-charger intake is installed at this point, as are the gun troughs on the forward fuselage. The nose gun bay cover is installed, along with the wing mounted gun bay covers, which if modelled closed, receive a nice set of PE piano type hinges once installed.

 

Although the clear sprue includes four canopies, only two are actually used, with the choice being open or closed. The head-rest & armour is installed in the canopy, as well as a tiny PE grab handle, and a standard windscreen mounts over the coaming to complete construction, other than choosing to mount a bomb or fuel tank on the centreline pylon. 

 

Supplied on a sheet of yellow kabuki tape, these pre-cut masks supply you with a full set of masks for the canopy, with compound curved handled by using frame hugging masks, while the highly curved gaps are in-filled with either liquid mask or offcuts from the background tape.  In addition you get a set of hub/tyre masks for the wheels, allowing you to cut the demarcation perfectly with little effort.

 

Markings

The decals are broken down into stencils on one sheet, and markings on the other. Both sheets are crisp and clear, with good registration, even under magnification.

 

From these sheets you can model one of the following:

 

  • W.Nr 500647, 7./JG 26, Hustedt Airfield, Germany, Feb-Apr 1945
  • W.Nr 500645, III./JG 2, Altenstadt, Germany, May 1945
  • W.Nr 500648, 9./KG(J)27, Austria, Apr 1st 1945
  • W.Nr 500666, II./JG 301, Nord Airfield, Germany, May 1945
  • W.Nr 213097, 10. Or 13./JG 51, Flensburg Airfield, Germany, May 1945

 

The first three above having the Ta.152 tail unit.

 

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Swastikas are provided at the edge of the sheet, with a handy dotted line to enable the seller in appropriate counties to cut them off easily. A disjointed two-part swastika is also included for those territories should they require it.

 

A full-colour painting guide covers 5 pages of the instruction booklet, with RLM shades called out as well as Gunze colour numbering, and the last page of the booklet shows where all of the many stencils are located on an uncluttered line drawing - another thoughtful touch.

 

Conclusion

Detail is still good throughout, even when viewed from 2018's point of view, including the cockpit, the finely engraved surfaces on the fuselage, and very little in the way of mould wear evident. The instructions are clear and concise, and the painting guide very helpful, as these late war Doras had some strange mixtures of paint finishes due to the fact that they were built in sub-assemblies distributed around the countryside after the original factories had been bombed out of existence by the Allies at this stage of the war.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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