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The Railroad defender: Fw.190D-9 in 1/48 scale

by Giovanni Galvan © 2002 Modeler Site


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The discussion about which was the best fighter in WWII is still open, but it is sure that the last operational version of the Fw.190, the D-9, is among the firsts. In fact, the addition of the Jumo 213 engine gave the necessary power to the already big project of Kurt Tank, the power needed to fly at the high altitude necessary for a good bombers interception.
Nowadays, there is a wide offer of the "Langnase Dora" for the modeler who wants to build this plane. In fact, there are two handsome kits available, one from Tamiya, modern and with the high quality common to all Tamiya kits, and one originally from Dragon, now with Italeri. This second version is a little older, slightly more difficult to fit, but with an unexcelled detail, so far.


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The Kit

The Italeri box pushed me to build this Fw.190D-9; this model carry the very particular insignia of an unit tasked with the railways patrolling during the last period of the war, during which, the trains were an easy prey of the allied fighter-bombers raids. Fighters used by the Germans in the low level escorts, such as those to the landing Me.262s, were characterized by vivacious color schemes on the lower surfaces, to convince the German flak that there could still exist friendly aircraft in the sky. I've used the decals from an old Dragon box, and built the example piloted by the Hauptmann Waldemar Wubke, in service with the famous Aces unit, the JV 44.


The upper surfaces of the wings and fuselage, wear bands of Dunkelgrün RLM 83 FS 34096 (Gunze H36) and Mittelgrau RLM 75 FS 36132 (Gunze H37), with an irregular scheme, while the sides of the fuselage are in Hellblau RLM 76 FS 35622 (Gunze 417), without the classical faded spots of the upper colors; particularly in the lower surfaces, which had a Red background with White small strips under the wings, eight each side.


The spinner is Red with the front zone in White. The national insignias on the wings and sides, as well as the code "White 1", have been painted with the aid of a mask, while the crosses on the lower surface of the wings, and the script on the sides of the fuselage, were taken from the Dragon decal sheet. The absence of swastikas in this sheet, and in that of Italeri box, forced us to use look for in my spare decals box.

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To complete the final appearance of the model, we used a wash of Braun oil to accentuate the paneling, while the exhaust stains were done with varied hues of dark Greys. The general appearance was rendered a little more weathered, and I hope not to be too far from the reality, knowing also the brief life of these aircraft in the operational arena at the end of the war.


The assembly of the model didn't bring out big surprises. The cockpit is fairly good, and to my opinion every important detail is there, I only added the seat belts which I made out of adhesive paper, and the buckles made with metallic thread. The interior was painted with Schwarzgrau RLM 66 FS 36081 (Gunze H301), with a light Grey drybrushing. The stuff around the instrument panel is in Maroon. The Revi gunsight has been scratchbuilt with plasticard, slightly thinner than the original part. Before closing the fuselage, I drill openned the exhaust tips and installed them in the engine.


There were no photo etched parts in the Italeri kit, so I had to replace the frames in the exhaust pipes, using thin plasticard strips.

The fit of the fuselage halves is excellent, I was able to glue them without the need of putty. The glass finish of the plastic allows the use of cyanoacrilate to close the fuselage halves. Wings are a little more difficult to fix, because of a "beautiful" gap that appeared once glued in the proper place, I filled that gap with a piece of plasticard and cyanoacrilate.

Once this little problem was solved, the rest was a real pleasure, and a tribute to the fact of so many desks full of these models in almost every contest. This Focke Wulf is easy to build, more than other models, should I say! Now I understand why there is a lot more room for modifications and superdetailing.


The undercarriage is a beauty, even when there are some modelers saying that it is not tilted enough, but I decided that I could survive to the shock!

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The wheels are good, including the tail wheel. I added the brakes piping, made with iron rope. I painted the wheel wells and the gear struts in Grau RLM 02 FS 34226 (Gunze H70).


After painting the canopy, I fixed it in an open fashion. In this position, the Dora is one of the very few aircraft I know which has a flabby radio antenna wire, instead of the rewinding or flowing wire in the preceding versions. This solution, probably dictated by the hurry and the vicinity of the end of WWII, forced me to realize that the cable used was a metallic thread taken from telephonic wire, trying to give the impression of the semi-rigid look visible on the photos.

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The propeller blades are in Schwarzgrün RLM 70 FS 34052 (Gunze H65). To finish the model I added the various lower antennas (the gonio was remade with copper wire), the folding access ladder, the pitot tube tilted toward the lower part, and the two small "gear open" signals on the upper wing, these were also made with metallic thin thread.

Color chart


RLM 02 RLM GRAU 34226 31 131M X201 H70 -
RLM 66 SCHWARZGRAU 36081 123 1123S X128 H301 -
RLM 70 SCHWARZGRÜN 34052 116 1116M X204 H65 -
RLM 75 MITTELGRAU 36132 106 1106M X207 H37 -
RLM 76 HELLBLAU 35622 122 171S X149 H314 1722
RLM 83 DUNKELGRÜN 34096 114 1116M X20 H36 1571


I hope the final result was fairly good, and that the Fw.190 "maniacs" will be not too hungry with me!


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