1/24 Trumpeter Focke Wulf Fw 190D-9
By Alex Kontiveis
Hi Luftwaffe boys,
This time I decided to build a very special bird, not widely known for its shot downs, but for the whole myth which covers its strange camouflage!
Black 3 II/jg6 (ex 17) Fieseler (Wr.num 601090)
Black 3, was one of a number of D9s captured by the US 7th A.D at Halle. This aircraft is particular in the sense that on 8 May 1945 Fw. Hermy Hartel may have been its very last pilot. He flew an Fw 190D-9 coded “3” on May 5 1945 at 16:35 hrs from Gorlitz of Poland to Altkemnitz of Poland where he finally landed at 17:00 hrs.
On 8 May 1945 Fw. Hartel took off at 08:10 hrs from Altkemnitz to land at Niemes/Kummer am See (Czechoslovakia) at 08:35 hrs. Late in the afternoon, at 16:55 hrs, he flew back into German airspace to Halle were he surrendered to US troops at 17:55 hrs. Since no other D-9s wearing a tactical number “3” were identified at Halle so far the authors of Japo editions insist to Wr Num: 600422.
Trumpeter’s kit was a mix of pleasant surprise and a great disappointment. For different reasons each one. When I first opened the box I was delighted with the mount of detail and the high quality. But when I start to organize the way of work, I discovered that the variety of detail was a disadvantage for me. Let me explain why.
Deciding on building this kit, a modeler (according to my opinion) has two choices. A white and a black one!!! Either you build it OOB, adding the few necessary improvements such as pilot’s harness (only the cockpit area consist of more than 40 pieces!) and a few wires, or you have to begin an endeavour work of making an accurate Zero Mod. 21, throwing away the half of the parts!!! If you decided for the first level, you will build a very impressive model, high detailed in a very convincing result. It will WOW you anyway!!!!
Choosing the second level, (if you are a very experienced modeler, I’m sure of that), you will notice many under scale parts, especially in cockpit area, the fat detailed compact landing gear cabin, the wrong under cowling panel, and some mistakes on the main design of the aircraft.
I’m not sure for the existence of any aftermarket improvement material for this kit, but speaking for my self only, I had not any choice except hard surgery work, and scratch building all the necessary points for my desired result.
These are all the basic changes and improvements must be done:
- Correct the under Cowling engine’s panel by removing the extended lip that is out of profile.
- Cut off all the panels behind engine, up to the firewall. Trumpeter already gives you gas and oil tanks so you can build a further view of accessory bay behind Sakae correcting the problem of the wrong 0-degree angle fuselage profile for the upper panels.
- Rebuild all the landing gear wells and improve the landing system mechanism.
- Correct the ends of the exhaust pipes.
- Reconstruct the “toy” gun sight.
- In the cockpit, I kept only the pilot’s seat and its mounting, the instruments panel, the radio controls boxes, some correct control levers and the floor. All the other parts according to real cockpit views I decided to be reconstructed in purpose of an accurate result, refueling your spares box with many useful items!!!
I pay attention on painting, more than any other model in my life. I had to face the challenge of a factory paint (red-brown primer over aluminum) and weathered enough at the end of war.
I used GUNZE H-62, in two levels (one mixed with dust) and third color (first coat) Tamiya XF12.
For chipping, I tried a new method with the classic salt for “double chipping effect” as I had to “discover” the red-brown primer between aluminum and last …varnished color sun weathered.
A difficult “high risk “procedure. The result is a very real surface!
If you want to take a look at the whole process, step by step with hundreds of pictures, visit the model forum, which I build for. You might not understand the language but one photo=1000 words!
© Alex Kontiveis 2008
This article created on Wednesday, July 20 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 15 2013