Brand: Hasegawa 09883
Media: Styrene + resin figure
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 (nicknamed Würger; English: Shrike) is a German single-seat, single-engine fighter aircraft designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s and was widely used in World War II. Along with the Bf 109, the Fw 190 became the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter corps. It was used as a day fighter, fighter-bomber, ground-attack aircraft and night fighter. Well-liked by its pilots, the Fw 190 had greater firepower than the Bf 109 and at low to medium altitude, superior maneuverability. With 23,823 produced, it’s regarded as one of the best fighters of World War II.
The A5 variant was developed to carry more ordnance by moving the D-2 engine forward 15cm, which moved the center of gravity forward and allowing more weight to be carried aft.
My build depicts Hermann Graf’s personal Fw 190A-5/U7 during his command of Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe Ost (Fighter Training Group East) which was based in occupied France in 1943. Hermann Graf (24 October 1912 – 4 November 1988) was the first pilot in aviation history to claim 200 aerial victories. He would go on to claim a total of 212 aerial victories flying in 830 combat missions, with 202 victories in the Eastern Front and 10 in the Western Front. He would achieve all these victories between August 1941 and March 1944. Imprisoned by the Soviet Union from 1945-1949, Hermann Graf survived the war and died at age 76 In Engen, Germany in 1988.
This kit is one of dozens of boxings of the Fw 190 Hasegawa has released. Every boxing is just a little different to depict a specific variant. For this release, options included in the box:
- molded on cockpit console details although decals are also provided
- cowling is made up of 5 parts to cover variants
- engine is made up of 5 parts although only the fan blade will be visible
- propeller fits using polycap
- closed canopy option only although a foot step is included
- wheels down option only
- drop tank included but marked as unused
- decal options for two of Hermann Graf’s Fw 190 (1 full yellow nose, 1 partial)
What sets this boxing apart is the inclusion of a resin 1/48 Hermann Graf figure. The figure is made up of 4 parts and is casted well with finely done medal details on the jacket.
As with most WWII aircraft kits, parts count is low and the build is straightforward. Because Hasegawa designed the mold for the myriad variants, some opening and closing of holes and panel lines are required and are clearly indicated in the instructions. The cockpit is quite detailed and I went with painting the raised details instead of using the decals. I also added seat belts using my standard go to of Tamiya masking tape.
Due to Hasegawa’s maximizing of the mold to cover variants, the 5-part cowl took some time to fit right with the front ring being hardest to fit. It stands slightly proud with a prominent panel line but after checking various photos I think that it’s correct.
The starboard wingroot didn’t fit well and I had to trim off the locating L-shaped tab for a proper flushed fit. The cowling was also a tight fit and would require some brute force to close up to the fuselage: I’ll be painting it separately before attaching. Besides this, at the bottom of the tail where the two halves of the fuselage meet the wing assembly was a noticeable ‘dent’ which required filling. I glued on a piece of 0.25mm plastic plate and sanded it down to shape instead of using putty. I also managed to lose the clear gunsight piece which I replaced with a piece of clear acetate.
Other than these, the rest of the parts fit without much issue.
Colors & Markings
Just like the Bf 109G-10 I was finishing together with this kit, the Fw 190A-5 has the standard color scheme of RLM76 bottom with RLM74 and RLM75 upper section in a mix of solid and mottled camouflage. In fact, I built both at the same time due to their similar color scheme. I ended up having the same problems as that build with the Acrysion + Mr Hobby Levelling Thinner combination that went south on me. In any case, I bulled through it and accepted my less-than-ideal mottling work and moved on.
The decals came from the kit and by and large went on without any issues except the starboard wing cross which broke. I didn’t do a good job assembling the pieces back together again so I ended up masking and spraying over the improperly aligned pieces. Luckily I didn’t make it worse. Besides this though, decaling was quick as usual with WWII subjects.
Like the Bf 109G-10 built, the weathering was kept light although I did add more chipping and staining to the cowling: I guess the bright yellow finish draws your attention to how clean it looked. The canopy received some overspray which required cleaning up which was carefully done with a cotton bud soaked in Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner while the landing gear was attached without trouble. Last on was rigging using Infini 1/48 Fine Aero Black Rigging just because I wanted to compare it with Mig AMMO’s rigging. My conclusion? It’s as elastic as Mig AMMO’s product but it kinks easily due to the tweezer tips. Other than that though, it works just fine.
In any case, the build went quite smoothly and any delays were really just procrastination on my part.
Number 05 of 2021