The Focke-Wulfe Fw 190 (nicknamed Würger; English: Shrike) was one of the workhorses of the Luftwaffe during World War II. It’s therefore a popular subject for model kit manufacturers. By all accounts the Hasegawa offering is detailed, fits quite well and comes in a lot of variants. The boxing I have is the A5 variant and comes in the markings of Hermann Graf’s personal Fw 190 in 1943. Graf was the first pilot in aviation history to claim 200 aerial victories and would eventually be credited with 212 victories. Besides the markings, the kit also comes with a 1/48 resin figure of Graf.
Work begins as usual with the cockpit. Details are nicely done with raised details throughout. The kit doesn’t include any seatbelts though.
The lack of seatbelts is easily remedied with Tamiya masking tape. The layout of the belts is based on photos of aftermarket Fw 190 seats. I really should get hold of some PE buckles but I’m keeping the canopy closed so this lack of detail is not a big issue.
I did a quick dryfit to check for potential issues. Note how tight the cockpit is! Everything looks alright except for the starboard wingroot.
I painted the cockpit in RLM66, which for my case, is Vallejo Model Air Dark Panzer Grey. I then did sponge chipping using Vallejo Model Air Metallic Silver. As usual I got carried away and overdid it: a little chipping really goes a long way. The seatbelts turned out OK though after a wash. Hasegawa provides decals for the instrument panel and side consoles but I decided to simply drybrush the raised details instead.
After installation into the fuselage I went in with Mig AMMO Shader Grime to knock down the chipping. It’s my first time using the Shader and I have to say it’s easy to use. You can use it straight out of the bottle and a slightly thicker but more translucent version of an acrylic wash so it works like a post shade.
Due to Hasegawa’s tendency to use inserts and parts breaking down the parts to maximize variants the cowling is made up of five parts. Of note is the ring in front of the cowling. As is, it stands slightly proud of the cowling. I checked various photos and I’m seeing both flushed and proud sitting rings. I believe this is variant-dependent and since I have seen a pic of the A5 having a ring that’s proud, I left it as it is with its prominent panel line.
The engine is nicely detailed and the use of the polycap makes it easy to attach the propeller.
Pity nothing but the front fan blade can be seen once installed.
As previously mentioned, the starboard wingroot didn’t fit well with a very noticeable step that will trip even an elephant at this scale.
Hasegawa designed the upper wing with an L shaped tab that fits to the fuselage securely. I trimmed off the ‘hook’ part.
The Fw 190 is starting to take shape.
Checking the fit, there’s also a noticeable gap at the bottom of where the cowling meets the fuselage on the starboard side. I added 0.25mm plastic plate to build up the thickness.
Looks better now.
At the bottom of the tail where the two halves of the fuselage meet the wing assembly there’s a noticeable ‘dent’ which require filling. I glued on a piece of 0.25mm plastic plate and sanded it down to shape.
A spray of gray paint shows the work turned out OK. Putty tends to shrink so using plastic plate is an easier way to build up the bulk.
I’ve kept the cowling separate for the moment since I was still unsure whether I should paint and mask it separately before attaching. In any case, the fitting of most of the parts are good and gap fixing was thankfully kept to a minimum. Oh, note I managed to lose the transparent gunsight piece. This will be replaced with clear acetate.
Painting can now begin!