|Kit:||Tamiya, 1/72; bought in 2014 for $21.99. Model completed on 2022-05-24|
|Aircraft:||"Red 1", W.Nr. 600424; JV 44, Luftwaffe; München-Riem, Germany, April 1945|
Jagdverband 44 (JV 44), also known as "Galland Zirkus" (sometimes referred to as "Papageienstaffel" although  claims this name was not used during the war) was a unit formed to defend the new Messerschmitt Me 262 interceptors during takeoff and landing. The particular aircraft depicted by my model was flown by Lt. Heinz "Heino" Sachsenberg, an ace with 104 aerial victories; he was a recipient of der Ritterkreutz. The aircraft carried a slogan that read "Verkaaft's mei Gwand 'I foahr in Himmel" - this is in a Bavarian dialect and translates to "Sell my clothes I am going to heaven" . The black-and-white checkerboard inside a red circle is the unit emblem of the JV 44.
Excellent references for the JV 44 "Doras" are  and .
When I started this project I had three Fw 190D -kits in my stash: Tamiya, Hasegawa, and HobbyBoss. The Hasegawa kit was the old version from the 1976 or so, quite primitive by today's standards; they have since retooled their offering. The HobbyBoss kit is more like a toy, and while it is better detailed than the old Hasegawa kit, it cannot easily be built into a representative model (for example, there is no proper cockpit since the fuselage is molded as a single piece). The Tamiya kit I used for the model is excellent. It went together well and gave me no surprises.
I only needed a few aftermarket parts: Eduard's photo-etch seatbelts and QuickBoost's resin exhaust stacks. Also, at some point the "carpet monster" ate one of the landing gear extension arms, but luckily I had the HobbyBoss kit handy (that I was never going to build), and was able to use their part, with slight modifications. I used Albion Alloys' aluminum tube for the wing root gun barrels.
I may have taken some artistic license with the antenna wire. It is still unclear to me whether the D-model Fw 190s had a tensioning mechanism that would keep the antenna wire taut when the canopy was slid back. Wartime photos are so poor I cannot actually see the wire in any of them, and in some close-up photos it looks like the tensioning mechanism was actually there. Also, I couldn't really figure out how to realistically reproduce a drooping wire.
I airbrushed the model mostly with Mr.Color lacquers. The aircraft has the standard RLM 74/75 camoflage on horizontal surfaces, and a splinter/mottle pattern of RLM 81/82 in the fuselage and vertical tail. The JV 44 aircraft were painted with RLM 23 red undersides with white stripes, to avoid friendly fire incidents. I sprayed the underside with semigloss white, masked using 1 mm Tamiya masking tape, and then sprayed RLM 23.
After completing the initial painting the camouflage the fuselage looked to have too much contrast, so I toned it down a bit by spraying a light "filter" (1 part paint, 8-10 parts thinner) of RLM 76; this also allowed me to create the effect of the fuselage sides getting lighter the further down you go. See photos below; I think the result is quite good.
Some "patching" was done with RLM 02.
|RLM 75||medium gray (grau)||Mr.Color #37|
|RLM 74||dark gray (dunkelgrau)||Tamiya XF-24|
|RLM 76||light blue (weissblau)||Mr.Color #117|
|RLM 81||dark green (braunviolett)||Mr.Color #121|
|RLM 82||light green (hellgrün)||Mr.Color #122|
|RLM 02||grey primer (RLM-grau)||Mr.Color #60|
|RLM 23||red (rot)||Mr.Color #114|
Underside first sprayed white, then masked, then sprayed with RLM 23.
Initial camouflage completed.
The initial camouflage on the fuselage looked to have too much contrast. Compare with the next photo.
A light RLM 76 filter was used to tone down contrasts. First decals applied.
I used the Eagle Editions' decal sheet "Doras of the Galland Circus". Unlike the absolutely fantastic sheet from the same company I used for my Corsair, these were more brittle, but still went on mostly without any troubles. I used Mr. Mark Softer as the softening agent. Note that the decal sheet comes with the thin dotted white lines that mark the area of the wing where one can walk. I left those out. I could not see them in any of the photos of this aircraft. Note that  shows them as painted with some darker color; if correct, this could be why you cannot see them.
The model was weathered by airbrushing exhaust stains with a "filter" of Tamiya's "NATO Black" (XF-69) and further staining it using products from AK Interactive (engine oil and dirt). Final clear coat was a mixture of Testors Dullcote and Glosscote.
The red tactical number and the fuel cap triangles come in two parts; white background is applied first.
Decaling completed. Exhaust stains have been sprayed.
My library of reference sources for the Fw 190 contains a couple of hundred books and magazine articles. Most of that material is about the A- and F-models, and there is (perhaps not surprisingly) not all that much about the "Dora". Below are the references that were particularly useful in building this model:
References for Luftwaffe/RLM colors are listed in this blog post.
An original Fw 190D-9 (W.Nr. 601088) at the USAF Museum Annex in Dayon, OH in 1995 (SMA photo).