Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9

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
Focke-Wulf Fw 190D in 1/72

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D in 1/72

Jagdverband 44 (JV 44), also known as "Galland Zirkus" (sometimes referred to as "Papageienstaffel" although [3] 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" [3]. 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 [3] and [1].

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D in 1/72

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D in 1/72

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D in 1/72

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D in 1/72

Construction Notes

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.

Colors and markings

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 75medium gray (grau)Mr.Color #37
RLM 74dark gray (dunkelgrau)Tamiya XF-24
RLM 76light blue (weissblau)Mr.Color #117
RLM 81dark green (braunviolett)Mr.Color #121
RLM 82light green (hellgrün)Mr.Color #122
RLM 02grey primer (RLM-grau)Mr.Color #60
RLM 23red (rot)Mr.Color #114
n/awhiteMr.Color #107
Fw 190D in 1/72

Underside first sprayed white, then masked, then sprayed with RLM 23.

Fw 190D in 1/72

Initial camouflage completed.

Fw 190D in 1/72

The initial camouflage on the fuselage looked to have too much contrast. Compare with the next photo.

Fw 190D in 1/72

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 [1] 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.

Fw 190D in 1/72

The red tactical number and the fuel cap triangles come in two parts; white background is applied first.

Fw 190D in 1/72

Decaling completed. Exhaust stains have been sprayed.

References Used

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:

  1. Avions n° 165 (Septembre/Octobre 2008)
  2. Defeat in the West 1943-1945 (Spick); Luftwaffe at War 6; Greenhill Books 1998
  3. Doras of the Galland Circus (Crandall); Eagle Files 1; Eagle Editions 1999
  4. Focke-Wulf Fw 190; Aviation Classics Issue 26
  5. Focke-Wulf Fw 190 (Griehl); Luftwaffe Profile Series 4; Schiffer 1995
  6. Focke Wulf 190 - Defending the Reich 1943-1945 (Jessen); Luftwaffe at War 13; Greenhill Books 2000
  7. Focke-Wulf Fw 190 & Ta 152 described, Part 2 (Shennan et al); Kookaburra Technical Manual 1/9; Kookaburra Technical Publications 1970
  8. German Aircraft Landing Gear (Sengfelder); Schiffer 1995
  9. Model Aircraft Monthly Volume 7 Issue 3
  10. my own photos taken at the USAF Museum in Dayton, OH in 1995

References for Luftwaffe/RLM colors are listed in this blog post.

Fw 190D

An original Fw 190D-9 (W.Nr. 601088) at the USAF Museum Annex in Dayon, OH in 1995 (SMA photo).

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