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1/32 Fw 190A-8 backdated to an A-7
Sturmbock!

 

Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-7 Sturmbock

Painting and Exterior Detailing by Chris Wauchop

Built and Converted by Brett Green


Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 is available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

Hasegawa's new 1/32 scale Fw 190A-8 in the box

In April 2004, almost exactly a year since the release of their new-tool large scale Dora, Hasegawa launched a 1/32 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8.

112 grey plastic parts are supplied on 11 sprues. Four of these sprues are common to last year's Fw 190D-9 kit, including the wings and undercarriage gear. As a result, there are 24 parts not used on this first Butcher Bird version.

All the parts are beautifully presented in shiny plastic with crisply engraved panel lines. Texture on control surfaces comprises fine raised lines. I like this low-key approach.

Probably in the interests of simplicity, the cooling vents on the fuselage sides are moulded shut. Cockpit detail is adequate, but some modellers will want to enhance this area. The engine is supplied as a single part moulded with both rows of cylinders. This is not really a problem because not much can be seen behind the cooling fan once the model is finished. Even so, Hasegawa has moulded an ignition harness onto the front of the cylinders, and also included a separate part with pushrods. These look good when painted carefully

 



Unlike the Dora, the Fw 190A had a fully enclosed wheel well. The kit wheel well part is attached to the wing spar, ensuring the correct dihedral. The characteristic dimples in the top of the wheel well are a little too cylindrical - they should look more like the dimples on a golf ball. There are also a few ejector pin marks to deal with on the gear bay and covers.

The late-style smooth drop tank from the Dora remains in this box, in addition to a new standard 300 litre tank. Although the drop tank in Hasegawa's 1/32 scale was quite good, this new version is poorly shaped and inaccurate in detail

Options are few. The landing flaps are separate parts and may be depicted dropped, but the locating tabs need to be repositioned as the flaps are dropped too far without modification. Two styles of lower access panel and ejector chute for the outer wing 20mm cannon position are offered.

Only the early, flat canopy is included in this kit but it is beautifully thin and free of optical distortion.

In summary, despite the couple of nit-picks, Hasegawa's new tool 1/32 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 really is an excellent and attractive kit.

 

 

Construction

 

Cockpit and Basic Construction

As usual, construction commenced in the cockpit. I used the kit components for the front office, but added MDC instrument decals to the kit instrument panel and an MDC photoetched brass harness to the seat.

I like the MDC instrument decals because they are printed as individual decals with minimal carrier film, and the white dial detail is quite crisp and legible. The brass MDC harness is quite effective too.

 

 

Basic construction went fairly smoothly, but I confess that assembling the five-part nose assembly was not enjoyable. Test fitting suggested that the fit was going to be awful, but it did not turn out too badly. There were some alignment problems around the lower sides of the cowl resulting in a small step between the nose and the main fuselage, but this step appears to be present in wartime photos of Wurgers too.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

An MDC photo-etched brass harness was used on the kit seat.

MDC's 1/32 scale instrument decals were used on the kit instrument panel


 

Backdating to a Fw 190A-7 Sturmbock

I was inspired to build a Focke-Wulf 190A-7 after receiving Cutting Edge Decals' CED32055 - Fw 190s Part 2.

This new release includes a striking Sturmbock of Sturmstaffel 1, White 14, with a Black/White/Black RV band, a tight white spinner spiral and a blotchy RLM 74/75/76 grey finish. Almost as interesting as the markings was the extra armour on the fuselage sides, canopy and windscreen. To my eyes, these additions made the squat lines of the Butcher Bird look even more purposeful.

Apart from these obvious additions, backdating to the A-7 variant required a number of further modifications. After consulting various books and plans, I formed my final plan using John Beaman's excellent Wurger Genesis article in HyperScale's Reference Library. John's article outlines the progressive differences between Focke-Wulf Fw 190 variants.

The Fw 190A-7 was dimensionally identical to the later A-8. However, the Fw 190A-8 had a number of improvements and additions that needed to be changed or eliminated:

  • On the Fw 190A-8, the ETC carrier was moved 8 inches forward. I therefore drilled new locating holes for the carrier approximately 4mm behind the indicated positions, and shortened the rear section of the rack by the same amount..

  • The outline of the large, rounded hatch on the bottom of the fuselage was filled and sanded smooth. This hatch provided access to the MW50 gear, which was not present on the A-7. Another panel was removed from the starboard fuselage side, the fuel filler hatch was relocated, and a further hatch filled and smoothed on the port side of the fuselage. I used Liquid Paper as the filler for these panels, followed by Gunze Mr Surfacer to ensure that no ghosts of the outlines remained.

  • I drilled out holes for the wing cannon bulges before I remembered that these were not installed on the A-7 (unless it was fitted with 30mm outer-wing cannon). I plugged the holes with plastic rod, puttied the area and sanded it smooth.

  • The pitot tube was relocated from its position on the wing tip to mid-wing.

 

 

Fuselage armour was cut from .020" plastic card. It is important to use glue sparingly when securing the armour to the kit fuselage, as excessive amounts could melt or distort the thin plastic.

I replaced the inaccurate kit drop tank with the parts from a 1/32 scale Hasegawa Bf 109G-6 kit. The end cone was cut off the tank, which was typical for Wurgers. The resulting hole was filled and sanded smooth.

I did miss one detail. Noted Luftwaffe researcher John Beaman contacted me after the model was completed to say that the cowling zues fasteners on the upper front cowl are not all three "down" as I have depicted them. That configuration was first introduced on the A-8. The A-7 had the front two on the "top" panel as per the A-5 and 6 and the rearmost one down like the A-8.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Various filler and access hatches need to be filled when backdating Hasegawa's Fw 190A-8 to an A-7.

On the Fw 190A-7, the ETC carrier was located 8" aft of the position on the Fw 190A-8. The kit carrier was modified and installed in the appropriate position. Also note the filled MW50 hatch in the bottom of the fuselage


 

Armoured Canopy Glass

The next conversion duty was to create the armoured glass panels for the canopy. The framing around these panels was quite distinctive. There appears to be a wide, flat internal frame and a narrower rounded border.

 

 

After considerable thought I decided to cut thin clear acetate to the shape of the panels, then glue thin strips of the same material as the wide frame. I bought a pack of .040" half-round Evergreen strip styrene to represent the outer frames. The strips were measured, bevelled and carefully glued in place with super glue.


 

The Baton is Passed...

At this stage I handed the model to Chris Wauchop.

His first task was to add subtle rivet detail to the fuselage and wings. On the fuselage, including the side armour, Chris used a needle in a pin vise to individually drill each rivet hole. He used a small Pounce Wheel to speed the process on the larger wing surfaces.

The model was then sprayed with Gunze acrylic RLM 02 to make sure that the rivets were consistent and that the filled panel lines were truly eliminated. Chris re-filled and re-sanded several panels before proceeding.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


 

More Modifications and Additions

Chris made a number of enhancements and additions to the basic kit:

  • The gun camera port in the leading edge of the port wing was enlarged and a lens was added using Krystal Kleer and Tamiya Smoke acrylic paint.

  • The ports for the 20mm outer wing cannon were hollowed out and the barrels replaced with brass tube.

  • Landing gear indicators were added to the upper wing from brass wire.

  • Landing gear actuating struts were fabricated from stretched sprue, and fine electrical wire was attached to the struts, using fine electrical wire!

  • Brake lines were added from solder.

  • The drop tank and rack were detailed including

    • supporting struts

    • locking pins

    • fuel lines x 2

 

 

  • Exhaust stacks were hollowed out (I started to do this but chickened out!)

  • The kit tyres were flattened.

  • The tailwheel was partially retracted using the method described in Chris's 2003 Fw 190D-9 Feature Article.

  • Radio antenna wire and the reinforcing wires inside the canopy were added using invisible mending thread.

  • The angle of the landing flaps was altered by cutting off the tabs and thinning the under surface of the wings to permit the flaps to sit against the trailing edge of the wings.

  • The missing section of instrument coaming was replaced with scrap plastic.

  • A DF loop was formed from a staple, and the trailing IFF antenna from brass wire. These are much more robust than the plastic kit parts

 

 

Painting and Markings

 

Camouflage

The model was painted using the Testor Aztek A470 airbrush fitted with the fine tan tip.

Chris used Gunze acrylics - RLM 74, 75 and 76 - for the camouflage colours. The RLM 75 was lightened slightly with white to increase the contrast between the two upper surface shades.

Tamiya Flat Yellow acrylic, mixed with a drop of Gloss Red, was sprayed on the lower cowl..

 

 

The armoured glass panels on the inside of the windscreen were simulated by painting wide, dark grey frames on the inside of the kit part. These were further emphasised by painting a fine light grey line around the border of the frames on the outside of the windscreen.

The front sun shield on the Revi gunsight was painted Gunze Clear Green mixed with a drop of Gunze Clear Red to reduce the bright tone.

Chris used his usual weathering techniques, including post-shading panel lines with a thinly sprayed mix of Tamiya acrylic Red Brown and Black. Wing walks, cowl panels and the canopy were also "chipped" using the point of a silver artist's pencil.

Prior to applying decals, Chris polished the surface of the model with a fine cloth. This removed some paint from the raised lips of the rivet holes, adding subtle emphasis.

 

 

Markings

Cutting Edge Decals' item number CED32055, "Fw 190s Part 2" were used for the aircraft numbers and national markings. The decals performed perfectly, settling down nicely into panel lines.

Chris found that the spinner spiral was too short to depict the tight pattern on the real aircraft, so he painted it himself. The spinner was first sprayed white, then masked with thin strips of Tamiya tape, and oversprayed with black. The result was uneven, so some more time was spent with a fine brush to achieve a tidier outcome.

Stencil markings were sourced from an EagleCals 1/32 scale Fw 190D sheet.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Hasegawa has adopted a consistent strategy of designing their new 1/32 scale kits to be accurate in outline, simple to build, reasonably detailed and affordable. Indeed, their recent Fw 190D-9 and Bf 109 kits have not been fitted with astonishing detail, multimedia parts, movable control surfaces, retracting undercarriage, flashing lights or engine sounds.

They have, instead, focused on the basics; and modellers have built these kits in extraordinary numbers.

Hasegawa's new 1/32 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 and Fw 190A-5 kits maintain this approach.

After-market companies have embraced 1/32 scale with a flood of updates, conversions, alternate markings and improved parts for modellers who want a more detailed result. We already have a good selection of decals and detail sets for Hasegawa's new Wurger, and I am certain there will be plenty more to come.

Congratulations Hasegawa. In my opinion (for all that is worth), you have found the magic formula for bringing joy to the heart of the New Age Luftwaffe Modeller!


 

Photography

The composite images were created in Photoshop CS using images of the model and of background photos taken by myself last year at Duxford, and by George Pfromm in Germany and Belgium several years ago.

The model was photographed on a base of artificial grass and dirt against a plain grey background.

The backgrounds were modified by adjusting brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, plus removing and relocating foliage and other features.

 



Returning to the Fw 190A-7 photo, the model and part of the grass base were masked using Photoshop's Magic Wand and Lasso tools, then cut from the original image.

The model was then pasted as a new layer onto the modified background. Extra work was done merging the model photo with the background, especially around the canopy (through which the background was visible) and around the edges of the aircraft. Where the outline of the model was stark against the background image, the Blur and Gaussian Blur tools were used to blend it in.

The Clone Stamp and Healing Brush tools were used in a few places to blend the the artificial grass with the real concrete runway.

Finally, the composite images were cropped, resized to 700 pixels in width, and saved as a .jpg file for posting on HyperScale.

All the photos were taken with my Nikon Coolpix 5700 digital camera.

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Focke-Wulf Fw 190
Modelling Manuals 20

US Price: $17.95
UK Price: 12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 May 25, 2002
Details: 64 pages; ISBN: 1841762687
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model by Chris Wauchop & Brett Green
Images & Text Copyright 2004 by Brett Green
Page Created 04 September, 2004
Last Updated 08 September, 2004

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