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Hasegawa's new-tool 1/32 scale
Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8

by Ian Robertson


Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8


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




This is Hasegawa's 1/32 Fw190A-8 in the markings of Rudolph Artner's "White 10", 9./JG 5 Eismeer (Norway, 1945). For reference material I relied on a photograph and color profile in Sundin and Bergstrom's "More Luftwaffe Fighter Aircraft in Profile".

The markings for this scheme are included in the kit, although the painting guide in the instructions is pretty vague and generic.





Jerry Crandall of Eagle Editions has already provided a thorough and well-informed review of the Hasegawa 1/32 Fw190A-8 on Hyperscale. The only comment I would add to his review is that Hasegawa's instructions show the control stick installed backward in the cockpit, so be sure to turn it around (like I did after a friend noticed my error!).

Fine rivet detail was added to the fuselage, tail and wings using Hasegawa's rivet-making tool and spacing template. Tamiya tape was used to guide the placement of the template on the model's surface. Once the rivets were in place, I polished the model's surfaces lightly with a Micromesh sanding cloth to help tone down the visibility of the rivets.
I wanted the rivets to be barely noticeable rather than the first thing to catch an observer's eye.



Although the kit's cockpit is well detailed, I replaced the seat with one from Eagle Editions (an extra seat is supplied in their Fw.190D-9 cockpit set), and I made my own seatbelts from lead foil with brass buckles from MDC. The dials on the instrument panel were added individually by punching them out from the kit's decal sheet using a Waldron punch and die set. The cockpit was painted RLM 66 using Polly Scale acrylic. A thin wash of reddish-brown enamel was used to flush out details in the cockpit, and SnJ polishing powder was used sparingly to simulate worn surfaces on the floor panels. Silver-colored pencil was also used to highlight detail in the cockpit.



Note that the placement of the gun sight is incorrect in the kit because it interrupts the padding that extends across the front of the coaming above the instrument panel. I repositioned the gun sight further forward and added a strip of styrene rod to fill the gap in the padding. Both MDC and Eagle Parts correct this mistake in their cockpit sets as well.



Much has been said about the awkwardness of the kit's four-piece cowl, with more than a little of the anxiety caused by memories of the fiddly multi-piece cowl on the 1/48 Trimaster/Dragon Fw.190A/F kits. However, I didn't find the Hasegawa cowl difficult to assemble at all. Simply make sure to fill the seams that don't belong once the pieces are glued together.

Although Hasegawa provides an option for dropped flaps (at an incorrect angle - they shouldn't drop more than 60 degrees), I decided to leave the flaps up on my model. It was therefore necessary to remove the positioning tabs before fixing the flaps onto the wing. I also found it necessary to fill numerous sink marks on the outside surface of the flaps caused by the internal detailing.

I opted to replace the kit's 300 liter drop tank with a more accurate version from Eagle Editions. The replacement tank has the correct number of panel lines, as well as some superb detailing revealed in the welded seams and a separate fuel cap. I used a rotary dremel tool to create dents on the front of the drop tank, as I've heard that these tanks often suffered such abuse.



To each landing strut I added brake lines made from wire and thin, flexible rubber. The oleos were covered with bare metal foil, and the holes in the oleo scissors were drilled out. The tires themselves were scored with a hobby knife to simulate a tread. Note that Eagle Editions produces a replacement resin tire with the proper tread pattern.




Painting, Markings & Groundwork



Painting began with preshading the panel lines and various areas of the model in black. Although the technique is disliked by some, I find it a great way to enhance the character of a model. The key to preshading, in my opinion, is subtlety. It should not be obvious to the casual observer that the model was preshaded. Rather, preshading should create subtle variations in the surface layer of paint that help create the illusion that the aircraft's surfaces are not perfectly smooth or evenly worn.

The yellow and black fuselage bands, as well as the yellow cowl panel, were painted and masked with Tamiya tape until all other painting was complete. Although the kit's instructions do not show the yellow cowl, both Eagle Edition's EagleCals#9 and the color profile in Sundin and Bergstrom's book indicate that it was yellow.


The model was painted freehand with an Iwata HP-C airbrush using Polly Scale acrylics in a standard Luftwaffe scheme of RLM 74 (dark gray), RLM 75 (gray-violet) over RLM 76 (light blue-gray). Special attention was given to creating the fine vertical squiggles on the fuselage sides and the mottles on the tail fin, consistent with my reference photo and color profile. The spinner was painted black, and the propeller blades were painted RLM 70 (black-green). Wheel wells and the inside of gear doors were painted RLM 02 (gray).

Exhaust stains were sprayed using heavily thinned black paint. The stains on the drop tank were achieved by spraying the same mixture of black paint from up close above the tank, allowing it to be blown over the sides and into the surface contours.

Once the paint was thoroughly dry, I sprayed a thin coat of Future floor wax over the model to give it a glossy finish in preparation for decals.



Most of the decals I used were from the kit, although the stencils and swastikas were from Eagle Editions. Contrary to previous experiences, I had no difficulty with the Hasegawa decals silvering or wrinkling. I used Solvaset to help snuggle the decals into the panel lines and rivets. Once the decals had dried I applied a second coat of Future, followed a day later by a 50/50 mixture of Polly Scale clear satin and clear flat.



A wooden cutting board was used as the base for the model. Celluclay was used to make the basic ground cover. The celluclay powder was mixed into a paste with water and white glue, tinted with brown acrylic paint, and then spread thinly over the cutting board. Note that the cutting board had previously been treated with several coats of clear lacquer to prevent warping while the celluclay dried. While the celluclay was still wet I added pieces of Heki grass mat (item # 1574 - Wild Grass Savanna), fine sand, and small bits of moss. I purchased the Heki grass from a mailorder company in the UK. (Do a Google search on the term "Heki Grass" and you will find suitable dealers.)




Images were taken with a Nikon Coolpix 5400 digital camera. The "sharpen edges" tool of Adobe Photoshop was used to restore some of the clarity and crispness lost during image compression.



Additional Images


Click on 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, Images and Text Copyright 2004 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 13 July, 2004
Last Updated 12 July, 2004

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