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The Fw 190 V1 in 1/24
First of the Wurgers

by Frank Mitchell


Focke-Wulf Fw 190 V1


Trumpeter's 1/24 scale Fw 190D-9 is available online from Squadron.com




What do you do when you realize that you have accumulated three 24th scale Fw 190 kits (Two Airfix, and one Trumpeter 190D)? Obviously, you try to find something different to do with at least one of them.

Like most modelers, I have a fairly large stack of references on all the versions of the 190, and the more I looked, the more I realized that the V1 was a very different airplane from even the first production versions. For starters, it had a unique engine installation (really unique in the early configuration), a cockpit that was considerably forward of where it ended up, a heavily modified wing, a smaller rudder and tailwheel, and a number of other changes. All-in-all, it seemed like a typical Frank Mitchell “let’s-do-everything-the-hard-way” project.


In common with most prototypes, detailed photos were a bit hard to come by, but every book or magazine had one or more pictures, many of them different, so I was able to get a fair collection of information. I decided to build this model to represent the V1 in its final configuration, after it was modified to, among other things, remove the ducted spinner, which I have always thought looked kind of silly.





For construction of the model, the photos will pretty well show the basics; I will just guide you through.

Beginning with the fuselage, the cockpit had to be moved about an inch forward, and raised in the back. It was moved rearward in the production model because A) the engine was changed from the BMW 139 to the BMW 801 (which was longer and changed the weight distribution of the aircraft), B) to keep the pilot from being done to medium rare on every flight (cockpit temperatures reached 130 F), and C) the decision to mount guns above the engine.

The cowling was therefore very different from production versions, so a mold was turned from basswood and a new one vacuum-formed.



There were no armament or radios in the V1, although holes were present in the wing spar and wing leading edge to accommodate weapons. A new section had to be made for the area between the cockpit and the cowling. The fin top had to be altered to get rid of the antenna mast and add the place where an antenna would be located on the V2.

The cockpit required some changes because it was, of course, wider, since it was further forward. Because of that, the instrument panel was also different from later 190s. I had only one fuzzy photo of the mock-up panel, so went from there with my best guess. The prototype had no discernable glare shield so that was removed. The canopy was fortunately the same shape as the production aircraft, but was totally clear, as opposed to the partially metal one in the later models. I just glued the parts together, cleaned everything up, and used it to mold a new canopy. More changes were needed on the deck area behind the seat.


The kit spinner, prop, and the front portion of the engine was used with relatively small changes being made (thankfully, the fan pretty much hides the engine). The fan, however, had to be re-built because the V1 had ten, wider blades as compared to the production fan’s 12 blades. The rudder was shortened in chord, and the tailwheel leg modified for a much smaller wheel from the scrap box.

The wing required a bunch of work. First, based on the drawings and information that I had, the V1’s wing was tapered to a greater degree than the production versions, and was very slightly shorter. Therefore, a wedge was removed from the wing beginning at each root and widening to 3/8” at the tip of each wing. A spar was cut from 1/8” styrene for strength and to deal with the Airfix kit’s lack of dihedral. The wheel wells were reconfigured to better match (I think) the prototype. The V1 used different nav lights, and all the armament lumps and bumps were removed.


Because the gear door configuration was very different, new doors had to be made and the openings in the wing had to be changed to match. A couple of small jigs were made from cardboard to make sure that the gear legs would end up at the correct angle(s). The retraction system was also revised, since the prototype used hydraulic struts that were connected directly to the legs, while the production versions used electrical retraction. The V1 also used different wheels, but correct ones from a long-deceased Me-109E were scrounged from the scrap box. The torque links on the V1 were in front of the leg, so that had to be changed.

As with nearly every short-nose 190 I have built over the years, the area around the bottom of the wing and the cowling was a bit tricky to handle. I found it to be worse on this model, because nearly every photo shows that you could see daylight through the wells, and there were struts coming from (I assume) the firewall and engines. The wells themselves ran to the edge of the cowling. In other words, it was greatly different from the kit. More fiddling, but it all came out in the end, even though it was a bit like three-dimensional chess for a while.


The entire model was re-scribed because it was apparent from the photos and drawings that I had that few of the panel lines were the same as the production aircraft. I also filled in most of the infamous rivets on the kit, mostly out of necessity due to all the changes.



Painting and Markings


The model was painted in RLM 70/71/65. Although some sources said that it was done in a splinter scheme, it is obvious from photos that the divisions between the colors were (very) soft and did not really seem to conform to any of the more common patterns (this after all was a prototype). I therefore just more or less made it up as I went along, since I had no photos of the top of the wings, except for during construction, when they were still natural metal.


The markings were made on the computer (which I am a long way from having perfected), and the code letters were done as a Word document, which was then printed onto decal sheet.

Now, about those other two kits...

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 © 2005 by Frank Mitchell
Page Created 22 November, 2005
Last Updated 22 November, 2005

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