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Focke-Wulf Ta 183B-1

by Richard Chafer


Focke-Wulf Ta - 183B over Egypt 1946


AMtech's 1/48 scale Ta 183 is available online from Squadron.com




This is AMtech's 1/48 scale kit of the Focke Wulf Ta-183 "Huckebein".

Construction began with the cockpit. The only addition here was to add copper wire behind the instrument panel instruments, which can just be seen on the completed model.

Instruments, dials and switches were detailed using a toothpick and enamel paint. The cockpit itself was painted Tamiya acrylic dark grey, sealed with Shine Magic (Future), left to dry for a day, then washed with a black / raw umber Winsor & Newton oil paint wash thinned with Turpentine. Excess wash was removed with a lint free cloth, then once dry, the cockpit was dry bushed with light grey enamel paint, then sealed with Polly Scale Flat finish.

Pilot figure is from the Tamiya MiG-15 kit. Actually trying to find a 1/48 scale pilot figure to fit into the cockpit proved problematic. I tried an Eduard pilot figure out of their Airacobra kit, but it was too wide. The pilot figures out of the Tamiya Corsairs were too big! The Tamiya MiG-15 pilot however was just right.



Since this model was going to be 'wheels up' a stand would have to be manufactured accordingly. The logical place for the stand to go was 'up the tailpipe'! So a section of plastic tube was superglued into position to accept the acrylic rod and keep the model stable once on the stand.



Construction was straightforward.

The fuselage, wings and main undercarriage doors all went together well. The front undercarriage doors however were a problem. Fitting these doors in the closed position caused a large gap, also the doors would not 'sit' in position very well and they needed some pretty heavy filing to blend-in to the fuselage. Once done the surrounding gap and filing damage was filled with thick superglue and accelerator then sanded smooth and re-engraved.

The nose and tail sections also needed some slight filling and sanding, but nothing too drastic.

I began building this model three weeks before a major competition here in South Australia. I have never completed a model in three weeks in my life! Usually a 48th scale kit can take me up to six months to complete depending on how complex it is. However this kit goes together VERY quickly, especially building it 'wheels up' like I have. So if you need to build a kit to get yourself back into the swing of kit building again I highly recommend this kit!

Trying to replicate the complex camouflage scheme I had created caused me more problems than I could have ever imagined.

Painting the camouflage scheme on the computer in Photoshop is a piece of cake, trying to replicate it with an Aztec A470 in a hurry was just simply not working. In fact I ended up stripping the Tamiya acrylic paint off this model twice! Luckily removing Tamiya paint with Mentholated Spirit is easy to do.

Colours used were all custom Tamiya paint mixes sprayed at 20 PSI using an Aztec A470 with a new tan tip:


Tamiya paint mixes
Dark Brown
Light Brown
Light blue
20 drops of Tamiya thinner.
20 drops of Tamiya thinner, & 1 drop of flat base.
20 drops of Tamiya thinner.
20 drops of Tamiya thinner.



In the end I compromised with the camouflage scheme eliminating the mottling and settling for a feathered edge. In the above photo the model has just been lightly sprayed with Shine Magic (Future) at 20 PSI which despite the way it looks in the photo gave a glass smooth finish.



Here's the finished model with decals applied. No great problems were encountered with the decals. However because they are quite thin care is needed, particularly with the Shark Mouth.

Decals were helped along with Gunze Sangyo Decal setting soloution which sorted out any silvering 95% of the time. The decals were sealed-in with Polly Scale Flat finish.

The stand was created for me by a friend by the name of Peter Murrie who got it done in one day, two days before the competition!



Light weathering was achieved with a heavily thinned mix of dark brown / black Tamiya acrylic paint thinned with 95% Tamiya thinners airbrushed at 20PSI along the panel lines and very light streaking along the wings following the direction of airflow. Additional washes were applied with a very dark brown oil paint wash thinned with Turpentine. The weathering was completed with some pastel streaks and patches.



The "Wild Weasel" weapons fit came from the Dragon 1/72nd scale Modern Soviet Aircraft Weapons set 2. Plus two of the missiles and drop tank that came in the AMtech kit.

The decals are from Gekko Graphics, which is the decal company I run. More information can be found here:



Anyway I hope you like my three week wonder. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me.




Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2004 by Richard Chafer
Page Created 14 February, 2004
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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