The Fw 190 D-9 is an emblematic WWII aircraft which has gained a cult status amongst aviation enthusiasts. It's history and the fact that it represents the last piston engined fighter of the Germans widely used in combat makes it the perfect representative of the "last days of the Luftwaffe".
The Fw190D was only supposed to be a transition aircraft until the new design Ta 152 was ready. So expectation were not very high when a Jumo 213 (primarily a bomber engine!) was installed in a Fw 190A airframe. Surprisingly, the result wasn't too bad and while the "Dora" (nickname of the D variant) was less maneuverable than the A series, it was faster and could climb and dive more rapidly, making it more suitable to the aerial combat tactics of the last years of the war. In fact, it was the only German design which represented a real match for the P-51s and late mark Spitfires, the combat jets (Me262) being not really operational at that time.
In order to fit the new engine, the Fw 190 fuselage was lengthened both in the front and tail areas adding about 1,52m to the overall size of the aircraft. The wings remained the same as the A series though. The D-9 was also equipped with an annular radiator, similar in design to the one of the Ju-88, which gave the impression it was fitted with a radial engine while in fact the Jumo is a liquid cooled engine.
The Doras started to enter service in September 1944 and were used in combat until the last days of the war. They were camouflaged in many different ways, depending on the sub-contractor which manufactured the various pieces of the aircraft as well as the available paint stocks. Some had parts of the airframe which remained in bare aluminium while others (JV44) received a colorful red and white finish on the underside not to be shot down by their own flak!
The subject of this boxing, the Fw190 D-9 "late", is in fact a production machine fitted with a Ta 152 tail. The latter were used due to problems in logistics (there was a shortage of standard tails) in order not to stop the production lines. Only a very small batch of aircraft received the big tail. In fact there are photographic evidences for only two of them!
Eduard's new Fw190 D-9 late kit features the same plastic parts than the first issue released in January 2010 (see review here
). Only difference is the presence of an additional sprue with new fuselage halves featuring the bigger tail. Of course, new instructions and new decals are included as well.
The kit comes in one of Eduard's typical top opening cardboard box and the content is the following:
- 6 sprues of light olive styrene parts.
- 1 sprue with the transparent plastic parts.
- 1 pre-painted photo etched fret.
- 1 sheet of masks.
- 2 sheets of decals.
- 1 instruction booklet.
The quality of the injected plastic is very good. For more detailed pictures, please refer to the aforementioned review of the original kit and the review build articles by Rowan Baylis (see here
) and myself (see here
). The plastic part features finely engraved panel lines and a subtle rendering of the rivets. I found no sink marks or heavy traces of flash on the sprues.
The kit already offers a good level of detail with the plastic parts only. The cockpit looks busy and while no complete engine is provided, the rear part of it is present and remains visible through the open landing wheel well roof on the finished model. It is also possible to show the installments of both upper cowling and wing root machine guns bays since their covers come as separate pieces with inner details reproduced.
Only few parts are labeled "not for use" on the instructions but there will be many more left on the sprues, depending on the aircraft you will want to do and the way you want it to look like in the end. Indeed, you have the choice between normal or big tail fuselages, closed or opened canopy, flat or blown hood (including different headrest details), plastic or photo etched instrument panels and side consoles, smooth or threaded tires, one piece or multi part tail-wheels, closed or opened cowling flaps, bomb or fuel tank. Some parts will end up in the spare box as well if you don't want to show the guns bays (machine guns and ammunition casings).
The movable surfaces are separate except for the horizontal tailplane ones, which is a shame. Sadly, the landing flaps don't come as separate pieces neither, but Eduard have already released a nice set of etched flaps (see here
The engine backside sub assembly is composed of about 20 parts and looks very nice once completed. This is a real plus of the kit.
The clear parts are the same as in the Fw190A series of kits. Two styles of hoods (early or late) are provided in two exemplars (open or closed). The quality of the transparent parts is excellent but I've read elsewhere that the blown hood isn't bulbous enough.
The photo etched fret is mainly composed of pre-colored parts for the cockpit (instrument panels, side consoles, seat belts, rudder pedals, etc...) but also of some parts destined to the exterior (wing root gun cover hinges and Morane antenna mast). A nice addition but not vital if you like to paint the interior yourself. However, it's good to have the choice and some seat belts are always welcome.
Provided as well is a sheet of masks which will help you to paint the transparent cockpit parts (windscreen and hood), as well as the area around the wing root gun bays and the wheels.
The instructions are typical Eduard. The booklet is composed of 16 A4 sized pages of which eight are destined to the assembly steps, five to the painting and marking guides and the remaining three to the history text, the part's layout, the color table (for the Gunze Aqueous and Mr.Color range of paints) and the stencils data.
The decals look good and well printed and will allow you to choose between five different aircraft:
A - W.Nr. 500647, 7./JG 26, Hustedt Airfield, Germany, February - April, 1945
B - W.Nr. 500645, III./JG 2, Altenstadt, Germany, May, 1945
C - W.Nr. 500648, 9./KG(J)27, Austria, April 1st, 1945
D - W.Nr. 500666, II./JG 301, Erfurt-Nord Airfield, Germany, May, 1945
E - W.Nr. 213097, 10. or 13./JG 51, Flensburg Airfield, Germany, May, 1945
I won't comment too much on the various paint scheme proposed in this boxing since they are well explained in the instructions. There were so many camouflage variations on late war Luftwaffe fighters that it wouldn't make sense anyway. But I'm sure most modelers will be happy with what is provided in the kit without having to search for aftermarket decals.
Two decal sheets are provided in this box. One with the markings and one with the stencils. It is to note that the first three options are for big tail Doras while the last two are machines fitted with the standard tail.
This is another fine release from the Czech manufacturer and I was very much looking forward to it since I discovered the master pattern on the desk of the Eduard designers team during my visit to them one year ago (see here
). The fact that complete new fuselage halves have been designed for the purpose of this boxing is a testimony of Eduard policy not to cut on corners. For sure other manufacturers would have included an insert for the bigger tail to save production costs. Beware though, this is a kit, especially in the Profipack edition, which requires great care during assembly. It's like a wild horse, one has to be very patient to overcome and then master it.
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