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Build Report: Tamiya 1/48 Fw-190D

tamiya-fw-190d-13Drew Hatch shares his awesome looking results on Tamiya’s long nosed Fw-190. Great work, Drew!

A few years ago I was perusing a hobby shop and came across a pile of decals in a discount bin. Doing the normal ‘sift through every single one’ this sheet stood out! I had to have it. So with the Aeromaster sheet firmly in my grasp I needed a kit to supplement my new decal purchase. To me the choice was obvious, Tamiya all the way despite the few inaccuracies. During the time the kit and decals sat on the shelf awaiting their turn at the bench and for my ideas of how to weather this one past I purchased the MDC correction and detail suite for it. The only thing lacking from the set was resin exhausts which were easily attained from Ultracast.

Starting off with the cockpit painting was easy – RLM 66 all round. Before getting too far into this I asked a friend who has used this set if there were any issues with it? If I aligned the resin engine correctly there was to be no problems. So I started building the engine that shows back into the wheel bay. Plumbing the engine was a bit of a chore considering the confined areas given to work in. So in my frustration I may have left out one or twenty wires and hoses. (good thing I’m not a rivet counter) I finished the cockpit straight from the MDC set adding Mike Grant instrument decals for the extra bit of visual punch.

Once the engine and cockpit were completed I concerned myself with their alignment. If I wasn’t careful here, nothing would look right. I aligned the cockpit first and the engine bay sat perfectly where it should. The only problem I has was with the resin center gear bay section. It seemed too narrow for some reason and the wing guns didn’t line up correctly. I simply cut it in the centre, glued the two pieces where they needed to go and used strip to cover the gap. No problems here.

Painting this one was going to put me to the test. According to the decal instructions there are 9 different colors in all and some confusing references too boot. After looking at the references indicated I believed that the gear doors were tarnished metal. Looking carefully at the different pictures I came to the conclusion that there were no spots of color on the gear doors. Looking at all the pics I had access too, one in particular did not show any variations. Looking in the Squadron Walk around book I noticed these same ‘marks’ on other parts of the photos – grass field specifically. Looking at all the photos I could I came to the conclusion that the spots are moisture marks (as they move) on the film. Now before the mass of emails claiming I’m wrong – this is my interpretation only – come to your own conclusions and build this kit as YOU see it! I started painting with the RLM 84. I mixed a home brew using Xtra Acrylix British Sky mixed with a bit of light gray to tone it down some. I painted the lower ailerons with Polly Scale RLM 76. Topside was Xtra enamel RLM 83 and Model Master RLM 81. The wings were painted with Polly Scale RLM 75 and Model Master FS 36492 light gray with a drop of RLM 75 to match the RLM 77. The rudder was painted Xtra Acrylix RLM76 with Polly Scale RLM 74 mottling. After gloss coating with Future and applying the decals the weathering started. Using filters, pigments and dry brushing I didn’t quite get the look I was wanting. Some of the panel lines were darker than I wanted and the overall plane didn’t show the variations on the wings due to the darker panel lines. Oh well, live and learn. After a twin shot of Polly Scale clear flat I masked off the natural metal underside. Using Alclad gray primer lightly buffed with a nylon I sprayed Alclad Dark Aluminum. Carefully removing the masking (thankfully it didn’t lift the decals – whew!) I weathered the panel with a filer wash of Vandyke Brown and Cobalt Blue. I think it gave the tarnished and used appearance I was looking for.

Overall I’m happy with this build. All the resin items fit like they should (which I can’t say for most resin sets) and didn’t interfere with the natural assembly of the kit. It was a fast build considering most of the time was spent painting. I can see myself building another of these gems again.