1/48 Tamiya FW-190 A4, as Flown by Leutnant Eberhard Von Burath, Adjutant 1 Gruppe / JG 1
This article is part of a series:
Staying hot on the heels of these FW-190 postings, I’ll add another one of my recent builds… lets keep it rolling!
This model was built as part of a four plane build that I did for the recent “Kasserine Pass” GB that was the brainchild of my good friend, David A. Thomas. Thanks again David for being there as a coach and a mentor as needed… 🙂
Originally I decided on this particular set of markings, since long ago I purchased this set of decals at our local hobby store. This is the Aero Master Decals 48-424 set. They worked flawlessly even though they had some age on them…
As luck would have it, I found a very good photo of the actual plane in one of my books entitled “Focke-Wulf Fw-190 Aces of the Western Front” by John Weal. This was part of the Osprey Aircraft of the Aces series and it’s a great reference.
I recently noticed that the fuselage side cross is missing the two lower sections of the insignia. Something I missed during my build… Oooops!
Then I went online and also found a picture of the same plane, that you can see here.
Which I tried to replicate with my model in this pose.
This is the same photo but with black and white effects.
The model is Tamiya kit number 61037, which originally is an earlier A3 version. The plane shown in the photo is an A-4 version, which isn’t all that hard to make from the A3. Here’s a link to the building of the 4 different 190’s.
The main thing that separated the A4 from the A3 is the vertical mast on the fin. The later A4’s also had a different set of cooling louvers on the side of the fuselage, but the early A4’s had the same ones used by the A3. Luckily for me, this particular machine was an early A4 and a very simple conversion was possible.
The model was a typical Tamiya build, and the fit was excellent. This kit was released in the 1990’s if memory serves me. Sure it’s not one of the latest Eduard kits, but I liked how it turned out and I had a lot of fun building it. Model Master enamels were used throughout the build. Other than adding a small piece of plastic to the very top of the fin, this kit was built straight from the box with no aftermarket additions.
Not many people know this, but the FW-190 had one of the fastest roll rates of any WW2 fighters. I believe the other plane that was very close in this aspect was the Vought F4U Corsair. When the 190 made it’s appearance over the Channel Front, it caused the RAF a lot of heartaches. The performance of the 190 outmatched the Spitfire in most aspects of flight, until the advent of the Spitfire Mk V.
In case you’re wondering about the white and black stripes on the cowling, it has been written that this was an early form of quick identification to tell friend from enemy. This type of colorful markings were being used by JG 1 and JG 11, both of which served on the Western Front. Their primary mission was to defend against the heavy bombers, which by now were making almost daily raids over occupied Europe.
JG 1 and JG 11 were doing this before the “Defense of the Reich” color bands were introduced later in the War.
These brightly colored fuselage bands were used as a quick means of unit identification. With one quick glance, you would tell what unit a plane was from simply by looking at the color of the fuselage band.
Sometimes there were multiple colors used in a pattern, such as a red / white / red band. Another example would be a yellow and red band, which would signify JG 301.
JG 54 used a solid blue band.
Later in the War when this practice became “official”, JG 1 used a solid red band, and JG 11 wore one in solid yellow.
The white and black stripes seen on the nose of this model were sometimes painted as a white and black checkered pattern. Some sources state that the JG 1 discontinued the use of the white and black on the nose of their aircraft once it was discovered that there was an American P-47 Group wearing similar markings!
The pilot of this plane was listed as Leutnant Eberhard Von Burath (The decals also listed the pilot as Lt. Hans Ehlers as another possibility).
Eberhard Burath was born on June 6th, 1918. He joined the Luftwaffe, and after he completed his flight training he was posted to 11/JG 1 in October of 1942.
He scored his first victory on May 21st, 1943 when he shot down a B-17. All of his subsequent kills would be bombers.
Lt. Burath would score his next B-17 on July 26th, 1943. Two days later during another raid, the FW-190 he was flying was badly damaged by return fire from the gunners of the B-17’s. He had to break away from the combat and made a forced landing in a potato field!
Burath would not score again until January 11th, 1944. He shot down yet another B-17.
Leutnant Burath didn’t score again until February 10th, 1944, when he claimed a B-17 as HSS. This time his “Wurger” was so badly damaged by defensive fire he had to bail out. He landed in his parachute unharmed and returned to duty.
As a side note, recent research has indicated the light blue background of the shield (shown in this picture above), was actually a pale yellow, not light blue, so here’s another mistake… Oops.
At the beginning of March, 1944, Lt. Burath was appointed as the “Staffelkapitan” of 4 / JG 1.
He scored another “Heavy” (B-17) on March 23rd, 1944.
However he was shot down again towards the end of the month, on the 29th.
Almost exactly one year later he was still flying combat, but hadn’t scored any more victories. By now he was flying as a “Staffelkapitan” in a different unit, which was 9/ JG 51.
In this capacity he scored his final victory during the War, when he shot down a Soviet Pe-2 on March 22nd, 1945.
That is the last information I found about this pilot. I don’t know if he survived the War or not. He is credited with 7 victories, all of them bombers, with most of his victims being the B-17 type.
I thoroughly enjoyed this build. Even though there may be a few small inaccuracies, I still like building Tamiya FW kits. They go together easy and the fit is spot on – and it looks like a 190 when it’s done.
What more could you ask for?
There’s still another FW-190 waiting to be posted in the very near future, along with a Tamiya Me-262, both in 1/48 scale. Please stay tuned… Thanks.
I need to build a photography light box to take better pictures 🙂 The shadows take away from the models somewhat.
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