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Tom Cleaver
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For those who don’t want to do 1/32 Fw-190s

April 12, 2013 · in Aviation · · 8 · 1.4K

Everybody always wonders, what will happen to their stash when they're gone? Will SWMBO just trash it? Well, not necessarily. CINC Le Chateu du Chat likes to go to estate sales. She has found lots of good stuff at great prices, as have I (we furnished the living room that way with stuff we could never have afforded otherwise). Every once in awhile, you run across some real gems. Last month, we (unknowingly) ended up at a sale for a modeler (nobody I knew here, but you know what hermits some modelers are). Snapped up a bunch of at prices to make one weep given what they're charging today.

And thus I did this 1/48 Fw-190A-3. Since I have a decal dungeon that rivals the Bastille, I decided to do the most important Fw-190 of the war, that flown by Oberleutnant Armin Faber, Adjutant of III/JG 2, who saved the British the expense and bother of a commando raid on a German airfield to deposit a British test pilot in the cockpit of one of these "super fighters" and get it back to England, by mistaking the Bristol Channel for the English Channel and RAF Pentland for a German airfield on the Brittany peninsula.

Among all the other things they found out, insult was added to injury when they discovered the Germans had de-rated the BMW 801 by 250 h.p. to save wear and tear on the engine, and these airplanes were still flying rings around anything the RAF had! Comparative testing with a Spitfire IX showed that the Spitfire could stay in the same sky with the Wurger, but the outcome would really depend on pilot skill, they were that evenly matched.

It turns out that early Fw-190s were still in 71/02/65, as was well described in the report on Faber's airplane, which described it as painted 'light grey-green and dark green" on the upper surfaces. Right about the time this FW-built airframe (#313) came out of the factory, Fieseler was changing over to 74/75/76, so modelers can be excused their confusion with the Fw-190A-3 (A-1s and A-2s are definitely all 71/02/65 - A-4s and later are all 74/75/76 out of the factories). Painting done with Tamiya paints. I used an old Aeromaster sheet for the markings.

Faber himself was sent to Canada as a POW, where he eventually managed to convince his jailers that he had a fatal disease, and was repatriated in early 1944. Returning to service, he was shot down and killed in combat over the eastern front later that year. (Making his "fatal disease" wanting to be a fighter pilot.)

Over the years, there have been allegations he defected with the airplane, but the later events in his career as a POW would seem to put the lie to that.

So the answer to the question posed at the outset is, perhaps your stash will get grabbed by a vulture like me, and will finally see the light of day. 🙂

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

8 responses

  1. Very nice presentation, plane and insight! Looks like I need to start attending some estate sales!

  2. Great article on a very fine build, Tom.
    How was this one to build?
    From what I I understand the Hasegawa 48th scale 190A-3 and A-4 don't exactly fall together but IMHO they do look better than the Tamiya A-3. Something about the nose area...

    • They're far superior to either the Dragon or the Tamiya kits. They fit very nicely; I didn't use any putty or filler and didn't have to put spreaders inside fuselage to get the wing to fit like I do with the Dragon kits. Additionally, like the 1/32 kits, the landing gear legs are molded so they will end up in the proper alignment (a real problem with the Dragon kits) and they are the proper length (the Tamiya kits have gear legs that are too short, which really affects the final look).

      Personally, I think Hasegawa "owns" the Fw-190 in all three scales.

  3. You have to get thru my kid to get to my stash:)...Nice Wurger

  4. Great FW. I have one of those in the stash and may even build it!

  5. Really nice job on this Tom, and congrats on the score! Excellent finish here... you've managed to avoid over-doing anything and presented a very realistic looking 190 to my eye. You got a knack with the airbrush too.

    I have a Hase A-8 on the bench now but find it a far cry from shake'n'bake. The under-wing gun access panels require careful fitting and seam work IMHO, and there were odd holes in the upper wing surface that had to be plugged. But I heartily agree that the shape (especially the cowling) seems to best Tamiya and Ed hands down, and detail of the drop tank/bomb rack is really nice.

    Lovely model, yours!

    • Yeah, those underwing pieces are the worst part of the kit. The holes on the upper wing are for aligning the gun bay cover out there, so check that before you fill the holes - most A-8s had that gun cover. As far as Fuselage assembly and wing/fuselage join they're far better than Dragon and about tied with Tamiya.

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