iModeler Review: 1/48 Hobby Boss Focke-Wulf Fw-190D-9
So, Martin asked me if I was interested in doing the kit and I said yes and a week later the box arrived.
Of the four Dora-9 kits out there in 1/48 (Dragon/Trimaster/Italerei, Tamiya, Eduard and now Hobby Boss) it is obvious Hobby Boss studied the competition.
Unlike Tamiya and Trimaster, the Hobby Boss kit has the visible engine section in the open gear well center section. Unlike the over-done Eduard kit, which also has that option, this is not so fiddly and gives you “enough” (you can’t see half of the Eduard interior there once assembled; all it does is contribute to the uber-fiddliness of that kit overall). Like the Tamiya kit, it is easy to assemble, but unlike the Tamiya kit it is accurate with landing gear that isn’t too short and wheels that aren’t too small. I used no putty or surfacer on any seam in the assembly, which probably took a bit over 90 minutes once the parts in the cockpit area and the engine area had been painted. It does make the mistake of having the single shell ejector chute in the lower wing center section of the lower wing like the early-release Tamiya kit (but then Eduard has the double ejector chutes on their Fw-190D-13 model). Like the Hasegawa 190s, the main gear is designed to align correctly without a lot of fiddling. If you use the open cowl flaps option, you need to be sure to close the one at 3 o’clock ahead of the intake, which the kit part has molded open – not a big deal to fix.
The decals are kinda/sorta OK. I ended up using an old Eagle Cals sheet “Dora 9s of JG 54 and JG 26” to do the otherwise-anonymous “Brown 16” of III/JG 26. This was an early Dora-9 with the “flat top” canopy, which I robbed from the leftovers of the Hasegawa Fw-190A-9 kit; the canopy is actually a bit long in the closed position but this is not noticed in the open position. The model was painted with Xtracrylix: RLM 66 for the cockpit, RLM 02 for the engine comapartment/wheel wells/landing gear, RLM 76, 82, 83 applied freehand for the exterior finish.
Overall, this is the best Dora-9 currently available in 1/48. It is more accurate while being less fiddly than the competition, meeting my Grand Mean of “good enough is good enough and perfect is a pain in the posterior.”
Fortunately Eagle Cals has several sheets with well-known Dora-9s, as does Lifelike Decals, so if you don’t have all those long-OOP sheets from 10 years ago, there’s still plenty of options.
I’ll definitely build another one.