Somewhat Out of the Norm
The Tamiya family of 1/48th scale FockeWulf 190s have long been pilloried by certain elements of the modeling community as being heavily flawed, to the point where some have even stated that the kits aren’t worth building. I’ve always enjoyed them for the mostly-accurate and easy to build models that they are; their known flaws, which primarily include wonky landing gear and undersized wheels, can be dealt with relatively easily and honestly don’t bother me all that much. Proper alignment of the main landing gear legs and substitution of the kit’s wheels with some of the correct size go a long way to fixing those particular problems.
Of somewhat greater concern, at least to me, has always been the way Tamiya chose to represent the inboard gun bay doors, because component design creates a “panel line” that didn’t exist on the real airplane. Fortunately, careful assembly and cleanup can go a long way towards resolving that issue, and all that’s left to do is enjoy a pleasant modeling experience.
I tend to build (and paint) in modular steps nowadays, which is evident in a couple of the accompanying photos. It’s a style that works well for me, particularly when building a kit that pretty much assembles itself the way the Tamiya Fw190 does. That approach doesn’t work well with every kit, of course, but I’m a big fan of doing things that way when I can.
One minor modification was made to the model; the removal of the underwing outboard gun bay bulges by the simple act of sanding them off early in the model’s assembly. There’s plenty of plastic to allow for that, and surrounding panel lines were preserved by judicious use of masking tape. Gun barrels and the pitot tube were taken from a Master early Fw190 detail set, while lap belts and harnesses are the ubiquitous Eduard photo-etch.
This particular model of the “Wurger” represents an Fw190A-3 from I/JG 51 while stationed in the former Soviet Union during late 1942/early 1943 and was chosen because I wanted something a little out of the ordinary, camouflage-wise, but not flown by JG 54. The model was painted in the normal early-War Fw190 scheme using Mr Color paint, then the sides and upper surfaces were hit with Mr Color RLM 71 Green that had been modified a bit to provide different tonal values to the model. Markings were from EagleCals sheet EC#128, while the limited weathering was accomplished with a box of Grumbacher dry pastels I’ve had on hand since 1973—never throw anything away!
There was, it must be admitted, an ulterior motive in mind when I decided to post this particular model for the group. Notice how that upper-surface color meanders all over the place, from an apparent dark green to a shade that comes closer to an olive drab color? The upper surface color is the same in every one of those images, as is the lighting. The apparent changes in color were created by moving the model around to different positions in order to photograph it, which is an important thing to note because color can change that way on real airplanes too. I mention this as a suggestion to avoid becoming overly pedantic regarding the color and tonal value of scale paint. It’s a philosophy that might not appeal to a lot of people but there are many times when close enough is close enough, and all you have to do is spend a little time on an active military ramp, or even the parking area at your local municipal airport, to understand why I’ve taken this approach. It’s worth thinking about…
Anyway, I had a lot of fun with this one and hope the group enjoys seeing it!
9 additional images. Click to enlarge.