|KIT:||Trumpeter 1/24 FW-190D-9|
Since everyone knows the history of the Dora, let’s get on to what everyone wants to know: how’s the kit?
Right upfront, when Trumpeter announced earlier this year that they would produce a 1/24 scale model of my favorite German fighter of the Second World War, I was not one of those standing up to cheer. Given Trumpeter’s record with their 1/24 kits - think of the P-51D, the Zero, the Spitfire V - I was wondering what they would do to mess up this kit. My worries seemed to be confirmed when I saw pictures of the test shots that had been displayed at the 2004 IPMS-USA Nationals, with the incorrect enclosed landing gear and horizontal stabilizers that were too swept-back. I let Stevens International know my concerns and told every other modeler who contacted me with similar doubts that they should do so too.
It looks like Trumpeter listened, because when I opened the big box and started looking through the sprues, the main gear well had been corrected, as had the horizontal stabilizers.
In fact, overall I would say this is the best Trumpeter release in this scale that I have seen.
The 150 parts on seven sprues include both early and late gun bay doors, both “flat top” and “bubble” canopies, and main gear with sprung (literally!) oleos.
As is usual with Trumpeter, the parts are crisply molded. In 1/24 scale, the engraved rivet detail - which hasn’t been enlarged over what one would get in 1/32 scale - looks right, as does the fabric effect on the control surfaces.
The kit provides a Jumo 213A engine that is a kit in itself. Unfortunately, there are no separate engine cowling covers, so displaying this beautiful engine is going to take some considerable effort to cut open the cowling and then to scratchbuild interior detail to the open panels. Hopefully, some enterprising aftermarket resin company will come up with replacements here, because it’s a crime to have to stick that engine inside the fuselage where it can’t be seen. The fact they provided an MW50 tank inside the fuselage with no possibility of seeing that either is also strange.
When one considers the really interesting markings possibilities for the Dora, the choice of markings for Stab/IV JG3 are pretty pathetic (the yellow-white-yellow RVD band was assigned to JG2). There is also a Black 12 assigned to a factory defense flight so anonymous it’s not even identified in the instructions. I know for a fact that every aftermarket decal maker is going to be scaling up their sheets for this airplane, so those who wait will be rewarded with a likely plethora of markings possibilities for the kit.
The only other complaint I have is with regard to the main wheels. While it’s nice that they’re in injection-molded plastic instead of rubber, the tread pattern is unlike any I have ever seen for any Fw-190 anywhere. This is easily fixed for those of us who will go with treadless tires by an application of putty and a session with a sanding stick.
I am sure there will be resin cockpits available for this kit, but given the fact that even in 1/24 scale the Fw-190 cockpit is largely unviewable when finished and that this cockpit has enough detail to meet the need for an accurate cockpit, I would only hope that Eagle Editions will do a resin seat with molded-in seatbelts of the quality they did in 1/32 for the Fw-190A-8.
A big sigh of relief that the kit is accurate, with only small niggling points to complain about. This looks like it will make up into one very impressive model.
Review Kit courtesy of Stevens International.
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