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Fw 190D-12

Trimaster 1/48 Fw 190D-12 Kit First Look

By Ray Mehlberger

Date of Review May 2009 Manufacturer Trimaster
Subject Fw 190D-12 Scale 1/48
Kit Number 102 Primary Media Styrene, photo-etch, white metal
Pros Lots of excellent detail Cons Boxed-in wheel wells, control surfaces molded solid
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

Fw 190D-12
Fw 190D-12
Fw 190D-12
Fw 190D-12
Fw 190D-12
Fw 190D-12
Fw 190D-12

The Fw 190D is the series of the Fw 190 powered by liquid-cooled engines. A total of seven versions were planned from the D-9 to D-13 (powered by the Jumo 213) and the D-14 & 15 (powered by the DB-603). Among these only the D-9 was built in a sizable number, and only a small number of the D-12/13 was built. Others did not reach production status.

The D-12 (subject of this kit) is a fighter-bomber version, carrying the MK108 cannon firing through the propeller shaft, and is featured by the wider bladed VS10 propeller, enlarged supercharger air intake, and the flattened nose gun fairing due to removal of the two MG-131 guns. Among several sub-variants planned, only the RH bad-weather fighter was built and a few dozens were delivered for operation.

Trimaster was a company that was based in Fujieda-City, Shizuoka, Japan. They have since gone out of business and their molds passed to several other model companies: DML, Italeri and Revell have all re-issued kits from these molds.

The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The box art is a photograph of the model made up. The camouflage scheme is shown with a splinter of RLM 75 & RLM 83 on the wing tops. RLM 81 & RLM 82 is on the fuselage. The lower surface color is RLM 76 and there is a mottle of RLM 81 & 82 along the fuselage sides and the fin. The under surfaces are RLM 02. It has a black propeller and spinner with the spinner having a white spiral on it. There is a black and white home defense band around the fuselage in front of the tail. The fuselage code is in yellow with black outlines and is - + 12. The aircraft is carrying a BT400 bomb-torpedo on it’s belly mount. (this weapon is included in the kit).These marks are for JG26, which it is reported got all 24 of the D-12’s late in the war.

A side panel has 4 full color walk around type photos of the model made up, next to Trimaster’s address and a copyright date of 1988 for the kit. The other side panel has an illustration of the decal sheet, white metal parts and the 3 PE frets in the kit. Beside this, in 6 languages, is a listing of features of the kit.

The kit contains four light gray parts trees in stapled-shut cello bags, the clear cockpit parts and large decal sheet in another stapled-shut cello. There is a end-opening type small box that is stapled to the kit’s tray by it’s end flaps. This box contains brass tubes and stainless steel wire in a heat-sealed cello, white metal parts in two stapled-shut cellos and three frets of stainless steel PE in stapled-shut cellos with white card sheets to protect them from bending in shipment.

The instructions complete the kit’s contents.

The instructions consist of a single sheet that accordion folds out into 8 pages of 7 1/8” x 10” format.

Page one begins with a black and white repeat of the box art photo. This is followed by the history of the Fw 190D-12 in Japanese, English, German, French , Italian and Chinese.

Spread across pages two through five are CAUTIONS, international assembly symbol explanations and a paint color listing in the 6 languages mentioned above. The assembly illustrations span these pages and the steps are not numbered sequentially, so be careful.

Colors needed in each of these exploded drawings is called out with numbers that correspond to the paint color listing.

Pages six and seven give general painting instructions:

“It is said that the Fw 190D-12 was built in a small number (24 ?) and delivered to JG 26 near the end of the war. The paint scheme is estimated from the D-9 and D-13 of JG 26. The D-13 is similar to the D-12 in appearance, but it carried the MG-151 20mm gun instead of the Mk-108. Choose any of the national insignias and numbers. Use the decals that indicate the kind of fuel. It depends on the model of the engine actually mounted.”

There are profiles of 4 different aircraft of JG 26 shown in identical schemes. Only the fuselage codes are different:

  • 12 + - (white letters)
  • + - 10 (white letters)
  • 10 + 1 (black letters)
  • 14 + - (black letters)

There are illustrations of 3 variants of the upper wing and horizontal tail surfaces splinter pattern shown. Colors are called out in FS (federal standard numbers) as well as the numbers for an unspecified brand of hobby paints on the earlier paint listing.

Page eight begins with the parts trees illustrations. Some parts shown are shaded over in blue, meaning that they are excess and not needed to complete the model. This is followed by decal application instructions in the 6 languages and a customer service coupon in Japanese only, above Trimaster’s address.

The first light gray letter A parts tree holds: the wing halves (lower wing half is full span), main gear wheels and doors, cockpit tub, horizontal tail surfaces, pilot figure etc. (14 parts)

Smaller light gray letter B parts tree holds: wheel well interior part, individual propeller blades, joy stick, air intakes, propeller backing plate and spinner etc. (17 parts)

Medium sized light gray letter C parts tree holds: one fuselage half, half of the torpedo-bomb & it’s belly mounting rack, cowling parts (7 parts)

Medium sized light gray letter D parts tree holds: the other half of the fuselage, other half of the torpedo-bomb, halves of a belly fuel tank and it’s rack and the upper nose panel (6 parts)

Tubing and steel rod are provided to use for gun barrels, pitot tubes etc (3 parts)

White metal parts are for the main landing gear legs, tail wheel, exhaust pipes and main gear actuating struts (9 parts)

Three stainless steel PE frets hold many detail parts (too numerous to mention all by individual names). Examples are the dash board and engine radiator.

This is one highly detailed model. The cockpit canopy is in two parts, the windshield and the bubbled rear part. It can be posed open or shut to show the highly detailed cockpit interior. The cockpit tub can be joined to the model after the fuselage halves are cemented too, but before the lower wing half is installed. The torpedo-bomb or belly fuel tank are options. Unfortunately, Trimaster chose to mold the control surfaces and rudder solid. They would take surgery to reposition.

One other issue that came to light not long after this kit (and the other Fw 190s from Trimaster) were released was the boxed-in wheel-wells. On the real aircraft, a portion of the inboard area of the wheel wells were open and one could see up into the engine compartment. Several other Fw 190 kits from other manufacturers have also made this error in the past, but education has taken hold and more contemporary kits have this issue resolved.

The decal sheet has lots of numbers in yellow with black outline and solid black ones too. It has numerous stencil markings, white or black skeletal national crosses and solid black ones too. The black and white home defense band is provided and black panels to go around the exhaust pipes. Three sets of tail swastikas are also on this sheet.

Swastika insignia was left off the cover art photo to get around the restrictions against showing that insignia in Germany, where this kit was also marketed.

I was willed this kit by a modeler friend that died of cancer years ago. The price tag on the kit, when he purchased it back in the late 80’s is $50.00. Rather expensive for a 1/48th scale aircraft kit at that time. The kit is now out of production, but some can be found on some internet sites and eBay and the current price seems to float around $40.00 for one there.

Highly recommended.