Hasegawa 1/32 Focke Wulf Fw 190D-9 'Barkhorn' Kit First Look
|Date of Review||March 2018||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Kit Number||08251||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, nice details||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$74.99|
The Fw 190D series was a development of the successful Fw 190A/F series powered by the air-cooled BMW 801 radial engine. To answer a requirement for a high altitude interceptor, Kurt Tank realized that the radial engine was going to have cooling problems operating at combat power in thin air. The answer was to adapt a liquid-cooled engine and his first choice was the Daimler Benz DB603, but was forced to use the Jumo 213 instead. While retaining the appearance of an air-cooled engine (and a long one at that), the new cowling housed the V-12 engine with a round radiator occupying the entire face of the cowling intake.
The first full-production of the 'Dora' series was the Fw 190D-9, armed with a pair of MG131 13mm machine guns above the engine and two MG151 20mm cannons in the wing roots. The D-11 was powered by the Jumo 213E, the same engine as the Ta 152. The D-11 and D-13 had their nose-mounted machine guns deleted which resulted in a flat hood ahead of the windscreen. The D-11 retained the 20mm guns in the wing roots and had 30mm guns outboard of the wheel wells. The D-13 was not armed with the 30mm guns but may have the 20mm Motorkanone firing through the propeller hub. The D-13 also introduced hydraulically boosted ailerons that were also applied to the Ta 152.
Hasegawa released their first 1/32 Fw 190D-9 kit in the 1980s and I remember building the Collector's Hi-Grade edition from 1986. While I had fun with that build, my fellow IPMS members had many 'observations' about the kit as well as my build. Despite the 'feedback', I thoroughly enjoyed the build and vowed to do another one someday. I collected several kits and lots of aftermarket items for that day.
In 2003, Hasegawa retooled their 1/32 Fw 190D-9 kit, this time addressing some of the bugs in their previous kit as well as making the tooling able to render other Dora variants. One of the criticisms I heard about the original kit was a common mistake with other Dora kits - the wheel wells were completely enclosed. In the full-scale aircraft, the forward halves of the wheel wells were open up into the engine bay, allowing hot engine air to be drawn out through the wheel wells while the landing gear was extended and therefore flying slow.
This new tooling was inducted into Hasegawa's Limited Edition series, being periodically reissued with different decals and details. In this release, the kit is centered around the aircraft flown by Gerhard Barkhorn, the second highest ace of all time (the top ace being Erich Hartmann) and the only two pilots to ever exceed 300 kills. This release depicts the Fw 190D-9 wearing the wing commander's markings for JG 6, one of several reported schemes during Barkhorn's brief command of that wing.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts. One of the bonuses in this kit is a resin figure of Gerhard Barkhorn as depicted on the box art.
Among the other features and options in this kit:
- Beautifully detailed cockpit
- Optional seated pilot figure
- Optional standing pilot figure
- Positionable canopy
- Choice of streamlined or 'blown' canopies
- Open wheel wells with details of the rear of the engine visible from underneath
- Positionable cowl flaps
- Positionable wing flaps
- Positionable landing gear
- Optional centerline drop tank
Markings are provided for one aircraft:
- Fw 190D-9, Stab/JG 6, Feb 1945, as flown by Major Gerhard Barkhorn
Despite the kit's size, this is a relatively simple build with all of the assembly steps covered on only three pages. The only potential areas for filler are the underwing inserts outboard of the main wheel wells, and around the fuselage/tail join. We'll soon see how that all fits.
This kit remains the best Fw 190D in this scale and possibly in all scales. There are many different decal options available for this kit in the aftermarket to render the Dora its various schemes during its relatively short service at the end of World War II.
For a look at this kit built-up, look here.
My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!