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Dora Kit

Italeri 1/72 Fw 190D-9 Dora Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2005 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject Focke Wulf Fw 190D-9 Dora Scale 1/72
Kit Number 1128 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed exterior Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $11.50

First Look

Dora Kit
Dora Kit
Dora Kit
Dora Kit

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 Dora was a formidable fighter, though it came too late in the war to make a significant impact. Many of these aircraft were lost to pilot inexperience coupled with the aircraft's stability in certain flight regimes (especially at take-off and landing).

Here is another interesting re-issue from Italeri. I believe this is a re-issue of their Dora kit number 0128.The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on two parts trees, plus a small tree containing the windscreen and your choice of standard or 'blown' canopies. The panel line detailing is raised and there aren't any ejector pin mark problems that I could see with the exception of the cockpit floor and pilot's seat.

The shape and details of the kit look right to me, though the kit does have the same flaw that plagues many Dora kits of all scales - the main wheel wells are fully enclosed. On the actual aircraft, the forward part of the wheel wells were open, so when the gear was down, you could see up into the fuselage at the rear of the engine, bottom of the gun bay, etc. If you were to correct this minor bug, you'd be staring at empty space inside the nose, so some bugs are not worth correcting.

Another unusual feature in this kit is a bomb for the centerline rack, but no external fuel tank.

Markings are provided for black 12, a Dora assigned to JG 54 in Germany, 1945; and yellow 2, a Dora assigned to the unit that assimilated the remains of JG 54, JG 26.

This is a nice-looking kit that ought to build up nicely straight out of the box, though AMS builders will have some fun adding the engine details in order to open up those wheel wells.

My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!