ManCave Modeler presents...
Focke Wulf FW-190A-5/U7 Graf Special
Hasagawa models, 1/48 scale

Major Hermann Graf, Jagdgeschwader 50, 1943

The Plane
The FW190 was designed by Kurt Tank in the late 1930s and widely used during World War II.
This aircraft, along the The Messerschmitt Bf109 formed the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter forces during the Second World War.
The first operational FW-190's appeared over France in August 1941 and proved to be superior to to the Spitfire mk. V at low and medium altitude.

The A-5 was developed after it was determined that the Fw 190 could easily carry more ordnance.
The engine was moved forward another 15 cm (6 in) as had been tried out earlier, moving the center of gravity forward to allow more weight to be carried aft.

Deliveries of the Fw 190 A-5 began in January 1943. The/U7 was a high-altitude version, easily identified by the compressor air intakes on either side of the cowling

Engine: BMW 801 D-2
 (1,677 hp, 1,250 kW)
Maximum speed:
  426 mph/ 655 kph
  @20,000 ft
  519 miles
Maiden flight:
  June 1, 1939
  2 × 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131
  2 × 20 mm MG 151

The Kit
This is one of those Limited Edition Kits that Hasegawa puts out.
It's been on my shelf for a while and might be hard to find at this point
The bright and colorful paint job will stand out on the shelf next to all the navy gray and olive drab that lives there now.
The kit comes with 4 sprues of grey, a sprue of clear and a small bag with the cowl mounted air intakes, and a feature I didn't expect, actual swastikas on the decal sheet rather than the politically correct ones that need to be assembled or outright omitted.

The Build

I started by painting the cockpit components and interior RLM66.
With the small size of the parts I find it easier to paint the dials and other details while still on the sprue.
I added a little RLM02 for some contrast and dry brushed the gauges white to pick up the well defined details on the guages and added a little red where needed.
The seatbelts are made from Dental Floss with Verlinden #65 seat belt buckles.


(Click to enlarge)
Note:the beauty of taking and posting photos daily is seeing the things I miss and correct before moving on.
(such as the sprue cut on top of the instrument panel)

I'm using this kit as sort of a testbed for an upcoming Tomcat project, part of which is working navigation and formation lights.
Installing there entailed elongating the channel for the existing clear wing light kit parts
I glued .75mm fiberoptics cable into the trough and through the wings, since there's no internal light source I had to find a way to expose the ends unobtrusively.
This turned out to be two spots behind the pilot's seat once the wing is mated the the fuselage, the ends are clipped, mushroomed and fed back into the fuselage
The hope is I get enough light though the canopy to make them glow.


Engine & Cowling
This kit comes with a small bag of parts to convert it to the /U7 high altitude version.
These parts replace standard kit parts and seem to be made out of some sort of cement resistant plastic.
It appears I'm going to have to epoxy or CAA adhesive to get them to stay on..

There are two, 13mm machine gun barrels protruding from the weapons bay cowling.
There were removed and the area modified to accept the brass replacement barrels

The engine consists of 5 parts and has a decent amount of detail. Normally I would try to add some but it's already I tight fit inside the cowling


Paint & Markings
The canopy is masked of with plain ol' scoth tape.
Personally, I find it easier to see the canopy lines with the transluscent tape and since it's substantially thinner, easier to trim off.
After removing the engine & cowling, the aircraft was painted overall with Testors RLM 76 Light Blue, followed by AK acrylics in grey and green. I was surprised at how little contrast there was between the the two.
Once dry, I flipped it upside down and painted the inside of the wheel wells RLM02.
Once dry, I re-installed the engine and cowling and the landing gear.

Love the decal set, They lift off the paper easily and slide right into place. A little water if you need to adjust and they'll settle into panel lines nicely with a little solvaset.
The the aircraft was then clear coated with Alclad Semi-matte finish.


Once dry I peeled the mask off the canopy and installed the weapons, the Barrels were chemically blackend.
Unfortunately the starboard side supercharger broke loose from the epoxy I eventually ended up using to keep it attached. Weathering was subtle, exhaust from the engine and guns, a little paint chipping here and there.
For the radio aerial, I used two strands of wire from a seat of broken ear-buds
So anyway, here it is, my version of the Graf Special


Overall I enjoyed building this kit. The original intent was to try out a few techniques for an upcoming project. In this case using fiberoptics for the navigation lights with ambient light source. It worked to an extent but the light source needed to be stronger.
As for the kit, The cockpit details were easily painted and enhanced by dry brushing. The fit was good except for the cowl mounted air intakes. They seems to be some sort of plastic that was resistant to every type of cement I had and ended up using gorilla glue to keep them in place

Products used in Construction
Model Master AM48-017.
Fw 190 A2 - A5 armament set

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Last Updated November 19, 2017