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Eduard 1/48 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9

Focke-Wulf’s long-nosed 190s have always been  popular modeling subjects. Eduard’s new Dora is certainly worth exploring.

Kit:No. 8184 // Scale:1/48 // Price:$39.95
Eduard, 420-47-611-8259
Excellent level of detail, parts fit, decal markings, and assembly instruction booklet; assembly options; prepainted photoetched metal; die-cut paint masks
One small instruction error (Page 16, starboard drawing; tail wheel marking is not identified); insufficient/confusing reference for stencils (Page 16)
Injection molded, 236 parts (38 photoetched metal), decals
Another Fw 190D-9? Of course, if it has a high level of detail and excellent decals at a great price! This Dora has a lot to speak for it: You can see the engine mounts and accessories through the open wheel wells; posable ailerons and rudder; open gun bays; open cockpit; optional photoetched-metal or plastic parts for rudder pedals, instrument panels, and side consoles; beautiful, thin, in-register Cartograf-printed decals for six colorful aircraft. All parts trees, the photoetched-metal fret, and the decals are separately packaged in clear self-sealing envelopes.

The 16-page assembly instruction booklet begins with a brief history of the D-9, followed by general model building instructions and an explanation of assembly instruction symbols. A parts map shows the location of every part, including the photoetched metal and die-cut paint masks. There is also a color list with accurate names; Gunze paints are referenced.

Exploded assembly drawings are large and pretty clear on parts installation, with color callouts for all the detail parts. (Even so, some parts will require careful study.) Separate instructions are provided for open and closed gun bays as well as the use of photoetched metal versus plastic parts.

Assembly begins in the cockpit. Rather than sand detail from side consoles to install photoetched metal, I simply made console bases from card stock by copying the kit-part outlines. Fit is excellent up until joining the wings to the fuselage; I had to radically thin the open cannon bay walls to make the upper wing panels fit the lower wing, then squeeze the fuselage sides to get the assembled wing into the fuselage opening.

The next challenge was achieving the required 8-degree angle between the landing gear struts and the main wheels. My wheels insisted on setting up at an angle less than 8 degrees, with both toe-in and toe-out depending on how you looked at them. I also shortened the fire wall portion of the nose for the cowl/propeller assembly to fit properly.

Choose your version of the D-9, then pay close attention: Separate parts are included for the two canopies; there are differences in the cowl gun cover; different parts are used depending on whether or not you open or close the wing gun hatches. On my model, I used the masks for the rear of the open wing-gun compartments as templates to cut Bare-Metal Foil panels.

All paint colors used on my model are by AeroMaster. A dip in Pledge Future floor polish enhanced the canopy’s clarity. The canopy antenna is stretched sprue.

I applied the decals to a coat of Model Master semigloss lacquer, and followed with more of the semigloss clear.
The ultra-thin decals were resistant to chipping but tended to curl back under the backing paper; it helped to slide each of them off into a small puddle of water. Decals settled with light applications of Microscale Micro Set (blue label). While I did not count all the images on the sheet, I did use 67 of them on my model, all of which added up to more than 60 hours of work time.

My crude measuring system suggests that the model may be a twitch over scale – nothing to be alarmed about. Although my review model is depicted on the box cover, some details of the box art do not match the instructions. However, the model looks just like the planes in my photo references. I will build this kit again, closing everything up to see how that works. So many markings, so little time …

Prospective builders should have some modeling experience, as the paint and marking schemes are complicated and some of the assemblies can be difficult. Luftwaffe fans will be delighted.
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