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Hans Dortenmann’s Focke Wulf Fw 190 D-9

built by Klaus Herold (1:32)

Hans Dortenmann’s Focke Wulf Fw 190 D-9 (1:32)
The modeler interested in Luftwaffe aircraft will eventually attempt a Fw 190 D-9. My work table was not among the exceptions. I am a great fan of larger scales and decided to build the 1/32 scale Revell’s kit. Since this kit has been available for quite a long time, I do not want to discuss the pros and cons here.

The story of the real thing will also be discussed elsewhere. I would rather like to concentrate on the many small details that will elevate this much discussed model above the norm. When I visited the "Flying Legends" air show in Duxford during 2002, I noticed the uneven metal surfaces caused by rivets on the aircraft on display. From now on I decided that in order to build an accurate replica of an all metal aircraft that there was no way around the duplication of this stressed skin effect.

My Fw 190 would be the "guinea pig" for the replication of this effect on a plastic model.

Stressed skin effect

The first task was to draw all the rivet lines (which were taken from accurate rivet plans) with a permanent marking pen and dymo tape as a guide unto the model surfaces. A protractor is also very helpful to get the spacing between rivet lines right. I also recommend to work in a parallel manner on both wing surfaces at the same time. Asymmetrical mistakes are therefore easier to avoid. After all rivet lines had been transferred to the parts requiring them, a scalpel with a rounded blade was used to shave out small hollows in the plastic surface.

It is very important that these rough hollows are properly sanded. I used 1200 grade sandpaper and wet sanded the surface very carefully. The grade seems very fine but one should not underestimate the sanding effect. To clear the surfaces of any possible scratches they were polished with a Proxon mini drill with a polishing attachment. When satisfied with the wavy surface, I started to engrave the rivets again using dymo tape and the rivet maker "Rosie the Riveter". Satisfied, I was now able to begin with the construction of the aircraft. Like most modelers, I started with the cockpit.


There are a few very good after market cockpit sets for this kit. "Eagle Productions" has a very nicely detailed set but I decided on the "Aires" set because not only is it less expensive but it also has an impressive combination of photo etch and film for the instrument panel. The fitting of the cockpit also seems less complicated. One of the drawbacks of the Aires set in comparison to the Eagle production set is the lack of a canopy track. With a little plastic sheet and a little sanding this can be corrected. I used a piece of violin string to represent the oxygen tube.I only found out later that the oxygen tube used in the cockpit of the Fw 190 D-9 was smooth and that a piece of wire would have represented the original far better.

The inside of the cockpit canopy frame was finished with aluminum from a can of Red Bull. The framing was finished with the rivet maker. The Red Bull aluminum would find many more uses. Now everything fitted well with the newly constructed canopy track. The Fw 190 had a windshield washing system. If the windshield was soiled from whatever source, a tube system attached to the metal bracing of the windshield would spray petrol from the fuel line to give the pilot good visibility again. The Bf 109 had a similar system. The tubing was represented with 0.2 mm wire and then was attached with aluminum foil to the metal framing.
Main Landing Gear

The detailing of landing gears of aircraft presented a special challenge and joy for me. There are enormous opportunities for detailing for the Fw 190 D-9 since the engine compartment is not completely encased and open to the wheel well (landing gear compartment). Good reference material is an absolute necessity here. My philosophy dictates that cables and hydraulic lines that did not exist in reality have no place in a model that is to be taken seriously the matter how nice they are to look at. My first step was to eliminate the sink marks on the wheel well floor. I used a brush and Mr. Surfacer on the appropriate areas. I also used some Eduard photo etch parts.

The black hydraulic lines in the engine compartment were produced with black electrical wire. This saves paint and brush and also removes the worry about damaging the paint during the installation process. The control wire for the tail wheel was made like the antenna from two very thin wires. These wires in turn came from an old patch cable. A piece of old guitar string also found a new home in the engine compartment. I used stretched sprue, a little aluminum and plastic sheet to build the MG’s. This makes it possible not to show just black holes in the wings. The numerous thin, yellow cables were painted before installation. This makes for good paint coverage which is impossible to achieve if one paints the installed cables with a brush.

Care has to be taken, since during installation, the paint on the wires could be damaged. I used 0.2mm copper wire. Cable connectors were fashioned from aluminum foil. I used trimmed medical needles as lines, stuck some 0.3mm steel wire into them to represent the hydraulic lines that end up in the wheel wells. Plug-and-socket connections were made out of small triangular pieces of plastic. A little paint wear gives the illusion of placard lettering. The brake lines were fastened with proper clamps to the landing gear struts and a towing attachment for ground operations was also added. Again the "House of Red Bull" provided the metal for the towing attachment and the thicker flexible part of the brake lines were made of guitar string

Hans Dortenmann’s Focke Wulf Fw 190 D-9 (1:32)

  Model built by Klaus Herold, photos taken by Wolfram Bradac & Gerhard Moder  
Fw 190 D-9 Fw 190 D-9 Fw 190 D-9 Fw 190 D-9
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Fw 190 D-9   Fw 190 D-9   Fw 190 D-9   Fw 190 D-9
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Fw 190 D-9   Fw 190 D-9   Fw 190 D-9   Fw 190 D-9
Image 9   Image 10   Image 11   Image 12
Fw 190 D-9   Fw 190 D-9   Fw 190 D-9   Fw 190 D-9
Image 13   Image 14   Image 15   Image 16
(click the images to enlarge)


For the painting process, I used colors made by Gunze, Tamiya, Vallejo, Alklad II, Testors as well as oil paints. The basecoat for the whole model was Tamiya black gloss and then I sprayed Alklad II Aluminum. It is very important here to have long drying periods between coats. It is better to wait the extra day to continue work than to see the whole finish of the model ends up with little paint fissures. I then applied the camouflage paint over the aluminum base with Gunze Acryl colors.

Paint chips were added with a fine brush using Vallejo colors. Areas near the wing roots were abraded with very fine Micromash sand paper to achieve a very realistic scuffed effect. A few metal butt joints were accentuated with post shading, using a mixture of thinned Tamiya black and red brown. A light wash of oil color and shading were used to bring life to the model. Our armor modeling friends have used these techniques for a long time and it is now becoming popular with aircraft modelers.

I finished the model by applying exhaust stains made from a mixture of matt black and rust using Testors enamels. I am not a great fan of uniform matt, semi-gloss or gloss finishes. Some parts of an aircraft are glossy, some are semi-gloss and some are matt. If one knows how to combine these three in the right places and the right degree, the result will be a realistic finish. The period of finish uniformity should belong to the past. What modeler’s stomach does not turn if he has to look at a semi-gloss exhaust stain, matt weapons and engines or gloss tires?

Maybe this approach will put to rest the endless discussions whether matt, semi-gloss or gloss is the correct finish for an aircraft. Let this be the impetus for a new approach ...
  meet the modeler      

Klaus Herold

  My name is Klaus Herold. I was born on March 4th 1979 and grew up in Pinkafeld, Burgenland, Austria. I am studying pharmaceutical science in Graz and have been modeling since my early childhood. Certainly there have been, as with so many others, interruptions in my model building. Since 2002 I have enthusiastically returned. My main interests are primarily the aircraft of World War II, especially those of the Luftwaffe. Now and then I make "excursions" into other areas of modeling.

My goal is to build each new aircraft more detailed than the previous one. I am constantly searching for new techniques, materials and ideas. Since my favored scale is 1/32 I find that with patience and skill one can make an even better model than what the manufacturer and the accessories market offers. I hope that someday the "perfect" model will grace my modeling table. I hope that this day is far into the future and my learning curve will continue over the years.
  Klaus Herold  
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This page:  GALLERY: Hans Dortenmann’s Focke Wulf Fw 190 D-9 (1:32) - built by Klaus Herold
was last modified on: Sep 20, 2007
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Translation into English by Werner Stocker (Ft. Myers, FL USA).
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