Part I Here
Part II - "The Black Bird Commeth"
Kit no: PCM 32011
Subject: Focke Wulf Fw 19A0/1/2/3
Kit Type: Sprues: 4 grey + 1 clear Styrene + Grey Resin parts + Photo Etch multimedia kit
Decal choices: 8!!! 5 aircraft spanning the A1 + A-2 and A3
The ‘pit is made up of mainly the large resin tub and plastic instrument panel, on which goes the very nice (but slightly striped I would say) Eduard pre-painted instrument panel, more on that later. There are also P/E pre painted seatbelts which look more realistic, as well as the various knobs and toggles for the cockpit from tiny P/E, of course no cockpit is complete without very simple and effective rudder pedals and Revi gunsight. To top it all off there is a simple control stick made from plastic.
The instruction colour call outs are interesting here. They call for colours all right, but not very specifically. The only two colours with an exact specification are RLM 66 &02. I would guess because there is so much conjecture about colours on the actual aircraft and that everyone “likes their own brand” as a character on Austin Powers says !
Anyway – after trying to separate the resin cockpit with a blunt resin saw I switched to my dremel tool which made slightly shorter work of the block. I actually wasn’t sure if I should take it off as the instructions show the cockpit from the top down, I thought there was a chance that it should sit on the bottom fuselage but sense prevailed and I cut the block off without too much bother.
I got busy not with grabbing every cockpit part I could, gluing on all of the dials and PE knobs I could to get the cockpit painted in a shade of RLM 66 – I am trying to get into my new Vallejo paints I have spent some dosh on recently. They are acrylic – have no nasty fumes and handle well under the brush – but on the cons side are a bit “soft” meaning easy to scratch and a little delicate. I picked the RLM 66 from their model air range and hey presto it really doesn’t match the pre painted instrument panel I have – would you “Adam and eve” it? I had to go to work on this colour then, I had seen one kit already with a mismatch like this and I didn’t want to be another casualty!
I had the darker base colour down now I went to work trying to mix an exact match AND a lighter shade for the cockpit. As well as using MIG dark wash pigment for the more hidden areas I let that to dry and applied the mix of Prussian blue/white and RLM 66 to get the blue-ish grey to match the I.P. and I think I got it down. I also mixed another lighter colour for the highlights which would on be the horizontal surfaces as the light hit them. Now is it just me or does anyone else think the Eduard PE I.P.’s are a bit “stripey” – they look like they are pin-striped… Maybe just me then!
I have to confess – I love dry brushing!! It’s my fave part of the kit to watch the “plastic turn to fantastic” so to speak – to watch the soft details become hard – and although I really aren’t any good at it – I think I am and enjoy it – and that is all that matters! I applied the “Blue” RLM 66 mix I made as per Eduard and then the highlights to the hard cockpit areas and then turned to the leather seat cushion on the pilot’s chair. Giving that some dark wash, some ”saddle brown” and then a drybrush of some “German pale cammo brown” – with the seatbelts on I like the outcome very much! Overall the cockpit is a little blue but I really like that it all matches correctly and I would be happy to have it displayed open. Next to add the PE additions...
The small switches and dials go on pretty easily with superglue – I would say though make sure they are exactly in position before they are placed down, no one likes to prize them off your freshly painted masterpiece!! They add a very professional look to the cockpit you couldn’t really get from just painting it unless it was your life’s work. I cannot get past that nagging sensation in my head it is the easy way out….But what a result! Definitely these PE sets are a timesaver, and in the kit it’s a cheaper option than shopping around for it.
Next the seatbelts – we as with the other tiny details here you will need your references close by, as there is only the roughest of drawings on the instruction, I have seen worse though - and a second after typing “Fw 190 seatbelt” into Google I came up with some better ideas. These belts go together great and look impressive – my only quibble is that they are only printed on one side – so you cannot really pose them twisted upside down. Some pictures here of the cockpit…
Some of the great P/E Rudder pedals..
On to the wheel wells while the cockpit is drying. I have some trepidation as to the fit when this all buttons up – we’ll see if I need to be worried later. I got my Dremel from Shesto onto the case as you can see from the pic below it really did save me a lot of time and effort – and some grey hairs too I think!
The wheel wells need to be assembled absolutely correctly, otherwise there will be problems with the fit of the wings and cowling later on. Firstly I gave the wheel wells a coating of RLM 02 and let them dry, then applied some MIG dark wash to the deeper areas of the wheel wells. This made it a little too dark but then I came in all guns blazing with the lighter shade of RLM02, then a half /half with white mix last, several steps which make the underside area look like it has three dimensions and realistic. I was more than happy with the result – especially on such a quick build!
Now for the aircraft’s cowling. I have heard this is a bit of a pig to put together – what’s new you think? “A cowling that doesn’t fit together very well?” well it’s an all too common thing nowadays isn’t it? So I thought I’d better get modelling and find out instead of just looking at it!!
The cowling parts I separated were treated to an hour or so of dry fitting- then again until I thought I found a way that worked. I heeded other’s notes on this plane and firstly cut the circular surround on the radial engine to very fine. Glued it to the top of the inside of the cowling, then put the cowling together top first, then the underside (which didn’t fit at all without superglue and a bit of wiggling) Next I trimmed the guide tabs for the cone at the end of the fuselage and got the front section as flat as I could. The end result was pleasing and I was kind of happy – but there was a lot of superglue filling to be done and associated sanding till I was happy enough for now.
Next came the other section I thought may give me trouble – the wings. I followed the instructions to the letter and resisted the urge to meld the wings together and then join them to the fuselage. I was very worried about gaps at the fuselage seam though and my fears were soon realized!
To try to secure the top of the wing to the bottom half I needed to sand down the insides of the gear bay – very carefully! I didn’t want to end up with going through them, this I did with my crafty scalpel and the use of one of my favourite modelling tools – A four way Nail-block from Waitrose!!??
A little word about this tool/ nail accessory – ok ok I am a bit of a big girl going to a shop and buying a sanding block for my nails – BUT! It is by far the best tool to bring a large bit of rough filling to heel to make a mirrored surface with its steps 1-4 in gradient. It sure saves my rear a fair bit and I have lots of them – every time I go to the store I buy one. If you don’t have a Waitrose near you don’t be afraid to go the “ladies” section and loiter a bit till you find something like it. They are soft and the other strips can be taken off to provide one or as many abrasive sides as you need. So I went to town with step 4 from the nail sander and took off the other sides so I would not damage the fuselage.
I have to apologise for not having the next part – I haven’t taken many pictures of the cowling together, but the ones I have here and previously tell the picture, I took the top parts of the wings and really very gently fit them to the top of the bottom wing section, and after a lot of jockeying and sanding down the wheel wells till they were nearly through (I feared – but not really) I got them to sit well. Though as you can see here to fit correctly there is a gap at the rear wing root! Ohh well time to get out the superglue to fill it!
I used some Dymo tape to mask the rest of the wings from the “hot” superglue and filled the joint several times with layers of the stuff – I think the centre of the wing is now very secure!! Superglue fills as well as secures so it is the best medium here to use – and absolutely necessary when building a multimedia kit like this – as is the accelerant you use to nearly instantly seal the glue. It saves time and most importantly sticky fingers and scarred kit!
The tails were added next – they have small imperfections on them that go straight through them and would look downright silly – my nails had been done that day so itused the ol’ Waitrose sanding stick and hey presto!
The next part was buttoning up the front of the cowling and getting ready to stuff the insides with foam and tape the cockpit with Tamiya tape. This was done quickly and undercoated with rattle can black Vallejo spray undercoat.
This looked great to me – the cowling had come together ok as had the wings – I was happy… Wait until you read next week how I stuffed it all up - and then see how I overcame it all - and made the kit up to the final paint stage!!
Till then have fun modelling guys