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Legato 1/48 scale
Focke Wulf Fw 190 V1

by Floyd S. Werner Jr.


Focke Wulf Fw 190 V1


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Legato 1/48 scale
Focke Wulf Fw 190 V1
Prod code-LGMLK4822
Cost $75.00
Reviewed by
Floyd S. Werner, Jr.
IPMS# 26266

Wurger, Butcher Bird, or whatever you call it the FW-190 was one of the great warbirds of the WWII. Before it could become the deadly bird of prey the 190 had to start somewhere. That started in June 1, 1939 in Breman with the first flight of Kurt Tanks’s greatest design.

A small compact all metal monoplane fighter, the FW-190 was initially beset with problems, most notably by the intense heat from the engine. The 190V-1 employed a unique NACA type cowling over the spinner in an attempt to streamline the bulbous radial engine. This cowling arrangement was found to not work as advertised. The V-1 was re-engined with the BMW801 engine and with the repositioning of the cockpit aft to counter the heavier engine the rest is history.

The Kit

Legato’s FW-190V-1 is packaged in a sturdy cardboard box with an instruction sheet and painting sheet. The 29 pieces of resin are light grey and relatively free of defects. I did have a couple of bubbles here and there but nothing that was out of the ordinary or in an objectionable place. You also get a fret of photo etch and one transparent canopy. The decals are printed by Aviagraphics and are very nicely done.





I like to cut all my parts from the pour stubs and clean them up first. I washed all the parts in Dawn grease cutting dishwashing liquid. The whole separation process took a little longer than I thought it would, about three hours. Nothing out of the ordinary but it did seem long.


The cockpit is the normal starting place and this model is no different. The cockpit is a mixture of resin and photo etch.

Everything fitted as advertised.

I elected to paint the entire cockpit in RLM 02. There is also the possibility that it could have been RLM 66 but I think that the 1939 date of manufacture leads to the RLM 02.

The wash was burnt umber artist oils with a dry brush of white and small chips of silver pencil. Just a little as this was a brand new machine fresh from the pre-war factory.


Cutting the fuselage halves from their pour stub is a time consuming task. Patience is called for. This task was more like separating a vacuform part. I cut at an angle and then sanded the top where the pour plug were until it was flat. I added some plastic channel to the tail wheel area to mount the tail wheel to. This helped this greatly. Once that was done the parts were joined with superglue from the inside to tack the pieces together. Once I was sure everything was aligned I added superglue to the seam on the outside. One thing I should have done but forgot was while the halves were separate I should have attached the horizontal tail with superglue and then drilled the mounting holes from the inside. This would have made attaching these pieces easier later.

Now that the fuselage was assembled how far back do I put the cockpit tub as there are no locating pin and only vague pictures in the instructions. I finally figured out a way to do it. I folded the photo etch piece for the deck behind the pilot and then placed it in the opening. I moved it back until the part could move no more and then inserted the cockpit from below to fit this piece. It actually worked out pretty well and everything was aligned , including the instrument panel.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images: 



Now came the first really big hurdle, the wheel wells and wings. The wings are a typical three piece affair, one lower and two upper halves. The issue is where do you fit the wheel wells. Seems easy enough but this proved to be one of the more difficult tasks. First off you will have to remove a lot of resin from the wheel well opening to thin the edges to a more scale appearance and better fit the wells themselves. There was dust everywhere, but I finally got a good fit. Then when I tried to attach the top wings they needed the same amount of thinning to allow the wheel well to sit properly and the wings to attach to the fuselage. Go slow and test fit often. Once you have them in place there is the center piece of the wheel well that fits someplace up under the cockpit and should attach the outer wheel wells. It doesn’t, not really. First off the instructions are vague at best as to where it goes. It obviously does not butt join because then the landing gear mounts won’t fit. I ended up lining the rear portion of the wheel well which allowed the whole thing to fit in the wing. Then I added the vertical portion of the wheel well. This was offered up to the wing to check alignment and it was fine.


The ailerons are separate pieces. My example had some flaws in them that needed a little putty. No big problem. There were some air bubbles on my upper wing half on the trailing edge that I filled with superglue and accelerator before I attached the ailerons.

The Engine

The engine is a key part of this kit. I painted my engine flat black and dry brushed silver over the cylinders. It has some pieces that have to be aligned for the prop to fit properly as well as the NACA cowling. Dry fit, dry fit, dry fit. I got lucky and mine lined up. There is no indication on how far in or out the cowling it is suppose to fit so align at the back. The engine mount fits against the vertical wheel well piece. Then the back of the engine fits on that. Now the front portion of the engine is where the issue comes into effect. Should it be glued to the read portion or inserted in the cowling someplace? If you look at the instructions you should mount the engine to the front of the cowling. This doesn’t work as it will interfere with the NACA cowling. I finally ended up just gluing it to the back piece and drilling a hole for the propeller shaft. The NACA cowling on my example was round but the opening where the prop comes through was not. It was relatively simple to sand it so that it was round. I wrapped sandpaper around a round brush handle and went to town. Inside this piece goes the inner prop hub. I just glued the prop hub to the NACA cowling ensuring that it was aligned with the holes for the props. Then the NACA assembly was attached to the normal cowling and the fit was actually pretty nice. I had to open the holes for the propeller blades.

Bringing the wings together revealed some issues that would have to be addressed. I noticed that the dihedral was too shallow and that the left wing at the root was not completely molded. It was about an 1/8th inch too short at the back but fit fine at the front. What to do? First off I decided to deal with the dihedral by using my wife’s heat gun for stamping. I kept it moving and when I could tell that the resin was pliable I added gentle pressure to get some dihedral. Just hold it until the wings cool. This technique is not for the faint of heart. For the wing root I mixed two part epoxy putty and filled the area. That was actually pretty easy.


Next problem area was the horizontal tails. The tails were canted aft and that would not do. At first I thought what the heck I’ll just substitute a set of Tamiya ones, but unfortunately the Tamiya ones are too large. So now I had to figure out how to make do with what was given to me. First off, I drilled mounting holes to see how much I was talking about. The gap was pretty substantial if the tail was going to be straight. Using hypodermic needles as mounts I leveled everything out. The resulting gap was then filled with epoxy putty. This actually worked rather well. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was.

With the wings, fuselage, and tail all together it was time to wash the model and prime it. I used ALCLAD grey primer to check for flaws and there were many. A little Tamiya putty here and there and another coat of primer and it was time for paint.


There is only one canopy and it is different than other canopies from any injection kit so you only get one shot to cut it open. I chickened out, but with a reason. The FW-190V-1 had the cockpit situated forward and if you cut and reposition the canopy open you won’t notice it as much. I needed to cut the canopy from the backing and this was very easy. I used my olfa cutter to cut the long portion and scissors on the front portion. The whole process was pretty easy. The canopy was masked with Tamiya tape and painted RLM 02 as a base color prior to the camouflage being painted.



Painting and Markings



You are given two choices for the 190V-1. The way it looked when it rolled out of the factory in RLM 63 Light Grey overall or the way it was test flown in RLM 65/70/71. I elected the tactical look for my V-1. My Bf-109V-1 is overall RLM 63 so I wanted something different for this model.


As this was a factory fresh machine it would have no dirt and grime so I elected not to preshade the model. I first sprayed the Gunze RLM 65 on the bottom. Masked it off with Tamiya tape and then sprayed the red band on the tail and masked it off too. The Gunze RLM 70 Dark Green was sprayed completely over the topside. Once it was dried, utilizing the kit instructions and looking at the pictures in my references I masked off the dark green. The Gunze RLM 71 was sprayed over the masking. Once the masking tape was removed there was some touchup that needed to be done but overall I was pretty happy with the look.

Some more construction...

Now that the colors were on I like to attach as many parts as possible. This starts with the landing gear. I drilled holes for them to fit into. This whole process worked out rather well. I used 5 minute epoxy to add additional strength and allow me to get the angles correct. While I was at it I added the tail wheel as well.

It should all be easy now, right?. Just add the photo etch gear doors and gloss, but when I tried to add the doors there was something amiss. The doors were freakin huge. Even if I cut them down they would not fit, not even close. What to do now? These doors are unique to the V-1. I took the photo etch to my scanner and reduced it in size by 15% and print it out on some paper. I then used double sided tape to attach the paper to a piece of .005 plastic. Then I carefully cut them out. I added the same rivet detail with my Rosie the Riveter that was on the photo etch part. It looks just like the photo etch part, I was happy and proud of the look. I did have to make a compromise though. There are two holes on the door but I had to drill an additional hole to aid in mounting the door to the strut that wasn’t on the real thing. Oh well I can live with it.

Once the gear was attached, it was time to add the gloss coat. I used ALCLAD Clear Gloss over the entire model, including the canopy. It was time for the decals.


The decals are made by Aviagraphics. As such they are quite thin and completely opaque. The swastika for the tail is a one piece affair with a white background. Once placed over the red tail band it was perfect. The rest of the markings are black codes. The ones for the wings are separate letters. The fuselage ones are a one piece affair. They are fragile so be careful. They responded well with Solvaset. The clear carrier disappeared completely. I normally overcoat the decals with another coat of clear but these were so thin that I didn’t feel there was a need so I oversprayed everything with Model Master Acrylic Semi-Gloss. Remember it was a factory fresh machine and was made to look beautiful for the brass. Gloss was too glossy but semi-gloss was just right.

I had to make an instrument panel cover. I couldn’t see the aircraft as not having one. I used one from another resin kit as a template and cut one out of brass. I primed it and painted it RLM 66. Now to just add the canopy.

Adding the canopy was not as easy as it sounded. Because it was a vacuform canopy there was very little surface to attach it. I used some .020 rod and ran it around the aft portion of the canopy. This gave some additional area to use. I used a combination of white glue and watch crystal cement to get a good join. I used white glue to fair everything in. I touched up the white glue with the appropriate paint.

Heck it should be all over but the photos now right? Wrong! The final thing to add was the prop blades. These have no mounting points to go into the holes in the NACA cowling. I drilled a hole and inserted .025 rod into each blade. Once I had that done the holes were too big in the cowling. I mixed up some two part epoxy putty and carefully put it in the holes. I pushed the blades into the putty and to set everything with just a drop of superglue to hold it while the putty cured. This actually provided a strong bond. I was surprised and pleased.


The final part was the photo etch cowl flaps on the lower cowling. With that the model was done. I elected not to weather or put a wash on it because I liked the way it looked.





If you want a FW-190V-1 this is the only one in town and the only one likely to be made, but it is not an easy build. It takes a lot of skill, a bit of luck, and it definitely stretched my abilities. I can recommend it to experienced resin model builders only. Did I have fun? Yes, almost every minute. I’m glad it is done and it adds a unique looking airplane to my collection.

Thanks to David Cooper from Cooper Models for the review copy. You can get yours and check out some other great kits at http://www.coopersmodels.com/Home.html or by emailing him at Proteus440@msn.com . Let him know you heard about it here.





Focke-Wulf Fw-190A: An illustrated history of the Luftwaffe’s Legendary Fighter Aircraft, Dietmar Hermann, Ulrich Leverenz, and Eberhard Weber, Schiffer Publicastions, 2004, ISBN 0-7643-1940-X (the best source for V-1 information and photos)

Focke Wulf Jagdflugzueg, Peter Rodeike, ISBN 3-923 457-44-8



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images: 


Model, Images & Text Copyright © 2007 by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
Page Created 01 May, 2007
Last Updated 24 December, 2007

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