Jan 25, 2006
FW190's taking off from Dortmund in early 1944
Picking my second warbird project
Choosing the Focke Wulfe FW190 was not a difficult choice for me. I had always loved the strong and powerful lines of this ship and had seen a very nice one at ScaleMasters in Dayton, OH that I really fell for. I had decided after my SBD that the next project would be a fighter, rather than a scout/dive bomber, and really wanted something that I didn't see showing up at the field on a regular basis. Something somewhat unique, yet relatively mainstream... maybe something from the Axis this time? Why not? First off, I like the thicker, more muscular look of the nose on the A series FW190 vs the longer, thinner snout on the D's.
Winning the RCSB "Best First Scale Project" award for 2004 rewarded me with my choice of any Jack Devine Models kit, and guess what... he had an FW190 that looke like it would fit the bill. Well, that pretty much wrapped up my decision making process in short order. Jack's kits are of a much different construction than the SBD I had built from Jerry Bates plans. A simpler, faster build from a completely foam fuse, wing and tail would speed things up for me and help me get back in the air quickly after losing the SBD. So, the next thing was to determine specifically "which" 190 I would try to tackle.
Looking for a very unique scheme that I hadn't yet seen done with an RC plane was very important to me. I also wanted to find one that had a good bit of contrasting colors to make it easier to see and determine orientation on the commonly dark and gray skies of Ohio. I started my research on the internet and eventually came to choose "Black 3".
The color plate by Simon Schatz above illustrates the unique color scheme of the plane I have chosen. It is "Black 3" which was an FW190 A-7, W.Nr. 430352, geflogen von der2./JG1 "Oseau" from Feb-Mar of 1944. Research I have come up with on this plane shows it to be flown out of Dortmund but the pilot is unknown.
The characteristics of the this scheme include the standard RLM 74, 75 and 76 camoflauge pattern, a black and white striped cowl with yellow underbelly, and the red Reich defence band around the rear fuselage. Note the mottled pattern on the vertical fin and rudder which often extended down the sides of the fuselage on many other FW190's with this and similar schemes.
The Geschwader tactical emblem on the cowl was applied to the port side only, and the black 3 numeral was edged in red. I have found conflicting documentation in regards to the color of the spinner. Some planes with this scheme are shown with red, white and yellow spinners, which was determined by the Staffel they belonged to. However most color plates and photographs show this specific plane to have a black spinner, but with no color photos of the real plane, nobody can really prove otherwise.
How much info is needed?
My intentions from the start were to build a very light, great looking, but most importantly, great flying plane this time. Consequently, I decided I didn't want to spend nearly as much time and energy on this project as I did with my SBD in making it 100% authentic and hyper-detailed. I don't plan on competing at a high level with this plane so in-depth research and documented proof of every aspect was not going to be necessary this time. However, I do like my scale planes to be actually be modelled after a "real" plane and would still strive to make it as scale accurate as I could without sacrificing weight and flying performance to do so. Besides, I rather enjoy the research phase to some degree... so I'll dig up what I can on "Black 3" and let the sawdust fall where it may.
Next step, dig around on the internet some more, buy some books and 3-views, then do something I have not done before in this phase of an RC scale project... build a plastic scale model first. Turn the page to learn more on my research!