VIII. THE ETC 504 RACK
The ETC 504 rack is an Eduard, but I equipped it with Dragon's distance levers. I also made two openings on the bottom of the rack, the first one to fit a hook for hanging the tank and the second to put in the fuel piping. I made points from copper wire and glued them to the front and back of the rack; this probably served as a pin used for opening and closing the rack.
In contrast to most D-9s, the carrier on this plane comes in the color RLM76 and not in dark grey.
IX. THE PAINT JOB
The Blue 12 is certainly one of the most well-known long-nose FWs and was photographed a lot after the capitulation, even in color.
For various reasons (age, chemistry, copies of the originals, etc.), color photographs and film excerpts cannot be considered a reliable source for the exact determination of colors and shades. In general, the plane was pretty beat up and dirty, and it is clear that it had had many repairs done. In complete contrast to the fuselage of the plane, however, its nose was much nicer and cleaner. In truth, the entire engine module had been taken from another plane.
So much for the basics, now let's move onto painting the model.
As I mentioned at the beginning, the paint job on my model will be based primarily on the book
FW 190D, Part II. It contains the most detailed analysis of available photograph I have come across so far, and the enclosed color schemes are also pretty accurate.
I first painted the model in the primary color “Mr. Primer Surfacer 1000”.
The gaps on the wing and fuselage covers were left unputtied on purpose, as many photographs show that these covers didn’t fit completely on the real planes, including the Blue 12.
The pre-existing Eduard rivets were a little too big, but it would take too long to remove them.
Next came the aluminum paint job on the bottom half of the wings (AK XTREME METAL). Since I wanted the flaps to be of a different shade, I painted them with graphite powder (the best thing to do is to use the hardest B-type pencil). I applied the graphite powder with a shading pencil used in painting (you could also use a cotton bud), then smoothed out the surface with a cotton bud. The longer you polish, the brighter and smoother the surface. The entire surface was then coated with gloss varnish.
I also used the aluminum color to paint and varnish all the surfaces where the paint had chipped off completely – down to the aluminum.
I made the appropriate masks for these surfaces. Some surfaces, mainly at wing roots, will have some more work done later with polishing and a toothpick.
I used Mr. Paint color to paint the camouflage, namely RLM76, RLM81, RLM82 and “Grunblau” (MRP-182). The latter is actually a primary Luftwaffe color and doesn’t have an official RLM designation, although it is labelled as RLM99 in some Kagero publications. Another shade of this color was called “Blaugrun” (MRP-181). As the Blue 12 was pretty beat up, I used white to make all the colors lighter, except for RLM82 and Grunblau on the engine, which was from another plane. I painted in unequal layers, sometimes thicker, sometimes thinner, which allowed me to get a paler color in some places and will save me time on postshading and oilwash later on.
The bottom surfaces of wings suggest a W3 color scheme; the front third was RLM81, while the rest was unpainted, except for the ailerons which were painted in RLM76. The bottom side had quite a few repairs done, but I’ll get to those later.
The top part of the fuselage has a varying scheme, from RLM81 to Grunblau which stretches from the machine gun cover to the tail of the plane. This scheme is typical of Mimetall planes. Another detail pointing to the fact that the whole engine module on the Blue 12 was taken from another plane from is that the color line on the engine part does not match the color line on the fuselage. The engine part was probably initially painted in RLM81 which was then painted over with a thin layer of RLM82, thereby conforming to the standard scheme. RLM82 therefore seems darker than usual. In some color or black and white photographs, one can see a brown or dark edge along the bottom green edge. That is why some other color profile authors thought that there had to be RLM81 underneath RLM82.
I therefore painted the bottom of the engine part with Grunblau and the top of the engine part with RLM82. I applied RLM82 in uneven layers over RLM81 so that the color underneath is visible in some places. I didn’t cover the bottom edge with RLM82 completely. In order to do an accurate paintjob of the camouflage scheme, I made copies of designs on drawing paper. I then cut out the pattern with a scalpel. On the upper surfaces of wings, the contrasts of RLM76 and RLM81 in the scheme are very distinct.
When painting the camouflage scheme on the sides of the fuselage, one needs to pay particular attention to the points where color and panel lines intersect.
Naturally, most of the chipped off paint was on the wing roots, as well as on the machine gun cover and the tail of the plane.
First about the chipped off paint on the machine gun cover.
Examining old photographs on a computer screen is quite difficult, especially if some detail is visible in one photograph but not the other. In order to make it easier on me, I had most of the photographs printed on a 20x30cm paper.
On the right side of the machine gun cover, the pattern of chipped off paint is pretty clear, except the top of the cover.
The paint is also chipped off on the left side of the cover, as well as under the cockpit and around the handle. Some details of the chipped off paint will later be corrected with polishing and a toothpick and a soft eraser.
During its short period of operation, the Blue 12 was often damaged. Studying the photographs, one can see that the maintenance teams did a number of repairs to keep the plane operational. As previously mentioned, the biggest repair was changing the entire engine module.
Furthermore, metal work was done on the bottom left engine cover that is painted grey-blue or RLM76.
Another repair patch can be seen on the left side in the middle of the cross in grey-blue (RLM76), with a red primary color underneath.
There is a dark repair job under the left tailwing which is clearly visible in two different photographs. Whereas the author of the color profile painted it in dark-grey, I used RLM75.
Parts of the front edges of both wings were painted in a lighter color, most probably in Grunblau. In black and white photographs, it is almost impossible to tell RLM76 apart from Grunblau. On the left wing, the paintjob was uninterrupted along the entire edge, more or less.
On the right wing, the paintjob was interrupted.
So much for repairs. I still have twenty repairs to do, eleven of which are on the bottom sides of the wings.
Before painting, I also installed the pitot tube that must be levelled with the wing, inclining slightly downward, a little lower than the engine axis. With some Fws, one can see that the inclination of the pitot tube is even more apparent.
Another comparison with the color profile.