Progress on both the Stuka and FW 190 has been steady though not rapid. And, most of the progress has been on building sub-assemblies that will not be seen in any meaningful way.
Eduard’s FW-190 has a rather complicated little engine. Each of the parts needed attention as there was a surprising amount of flash. After spending an evening carefully cleaning the parts, painting, assembling, and weathering, I installed the engine into the kit fuselage. All of that hard work was rewarded by the realization that none of it will ever be seen again. And by none, I mean it. It isn’t even like a huge double-wasp on a P-47 where taking time to detail the front of the engine with ignition leads will pay off with a satisfying level of realism. The 190 has a fan that sits behind the prop hub, and between that and the gear box, all of the pretty engine detail sits significantly behind the cowling and is all but obscured.
I might need to walk back some of my criticisms of Eduard’s 190 a bit, as well. It seems after arguing with the kit for a couple of weeks, it took a little more than a few swipes with some perfect plastic putty and the seams were filled. A light sanding with a 1000 grit sanding sponge and she is mostly ready to prime and paint.
The cowling on the specific 190 I am building is black and white striped with yellow on the bottom. Instead of priming the whole aircraft, masking and painting the cowling, then re-priming to cover the overspray, I decided to just paint and mask the cowl first. After that is dry, I will mask the cowling and prime the whole model. I can probably have it painted this weekend.
Italeri’s Stuka had a much less complicated engine. But Like the 190, once the cowl is closed, much of it will be invisible. How much? I’m not exactly sure, but there are some large openings for vents and the radiator that will allow some portion of the engine to be seen. As I didn’t know how much, I figured it was best to paint and weather the whole thing just in case. And, there wasn’t a significant time penalty involved in doing it all, compared to doing just parts of it. Italeri even included little rubber hoses which I think are a nice touch. Displaying the engine compartment open would require much more detail to the engine and fire wall, something I wont be doing anyway, but the hoses are neat nonetheless.
Before I can close up the engine cowling on the Stuka, I have to put the exhaust on the engine. I began to prep the exhausts for painting, but broke them while trying to drill out the openings. Ugh. The solution is just to order some resin replacement parts, and the good news is that I won’t have to drill any of them out. Speaking of that, the Stuka’s bomb trapeze was broken on the sprue and the part that had broken off was missing. The only option I have is to try to make my own, or order a replacement part from Italeri. No telling how long either will take. I can’t really move ahead with the build until I get the canopy masks and exhaust anyway, so the Stuka will be slowing down a bit. This doesn’t upset me, as the 190 is at my favorite point in the build – paint.