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  1. The Fw 190D was a re-engined and re-engineered development of the widely-used Fw 190A, the first Fw 190 production model. It was viewed by its designer, Kurt Tank, as an interim design pending availability of the Ta 152. Prototype testing began in March 1942, with the air-cooled BMW 801-series engine replaced by the liquid-cooled Junkers Jumo 213A 12-cylinder engine (1776hp, boosted to 2240hp with water-methanol injection). This engine had previously been used exclusively on bombers. The longer-nosed Fw 190D-9, with a redesigned tail, was a success with pilots because of increased engine reliability and performance much superior to the Fw 190 A-8 in climb, dive and level speed. The aircraft attained 692kph (430mph) at 11,300m (20,200ft) and could fly 850kmh (480mi/h) -- performance that made it a much better interceptor against the burgeoning and fighter-escorted Allied bomber formations. Pilots considered it more than a match for the P-51D "Mustang". Armament was two 20mm Mauser MG-151/20 cannon in the wing (with a robust 250 rounds per gun) and two 13mm Rheinmetall MG-131 cannon (with 475 rounds per gun) over the engine. Small batches of Fw 190D-0 and D-1 pre-production fighters were delivered for service evaluation in Spring and Summer 1943, just as the American 8th Air Force was starting large daylight bombing raids. The first production variant was designated D-9 (because the previous production type was the A-8). Construction started at Marz, Cottbus, and Kassel-Waldau in Summer 1944. This was part of a major expansion in German single-engined fighter production initiated 2 years earlier by Erhard Milch, chief of aircraft procurement and supply. Over 1,000 fighters a month were now entering service in defense of the Reich. The final production variant of the "Dora" was the D-13, of which it is believed that up to 17 were produced. Only two were photographed, ">>" from an unknown unit in Pilsen and "Yellow 10" of JG 26 which miraculously survived and has been meticulously restored. The D-13 differed externally from the D-9 in several aspects, the most conspicuous being: Redesigned upper cowl, eliminating the MG 131s and replacing with a flat deck Wider engine cowl to accommodate engine and bearers Larger supercharger intake Larger VS 9 paddle-bladed wooden prop Single ejection port for the engine-mounted MG 151 20 mm cannon that fired through the spinner Several years back when Trumpeter was producing 1/24 scale aircraft fast and furious they produced a Fw 190D-9. The kit had some minor issues, some curved panel lines on the cowl that didn't belong there, imaginary detail on the inside of the land gear covers and a wonky looking tail wheel. Overall not a bad kit though with a little work. As with the rest of Trumpeter's 1/24 offerings there hasn't been much available in the way of aftermarket though, probably due to the relatively small amount of people who build 1/24 regularly. Grey Matter produces some nice accessories for the 1/24 Airfix Fw 190A (originally patterned by Jerry Rutman) and has decided to go all in with a D-13 conversion set! The D-13 remains a popular subject in smaller scales despite being nearly unique. I have a friend who is a true 190 guru and he knows a gentleman who claims to have a photo of a third D-13 that has never been published , unfortunately he's not willing to share with the rest of the world. That mindset drives me crazy but that's another story! So let's take a look at the Grey Matter 1/24 Fw 190D-13 Conversion Set. Grey Matter does a great job of trying make sure your stuff gets to you intact. The set arrived in sturdy cardboard box with the fuselage halves and other parts enclosed in bubble wrap. The shipping label is a nice touch. The first thing that strikes you is this thing is BIG! From nose to tail nearly 14" (a little over 35 cm), this is without the rudder and nose cowl! The fuselage halves are remarkably thin, you'd think they were injection molded if you didn't know better. The surface detail is crisp and sharp. One thing to note is that nose section is not riveted like the rest of the fuselage. You'll have to spend a little time with riveter of your choice to correct this. The port tail section is is molded to allow you to detail the tail wheel mechanism and a resin door for this is included as well. A new propeller boss with a blast tube for the MG 151, three VS-9 propeller blades and a new base plate is included. The detail on the pitch mechanism is a little scant, this is a carry over from the Trumpeter kit. The blades look nicely shaped and true to form. A new lower panel with the ejection port for the engine mounted MG 151 is included. And of course two of the most prominent features of the D-13, the revised cowl and the enlarged supercharger. Looks like they've done a good job capturing the shapes on these parts. The casting quality of the all parts is very high, virtually free of flash. There is just a very slight pebbly texture but a few passes with some fine grit sandpaper will take care of this. So what do we think? One thing I need to point out is the one thing that complicates doing a 1/24 D-13, lack of markings. The set does not include decals and no one currently makes markings for either known D-13s in this scale. That being said with availability of stencil cutters and people willing to do custom masks to order this should not be a big obstacle to overcome. This set is very well executed and gives you the opportunity to build something unique in large scale that can truly be the centerpiece of your large scale Luftwaffe collection. Highly recommended! Review sample courtesy of Grey Matter Figures: https://www.greymatterfigures.com/ Also available on their ebay shop: https://www.ebay.co.uk/str/greymatterfigures
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