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1/32 Focke Wulf Fw190 A-5 'Nowotny'


Dave J
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1/32 Focke Wulf Fw190 A-5 'Nowotny'
Hasegawa Limited Edition Series
Catalogue #08224
Available directly from Hobby Easy for £30

 

 

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As you expect with Hasegawa, after they release a newly tooled kit, there will be a few different variants or Special Editions planned in
their future releases... One of the latest Limited Edition releases from Hasegawa is a interesting one! This boxing covers two Fw190 A-5's, of the Luftwaffe's 5th highest ranking ace, Walter Nowotny of Jagdeschwader (JG54) Grünherz (Green Hearts) that were base on the Eastern Front. JG 54 is well known for using non-standard camouflage schemes on their aircraft.

 

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Walter Nowotny


Walter Nowonty was born in Gmünd, a small town located in Lower Austria on the 7th December 1920. During his younger years he moved to a few different towns due to his father's job as an Railway Official. In his teens, Nowotny was interested in all kinds of sports, he played Football/Soccer for the school team in Waidhofen and in 1937, took first place in the Javelin and third place in the Lower Austrian 1,000 metres track and field championships. For his Reichsarbeitsdienst (Mandatory Reich Labour Service) he joined the Luftwaffe on the 1st October 1939.

 

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On the 19th August 1940, he completed his flight training and received his pilot badge and then trained as a fighter pilot at the Jagdfliegerschule 5 located in Wien-Schwechat till 15th November 1940. This was the same fighter school that Hans-Joachim Marseille had attended a year previously.

 

After graduation from Fighter school, Nowotny was transferred to the I./Ergänzungs-Jagdgruppe Mersburg on 16th November 1940, flying fighter  cover for the Leuna industrial works (Oil Factories). Nowotny was posted to the Ergänzungs-Staffel of Jagdeschwader 54 (JG 54) on 1 December 1940.

 

 

 

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Nowotny flew a Messerschmitt Bf109 E-7 "White 2" on his 24th operational mission on  19 July 1941 and claimed his first two enemy aircraft kills, both Polikarpov I-153, over the island of Saaremaa.. He was shot down in the same engagement by the Soviet Ace Alexandr Avdeev. Nowotny spent three days in a dinghy in the Gulf of Riga, until finally being washed ashore on the Latvian coast. For the rest of his combat career, Nowotny always wore the trousers that he had worn during those three days in the Gulf of Riga, for the exception of one day...

 

In 1942, Nowotny increased his tally of victories. Shooting down a further five aircraft on a single day (32nd – 36th victories) on 20th July and seven (48th – 54th victories) on 2nd August. After having downed three more enemy aircraft on 11 August, Nowotny carried out three
victory passes over his airfield, despite having sustained combat damage to his own Bf 109 "Black 1". In the subsequent landing, his aircraft somersaulted and he sustained moderate injuries. Nowotny was awarded the Knights Cross on 4 September, after a total of 56 aerial victories.

 

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In January 1943, JG 54 started converting their aircraft to the Focke Wulf Fw190. With the new aircraft, Nowotny scored at an unprecedented "kill" rate, often averaging more than two planes a day for weeks on end. As of 1st February 1943, Nowotny, Karl Schnörrer (Nowotny's wingman, since late 1942), Anton Döbele and Rudolf Rademacher, formed a team known as the "Chain of Devils" (Teufelskette) or the Nowotny Schwarm, which during the course of the war was credited with 524 combined kills, making them the most successful fighter team in the Luftwaffe.

 

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Nowotny scored his 100 kill marker on 5th June 1943, on his 344th combat mission. By 24th June, he would accumulate a further 24  victories increasing his total to 124. On 21st August, Nowotny was made Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 54. In August 1943 alone, he shot down 49 aircraft, bringing Nowotny's total to 161 victories. On 1st September 1943, he scored ten victories in two sorties, which took his tally to 183. Seventy-two hours later that number had risen to 189, earning him the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves on 8th September. The award was to be personally presented by the Führer, Adolf Hitler, on 22nd September 1943. By this date Nowotny had claimed his 200th victory on 8th September, and on 15th September he claimed his 215th victory, making him the highest-scoring pilot in the Luftwaffe at that time.  On 14th October 1943, he became the first pilot in the Luftwaffe to reach 250 victories, scoring it on his 442nd combat mission. Nowotny was celebrating this feat in  a Bar in Vilna (Lithuania), when he received a phone call from Hitler himself, announcing that he had been awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, making him the eighth of 27 men to be honoured with award.

 

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Nowotny claimed his final two aerial victories on the Eastern Front on 15th November 1943. In total, Nowotny had claimed 255 confirmed kills plus a further 50 unconfirmed, before he was taken off combat duty and sent on a propaganda tour through Germany. In September 1944, Nowotny was made commander of a specialist unit dubbed Kommando Nowotny, flying the newly developed Messerschmitt Me262
Jet out of airfields near Osnabrück, Germany. The unit not only had to contend with the enemy, but also with working through the teething phase of the Me 262 and developing the tactics appropriate for a jet unit.

 

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Generals Alfred Keller and Adolf Galland had scheduled an inspection at Achmer on the 7th November 1944. Galland had already visited Kommando Nowotny several times and was deeply concerned over the high attrition rate and meagre success achieved by the new Me 262 fighter Jet. After inspecting the two airfields at Achmer and Hesepe, several pilots openly expressed their doubts as to the combat readiness of the Me 262. The next morning, 8th November 1944, the Generals arrived again at Nowotny's command post and Keller declared that the aces of the past years had become cowards and that the Luftwaffe had lost its fighting spirit. Shortly after this, news reached the command post of a large bomber formation approaching. Four Me 262 were prepared for take-off,  Erich Büttner and Franz Schall at Hesepe, and Nowotny and Günther Wegmann at Achmer. At first only Schall and Wegmann managed to take off because
Büttner had a punctured tire during taxiing and Nowotny's engines initially refused to start. With some delay, Nowotny took off and
engaged the enemy on his own, after Schall and Wegmann retiring from the action after sustaining battle damage. Nowotny radioed that he had downed a B-24 Liberator and P-51 Mustang before he reported one engine failing and made one final garbled transmission back to the airfield containing the word burning. It still remains unclear whether Nowotny was killed due to engine failure or whether he was shot down by USAAF east of Hesepe. In recent years, United States military historians proposed that Nowotny's victor may have been P-51D pilot Lieutenant Robert W. Stevens of the 364th Fighter Group. Many witnesses observed Nowotny's Me 262 A-1a Werk Nummer (factory number) #110 400 "White 8" dive vertically out of the clouds and crash at Epe, 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) east of Hesepe The Wehrmacht announced his death on 9 November 1944 in the daily radio report. On the day Nowotny died, he wasn't wearing the "lucky" trousers that he had worn during the three days that he spent in the Gulf of Riga...

 

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Hasegawa Plastic


The plastic included within this kit is the same as the standard 1/32 Fw190 A-5 kit (ST23), that was released back in July 2004. As you expect with Hasegawa, after they release new tooling there will be a few different variants or Special Editions to follow.  Normally these kits will include a few additions to back/forward date it to the required variant required and new decals.  Since this kit has been on the market for around for 8 years there are few well documented builds and reviews on the internet, so I will give you a quick rundown on it.

 

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The plastic is moulded in light grey and clear plastic with a total of 108 parts spread across 13 sprues. Some of these sprues are the common spures that are shared with the pervious A-8 Butcher Bird and D-9 Long nosed Dora releases. All the parts are cleanly presented without a trace of flash on any of the parts, which feature crisply engraved panel lines on the exterior of the airframe. Cockpit detail is adequate out of the box for most modellers, but modellers that suffer from AMS (Advanced Modellers Syndrome) will wish to add extra detail to this area with photo etch and/or resin replacement parts. The BMW 801 engine is supplied as a single engine circular plug that has both rows of cylinders molded in place. Most of the detail will be hidden away under the cooling fan once the model is finished. 

 

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Wheel wheels are molded correctly as fully enclosed. Unfortunately there are a couple of injector pin marks to take care of in this area,
and on the landing gear covers also. One thing that Hasegawa overlooked with the Fw190 A-5 kit, is that they have included in the  incorrect style of tyre and hub. The style of wheel that Hasegawa has included is the later type that is used on A-7, A-8 and A-9 variants. Eagle Editions does a resin replacement for the correct earlier style hub and tyre that is required (Eagle Parts #53-32). Overall shape of the1/32 Fw 190 A-5 is pretty good and keeps most rivet counters at bay. Also another note to keep in mind, that the instructions show the attachment of the FuG 16zy antenna to the underwing... This is incorrect for the A-5, as it wasn't used until the A-7.

 

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A single sheet is included that carries the decals for two Nowotny schemes, which include a full set stencils and National markings. The
decals appear to be printed thinly in a semi gloss/matt tone. However there are some glossy patches randomly over the decal sheet. Carrier film is a bit of a mixed bag, some of the smaller decals have large areas of carrier film and larger decals have small areas. One of my minor annoyances with Hasegawa decals is that, any areas that should be  white are an off white/cream colour... Some of their past releases seem to have this problem solved, but it is not the case with this release.

 

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The two schemes for Walter Nowotny are –

 

  • I./JG54 Kommandeur Hautmann Walter Nowotny, Russia, October 1943
  • I./JG54 Staffelkapitän Oberleutnant Walter Nowotny, Russia, Summer 1943

 

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So what do we think?
Again Hasegawa delivers another fantastic and interesting repop of a past kit! A must for all Large Scale Luftwaffe fans!

 

Highly recommended!

 

Our sincere thanks to Hobby Easy for the review sample used here. To purchase this directly, click the link at the top of the review article.

 

 

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