by: Andras [ ]
The subject of this review is the model of the German FMG 39/FuSE 62D radar by Das Werk -something I have not seen in model form before. For more information on the radar itself and it development history, it is well worth to check out the following webpage:
http://lucafusari.altervista.org/page1/page26/WurzburgRadar.html There are some really useful reference photos as well that I used for this build. (I also found this page: https://www.radartutorial.eu/index.en.html to be very informative about radar technology in general.)
The radar dish can be built in a folded-up position as seen on Das Werk’s website, as well as in deployed mode; however it is not entirely possible to display it in transport mode. The circular platform and the cruciform stand cannot be folded up, and the bogies with the wheels are not included. (For reference, please see this link: https://www.scalemates.com/kits/des-kit-35086-radar-fumg-39d-fumg-62-flak-wuerzburg-1941-45-with-sdanh-104--948537)
With some surgery it is possible to make the platform fold up, though. The dish can also be left movable, so you may position it in different tilts and you can also rotate the whole radar.
The molding is crisp and very nicely detailed; I found almost no flash, and very few seam lines to clean up; all-in-all the injection molding is excellent. (Cleaning the seam lines off the IFF antennae -the T-shaped things in the dish- was a bit of a bother, as the parts are really thin.) The model is full of detail, some of which is hidden if you follow the instructions. I left the doors for the antenna base open, and also the door hiding the dials for radar. It would have been a real shame to cover all those nice details of the electronics.
The instruction booklet is really well designed. The drawings are clear, and as a nice touch, the background is “aged”: the paper is browned and full of patches and discolorations as if it was an old manual you are following rather than a newly printed instruction booklet. Overall, the effect is very nice. The colors are given only in Ammo Mig codes, but there should be no issues finding Dunkelgelb and Schokobraun from other companies. There are a couple of camouflage patterns offered by Das Werk - some of them look like a real challenge for sure.
One issue I have with the painting guide is the instructions of using polished metal for the seats. Based on the photos I have seen -and being an expert in sitting with many years of experience- I would think the designers had used softer material than metal. Also, according to some of the reference photos I have seen, not all the radar was painted uniformly. The main presentation unit (step 12), for example, was painted grey on a restored example, with a red bar crossing it. Part H5 and its base should also be painted black /dark grey.
There are no decals provided with the model, which is OK as they are not really needed. Some would have been useful, though. There should be a thunderbolt sign, warning of high voltage on the side of the main presentation unit, and the interior parts also had some markings, which would look nice if you decide to leave the doors open, like I did.
The building stages (steps 1-4) were easy and well-thought out. The first couple of steps take care of the cruciform platform of the radar. It is a shame that most of the detail will be hidden by the circular metal grid on which the crew stands. The only minor issue was the attachment of the tiny support legs placed around the circular platform. There is only a slight indentation provided for these legs, so attaching them in the correct angle is a bit of a struggle (although it is not a major challenge). What is challenging, however, is not to break those legs off during the following stages of the build...
Step 5 to 9 takes care of the base of the radar; again, nothing challenging there. The detail is nice, and I left the main doors open to show off the interior. (You are actually instructed to add some parts, and THEN close the door on the whole thing…)
Steps 10-15 details the assembly of the operators’ stations and the radar equipment itself; it was really impressive, how well-thought of was the assembly of this complex, multi-angled unit, The bigger parts forming the base of this sub-assembly were designed in a way that made alignment of multiple parts easy, and also did not generate seamlines. I really dislike using putty, so I appreciate it when a company makes sure the parts slot into each other. There is one exception: the leg-protectors at step 14, which do have an ugly, big seam running right through the middle. Also, the back shield for the operator, G17 is not exactly easy to attach to the seat itself. Apart from this, I have no complaints; the fit was excellent, even with the somewhat complex shapes.
With step 16 most of the radar is complete; only the dish assembly remains, detailed from step 17 to 22. Both the radar itself and the dish can be made moveable: the radar can rotate, the dish can be folded up and its elevation can be changed. I did end up gluing the radar firmly onto its base to minimize the possibility of accidental damage (it does rotate rather freely), and I did glue the halves of the dish together. I decided to keep the option of changing the elevation of the dish.
For painting I did end up using Ammo Mig’s Dunkelgelb and Tamiya’s Chocolate brown. I primed the model with Vallejo’s primer, and I used the brown lightened with tan as a base color. After drying I formed the patches using silly putty, and went on with the Dunkelgelb. Once the paint dried I removed the putty, and touched up the areas where the demarcation lines were not clear enough with a brush. As tempting as it was, I did not go overboard with weathering; common sense suggests these things were mostly stationary and quite well maintained, so scratches, rust, dust, mud and splatters were out of the question. I did use a few brown and tan filters on selected areas, some dark washes to accentuate details, and to do some light streaking on the dish itself, but as I said I tried to keep the whole wear and tear minimum.
Overall it was a really pleasant build of a rather unique subject among the “usual” tanks and other vehicles I have on my shelf. It is absolutely recommended to beginners as it will not pose any challenges with difficulty or quality. One thing I miss (and apologies for appearing demanding as it is not my intention) is the option of depicting the radar in a transport position. I do understand that making it possible would have added considerably to the part number and complexity, and I really do not think it is a fault of the model, but one can always wish.