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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Flying Eye - 1/48th MPM Fw189A Uhu

Updated: Feb 10

This is MPM's 1/48th scale Fw189 tactical reconnaissance aircraft. Note this is a Limited Production Multi-media kit, so not a quick build. The kit has its challenges, however experienced model makers will be able to produce a nice display aircraft with the application of a lot of patience. Add some scratch build and you can make a gem of a kit.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Decent cockpit detail

  • Resin cockpit parts

  • Photo-etch parts

  • Very finely engraved panel lines (too fine for the most part)

  • Decent fit (mixed with poor fit)

Build Inspiration:

Just one Fw 189 survives today. Its story begins on May 4, 1943 when Fw 189 V7+1H (Werk Nr. 2100), of 1/Nahaufklärungsgruppe 10 based at Pontsalenjoki, Finland took off on a mission to photograph the Loukhi-3 airbase from an altitude of 6,000 m (20,000 ft), then to continue north along the Murmansk-Leningrad railway. Approximately 30 minutes after taking off, it was attacked by Soviet Hawker Hurricane fighters. The aircraft dived to escape the fighters, but owing to damage it suffered, the pilot could not pull out in time, and struck the treetops. The tail was torn off, and the crew nacelle left hanging upside down within the trees. The pilot, Lothar Mothes, survived but one crewman was killed in the crash and the third died from blood loss as a result of a severed leg. Incredibly, Mothes was able to survive two weeks in sub-zero temperatures, evading Soviet patrols while eating bark and grubs as he walked back to his base. Mothes spent the next nine months in a hospital recovering from severe frostbite before returning to the front lines to eventually fly another 100 missions.

In 1991, the wreckage of V7+1H was found in the Russian forest where it had remained for 48 years. The aircraft was purchased by a group of British aircraft enthusiasts and was shipped to the UK, arriving in the town of Worthing, West Sussex in March 1992. The Focke Wulf 189 Restoration Society was formed to restore the aircraft to flying condition. Remarkably her pilot, Lothar Mothes, reunited with his aircraft in 1996 at the Biggin Hill airshow.

Heads-Up Report:

  • HEAVY flash on many parts

  • Plastic required a fine sand to remove some surface blemishes

  • Clear parts required washup and a coat of Future / Pledge to bring up the shine

  • Thick plastic and Clear parts

  • Wings were warped on my kit example

  • Lots of preparation work on the various parts and sub-assembles

  • The rear portion of the canopy didn't fit well, having to be trimmed and filed to fit.

  • Wing to fuselage join is problematic and will require a bit of work to get smoothed out

  • Gaps present in wing and tail boom joins which will have to be secured and filled

  • The fit of the front cowls is mediocre and the panel lines are very faint

  • Due to the twin-boom construction of this aircraft, the assembly of the parts all lined up properly, takes some patience

  • Simplified wheel wells could use some added detail

  • Finicky landing gear assembly

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Added seatbelts

  • Used hypodermic needles to replace rear and upper guns


After spending some time masking off all the window-panes, I painted the aircraft in a standard base of RLM 70/71 over RLM 65. After this paint had dried, I over-sprayed the aircraft with a thin covering of Winter White, masking off the areas around the National markings as well as some areas which would be worn down during operational use. At the time I hadn't found some of the reference material I would later acquire on this aircraft, so the end result wasn't as accurate as it may have been later.

The After-Build Report:

This kit definitely had its challenges however it had its shining moments as well (maybe because I was expecting trouble all along). Due to the age of this kit and difficulties in the build I would recommend you try the more recent Great Wall Hobby 1/48 Focke Wulf Fw 189A-1 instead (although I have not built the kit myself, it just seems inconceivable that it would be worse :) If you already have this kit in the stash, you can make it work for you, just take your time and settle in for a lot of preparation work.

Completed Build #171 in July 2014 using the 1/48th scale MPM #48030 kit

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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