1/48 Tamiya Bf 109E-3 or -4... 

(depending on how you look at it)

by Kyrre Ingebrethsen



This whole project started off 3 or so years ago. I found the Tamiya Bf 109E-3 and thought I'd have a go at it. Never did like the 109, but if I ever was going to build one it would have to be a Tamiya kit. Easy to assemble, no fuzz, reasonably accurate. Apparently others think different about Tamiya kits. Oh well. 

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Besides what it included decals from a JG77-machine... White 3 from 4th Staffel, an E3 that was stationed in Norway in 1940, though it made a somersault in Sweden with Unteroffizier Fröba at the controls (or lack thereof) towards the end of that year. Nevertheless I found some decals from Third Group and decided I'd try something different.. though still a JG77 machine for sure. I also stumbled upon a Hi Tech resin cockpit set, and thought I'd go for some extra details too...

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Enough has been said about the Tamiya E3 kit... The cowling is too steep at the front, and it was even prominent enough for a 109-novice like me, so I sanded it down, eradicating some details in the process. Never mind, as long as the profile looks better I thought. The hi-tech resin was brittle and tough to work with, but I got it right in the end. As right as a first resin cockpit effort can be.
A year went by.

Picking the kit up again I got ready to put paint to plastic.  For airbrushing I use Acrylics if I can, preferably Aeromaster or Tamiya. I found out that the "scale lightened" Aeromaster RLM71 looked too bright. Not too far from my Tamiya RLM02 actually! So I decided to do the RLM02/71 paint scheme using Tamiya XF-22 with some sand colour mixed in as RLM02, Aeromaster RLM70 pretending it was RLM71, while the canopy and spinner ended up being painted with Tamiya XF-27. That paint might be too dark, but it looked cool, and that's all I needed.  I ended up with a terribly badly painted E3 canopy, the rounded type, so I decided to steal the Bf109E-4 canopy from the upgraded Tamiya kit (which I got for free from our hobby shop when it was released. I still haven't built it. Ahem.). The new canopy is all square. And so it was that my E3 ended up as an E4 ... meaning I also had to change what markings I was going to apply.

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Another year went by.
Lt Schirmböck of 4./JG77 shot down a Hudson from 269 Sqn just outside Stavanger, my home town, on May the first 1940. According to the book "Fledgling Eagles" he flew "White 10"... That's my aircraft. Got the white "10" from a JG5 FW190-sheet.  (The canopyless E4 is ending up as a wreck by the way. I've got the Verlinden detail set for the Hasegawa 109 and I'm thinking that the enclosed and totally useless etched brass framing will do nicely in a crash diorama.  I'm really looking forward to doing that one too.  Guess the hobby shop owner, the guy who gave me the kit, is looking forward to that review I was going to do too...)

Happy Modelling,


Photos and text © by Kyrre Ingebrethsen