1/48 Fujimi Messerschmitt Bf109 G14

Gallery Article by Andrea Pomettini on Mar 15 2017

      

Hands up for those who need info about most used mount of Luftwaffe’s pilots!  I bet, no one; so, let’s go straight to modelling topics. I am used to 1/72 scale for modern flying machines (since 60’ on), while previous ones (but for large bombers) my feeling is quarter inch scale perfectly fits my modelling needs: building pleasure vs detail coverage. On WWII’s end 50th celebration, Fujimi released a 1/48 Series named Dogfight made up by boxes containing two typical opposing warbirds; the one I picked up for my task contained a P-51D and an Me-109. Opening the box, a beautiful, soft, gray plastic, easy to use; a HUGE decal sheet with even more versions than the ones included in instruction sheet, being at the same time one of the more clear and whole I never met. Nevertheless (it wouldn’t be an insane passion, otherwise) I chose a different one, which I picked up around Internet and related to one of Erich Hartman’s airplanes: likely, the one he used on western front during spring of ’45.

Plasticard and aluminum (from a can of beer) to enrich cockpit by belts, some levers and handwheels: honestly box supply is poor compared to the scale; maybe it was thought for closed canopy; indeed, canopy is thick and somehow dirty. No problem, I will keep it opened, painting internal with usual RLM Grau 02, drybrushing matt black over instrument panel to three-dimensioning it. It was then time to work some toothpicks by a file to shape barrels of two MG17 Machine Guns (15 mm), coming out from the engine cowling and shooting through propeller, as well as the end of MG151/20 (20 mm) cannon shooting from the propeller shaft; indeed, wood roughness mixes well the scale to improve gun barrel metal rendering: a thin 53 Humbrol layer is enough to provide a good impression. Short copper cable segments and variously shaded metal surface portion around the propeller shaft allowed to leave the propeller’s to give down the ground.

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Let’s move to the tail: moving horizontal surfaces, orienting rudder and rear wheel. More, create and outfit (by tie-rod, rib, bolts’ housing etc.) the hole for first aid compartment. Small door added, once more got from can aluminum: very pliant indeed.

Hard(ware) work is almost over, therefore it is time to jump on coloring and rendering: because it was a while I was on hold, it was somehow hard to resume all the stuff, and mainly the airbrush; I was still looking at with a very reverential mood, even stronger than desire to use it. Still, I was strongly willing, therefore, no hesitation: a white cover as primer and a second white layer, than masking to protect white final details (balken kreuz, chevron and tulip petals on the nose, etc.). Now, some aluminum spread here and there, for chipping to apply later on, then first camouflage color: RLM65 Hellblau (clear blue) all over the airplane. After, RLM70 Schwarzgrun (clear green) and RLM71 Dunkelgrun (dark green) over wing and spine, masking to get the sharp and straight line of camouflage known as “splinter”. To protect what already done, a transparent layer overall. Than once more RLM70 and RLM71, this time just blots over tail and fuselage sides. Change of masking to apply this time black detail over crosses, chevrons and tulip as well as the yellow stripe witnessing operation over eastern front. Once more, gloss transparent all over the plane: so far, never used the brush, all made by Airbrush; wow! 10 processings in a row by this tool. Very good indeed, but now we do need our old furry friend to work on details such as panel lines (just perfect as far as thickness and depth), rivets etc. . I used oil paint to simulate dirty, drybrush to point it out. Chipping for very used parts and finally very few decals to apply. Surprise: decals apply so well and easy to almost regret for the time spent to create crosses and chevron via masking!  Eventually, last semigloss painting coverage to seal everything, hide small defects and give a uniform and smooth aspect. The airbrush is now a real friend of mine, not any longer a dangerous tool.

What is left behind ? for the airplane, landing gear (with some hand made oil hoses), position lights, antenna wire (fishing line, thickened by cyano glue drops were there was a tie-rod), well chipped rocket tubes, etc. Last but not lease, a simple scene: a wooden rectangular base, covered mainly by grass plus a small cardboard stripe for landing field; spread over it, some spare ideas to make scene more real: tank and propeller cone on the ground, along with a jug and a can (great Verlinden !).

Indeed, high satisfaction: an honest basic model, opened to improvement I tried to carry out to a result meeting my expectation; done.

Still, … still, some times later, I bumped into a very well done book dealing with German WWII Luftwaffe color schemes. “Wunderbar !” (that’s, wonderful!), let’s have a look; there is not my schema, but there is author’s e-Mail address were to ask the question: -“what about my choice?”. Well, the answer was kind, but with no mercy: some particulars are correct (f.e. nose tulips, black/red shield) but the overall mix are not. Therefore, my lovely work ended up to be a fake, and you must be aware: during spring’45 Herich Hartmann flew over eastern front on a BF109 G14 very similar to this one, but not exactly.

Enjoy modelling – 

Andrea Pomettini

P.S. this is an old story, back to 1999, but Mr. Sundin’s site is still on and I strongly suggest you to visit it: http://www.luftwaffeinprofile.se/; he was the quoted author, and his site provides many profiles as well as books he wrote on the topic.

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Photos and text © by Andrea Pomettini