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Matchbox 1/32 Bf109E-3 Resurrection


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So buttoned the old girl up and was pleasantly surprised by the fit so far. I was expecting all sorts of problems but...there weren't any...so far...


I started off by gluing the fuselage halves at the tail fin using Revell Contacta glue to seal the seams there then transitioned to Tamiya Extra Thin for the fuselage body to retain the characteristic seams of the 109, which was manufactured by butt jointing the 2 fuselage halves together.




Whilst I was filling and sanding the seams on the ventral surface of the nose I noticed a doozie of a sink mark, so that was filled with Tamiya putty and sanded smooth.






The underwing radiator fairings had some weird representation of the brace rod so this was sanded to something more acceptable.






Radiators were painted flat back and dry brushed aluminium enamel and fitted with the fairings to the lower wings. 



This old kit's reasonably simple so construction moving along quickly now...


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Thanks very much guys, appreciate it! Next stage in construction was joining wings and horizontal stabs to the fuselage. I used my usual technique for joining the wing halves of applying Revell Contacta glue to both mating surfaces and waiting a minute or so for the plastic to melt slightly. The halves were then joined, aligned and clamped which squeezes a small amount of molten plastic out of the seams. This is given overnight to harden and then simply scraped off with the back of a hobby knife and sanded smooth - hey presto no seams! The wings and stabs were then joined to the fuselage.




Again, I was quite impressed with the fit for an old kit - but it wasn't perfect. There were a couple of obvious gaps on the port side around the radiator fairing and the horizontal stabiliser. Don't know if others have experienced the same with this model?





These were shimmed with some plastic card and filled.


You've probably noticed the element I am finding hardest with committing to this as an OOB build. The wheel wells have no detail. Zero. Zip. Nada. I have just sprayed them RLM02 and will mask them so I don't have to look at them and move on. Hopefully people won't spend too much time looking at the bottom of the model...


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Couldn't let Easter slide by without an update to this resurrection build! Added the engine which was already built and painted by the previous owner and the cowl. Although I'll be buttoning her up, I've put the engine in both as a structural element to hold the prop and oil cooler and because it is visible through the cowl cooling vents. There was a bit of carving of both parts of the engine and the inside of the cowl to get everything to fit properly.



Don't worry about the seams on the wings - the lines you can see are from the molten plastic stained with interior paint from the process for joining wings I described earlier. There's a big gap between the cockpit bulkhead and the fuselage - I'll attend to that before the canopy is added.




The engine cowl has a step at the top and a bit of a fit gap but these were present on the real aircraft so I'm happy to let them be.


detail-bf109e-04.jpg detail-bf109e-05.jpg


The canopy frames were painted by the previous owner something resembling RLM70.





The canopy frame on this bird is definitely something darker than the camo colours so I'm going to leave it - it's nice to have a few things done by the original owner on it too. I doubt the canopy has been coated with Future so being mindful of fogging I went ahead and attached the canopy with Krystal Klear.




Starting to look like an Emil! Time for paint at last...

Edited by turbo
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On 4/14/2020 at 1:34 AM, Thunnus said:

Great work on this vintage kit, Kirby!  The different colors of the Matchbox plastic gives me flashbacks to my childhood.


Thanks John! I must admit I've grown sort of fond of the multi-coloured plastic so a shame to now cover it up with paint!


On 4/14/2020 at 9:20 PM, Kais said:

you're aware that the canopy is the earlier rounded style, aren't you?
Does the Matchbox kit come with that as an option?


Yes, you are correct of course Kais, you can see the rounded canopy on the reference photo above. Unfortunately, the kit canopy pictured is the only option and, as I have committed to a largely OOB build, I'm stuck with it. The canopy is actually pretty crappy, it's thick and has these weird ribs on the inside of the middle section (maybe for seating?). I might sand those off...


On 4/14/2020 at 9:53 PM, Derek B said:

Nice work and welcome Turbo - it is always nice to see one of these old kits built (almost) OOB.


Hi Derek and thanks! Yes, I'm quite enjoying doing this build as a "heritage" piece. It's a nice break from all the messing about with AM parts, etc. My last build had over 100 PE parts which did my head in!


So, time for paint. As you can see in some of the pictures, the plastic is very smooth and shiny so a good primer coat definitely required for paint adherence. Everything was masked up and the model and sub-assemblies given a good clean with IPA before priming with Tamiya Surface Primer Fine which was decanted from the spray can and shot through my airbrush.




The model was then pre-shaded with some variation in pattern and density to represent different degrees and appearance of fading on different parts of the airframe.





As the rudder will be white, I gave it a raking pre-shade with thinned white and black paint. You can see a white overhead highlight on top of the ribs and a black shadow on the bottom.




The white parts of the scheme were then sprayed with white paint scaled down with 5% buff.



The pre-shade looks a bit overt at this stage but it's just how I want it as a base for further weathering steps.



Thanks for stopping by guys, next step to start on the camo...

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Great progress!  I agree that the Matchbox kit is holding up very well despite its age!  I see that you are in the same pre-shade school (dark on light) as me!  Can't wait to see the camo colors start to go on!

Edited by Thunnus
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On 4/16/2020 at 10:35 AM, Alain Gadbois said:


Now who could tell its the Matchbox kit? To be fair, its accurate in outline, but still, the details are on the heavy side, so it is great to see how it looks with a well done coat of paint.




Thanks Alain! This kit does have good lines for its age but you are right, the panel lines are trenches so the key will be to give them the right amount of emphasis.


On 4/17/2020 at 2:16 AM, Thunnus said:

Great progress!  I agree that the Matchbox kit is holding up very well despite its age!  I see that you are in the same pre-shade school (dark on light) as me!  Can't wait to see the camo colors start to go on!


Sure am John, which is why I was interested in the nifty masks you are using! I've been toying with the idea of using a primer black base pre-shade but it doesn't stand to reason that you could achieve the same tonal dynamic range and control as this method. Might give it a shot one day...


The camo is the standard for the time RLM 71/02/65 scheme with mottling applied in the field. From the reference photos below, it seems the aircraft originally had the scheme from the winter of 1939/1940 of RLM 65 extending up the fuselage sides with a thin strip of 02/71 splinter pattern on the top of the fuselage, with the RLM 65 on the sides of the fuselage later overpainted with an 02/71 mottle. So that's the way I'll approach painting the scheme.




Original camo demarcation line indicated with arrows.




Previously painted white areas were masked off and fuselage and undersides painted Gunze RLM 65 slightly lightened with a few drops of white. Paint was well thinned and built up slowly over the pre-shade.








This bird had RLM 65 wrapping around the wing leading edges so this was masked off along with the fuselage for the 02/71 camo. I wanted a slightly feathered edge to the demarcation so paper masks were used held slightly off the surface with blobs of blu-tack.




Gunze RLM 02 sprayed.



Paper masks were applied in the same way as above for the splinter pattern and Gunze RLM 71 lightened with a few drops of white sprayed. The camo was then faded and stressed using lightened shades of the basecoat.




Again, slightly overt at this stage but there are weathering layers to come. Next up painting of insignia...



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