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Matchbox 1/32 Bf109E-3 Resurrection


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23 hours ago, Troy Molitor said:

Sure, this kit doesn't stand up to todays standards with Dragon, Eduard or Cyber Hobby offerings however, the shape and representation Matchbox put into their molds back in the day and the exceptional efforts you have put into this old girl, she is still a stunner to admire.  Seriously. You have shown us the old school molds and new technics and care can still present an older kit and what can actually be done to her after all these years.  The painting is superb.


Thanks very much for your very kind words Troy, I'm humbled! I agree with you, the detail on this old kit is crude compared to modern standards but when I stand back from it I really love the beautiful lines and accuracy that Matchbox achieved for the Emil - truly an achievement over 40 years ago. I guess this is one of the reasons I wanted to build it largely as is, a piece of modelling history!


Cheers, Kirby

Edited by turbo
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Thanks very much everybody!


7 hours ago, Thunnus said:

Paint and weathering look great Kirby!  I'm pretty sure the flat coat plays a part in triggering the salt to crystalize based on my experience.  I do my salt fade after the final flat coat to avoid this issue.


I think you're right John. I had some oil weathering steps I wanted to do after the salt fading so needed the gloss coat, but might have to rethink my sequence...

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Alrighty, getting to the final weathering steps. Some extra staining and streaking from the oil cooler was added along with some sponge chipping on the leading edges of fairings. Urgh, those wheel wells again! This concludes weathering on the underside.




Exhaust stains were airbrushed and some subtle chipping added to the airframe. Machine gun barrels were painted flat black and rubbed with graphite powder sanded from a pencil.






The kit exhaust stubs were already hollowed out which is nice for a kit this age. I painted them burnt iron followed by weathering with Tamiya rust and soot pigments.




OK, we're into the home straight, thanks for following along...

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Thanks very much guys! Just doing some bits I've been avoiding to finish up this build. The previous owner painted a frame down the middle of the canopy.




As pointed out by Mike earlier, the Emil did not have a frame here but rather overlapping panes of plexiglass that the pilot could slide open, which is sometimes mistaken for a frame.




Thanks for pointing it out, sar! The canopy was masked off and the offending paint stripped with a q tip moistened with IPA.



The Matchbox canopy also has these bizarre and ugly locating tabs running along the bottom of the canopy. Thankfully a design concept that never caught on. Paradoxically, I will retain the bottom one for its intended purpose of supporting the canopy posed in the open position, but will sand off the top one.


The kit landing gear is also nothing to write home about so....I won't. Here it is painted, weathered with oils and pigments and fitted to the airframe.



OK, just the fiddly finishing touches to go now....


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Thanks guys! So, just the final bits to do now. On one hand, these final touches bring the model to life but, on the other hand, the reason they have been left to the end is that they are delicate and I enevitably break and repair things several times which I find frustrating!


The antenna was rigged with EZ line with bakelite insulators represented using white glue. The cone-shaped coverings (does anybody know what these do?) were made by cutting the ends off pipette tips.




A hole was drilled in the fuselage and a short length of brass tube inserted to represent the bakelite fairing for the lead-in wire. Canopy masks were removed without incident (phew!) and the canopy with the locating tab sanded off installed. Other delicate bits including the prop, rudder, elevators (posed in the slightly down position), mass balances, and pitot tube were installed and with that - she's DONE!






I must say, building this venerable old kit "as is" has been a lot of fun and, although it has a lot of age-related shortcomings (well, who doesn't?!), I think Matchbox did an amazing job for the time in recreating the lines and form of the Emil. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to build this little bit of modelling history.


More pictures of the finished model can be found over on the RFI forum:



Cheers and thanks for following along,




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