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Messerschmitt Bf-109G-4/R6 "Kanonenboot" - Finished


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And so to the end of this project.  Lost of pictures in this update.

 

As I said at the end of my last update, undercarriage next.  I'd previously assembled and painted the U/C legs, and also assembled and painted the wheels, which left brake pipes and attach wheels to legs.  Trumpeter supply two brake pipes and etch clamps, but they stop at the bottom of the undercarriage leg.  NBG, so the mounting holes were filled in with some stock rod, smoothed back and painted.  My Eduard etch set also had a set of brake pipes, but these are flat, so again, NBG.  I made my own from 0.5mm bare wire, painted the bit south of the telescopic oleo flat black to represent the flexible rubber pipe, then attached the bottom to the wheel, and the top will go into the hole in the U/C bay.  Then I wrapped the Trumpy etch clamps to hold the rest of the pipe in place.

 

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The tyre treads were then sanded for a little wear and a little dust was brushed on with a Tamiya weathering set.  Then the undercarriage doors were added and the set left to dry before being glued into the model.

 

While the undercarriage was setting in place, I turned my attention to the canopy.  This comprises the canopy itself, the front frame in Trumpy etch, the release handle and the headrest/head armour that I showed in my last update.  Also in the Trumpy etch were two eye hook plates to attach the canopy restraint.  Since I will be fixing the canopy in the open position, I attached a length of 1.5mm L shaped stock to the bottom right side of the canopy to act as a  decent attachment point, and painted the visible side RLM66.  Next, all the etch was carefully CA'd into place, then the release handle attached with styrene glue.  I always find this stuff nerve wracking as the slightest glue in the wrong place and the models destined for the bin.  Masking helps where possible, and in this case it all turned out well.

 

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Then it was attached to the model.  While it was setting, I made a restraint from 0.3mm wire, with thinner wire wrapped around part of it to simulate the spring.

 

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A couple of closer shots.

 

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Next was to add the wing tip lights, the inside of each being painted in the appropriate colour.  And at long last, stood on it's own three wheels.  I've started some weathering at this point, with exhaust staining applied with more Tamiya weathering sets, as the left cowling will be glued open.

 

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A bit more weathering was applied by dry brushing scratch marks on the plane.  I'd forgotten to spray some Tamiya AS12 aluminium before any paint went on, so this is why all the weathering is by dry brush which has turned out a bit too subtle in the photos.  I also added some cordite staining on the fuselage machine guns and under wing cannons.   So now all that's left is to attach the under wing guns, cowling and prop.  Thus:

 

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So that's it for another build, but there'll be some more shots in the next post.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

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  • Dpgsbody55 changed the title to Messerschmitt Bf-109G-4/R6 "Kanonenboot" - Finished

The plane I built for this Group Build represents a BF-109G-4/R6 flown by Ober Leutnant Rohwer of 2/JG 3 based at Monchen-Gladbach in the summer of 1943.  It is unusual for a G-4 in that it still has the open tail wheel and the camouflage pattern and colours are an earlier F type.  It bears the pilot's personal marking just below the left side of the canopy (which looks to my eye to be a bit rude :o :lol:), and the Kiel badge on the right side, together with JG 3's unit badge on both sides of the engine cowling.

 

I've come across an interesting article recently quoting various pilots who survived operations at the time, and they make for some very interesting reading.  The comments would seem to confirm my belief that the 109G was past it's best and the only reason that so many Gustavs were made is because of the overwhelming need for fighters in the face of the Allied onslaught.  One of the best things about the 109 was that it was easy and quick to build, and it could fly higher than the BMW powered FW-190's.  It was lethal in experienced hands, but those experienced hands were declining rapidly in numbers by this time.  That it had to continue in service points more to the failures of the ME-209 and ME-309 projects, but as Gustav production continued, the flying qualities of the plane became harder and harder to deal with.  Let us remember that the 109 had a high wing loading at the very start.  The plane was designed to be flown by well trained men, and Luftwaffe training in 1939 and 1940 was superb and it was never an easy plane to fly.  But as the war progressed, the weight of the 109 increased, further impacting it's handling.  Adding more power gave a better top speed and rate of climb, as well as the ability to add extra guns, but the 109G now became much harder to fly.  The 109E had a much better roll rate than the G series, and the ailerons would seize up at speeds much over 300mph.  Added to which was a cockpit so cramped and a control column movement with only 4 inches each way in the rolling plane, pilots found rolling almost impossible, if not actually impossible at these speeds.  Pilots mostly hated the under wing cannons as the reduced speed and roll rate and the 30mm cannons needed against the Eighth Air Force bombers had a very slow rate of fire so manoevering to hit a target became harder.  Further, the ever heavier prop blades needed to soak up the extra power made handling your 109 harder still.  That might not have been such a problem if it had been possible to add extra blades as with the Spitfire, but as the engine controlled when the guns fired through the prop disk, adding more blades would have slowed down an already slow rate of fire.  Most pilots dreaded running into Mustangs in their "Kanonenboots" as escaping one on your tail was almost impossible in those circumstances as the only manoeuvers the pilot could countenance were in the vertical plane.  Yet Germany needed all the fighters it could get from 1943, so Gustav had to remain in production as to disturb the production lines would have dealt their aerial defense a fatal blow. 

 

So if you're still with me after that diatribe, :D here's the extra pictures.

 

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That's it for now.  One final word on the model, which went together quite well.  The biggest issues were to do with the aftermarket Airies cockpit which I wanted to include to boost the detail of the kit, but was perhaps not a good choice.  It was readily available, just like the Gustav :D.  I'm aware that the kit has some fairly typical Trumpeter inaccuracies but it does go together well and was a kit I enjoyed building.  And, it made me think a bit more about my airbrushing, so a bit of a learning exercise too.

 

On to the next project.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

Edited by Dpgsbody55
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7 hours ago, LSP_Kevin said:

Congrats on getting this one across the line, Michael!

 

Kev

 

Thanks Kevin.  This one was not a difficult build after that Z-M Dornier. 

 

15 minutes ago, Rockie Yarwood said:

Beautiful build and finish, Michael!

 

Than you.  I'm pleased with how this one turned out, including the paint job.  I think the mottling on this one was a step up from my last two efforts.  Definitely a learning curve.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

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Thank you. Ernest.  I like to find out some history of my modelling subjects, and thought I would add this little bit.  I know it might be a bit contraversial, as there are many here who believe that the Gustav was the best of the 109 series, but I'm of the opinion that the plane was past it's zenith by 1943 and that the Freidrich was the best model.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

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On 6/2/2022 at 2:12 AM, MARU5137 said:

Michael,

STUNNING  build and it looks AWESOME. 

:wow:

:clap2: :clap2:

 

And I liked reading the history behind the aircraft and its manufacturing.

KUDOS on a accomplished  gorgeous  model.

:bow: :bow:

 

Thank you.  This was an enjoyable build, even though the kit has some inaccuracies and the Aires resin was a poor fit.  I have a couple more Trumpy 109's in the stash, so I may break out one of them before the year is done.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

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On 6/4/2022 at 11:11 PM, mc65 said:


oops!

 

I was focused on the ally side of this GB, and I missed the end of this...

great work on a subject that is rarely easy to reproduce, Michael!

:clap2::clap2::clap2:

 

Thank you.  I enjoyed building this kit and I thought it best to produce something that was a counter to the Eighth Air Force machinery, which was always likely to dominate the GB.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

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  • 2 weeks later...

A really nice one! Thanks for showing that a Trumpeter kit actually can be built into a really nice model. after reading many reviews online one could come to the opposite conclusion. It’s sometimes as if everything on a Trumpeter kit needs to be bad, because it’s a Trumpeter… Great to see clearly that this is simply not true.

Andreas

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21 hours ago, Borsos said:

A really nice one! Thanks for showing that a Trumpeter kit actually can be built into a really nice model. after reading many reviews online one could come to the opposite conclusion. It’s sometimes as if everything on a Trumpeter kit needs to be bad, because it’s a Trumpeter… Great to see clearly that this is simply not true.

Andreas

 

Thanks, Andreas.  I'm not  a fan of Trumpeter kits as their accuracy is often poor.  It's very common for them to offer the same parts in detail areas such as cockpits, regardless of whether you're building a 109E, F, G or K.  Plus many other inaccuracies too.  But they usually go together well and can be made to look the part.  A few of their models are actually very good indeed, and I'm thinking particularly of their MiG 3, which was a great kit to put together, even though I scratch built a lot of the cockpit.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

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  • 4 weeks later...

If I can be excused for resurrecting a finished project, I've made my first step into the world of dioramas which fellow modelers here may be interested to see.  I've bought two of Master Tools display cases, as a few of my LSP collection are small enough to encase them.  The cases I've bought are their case number 09808 which measure 12 1/2in long by 10 7/8in wide by 5 3/8in high.  Or 316mm x 276mm x 136mm and these seem to be the biggest I can find in Australia.  This was triggered by a previous Fiat CR.42 which I finished last year which I put inside one of these cases that I'd bought for something else which didn't work as I'd hoped.  That started me thinking about presenting my models a bit better than I have done in the past, as well as the added advantage of keeping some models dust free.

 

When I was up in Darwin last month, one of the museums I visited had replica medals available for sale.  I've never seen such a thing before, and unfortunately they only had one medal that fitted with the types of model I build, namely an Iron Cross.  I'd have liked to have bought a replica DFC and perhaps a USAAF medal too, but no such stock at the time of my visit.  So I bought one of these with the idea of using it to improve the display of this model.  Next, I needed something to finish it off a bit more, so today I've sourced a roll of grass mat which is simply cut to size and pva'd into place.  Here's the tree together.

 

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As I say, it's a first step, and the cases only work with smaller WW2 planes.  The biggest one I've tried which fits is the KH P-39.  Tamiya's Spitfire is a wing tip too big, but perhaps a clipped wing version will fit.  The three Russian planes I have will fit (MiG 3, Yak-3 and I-16) and I think the ICM Yak 9T will also fit.  I'm also hopeful that the Z-M 109G will fit into one when that model is finished, which will look better still with the supplied pilot figure too. 

 

I guess I'll be haunting other parts of the hobby shop now.  Oh, my aching wallet..... :lol:

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

Edited by Dpgsbody55
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