Author Topic: Bf 109E-3  (Read 353 times)

cph64

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Bf 109E-3
« on: December 05, 2021, 09:11:58 AM »
Next on the build mat is the new tool Airfix release of the Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 which I obtained as a kit swap with Simon the bus driver. The kit has cleanly moulded parts, as one would expect off a new tooling, the clear parts are bagged seperately, well done Airfix, but there is only one marking option of an aircraft from III/JG51 and this is where I have my doubts. All my reference books and some online say that Chevron and small circle are for IV/ Gruppes of Staffel but I'll bow to Airfix on this as I'm sure they've done their reseach. The aircraft can't be the Gruppe Technical Officer's mount as it would then be marked Chevron and LARGE circle.

cph64

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2021, 12:53:58 PM »
Colour conundrum time. The instructions call for the cockpit interior to be painted Humbrol 31, this is enamel Slate Grey and not made as an acrylic, Online searches say the nearest acrylic is their 246 for RLM75 Grauviolett but this would have been issued after the BoB period for the kit. Generally early cockpits were RLM02 with RLM66 coming into use later. I had found an article saying that Messerschmitt painted their Bf 109 cockpits in neither of these but in a grey that was darker than 02 but lighter than 66 giving British Dark Seagreen with a touch of white as an approximation so I went with this, Vallejo 70868, only to find later an article saying that cockpit colours varied depending on which sub-contractor Messerschmitt used, hmmm!!!! Some of the fittings in the cockpit have been painted and have Nuln Oil added for depth but I think it still needs some more work. Airfix are to be commended as seat belts are moulded on the seat, albeit not with raised enough detail in my opinion, but still better than nothing. The instrument dials are two decals which settled down well and have good detail. I've left out the gun sight and control column to make masking for painting easier.

cph64

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2021, 09:57:43 AM »
Fuselage joined but I left off the propeller and spinner to ease masking and painting followed by fitting the under nose intake and air filter. The wings were then added followed by the tail planes, rudder and radiators. I've also used the 'wheels up' option to help with masking the u/c bays. Whilst the seam lines on the rear fuselage don't have to be sanded out on a 109 as there is a real life panel line some filling and sanding was required on the nose and the underneath wing joint. Counter balances. pitot tube and guns have been left off as they are delicate and could break off during painting to be added later. Just the cockpit to mask then it's on with the paint.

zak

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2021, 10:13:41 AM »
Quick work.
Grumpy by name and nature

MSea

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2021, 01:09:49 PM »
Very quick Chris - you will have it flying in no time - hohohho
MSea

cph64

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2021, 09:42:27 AM »
Initial painting done with the upper surfaces Ammo by Mig RLM02 and Xtracrylic RLM71 and underneath Humbrol RLM65. In photos the demarcation line between upper and lower colours is 'soft'. I tried to replicate this by masking higher and limiting spray as my airbrushing skills aren't up to attempting this freehand but didn't achieve the desired effect. The curved demarcation line on the nose needs tidying up as does the initial coat of Vallejo Smoke for the exhaust. The main undercarriage, less doors, has been attached but not the tail wheel yet.

chriswil42

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2021, 10:46:19 AM »
Another one yor're cracking on with. You'll be catching up with zak.
Chris

cph64

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2021, 03:35:34 PM »
Not quite that fast Chris and this time there isn't a parallel build happening (but I am getting itchy fingers {yes Martin I know I can get cream for them}).
Revi sight and joystick added to the cockpit plus tail and mainwheels. Front and rear parts of the canopy in place using Glue and Glaze with the middle part removed from the sprue and mounted on Blue Tack. This was masked with Tamiya tape while for the rest I thought I'd try Microscale Micro Mask which can be cut to shape once dry. Humbrol RLM02 was then painted on to simulate the internal frame colour of the canopy.

Haddock

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2021, 09:13:25 AM »
You're probably aware of this but Micro-mask is fine with enamels but doesn't work very well with acrylics.
Good luck.
Haddock.

Bob C

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2021, 06:38:11 PM »
Coming along nicely.

Bob c

cph64

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2021, 02:36:39 PM »
Thanks for the reminder Haddock, I'll take care.

cph64

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2021, 05:09:35 PM »
Micro mask behaved itself with only a minimum of touching up to do around the cockpit. I'd forgotten mention earlier that the exhausts had to be trimmed to fit, I don't know if this was a moulding issue or due to the paint, as we know some builds are tight without paint. Once the weathering was done, Flory as usual, all the fiddly bits were added and they are. The two aileron mass balances have two attachment points to the sprue so care was needed on removal and tidying up, as with the pitot tube and the radio mast. The latter was so fragile it broke during cleaning up and I had to resort to the spares box. The mass balances were glued using the minimum but this proved inadequate and they fell off so it was out with the CA, during which I noticed the pitot had also come away and was nowhere to be seen. Carpet Monster 1 - Build 0!!! Also relating to tight fits it's a good thing the canopy can be posed open as this looks to be about 1mm to large to fit between the front and rear sections.
Re the markings. Further research showed that IV Gruppe aircraft did indeed have the small circle marking, well done Airfix. It goes to show that you should double check your references, my Airfix Guide to Luftwaffe Camouflage is dated 1975 so obvioudsly more became known by the time the Japanese book I have was printed. As there will no doubt be 100s of the E-4 in the kit markings I went for something slightly different with unit and a/c markings from spares for 'White 8' 1/JG51 based at Pihen September 1940. I don't normally do pilots for my a/c but decided to this time. He's painted using the later-style life jacket and with the high-visibility yellow helmet cover introduced in the late summer of 1940 for operations over the Channel.
All in all a great little kit and an easy build.

zak

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2021, 05:34:20 PM »
Looks the part.
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Bigkev

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2021, 08:10:40 PM »
Hi Chris,
A very nice build with some great info along the way.
Didn't know about the 'Flying Helmet Cover' , so you have taught me something I didn't know.
Well done Chris.
Bigkev

chriswil42

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Re: Bf 109E-3
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2021, 01:02:16 PM »
An exquisite model Chris. We also learn something every day!
Chris