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1/32 Revell Messerschmitt Bf.109 F-1

by Paolo De Sanctis

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At the end of 1940 a new version of the Messerschmitt 109 fighter appeared. She was the famous and much improved Me. Bf. 109F with its -1 variant. Fitted with the previous model’s 1200 Hp DB 601N engine she developed some “teething problems”, like the breakdown of the entire tail when in flight. To overcome the problem early machines were fitted with stronger stiffeners on the tail.  The new variant quickly became a very pure-bred horse and was supplied firstly to the Channel front outstanding units, like JG 26 and JG 51.

THE MODEL

Some ten years ago I was presented with an old and built 1/32 Revell Kit.  The previous modeller had built and hand-brush painted it quite well, with appropriate RLM colours, but unfortunately those colours were wrong because all green/blues manned.

         So I’ decided to dismantle it completely and rebuild it, after clearing its parts with bleach after a bet with myself. Once I washed off the parts, I rebuilt the kit including as many as possible details. The engine, after painting in Humbrol  “engine grey” had all the piping and wires added and all details painted in the appropriate colours as well.

A firewall plasticard bulkhead was added, with detailed oil radiator matrix and drilled exhaust stacks. The cowl MG were drilled also. Other works were the wheel wells, boxed in and entirely detailed with ribs and spars. The oleo legs were added with brakes pipes and then fixed in place. The cockpit was fully detailed with scratchbuilt sandwich instruments panel, the ReVi gunsight, cloche, pedals, the MG/FF cannon fairing, and all the oxygen, fuel pipes and other items.  The pilot’s seat had the belts added on and the two fuselage itself were stretched using some scratch plastic near the fin. Then the entire model was assembled once again.

Since the bad conditions of the wrecked kit it was almost impossible for me to lower the flap/slats, and due to this I elected to fix all movable surfaces in the neutral position (“in case of doubt, better do nothing!”, by great Chris Ellis). The folding part of the canopy was obtained cutting off the clear windows with a hot blade, carefully sanding the remaining frames and adding its with new polyglaze bits.  

Once assembled the kit once more it needed quite a lot of body putty filler and many panel and details were rescribed. The four tail stiffeners obtained from plasticard were carefully added. The 109F-1 early production batch retained their squared wheel wells. Once completed and carefully trimmed and sanded, the model was polished and then washed to clear off the work remnants.  It was duly masked with Maskol and received a first coat of Humbrol H64 primer paint to reveal any flaws.

When satisfied with it, I painted its undersurfaces in RLM76 which, with the help of my useful FS595a book was Humbrol 127;  the uppersurfaces were accordingly painted in RLM74/75 which resulted, albeit for me, with H.32 and H.125 respectively.

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       When the model dried, I applied a thin layer of Humbrol gloss cote in order to rescribe all the panels lines with a dark brown ink and apply decals. These decals were from a Superscale sheet which comprised of Marseille’s and Moelders mounts. I choose the Moelder’s one with the beautiful falcon insignia on the cowl to represent the JG51’s Kommodore machine when based at S. Omer, France, in the Spring of 1941. The decals reacted very well with Mark Softer and, since I’ hate the swastika I left it off.

Final steps were to spray the entire model with Humbrol satin cote and the applications of stains and engine’ smokes with airbrush and pastels. This is my second 1/32 kit since I started my modelling life and I tried many techniques with it.  I hope it may be quite good.

Paolo

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Photos and text © by Paolo De Sanctis

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