Encouraged – or should I say “emboldened” – by my recent successful completion of a Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 model I have decided I need to build more 109s. That means that the projects on my “shelf of doom” will have to wait a bit longer, and instead I will launch what I tentatively now call “The Grand Messerschmitt Project of 2021”. It entails me building as many as five models in a row, or possibly even partially in parallel. A “production line” exercise, that is. Some of you will now say this is insane and you might not be wrong…
Over the years I have collected a lot of reference material about the Messerschmitt Bf 109, as well as kits, decal sheets, and other “aftermarket” modeling items. It is time to put those in use!
But, before I explain what I will include in the project, let me tell you a story about my own history when it comes to modeling the 109: When I was kid, back in Finland in the 1970s, there were not many options available if you wanted to build a Bf 109G (and given that this was Finland, every aircraft modeler wants to build one of those, since the Bf 109G is arguably the most significant aircraft in the history of the Finnish Air Force). One kit that was easy to acquire was the old Airfix 1/72nd scale Bf 109G-6, but it was so horrible that it barely even looked like the real thing. Even today, I would not know how to fix that kit. Then, at some point, we received some of the (at the time new) Jo-Han kits that could be built either as a Bf 109F or as a G-6. Compared to Airfix, this was fantastic kit. A bit later, Hasegawa released their 1/72nd scale Bf 109G-6, and it was so good it was like from another planet.
All this resulted in my lifelong quest for better and better 109 kits (the reader should understand that I build exclusively 1/72nd scale models, so I will not discuss other scales).
About 15 years ago I discovered the FineMolds’ kit of the Bf 109G, and this, effectively, concluded my quest. This kit – for me anyway – is the pinnacle of model kits representing the Bf 109G -family. I quickly proceeded to buy about ten of those (G-2s, G-6s, etc.). So far I have completed one G-2 and one G-6. All in all, my current “109 collection” has an early B-1 (from the old Heller kit), an E-7, a G-2, a G-6, and an Me 209 V1 (from the Special Hobby kit).
The individual aircraft I have chosen for this project are these:
- MT-213, “White 3”: a G-2 in standard Finnish Air Force green-and-black camouflage, in April 1944. The aircraft belonged to 1/HLeLv 34 and was flown by Finland’s highest-scoring fighter ace, Ilmari Juutilainen.
- MT-431: a G-6 in German RLM 74/75/76 splinter and mottle camouflage, but with the black of the Finnish camouflage pattern oversprayed, in September 1944. The aircraft belonged to 1/HLeLv 24.
- MT-456, “Yellow 6”: a G-6 (late production) in standard German camouflage pattern, in June 1944. The aircraft belonged to 1/HLeLv 24.
- MT-452, “Yellow 4”: a G-6 in standard German camouflage pattern, with patched overspray, circa 1948. The aircraft belonged to HLeLv 31 and sported a large “bat and moon” unit emblem.
- An E-7 (Werkenummer unknown) of III/JG 5 of Luftwaffe, stationed in Petsamo, Finland, in August 1942. The aircraft had the standard German camouflage pattern with what possibly was RLM 71 green overspray on the fuselage.
For the G-variants I will be using FineMolds’ kits, except for the late production G-6. That will be built from the Premium Hobbies’ G-14 kit which I believe is a reboxing of the Academy kit. G-14 was really just a late production G-6 (with the Erla canopy and tall vertical tail surfaces), so this will work out fine. For the E-7 I will use the new(ish) Airfix kit. I have built one before and found it to be an excellent kit.
My personal library has at least 250 books and magazine articles that cover some variant of the Bf 109, so there will be no shortage of reference material. The picture here shows some of the best reference sources for Finnish 109s (or 109s operated in Finland by the Luftwaffe). I will post a complete list of reference material at the end of the project.
I also have pictures of various 109s I have taken over the years in museums. From my reference books, I have found enough historical pictures of the individual aircraft I plan to build; this is my personal requirement when building models.
Stay tuned for more blog posts as the project continues…