Taking scale model photos

I take photos of real aircraft to support my scale model projects (as reference material). Once a model project is completed, I usually take pictures of the model and produce a Web page that describes the model, its construction, etc. Some people have asked me how do I take those model pictures, and how do I edit them afterwards. This blog post is my answer.

Here are some examples of my recent models:

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Confusion over RLM colors 81/82/83

Over the past year I have been working on a model of the Dornier Do 335A. The 335 is the unconventional late-war design that used two DB 603 engines with two propellers, one pushing and one pulling. The model will eventually nicely complement my model of the Göppingen Gö 9, the experimental prototype Dornier designed to test the new concept. The project has now progressed to a point where I am painting the airframe. I am building the model to represent the 7th pre-production A-0, Werkenummer 240107. There are plenty of pictures of this aircraft from the time when it was being initially test flown by Dornier; for example [1, pp.74-75].

In the title I used the word “confusion”… I could also have said “frustration”. Here’s why: one of the late-war camouflage schemes used by the Luftwaffe consisted of the RLM colors 81/82/65. Color 65 is easy, it is the darker shade of light blue that Luftwaffe used a lot. The problem is with the definitions of 81 – often called “braunviolett”, sometimes “dunkelgrün” (dark green) – and 82 – called either “dunkelgrün” or “hellgrün” (light green, go figure). When I look at the black-and-white photos of the Do 335, I can hardly see the difference between the two greens, but when I look at the – thoroughly researched – aircraft preserved at the NASM, the greens seem quite garish, almost cartoon-like. And even though not used in Do 335, the color RLM 83 is also called “dunkelgrün” and is almost identical to 81.

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Grand Messerschmitt project: First completed model

At long last, the project has yielded its first completed model, Ilmari Juutilainen‘s Bf 109G-2 “MT-213”. Juutilainen, of course, was the highest-scoring Finnish fighter ace, and also the highest-scoring non-German ace of World War 2.

A full-write-up (with more pictures) can be found here. An index to all the stories (so far) can be found here.


Previous: It’s alive! | Next: Two more aircraft completed

Grand Messerschmitt project: it’s alive!

After a several months’ hiatus I have resumed work on the Grand Messerschmitt project of 2021, and I thought I’d provide a “status report” on where I am with each of the five aircraft.

The first one to be finished is the Bf 109G-2, “MT-213”, flown by Finland’s highest scoring ace Ilmari Juutilainen (also the highest-scoring non-German ace of the war). Only some minor details are missing anymore.

MT-213 needed some remedial work on the rear fuselage
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