Grand Messerschmitt project: Super-detailing the “Emil”, part 1

I have built the Airfix Bf 109E-7 a few years ago, and found it to be a nice, accurate, and well detailed kit. As I was studying the same kit now on my workbench, it struck me that perhaps this could be a small “super-detailing” exercise. I have the True Details resin cockpit set, designed for the Hasegawa kit, but I figured I could make it work here as well. It certainly offers better details than the Airfix kit, although I have to say the details from the Airfix offering are quite nice and indeed I even built my earlier “Emil” with the canopy open.

The whole exercise could consist of the following:

  • Resin cockpit (from True Details), seat belts are part of the seat in this set so it will be better to use the seat from the kit with Eduard photo-etch seat belts,
  • Lowered flaps (the kit offers this),
  • Open engine cowling (in the E-model the entire upper cowling came off as a single part – the kit offers this possibility as well), more details added to the engine (perhaps), and
  • MG 17 guns on top of the engine – for this, I can use a leftover part from the FineMolds’ G-2 kit, as I intend to replace the gun barrels on that one with brass parts from Master Model.
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Grand Messerschmitt project: Cockpit detailing

The FineMolds’ Bf 109G kits have very nice cockpit details and really the only thing one could/should add are the seat belts. However, for my G-2 I wanted to try the Aires resin and photo-etch cockpit set, primarily because I intend to leave the canopy open. For the Premium Hobbies’ kit I am using an Eduard photo-etch set originally designed for the Academy kit. The other two G-6s will just use FineMolds’ parts, and the Airfix E-7 will also be out-of-the-box, except for photo-etch seat belts.

I started construction by airbrushing all G-models’ interiors with the dark gray RLM 74; I used Mr.Color semi-gloss enamel #36, a good match, but also an experiment for me since I normally use Tamiya acrylics. Mr.Color was a positive experience, easy to spray without any additional thinning. I used a Badger Patriot airbrush at approx. 20 PSI. Note that I also sprayed the photo-etch instrument panels which now will have to be assembled.

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Grand Messerschmitt Project: Analysis of Premium Hobbies’ Bf 109G-14

I am a big fan of FineMolds’ Bf 109s, but I recently bought one of the brand new Premium Hobbies’ Bf 109G-14s just to see what it is like. It turns out it is a reboxing of the older Academy kit with new decals and – according to Scalemates – some new parts (which ones, I do not know, since I don’t have the original kit to compare with). Historically, the G-14 variant was an attempt to standardize many of the modifications and improvements that had already been introduced in late production G-6s. I will build this kit as a G-6 with an Erla canopy and the taller vertical tail surfaces (as part of my Grand Messerschmitt project of 2021).

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The grand Messerschmitt project of 2021

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…

My recent G-2 project

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).

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