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The 30th September saw the last mass Luftwaffe daylight raid with Luftwaffe medium bombers. The day finished with heavy losses among virtually all the Bf 109 units involved due to growing RAF strength and also fuel issues. Shortly after midday, groups of Bf 109s crossed the coast inbound, clearing the way ahead of a force of bombers heading towards London, with more Bf 109s and Bf 110s escorting them. Most of the bombers turned for home before reaching London, but a few managed to drop their bombs over the capital. Among the Bf 109 units sent to meet with the returning bombers was JG 53 (Pik As). Feldwebel Walter Scholz from the 3rdStaffel rendezvoused with the returning bombers off the British coast, but soon realised he didn’t have enough fuel to regain France. He decided to turn for the Sussex coast and resign himself to becoming a POW, making a comparatively smooth force landing on the flat marshy ground around Langney, just east of Eastbourne. The RAF team that examined the crashed a/c noted that the engine and coolant syatem had received numerous bullet strikes, probably from an attack from below that Scholz hadn’t even noticed. I was intrigued by several points of interest about this a/c. JG 53 was the “Ace of Spades” unit which had suffered the indignity of having to paint out the unit’s emblem (white diamond shape with a black spade emblem) since the unit commander had infuriated Goering. For a period during August and September 1940, their a/c were required to paint a red band around the engine cowlings, obscuring the previous unit emblem. Some JG 53 units painted out the fin hakenkreuz in protest. After completing my model, I’ve seen at least one b&w pic where you can see the shadow of a red band under the faded yellow paint. The second interesting thing about JG 53 is that the unit had experimented with varying camo patterns, using the standard shades of RLM 65/71/02. Apart from the extent of the yellow id markings on Scholz’ a/c, the main difference was that large areas of the fuselage sides were painted using 02, extending down to a wavy line where it meets the lower RLM 65. From pictures of other JG 53 a/c, I concluded that the wing and tail upper surfaces probably had been painted mainly with RLM 02, leaving almost random patterns of RLM 71, none of which followed the straight edges typical of most standard camo patterns of the period. I used a Revell/Hasegawa kit for this model, which was slightly different from the normal Tamiya kit I’d been using. No problems with it OOB. I made only minor additions to the build, including fuse wire brake lines on the oleos, a Quickboost Revi gunsight, fine brass wire actuating rods for the rudder, together with the RT aerial and its connecting fuselage insulator. I decided the paint scheme for this aircraft was probably an adaptation of the earlier war RLM 70/71 scheme, basically with the areas previously sprayed with black green painted over. This left the spine and upper cowling of the a/c wholly in dark green, with the fuselage sides blending erratically into RLM 02, running from the front of the fin down to the wing roots. After an undercoat of Halfords grey primer, the undersides and lower fuselage were sprayed with a couple of light coats of my usual Tamiya AS-5 to imitate RLM 65. Next came the Tamiya RLM 02, following a wavy line as shown in the contemporary pics, followed by the dark green. The patterns on the wing and stabiliser upper surfaces are my interpretation of b&w pics of other JG 53 a/c, with a base coat of RLM 02 covered with random rounded patterns of dark green using thin rolls of blue tack to outline the dark green areas, sprayed after masking off the 02 back-ground. It probably ended up with more 02 and not quite enough dark green than it should, but it’s a fair impression of JG 53’s practice in this area. The yellow id markings are more extensive on this a/c than on many of this period, with the wing and tail plane tips masked off and painted matt white, followed by a mix of Tamiya matt yellow mixed with a small amount of matt orange. The fin and rudder got the same treatment, with the yellow extending on this aircraft to a line following the spine of the fuselage. Before spraying the fin, a small area of 02 was masked off where the W Nr 1325 was later applied using clear inkjet decal paper and computer-generated figures. I decided to try a bit of weathering and staining on this model, with barely discernible dark ochre oil paint highlighting some of the panel lines and flat aluminium dry-applied around the left inner wing area and below the left side of the cockpit. A mixture of black and brown was also lightly sprayed behind the exhaust outlets on the fuselage and similar light patterns simulated the staining effects of gun fire around the fuselage MG 17s and the wing-mounted MG-FF cannons. It wasn’t my best effort, but it produced something that showed yet another of the varied camo patterns employed by different units of the Jagdwaffe during the BoB.