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  1. The first third of my triple build will be a Bulgarian Bf-109 E-3. My plan is to portray White 4. One of the first batch of 10 Bf-109’s as supplied to the Bulgarian Air Force. This is an option provided by Kora Decals. The Bulgarians named the 109 the Strela (Latin characters), translated to English as Arrow. White 4 was an E-3 supplied with no seat armour, no wing cannons (leading edge blanked) but with underwing cannon blisters, cowling MG’s only, the later square type canopy, and no pilot oxygen system fitted. The cannon and oxygen systems were fitted locally following delivery of the aircraft. I will portray White 4 in its later 1941-42 form with the war time black on white St. Andrews Cross. I plan to finish the cockpit interior in RLM 02, rather than RLM 66, as the production of this first batch of E-3’s was in the first half 1940. The first flight of a Bulgarian E-3 occurred at Karlovo on 14 June 1940. I will follow Dénes Bernád’s research and finish White 4 in the special Bulgarian scheme of wings/tailplane two tone splinter of colours described as like RLM71 and RLM 62, top fuselage spline of the RLM71 colour, fuselage sides RLM62 and underside RLM65. And, of course, the interesting yellow fuselage stripe. Nicely captured in this rare colour picture. I may stray a little from Mr Bernád’s research as the paints are described as L 40/70 DKH, L40/62 DKH and L40/65 DKH. The trailing numbers seem too much of a coincidence. He specifically mentions that the dark green component was not black-green RLM70, based on samples he has seen, although I wonder if it was a faded black-green. I will make a call at the painting stage whether I go for RLM71 or a faded RLM70. I will use the 1/48 Eduard E-4 Weekend Edition kit, which has the parts to make a Bulgarian square canopy E-3. Decals supplied by Kora with a few aftermarket bits – Eduard PE panel/harness, resin wheels and propeller. Looking forward to the official start date. Reference: The excellent MMP Book on Bulgarian Fighter Colours 1919-1948 Vol. 1 by Dénes Bernád Ray
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