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Airfix 1/72 Messerschmitt Bf109 G-6, 9/JG 3 new(ish) tool


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Around 15 years ago (give or take) I endeavoured to introduce my eldest son to the joys of plastic modelling. We managed to complete one buddy build (the old 1/72 Airfix Bf109-G6) and began a second (Hurricane MkII) before his interest waned.

Below is the result. Assembled with care but not too much finesse, brush painted with enamels and a valiant effort to weather them, this brace of 109's have sat proudly on display in various locations around the house ever since.

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I was considering rebuilding yellow 3 as that was the one that I had built originally but then I recently obtained the 'new tool' Airfix kit which was added to the stash whilst I proceeded with the Tamiya Opel Blitz.

Tonight I made the fatal error of opening the box and looking at the contents. :oops:

Nice box art

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Instead of the cannon blisters being distinct bulges on either side of the cowl they were moulded like a saddle and were not an improvement over the vintage kit.

Scalpel, needle files and sanding pads later produced this

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A bit squarish but an improvement.

Those exhausts look a bit solid, 1mm drill and a bit of work with the scalpel

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Wingtip nav lights moulded solid? Not anymore

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and after shaping and polishing...

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Now to get back to the Opel Blitz, well, tomorro..er later today :)

Edited by Phil Lewis
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Will you be doing any filling to reduce those "trenches"?

Only if I can find my way out of them :)

I shall be painting some Mr Surfacer 500 in there and see where that gets me.

Edited by Phil Lewis
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Trench Warfare

I set about filling all those huge trenches being passed off as panel lines. Decided to use Perfect Plastic putty.

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Also set about thinning the skin on the radiator covers. Starboard one in progress.

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Both sides thinned

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Cockpit looks rather bland. I'll be building this one flying with the pilot in place so only need to give an impression of cockpit detail.

As I am doing this OOB and will only be adding what can be scratch built I shall be using the kit canopy which is not terribly clear so there is no need to go to town on the cockpit.

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I can probably get away with the rear bulkhead and a rudimentary control panel.

Suggestions and tips are always welcome

Edited by Phil Lewis
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Began work on the cockpit.

Roughly marked out the IP and punched out the instruments using Historex punch and die set.

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Cut out the pieces and assembled them test fitting to the inside of the fuselage

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Work also started on the cockpit tub

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Pilot re-sculpted as he looked like a modern pilot with hard helmet. Carved and sanded the head to shape, removed the non-period oxygen mask and hose and added approximately correct goggles.

Also reshaped seat to a slightly better approximation (it originally had a moulded-in headrest that also looked nothing like the correct type)

Fashioned a crude control column.

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Cockpit tub and instrument panel ready for paint.

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Also added the radiator fronts. The photo does not show it but I softened the front face of the pieces with Mr Cement and then rolled the knurled knob of my pin vise over the surface giving it a little texture.

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I may be getting slightly carried away with this but now I've started......

Edited by Phil Lewis
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RLM 02 sprayed on the interior surfaces, little bit of detail painting and cockpit glued in place

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Instrument panel added

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Didn't like the moulded on nose guns so I scraped them off and fashioned replacements out of brass tubing shaped by turning in a Dremel type tool and using needle files.

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and both in place after much thinning inside the cowl

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I don't like attaching the prop until all else is painted. The solution, more brass rod, drilled through the hub and superglued in place. Opened up the end of the rod with .9mm drill.

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And with the spinner on (temporarily)

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And a piece of plastic tube glued into the fuselage to keep everything lined up nicely

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Comments and suggestions welcome as always.

Edited by Phil Lewis
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Thank you Ed

Ah well, onwards and upwards :)

Pilot painted and installed, shoulder straps made from finely sliced Tamiya tape marinaded in XF-49 Khaki.

Vague approximation of a gunsight made from slivers of plasticard and indigestion tablet blister pack (the pink and white tablets :winkgrin: )

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Fuselage halves assembled and glued and wing uppers added to lower section

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More tea methinks

Edited by Phil Lewis
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Great work on this one so far!

But surely this is a rebox of the old tool kit? I'm no expert but the 3 or 4 new tool kits I have all have pretty good internal detail. The 109E-4 includes cockpit detail moulded into the fuselage sides, a 6-part cockpit including instrument panel plus decals, separate exhausts and under wing radiators, and none of those old style pegs inside the fuselage....

Ian

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Excellent work so far, Phil! I'm working on four Bf-109's right now, so this is of some interest to me (the kits are the Airfix Bf-109E-7 and Ian you are correct in that it has a nice cockpit, the Fine Molds Bf-109K-4, the Zvezda Bf-109F-2, and the Hasegawa Bf-109G-6). Mine are indeed OOB, as I don't think I'd ever get them finished if I put the work into them you're putting into your Bf-109, Phil.

Regards,

Jason

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Dazdot is correct, the parts are too different to be a clean up and rehash of the old moulds.

I realised I had missed out the pilot head armour, so I fashioned one from thin yoghurt pot plastic and painted it up

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And in place in the canopy

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The supercharger intake was moulded solid so I began cleaning up the outside in preparation to drilling it out when it pinged out of the tweezers in a beautiful arc that only vaguely hinted at it's final resting place :badmood:

Fortunately there was the second one with the tropical filter on it. Cleaned it up and then created the fillet using yoghurt pot plastic. Cut off the filter and drilled the end out.

I shall add the weld seam later.

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Can someone please tell me what possessed me to rivet the damned thing?

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You can see the pencil marks I used as approximate guides. Please don't count them they are purely an approximation to give an impression of rivetting.

In truth I found the whole process quite therapeutic.

Not sure what that might say about me :shrug:

Edited by Phil Lewis
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wow, and I thought Airfix had got their act together!

Nice job with the rivets, and I won't even attempt to figure what it says about you!

Ian

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wow, and I thought Airfix had got their act together!

Nice job with the rivets, and I won't even attempt to figure what it says about you!

Ian

To be honest this was one of their earlier new tool efforts dating back to 2009 (I think) and their subsequent kit releases have shown pretty much continual improvement over the last few years.

However I have noticed a couple of thier new releases don't include pilots/aircrew which seems to be a bit of a backward step to me. I'd like to at least have the option to have my planes in flight without having to resort to after market.

Edited by Phil Lewis
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Propellors looked like vaguely propeller shaped 6 scale inch thick planks of wood so I thinned them out and tried to apply some aerofoil shape to the cross section.

Here's a before view.

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And after.

It might not be completely accurate but it looks better.

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Supercharger intake and wings fixed to fuselage.

Supercharger intake seam added using stretched sprue and the same was used for the engine cover hinge line.

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Will need some filler on the underside front and rear of wing fuselage joint but otherwise a good fit on the top.

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Thanks for looking

Edited by Phil Lewis
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Attached canopy using Formula '560', first time using this stuff and looking good so far. We'll see if masking the canopy will dislodge it later in the build :)

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As I am building this one in flight the undercarriage needs to be up.

I had 3 options (left to right) i. Use the full undercarriage (not practical as it would require massive sanding and alterations to get it to fit). ii. The kit stowed undercarriage as it comes from the box (not with that great face of blank plastic) or iii. modify the kit stowed undercarriage part to make it look a little better (my final choice)

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And here are both modified parts

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Underwing cannon packs looked a little undernourished and the barrels were simply awful so began by laminating some thin plasticard either side and sanding to shape, adding the ejector chute and cutting off the old distorted barrels. I then drilled 0.8mm holes to receive barrels fashioned from 0.8mm brass tube.

Modified at top and original kit part on bottom

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and both completed.

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Thank you for looking .

Comments and suggestions welcome.

Edited by Phil Lewis
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A small update.

Finished tidying up the cannon packs, glued them on and blended in with a smear of Perfect Plastic putty.

Wing-fuselage gaps also filled and sanded

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Tail feathers added and also chin oil cooler(?) fixed and faired in

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With a bit of luck, not to mention peace and quiet, I should have more later.

Edited by Phil Lewis
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Modified undercarriage painted up and fixed in place.

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Fitted a brand new number 11 blade and masked up the canopy, wheels and nav lights with Tamiya tape.

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Next stop.. the spray booth :)

Edited by Phil Lewis
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Primer on.

I was a little heavy handed with it and pretty much obliterated the rivets on the upper wings and rear fuselage.

made some repairs where it needed a little more filler and gave it a wet rub down with 6000 grit micro mesh.

Restored a few of the wing rivets but left the fuselage alone as there is still a faint impression of the rivets there.

Also started applying colour to the prop and spinner.

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At least you can't lose yourself in the panel lines now

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I think I need another coat of RLM 70 on the prop. Looking a bit patchy on the back.

Next up, masking off the black band on the spinner and spraying it yellow. Wish me luck :)

Edited by Phil Lewis
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