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Airfix Bf 109E-3


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Having made my annual purchase from Aldi of Airfix starter kits I find myself with two E-3's (and a Tomahawk).  The colour scheme for the E-3 is a bit dull, but I guess that's because they can't fit that many little paint pots in the box!!  There seems to be no shortage of more colourful schemes having checked out other sets of markings from Hannants.

 

What takes my fancy is a desert scheme, prompted by the iconic photo of an E over the desert which seems to be in every book I've looked at!! 

 

So some questions arise which I hope those more knowledgeable about the 109 might be able to answer:

- Were E-3's used in the desert, or had they been superseded by later models?

- Are there any obvious external differences between the E-3 and E-4/E-7??

- I've got a drawing of an E4/B in desert camo, but with no tropical filter - is this correct?

- I've tried looking on Hannants website, but there doesn't seem to be an aftermarket tropical filter available?? Are there any other sources??

 

Any help gratefully received....

 

Thanks

Martyn

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The one external difference that occurs to me is the E-3 having a rounded top to the hood with thinner framing, while the E-4/7 had the flat-topped hood with much heavier framing. IIRC the E in that famous photo had the flat hood. I'm sure there are others but less-visible.  As I recall, the hoods and rear glass sections were interchangeable, so check your sources.

For that air filter, you might check the Ultracast.ca website. They stock more brands of resin bits than any other seller I'm aware of.

Edited by Rolls-Royce
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Hello Martyn

Canopy, as Rolls-Royce said, and ventral drop tank/bomb rack. Also, by early 1941 Emils also received a spinner cap or at least a plug to cover exit hole for intended but never installed 20-mm cannon, firing through propeller axis. While I would not rule out some replacement aircraft arrived in North Africa theatre without tropical filters, these were usually quickly retrofitted.

 

Messerschmitt-Bf-109E7Trop-8.JG27-Black-

 

Messerschmitt-Bf-109E7Trop-1.JG27-White-

 

I assume mentioned iconic photo is probably either E-7/trop Black 8 or a pair of Emils (White 3 and White 8), all in RLM 79/78/80 scheme. I believe all three aircraft were without drop tank racks. Alternative sources for Bf 109 E tropical filters would be the old Matchbox kit or the ICM kit, which I believe also contains three different spinners and both E-3 and E-4 canopies. I am not familiar with Tamiya 1/72 Bf 109 E but, given that ICM kit had been ˝inspired˝ by Tamiya, one may find additional parts there, too. Cheers

Jure

Edited by Jure Miljevic
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JG 26 sent their 7th Staffel (red heart emblem) to Libya around late May 1941.  Their E-7's were not equipped with sand filters, so the aircraft lasted only a couple months.  I don't believe they  bothered repainting with desert paints during their short time there.

 

Messerschmitt-Bf-109E7B-7.JG27-White-13-

 

It seems thereafter, all other units sent to Africa were (or very quickly)  equipped with sand filters.  I/JG 27 was another unit that arrived in European scheme, but would eventually repaint in desert colours.

https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Bf-109E/JG27.I-MTO.html

 

regards,

Jack

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12 hours ago, prosser said:

Having made my annual purchase from Aldi of Airfix starter kits I find myself with two E-3's (and a Tomahawk).  The colour scheme for the E-3 is a bit dull, but I guess that's because they can't fit that many little paint pots in the box!!  There seems to be no shortage of more colourful schemes having checked out other sets of markings from Hannants.

 

What takes my fancy is a desert scheme, prompted by the iconic photo of an E over the desert which seems to be in every book I've looked at!! 

 

So some questions arise which I hope those more knowledgeable about the 109 might be able to answer:

- Were E-3's used in the desert, or had they been superseded by later models?

- Are there any obvious external differences between the E-3 and E-4/E-7??

- I've got a drawing of an E4/B in desert camo, but with no tropical filter - is this correct?

- I've tried looking on Hannants website, but there doesn't seem to be an aftermarket tropical filter available?? Are there any other sources??

 

Any help gratefully received....

 

Thanks

Martyn

Hobbyboss do an E4/7 trop in their easybuild range with those markings. The sprues come with both the standard intake and the trop filter among other things including spinner.  Decals are good and you get both Black 8 and white 3. A bit of care and attention will result in a nice rendition. Dont know about UK but here in Aus they go for under $10au.  HTH John H.

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Hi Martyn
HobbyBoss are the cheapest option, selling for £6.25. There are 2 tropical versions:-

HB 80254 Bf-109 E-4/ E-7

HB 80261 Bf-109 E-4.

Both have decals for the “spotty “ camouflage scheme. Both kits are virtually identical 

so I don’t know why they bothered. 
 

Regards Wulfman 

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK so reverting to maybe an E-3 in the air war over France pre Dunkirk....which fits with my other interest in No.1 squadron RAF at the same era.  My Airfix E-3 gives upper camo with Humbrols 117 and 31....is this anywhere near correct??  Would welcome some advice as to whether this is correct...…...

Thanks in advance

Martyn

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11 minutes ago, prosser said:

My Airfix E-3 gives upper camo with Humbrols 117 and 31....is this anywhere near correct??

Nearest Humbrol equivalents to RLM 71 Dunkel Grun and RLM 02 Grau, so yes, certainly near correct.  117 is OK for 71,  31 I think is too green. 

 

Do you have a preferred type and brand of paint? 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

Nearest Humbrol equivalents to RLM 71 Dunkel Grun and RLM 02 Grau, so yes, certainly near correct.  117 is OK for 71,  31 I think is too green. 

 

Do you have a preferred type and brand of paint? 

 

 

Humbrol do or at least did RLM colours in 240 range, in this case 240-242 are the three, though they didn’t bother with 65 sticking with the old 65

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Martyn,

Although only a late and partial answer to your initial questions, the only difference between the E-3 and the E-4 was in the wing armament; the E-3 being fitted with 20mm MG/FF cannon while the E-4

was fitted with the 20mm MG/FFM cannon; the difference only being in the ammunition used by each type. The squared off canopy style was not an indicator between an E-3 or E-4. As a quick

example, the E-4 flown by Viktor Mölders when he was brought down in early October 1940 was fitted with the earlier rounded style of canopy.

 

HTH

Cheers

Dave

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I believe all factory built E-4 variants had heavy framed angular canopy. Mölders' plane must have been one of earlier variants, brought up to E-4 or E-4/B standard and re-designated accordingly. E-1 and E-3 with bomb racks became E-1/B and E-3/B respectively. Here are some photos, found on this webpage, of a rather unfortunate 4./JG 77 Bf 109 E-1/B, taken early during operation Barbarossa. Note SD-2 bomb racks and the old type of canopy.

Messerschmitt-Bf-109E1B-4.JG77-White-4-W

Messerschmitt-Bf-109E1B-4.JG77-White-4-W

Messerschmitt-Bf-109E1B-4.JG77-White-4-W

By the same token E-1 or E-3, re-armed with 20-mm MG-FF(M) wing cannons and equipped with drop tank and/or bombs racks, became E-4, E-4B, E-7 or E-7/B. Here is an interesting history of one such aircraft, which passed through several rebuilds.

While the new canopy simplified production, it also somewhat restricted pilot's view. It had been retained on upgraded aircraft whenever it was possible. According to its caption, the photo below shows Bf 109 E-7, belonging to 9./JG 52, in Romania during 1940-41. Given aircraft's yellow nose, rudder and fuselage and wing bands spring or early summer 1941 is more probable. Note the E-3 canopy with additional armoured windshield.

Messerschmitt-Bf-109E7-9.JG52-(Y10+~)-Pi

Another photo of Bf 109 E-7 fighters from 11./JG 1, taken in Düsseldorf in 1942. The early windshield on the aircraft in the foreground is clearly visible.

Messerschmitt-Bf-109E7-11.JG1-(B2+o)-Dus

However, other sources claim these aircraft belong to either Bf 109 E-3 or E-3/B version. There is plenty more disputed photos around, either on www or in books. However, some photos allow for positive identification of windshield, canopy, spinner, armament and bomb/drop tank racks types. Such information render questions about exact aircraft's sub-version somewhat academic, at least from modeller's point of view. Cheers

Jure

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On ‎14‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 22:53, PhantomBigStu said:

Humbrol do or at least did RLM colours in 240 range, in this case 240-242 are the three, though they didn’t bother with 65 sticking with the old 65

That's handy, as Humbrol is my preferred brand of paint.  This reveals my beginnings in modelling in the 1970's.....Humbrol enamels and a brush!!

Many thanks

Martyn

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On ‎14‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 22:15, Troy Smith said:

Nearest Humbrol equivalents to RLM 71 Dunkel Grun and RLM 02 Grau, so yes, certainly near correct.  117 is OK for 71,  31 I think is too green. 

 

Do you have a preferred type and brand of paint? 

 

 

As per my reply to PhantomBigStu, I'm a Humbrol enamels and brush man.  To late for me to start trying these new fangled airbrush things...particularly as my modelling is all done at the kitchen table!!

Thanks for the info!

Martyn

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1 hour ago, prosser said:

I'm a Humbrol enamels and brush man.

If you like enamel, and want colour accurate high quality paint, check out Colourcoats from Sovereign Hobbies,

https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/collections/colourcoats

 

not yet available, as a set, but they are as individual tins, but here what you want for a BoB Emil

https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/collections/colourcoats-coloursets/products/luftwaffe-rlm65-71-02-scheme-colourset?variant=27599053768

 

This is going to be nearest you will get to Humbrol enamels from 'back in the day'

the boss even posts here, @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

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20 minutes ago, Troy Smith said:

If you like enamel, and want colour accurate high quality paint, check out Colourcoats from Sovereign Hobbies,

https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/collections/colourcoats

 

not yet available, as a set, but they are as individual tins, but here what you want for a BoB Emil

https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/collections/colourcoats-coloursets/products/luftwaffe-rlm65-71-02-scheme-colourset?variant=27599053768

 

This is going to be nearest you will get to Humbrol enamels from 'back in the day'

the boss even posts here, @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

 

Thanks Troy. This is just me between stocks of RLM71. I've got more now - it just needs decanted for sale. I lost this weekend due to peoples' expectations of me to pretend to enjoy burning time on generic festive cheer every December.

 

"It would be really great to see you for Christmas..."

"I wish I felt the same way"

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