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BEST 72ND SCALE BF109F CURRENTLY AVAILABLE?


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Getting back to @fishplanebeer's original query, while I obviously am not the person to pontificate on the best Bf-109F in 1/72 scale, the discussion reminded me of an article in the IPMS USA Quarterly, V16, N2, Winter 1980, by John Beaman and William Kitchens, which although primarily on the colors and markings of all of Hans Joachim Marseille's Bf-109F's. it does include the detail differences between the Bf-109F-2 and F-4 that I thought might be useful for anyone wanting to build either version. Paraphrased from the article:

 

Bf-109F-2

early a/c had MG-FF 20mm in the nose; later a/c had the MG 151 15mm cannon

two external stiffeners  on both sides of the rear  fuselage at station 9 extending to the rudder post

early a/c had the slender supercharger intake; later a/c had the G-6 fatter intake

almost all had circular wheel wells

triangular clear panel on RH side of windscreen is plated over for a flare pistol port on most a/c

F-2z had GM1 nitrous boost system with fillers on LH wing root and deeper, G-style oil cooler

deeper G-style oil cooler also fitted to F-2/trops

 

Bf-109F-4

external stiffeners deleted

all a/c had circular wheel wells

all had Mg 151 20mm in nose

triangular clear panel on RH side of the windscreen is plated over for a flare pistol port on all a/c

F-4z had GM1 nitrous bost system with fillers on LH wing root and deeper, G-style oil cooler

deeper G-style oil cooler also fitted to F-4/trops

most F-4's had externally armored windscreen, but this was said to be based on pilot preference as to whether or not it was fitted; some F-2's are also seen to have it fitted, as well.

 

Both F-2 and F-4 trops used a sand filter intake

 

I hope this will be useful!

Mike

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Dear All,

 

After all the debate I have ended up buying both the Zvezda and AZ 'Marseilles' kits and just compared both to the scale plans I have by Lloyd and Carrick in the Aircraft Archive publication from 1988.

 

Assuming these plans are reasonably accurate then both are spot on for me, the only difference being the lack of aileron balances with the Zvezda version which is no major issue.

 

The AZ kit does have a very nicely moulded trop filter, my preferred option to accompany my Special Hobby Kittyhawk Mk1A, so I will start with this one although it will not be in 'Marseilles' livery. However in this scale both are excellent and will produce convincing replicas for a modest/moderate modeller like myself.

 

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread to date as it has been very educational and added greatly to knowledge bank of this particular type.

 

Thank You.

Colin.

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OK, one last little thing here. This photo shows an early AZ 109 fuselage half (a G-14, on top), taped to their 109F fuselage half; with the top edges of the pieces aligned precisely. You can see the extra depth at the firewall the F has.

 

A millimeter variance in overall length may not make a big visual difference...but at a spot like this, it very much does. This small dimensional change alters the "look" of the fuselage profile and wing incidence to a remarkable degree, really improving the overall appearance of the kit.

 

Oh by the way, if you belong to the "72nd Aircraft" Facebook group, a really nice build of the AZ 109F was posted today.

 

78-E38342-FC24-4-FC0-ACE4-86-DB48-F5-DBA

 

 

Edited by MDriskill
Mild O-C disorder
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@MDriskill thank you for that comparison. Yes, the shape is significantly improved. I also suspect they have moved some panel lines around to reduce the obvious effects of the nose being too far forward, possibly lengthened the oil tank at the front and even moved the exhaust stacks further aft to close that ugly gap between them and the wing.

 

I don't have an unbuilt AZ 109G at the moment, would you mind taking a few more pictures from different angles, especially above?

 

I also noticed that the AZ 109Fs are all done from the same mold, so for an F-4 build you also need to delete the reinforcement strips... :laugh:

 

@fishplanebeer excellet choice! I don't know about the drawing, but they can't both be "spot on" since they're different lengths! The AZ 109F does look the part and as I said I wouldn't go the extra mile to fix its issues.

 

BUT, it does still have the extra length in the section just forward of the windscreen, moving the whole nose too far forward and making it too long overall. The fuselage matches the Zvezda from rudder post to instrument panel perfectly, then you can clearly see the firewall is too far forward on the AZ, and as a knock-on so is the rear of the oil tank. The Zvezda oil tank is a seaparate part, great choice for seamless assembly, and is the correct length.

 

In side profile the upper shape matches the Zvezda very well. The lower side of the AZ now has the right sloped profile, but again there is a "BUT". The Zvezda is deeper over the whole length of the nose. The difference is small and it may be Zvezda is incorrect here, but to my eye Zvezda looks better when built up.

 

Another small issue you can see if you look through the rectangular hole for the exhaust stack opening. The Zvezda one correctly slopes down at the aft end, while the AZ is too horizontal.

 

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The external stiffing strips at Station 9 were not indicative of sub-type, they are commonly observed in photos of both the F-2 and the F-4.  As an example check out Marseille's last F-4 Trop, W.Nr. 8673, which arrived in the late summer of 1942 with the strips.  The strips were also present on Marseille's 10137, 10059 and 8693, all F-4 Trop machines.

 

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Edited by Vonbraun
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Ah, interesting. I'm now glad I haven't sanded them off yet for my build! I also have that boxing of the AZ kit, great value with canopy mask included, and was leaning towards that final aircraft as I prefer the overall sand to the demarcation line halfway up the fuselage.

 

On another note, and apologies for this little outbuts, but can people please stop spelling the name Marseille with an extra 'S' on the end? :think:

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Just to add that I also rashly bought the AZ Bf109 G2/Trop as it apparently won a Gold Award of some description as per the details on the box. Not sure who by but it seemed a good selling point so I added it to my cart given that it was reasonably priced and assumed it would be a better option than the most recent Airfix and Revell offerings.

 

This one will be a while before it gets to the work bench but from initial examination it does seem pretty good and with lots of extra bits as well, although I've not got to the stage of taking anything off the sprues to test fit or measure up against any scale plans. Ultimately it will end up being 'Black 6' as restored to airworthy condition in the UK before its demise on its final flight but then thankfully fully restored to superb static condition and rotated between Hendon and Cosford (so a must see when I get around to it).

 

Genuine thanks again for everyone's interest, time and knowledge here, such a wonderful forum and still free!

 

Stay Safe.

Colin.

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Sorry but just a final thought on the 'F', and apologies if this has also been covered previously and I'm preaching to the converted and covering old ground.

 

The external stiffening strips (2 each side) connecting the tail to the fuselage were put in place to prevent the tail falling off on early versions, akin to the same problem experienced with the Hawker Typhoon, and which resulted in a number of the early F-1's inexplicably crashing for no apparent reason. Something to do with sympathetic vibrations apparently but no real idea what this means as I failed Physics A-Level!

 

Having traced the issue to the tail structure, as it no longer had the tail plane braces fitted to the 'Emil', the strips were added to the F-1 and also to early F-2's before an internal remedy was applied for all later aircraft/versions. However some photos seem to show the strips still evident on what are claimed to be later versions such as the F-4. So are/were these aircraft actually re-manufactured early versions? Sensibly a factory mod to solve the problem would have been universal given its importance and it would have made no sense to do the internal strengthening and yet at the same time still apply these strips as well.

 

Just a thought.

 

Kind Regards

Colin.

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But then again when did the Germans ever do things universally so it is perfectly possible that some factories adopted the new internal strengthening later than others and that their F fuselages did indeed still have the stiffening plates applied to them - very confusing.

 

Just goes to show that you cannot rely upon even several reference sources/books, even if they all say the same thing as mine do, and that the only true and accurate reference is a period photo of the actual aircraft, as expertly evidenced by the wonderful photo from Vonbraun.

 

Regards

Colin.

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1 hour ago, Vonbraun said:

check out Marseille's last F-4 Trop, W.Nr. 8673,

OK, now I am confused! According to the Beaman article I paraphrased from above, Marseille's three Bf-109F's were W/N 12593, a Bf-109F-4z; W/N 10137, a Bf-109F-4z, and W/N 8673, a Bf-109F-2z;  W/N 8673 was also featured and identified in Heinz Nowarra's book, Die 109. I have NO idea  who is correct, but Beaman and Nowarra are both acknowledged to be very knowledgeable on the subject and must have been fairly confident as to the accuracy of their findings. Just goes to show how difficult it is to say with complete certainty what variant an aircraft is and whether or not its details are correct- there always being an exception to the rule. As we say here in Texas, "I don't have a horse in this race," I can only go by what I have read here or in reference books/articles, or that I have in my references. I wish the  triangle that listed the fuel required was readable in the photo you posted, as I remember reading  in written  sources that F-2's used 100 octane fuel for their DB601N engines and the F-4's used 87 octane fuel for their DB601E engines.  The W/N for this Bf-109F has also been listed as being 8693! Bottom line being nobody knows for certain, but it sure makes doing research fun! What do you think, @Vonbraun- I ain't got a clue!

Mike

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Belt and braces:  the Typhoon didn't need the strengthening tabs either after the cause had been found, but they were still fitted.  Not that they were actually any use, as tails came off later Typhoons, if only those that suffered from poor build standard and/or maintenance.  I wouldn't be too worried about not understanding aeroelastics as it wouldn't feature on a school syllabus anyway.  Just say "Ah, flutter" and nod knowingly.

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James Kitchens and John Beaman wrote a book on Marseille's Bf 109s in 2007.  They listed five Bf 109 F-4 Trop aircraft as Marseille's aircraft, the first of which is somewhat of a mystery as neither the W.Nr. or the fuselage number are known.  The other four, in order of assignment, were W.Nr. 8693, 10059, 10137,and 8673, all marked with the famous yellow 14 fuselage number. 

 

Based on Luftwaffe monthly inventory reports for the period, the authors dismiss the notion of any F-4Z machines being assigned to Marseilles or even to I/JG 27 while the unit was in North Africa.  They note that advantages of the F-4Z were insignificant at the low and medium altitudes where the majority of combat occurred.  Additionally, the F-4Z required the GM-1 fuel additive which presented a logistics burden.  However, some other sources list these machines as F-4Z Trops, so the issue has not been absolutely settled.

 

I am not aware of any evidence of factory built F-2 Trops or F-2Zs.  There were field conversions with sand filters being fitted to F-2s but this is pretty rare. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Vonbraun
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As for the stiffening plates it looks like that these are more common with Erla built F-4s than with WNF builds. 

 

 

Edited by Vonbraun
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Here are two more photos of 8673, octane markings are not in the shot or obscured by the tarp.  But 8673 is listed among W.Nr. assigned to Erla F-4/F-4Z production, and would have the 87 octane marking under the cockpit..

 

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I believe this machine was originally built as an F-4, damaged and rebuilt as an F-4 Trop. 

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4 hours ago, Vonbraun said:

I believe this machine was originally built as an F-4, damaged and rebuilt as an F-4 Trop. 

I'm thinking you are right on this one. I forgot I had a copy of the Kagero monograph Bf-109F, the Ace Maker, so I went through it and found that the W/N 8673 was not correct for an F-2 from any of the manufacturers, but did fit into the block of W/N's assigned to Erla F-4's. IIRC early production F-4's still had the reinforcement straps fitted, so I think the Beaman/Kitchens article I paraphrased got it wrong that 8673 was an F-2z. Whew!

Mike

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A little off=topic, but I found this while looking for Bf-109F references; I was not aware that there was a surviving original Bf-109F, so I thought some of you might be interested in seeing it. @Antti_K, do you know anything more of the history of this Friedrich? Can't wait to see what colors and markings it ends up wearing!

Mike

 

https://pimaair.org/designation/bf-109f-4/

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Just to add that having perused all sellers on 'tinternet' the FM 'F' versions are only available on 'back-order' from a Japanese web site so no idea if/when they will eventually arrive plus the long delay in delivery. As such I'm more than happy with my AZ and Zvezda choices, even if they may need some tweaks, as at least you can get hold of one and then amend as you see fit.

 

As for the canopy my understanding is that the previous 'glazed' forward elements of the 'E' and 'F' were overpainted on the 'G' but not sure if this was just a paint job or any form of actual metal applied. I'm pretty sure even the 'E' also had a pistol port aperture (F as well?) so presume his would have carried forward and would not have necessitated any change a such to the forward canopy. Perhaps a case of reducing glare in the cockpit perhaps?

 

Regards

Colin.

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3 hours ago, 72modeler said:

A little off=topic, but I found this while looking for Bf-109F references; I was not aware that there was a surviving original Bf-109F, so I thought some of you might be interested in seeing it. @Antti_K, do you know anything more of the history of this Friedrich? Can't wait to see what colors and markings it ends up wearing!

Mike

 

https://pimaair.org/designation/bf-109f-4/

I see they've done the pre-shading already.  They must have a big ol' airbrush.. ;) 

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19 hours ago, 72modeler said:

A little off=topic, but I found this while looking for Bf-109F references; I was not aware that there was a surviving original Bf-109F, so I thought some of you might be interested in seeing it. @Antti_K, do you know anything more of the history of this Friedrich? Can't wait to see what colors and markings it ends up wearing!

Mike

 

https://pimaair.org/designation/bf-109f-4/

Hello Mike,

 

unfortunately I don't know about this plane. The only one I have studied is still in Finland and in its original state. It is worn mostly to bare metal. There is some light grey paint still visible near the tail wheel well (and a "shadow" of a stencil), some lemon yellow paint residue on the wing tips and a greenish-grey paint (RLM 02) on the wing interiors.

 

Cheers,

Antti

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