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Bf 109F-2 vs F-4


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I'd like to build this North Africa Bf 109F for the Heller Classics Groupbuild. My question is about the sub-variant. There is some indication that this is an F-2 (not an F-4), e.g. the tail bracing and the operational introduction date.

 

One of my sources states that the F-4 didn't appear before early 1942 and this picture was allegedly taken in November/December 1941.

 

The first to be equipped with the F-model were II./JG 27, followed by I./JG 27, who brought them from Germany to the desert in late 1941. III./JG 27 carried on with the E-model into next year before being re-equipped with used F-models from the other two Gruppen. These two then received later variants. It's therefore possible that their initial equipment were indeed F-2s.

 

Does anybody have more concise information - and what were the main visible differences between the F-2 and F-4 (besides engine and armament)?

 

Thanks in advance, Michael

 

50385212798_4deba34eb8_b.jpg

 

 

 

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Looks to be standard markings of 1./JG 27, with the standard 78/79 low demarcation scheme. 

 

Messerschmitt-Bf-109F4Trop-1.JG27-White-

 

 

Being a b/w photograph and not knowing the particulars of Sandgelb RLM79 (there were two versions), I would lean towards the latter version.

 

regards,

Jack

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I would stay with white. 

 

Click the photo to enlarge it, follow a line along the top half of the balkenkruz, number 2, and engine cowl (which is yellow).  The 2 is closer to the white of the cross.  Probably some exhaust stain and slight shadow on the lowers.

 

regards,

Jack

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Yellow nose?  Then not Yellow number.

 

I would always assume the later colours for Fs, and later Es.  Only the very early arrivals will have had the yellower upper-surfaces.  However it will look rather dark out of the tin.

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The photo that JackG inserted into reply #2 is part of a sequence (I think they're from the ECPA's collection), the colors are indeed as your portside profile depicts them ("weiße 1" of the 1./JG 27).  The first 109F-4s in North Africa (with the II/JG 27 in late 1941) wore yellow cowls, the quicker to be recognized as 'friendly' as their shape was so different from the 109Es that arrived in April (spinner, wingtips, unbraced tail).  The first ones assigned to the I/JG 27 (also later in 1941) also wore the yellow cowl, but these didn't last long.

 

Aspects to consider when modelling one of these 'Afrikans' - the supplemental armor glass wasn't usually fitted to the windscreen, trapped grit from the ever-blowing sand would find its way in.  The propellor's thrust tended to 'sand-blast' the leading edge of the wing in its wake, and the paint was usually worn off in a particular pattern on the back of the blades -- check photos of a rear aspect to see this.

 

Good luck with your build, GRM

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@G.R.Morrison Thank you very much. This is great advice. I wonder if there is a link to more pictures of the series.

My last 1/72 build was in 1972, and my last German model in 1974! This group build will be a kind of premiere 😀

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Was able to back track the source of the linked photo to here:

https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Bf-109F/JG27.html

 

There is another photo of white 2, but the caption states it's 4./JG 27 - but if that is the case, then it should have a horizontal bar denoting 2nd Gruppen?

 

Messerschmitt-Bf-109F4Trop-4.JG27-White-

 

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG
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This one (post #8) was a former 1. Staffel machine, passed-on to the 4./JG 27, and flown by Ofw. "Ein-zwei-Drei Otto" Schulz at Martuba after he'd received the Ritterkreuz (22.Feb. 1942).  It may or may not be the machine at the start of this thread, for at this point the Gruppe emblem from the I/JG 27 is absent, the cowling finish conventional.

The photo is part of a series in the BA, Nr.439-1266-19 through 439-1266-32

 

GRM

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I thought mid-fuselage too, but earlier mention of exhaust trail made me wonder if that's what I took to be the paint line.  Now I don't know what I think!  (Maybe the darker area below what I took to be the exhaust trail IS the exhaust trail?)

Edited by gingerbob
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It looks more to be the demarcation line, it extends all the way to the tail area.  Or would exhaust staining reach that far back?

 

Jan-Feb 1942 was a rebuilding period for the German forces in Africa after the Crusader offensive was unleashed by the British.   According to Osprey's book on JG 27, the 1st Staffel had only four serviceable aircraft flying on Christmas day 1941.  Could the new year introduced the mid demarcation style of finish on 109F's sent to the desert?

 

There also appears to be a black outline of the number 2, though difficult to say for certain due to the quality of digital  images.   All the differences mentioned strongly points to a different aircraft from the first posted photo.  I suppose these could have been repainted,   but either way, it is odd that the horizontal bar is missing.

 

Btw, what is BA, Nr.439-1266-19 through 439-1266-32, is there a link to view those photos?

 

 

regards,

Jack

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2 hours ago, JackG said:

---

Btw, what is BA, Nr.439-1266-19 through 439-1266-32, is there a link to view those photos?

regards,

Jack

My guess: BA like Bundesarchiv (federal archive of Germany) followed by the item number ... but I'm unable to find 439-1266-19 through 439-1266-32.

 

Anyway, an entry point is this https://www.bild.bundesarchiv.de/dba/de/search/?topicid=dcx-thes_klassifikation_774uccoq3szipxeaiah&page=1

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One more question is occupying my mind now:

In Smih/Gallaspy 'Luftwaffe Camouflage & Markings' I read that fighter interiors were changed to RLM 66 grey early in the war - so no RLM 02 then? Is this correct?

Thanks again for any helpful answer.

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Dear All,

 

For what it's worth, possibly not a great deal, I suspect the '3' is more likely to be yellow rather than white.

 

If you look at the white tail band its tonal value is very, very close to that of the white background of the JG27 emblem on the cowling, which fits perfectly. With the latter definitely being white the '3', by comparison, clearly has a very different tonal value to both the tail band and JG27 emblem and therefore must be another colour I would have thought.

 

This is similar in some respects to the issue surrounding the colour of the cowling on Franz von Werra's Bf 109-E4 which for many years was mis-interpreted as being white.

 

Just a thought.

 

Regards

Colin.

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Sorry, just to add that whilst I believe the '2' is not white it does appear to be a little lighter than the yellow cowling, so perhaps the cowling and number used different shades of yellow possibly?

 

Again just a thought based upon the misinterpretation of the von Werra E-4 that ran and ran for quite some considerable time.

 

Regards

Colin.

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It is possible the number 2 is yellow, but would have to be the lighter of the yellow paints,  ie. RLM 27.   The top of the 2 still appears to be as bright as the cross.  Taking an eyedropper tool, and compare tonal values on the lower halves, the 2 is only a bit darker than the cross.   Either way, whichever colour the modeller chooses - a white 2 or yellow 2 - both would be correct for  a 1st Staffel and 3rd Staffel machine (respectively) from the First Gruppen.  The only argument would be if the  number would be the same  style 'font'.

 

75TCLM4.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG
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@fishplanebeer and @JackG  thank you for your input and argumentation - much appreciated!

 

Looking at the latest repetition of the photo above, I see a difference between the upper half of the cross and '2' and the lower half which appears darker. The reason may be the curvature of the fuselage so that the lower half is less exposed to the sun. The upper part of the '2' is clearly a white to me, same as the cross and tail band. The band looks slightly brighter, but again this may be the sun angle, or it was possibly painted later.

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Please see my need for clarification in the top caption. Thanks.

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Great trio of links posted above, of particular note is the listing of production serials (werke numbers) and their dates.   Going by the posting of a csThor, the only possibility of an F-2 in the desert would be with the 2nd Gruppen of JG 27.   Further to this, the only definite way to know for certain is if the specific werke number is known (located at the top of the tail fin).

 

-----

 

Just an edited addition, Wing Leader has announced they have in the works a Luftwaffe Crash Archive 'Desert Special'.   This should contain evidence if any F-2 were lost in Africa.   Wonder if Chris Shores publication on the Mediterranean Air War might already have such info??

 

 

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG
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