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TopDrawings #96 - Messerschmitt Bf.109T (9788366148888)


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TopDrawings 96 Messerschmitt Bf.109T (9788366148888)

Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK




When Germany first laid down the ill-fated Aircraft Carrier DKM Graf Zeppelin in 1936, the question of its complement of aircraft was already settled.  It would carry a variant of the Bf.109 as a fighter, and the doughty Ju.87 Stuka as its bomber complement, and as such was engineered with those airframes in mind, removing the need to have folding wings that add weight to any aircraft.  The 109 was given the variant T for Träger, which mean Carrier in English.  It had extended wings with larger flying surfaces, plus a tail-hook and catapult launch gear for taking off and landing on carriers.  The T-1 was the first airframe to be completed, and underwent catapult tests before it was ordered in small numbers.  With the cancellation of the carrier, those airframes were apportioned elsewhere, and a T-2 variant was created without the carrier specific components.  Some of the T-1s were cross-graded to T-2 standard, which found their way to Norway with 11./JG 11, and when the carrier project was temporarily re-started it was decided that the T was outdated by then, so an alternative was sought.  That too was re-assigned in a remarkable chronologically close case of history repeating itself, while the T-2s continued in service in Norway until mid-1944, after which time any remaining airframes were used as trainers.


As far as we know none of them survived the war or the culling of Axis hardware that followed it, but if you extended the wings of a Bf.109E-4/N that you happened to have lying around with the DB601N engine, you’d be 90% of the way there.




We have kits in some scales, with some minor manufacturers getting in on the act, showing that it's a fairly popular subject given the fact that it didn’t really see much service due to the to-and-fro with the carrier and the steady march of technology that rendered its basic airframe obsolete.  The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the main thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and separate an A2 sheet  printed on both sides with drawings of sub-variants of the aircraft.






The book is written in English on the left of the page, with Polish on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within.  The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, and the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of two 109T-2s.  After the introduction, the first half of the plans show the prototypes from the V-series, E-0s, and some T-2s in 1:72.  After this are the colour profiles with four pages of profiles of T-2s wearing some interesting high demarcation camo schemes with copious mottle applied to the sides.  After the break there is another set of plans for the T-2 and T-1s in 1:48, including a number of top views that show off the elongated wingspan.  Throughout the book, there are numerous smaller diagrams that show the aircraft from front and rear, although there are no scrap diagrams for weapons fits as it only saw limited service and trainer use.  A few of the drawings show the aircraft with a long-range fuel tanks, and little else.






These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the separate large-scale plans quite useful, especially if you model in 1:32 or have a big crack in the wall that could be hidden by posting the plans over it to enjoy.






Review sample courtesy of


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They were also used as the early Wilde Sau night fighters, though I haven't found any views of how they wee painted.  Quite possibly still in their trainer colours/markings.


Often overlooked is that the Bf109 was designed and built so that the wings could be readily detached and the fuselage still easily moved around.  Not exactly quick reaction, but it would have done to increase complement in the cramped space of a carrier hangar.  Perhaps this is where the "folding wings" myth came from.

Edited by Graham Boak
Wilde Sau not Schrage Musik - I'm astonished that no-one noticed, although I suppose that it isn't obvious.
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6 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

They were also used as the early Schrage Musik night fighters, though I haven't found any views of how they wee painted. 

That's interesting, and I didn't know that. :hmmm: I like nightfighters.

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If you read Hermann's biography he describes setting up the initial SM units, and having to bale out of a Toni one night.  Unfortunately he paid no attention to the needs of modellers.  The larger wings would be a benefit, and he says that cutting-edge performance wasn't really required at night.

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9 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Unfortunately he paid no attention to the needs of modellers.

That's inconsiderate of him <_< He should have taken a few snaps on his way down! :lol:

  • Haha 1
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