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Yugoslav Bf-109E-3 - ICM 1/72

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I`ve built this in parallel to my Tamiya based 1940 Romanian 109E-3. It represents the Yugoslav L-31 as it appared at the time of the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia. The RLM 70 - RLM 65 scheme with minimalistic markings may seem dull to some, but I find it beautiful. :D On the other hand, I think the lighting conditions have not been ideal for this photoshoot of a dark camo aircraft.


A few years ago I`ve written a review for the book beneath the model, here on britmodeller:


It`s an awesome title and - I think - THE reference on the Yugoslav Emils of the April 1941 war.














And three more shots when the sun came out of the clouds:






I`ve used the ICM kit (72131) which is very similar to the Tamiya. It fixes some (not all) of the Tamiys issues, such as the width of the fussalge rings (not my photo):
but also introduces several of its own. All in all, the details are less crisp and it requires more man hours. I`ve made two so far and I think I`ve learned to live with the short fusselage of the Tamiya which is a joy to asssemble.

I`ve replaced the undersized tailwheel with an aftermarket from Quickboost (QB 72 324) and I`ve added PE seatbelts from Eduard (SS 582). The Yugoslav Emils used the Oerlikon FF cannon and this looked noticeably different from the Ikaria made MG-FF/M that is present in the box. The solution was to replace them with the brass ones from Master (AM-72-017). They represent Japanese Type 99 20mm Mark 2 cannons, but look about the same. I took the MG 17 barrels from a FW 190 Master set (AM-72-013). I`ve also used the canopy masks from Montex (SM 72072) which worked well on the early, rounded E3 canopy.

The decals are from the Lift Here! 708-LH “Emils” sheet. They are very thin, the colours are opaque, they conform beautifully to the model`s sourface and seem to react nicely to Micro Set and Sol. On the other hand, there is only one spot where you should place them and that is the correct one. They aren`t fragile and you could work with them, but they conform imediately and it`s a whole trouble to move the large ones around.

Lift Here! instructions recommend using standard German stencils. There actually is a sheet from HM Decals (HMD72136) that contains Yugoslav 109E-3 stencils, but they seemed somewhat oversized and bolded to me so I`ve used the standard ones from Techmod (72055), apart from their nicht betreten lines which are a nightmare to keep intact. I`ve replaced these with some taken from a Matho Models decal sheet (80005 - Decal Solid Lines black) which are a pleasure to work with. All artwork I`ve seen shows these lines to be red, but on the L-61 wreck they are black.

The consensus among Serb modellers, decal makers and book and magazine authors seems to be that the upperside of the Yugoslav Emils was painted in RLM 70. I`m not sure on what this belief is ultimately based because when you ask this question they start quoting each other. There are photos with the wreck of L-61 which the Germans never delivered to Yugoslavia and the green seems more like a RLM 71:
The other standard is that the air intake cover was natural metal. The only colour photo (possibly colorized, though) of Yugoslav Emils, published in the book that my model seats on, shows these to be blue. I mentioned this on the forums here a few years ago and a whole discussion resulted from this:

Anyway, I chose to follow the conventional wisdom and went for RLM 70 uppersides, RLM 65 undesides and natural metal air intake cover.

The Paints used are mainly Lifecolor:

RLM-65 - LifeColor UA 503
RLM-70 - LifeColor UA 501
RLM-02 - LifeColor UA 071
RLM-66 - LifeColor UA 133


Here it is together with its Tamiya, Romanian cousin:



Edited by Fin
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Just goes to show you don't need the latest kit release to make a great model of a subject.


Love the choice of markings as well as you rarely see them not in Luftwaffe or Swiss garb.


I'm sure I have this kit somewhere but doubt it will end up as good as these.




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Beautifully done!  I agree with you on your choice of colors, for what it's worth, and you obviously put a great deal of effort into getting this subject right.  The scheme is austere but very pleasant, I think!

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