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The Minor Gustavs: Bf 109Gs in Smaller Air Force Service

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2 hours ago, Marklo said:

I too love this kind of thread. I’m no rivet counter but I like to get things broadly correct. Once you get up to the G6 Me109 configuration gets very complex to the point that I reckon you’d need to see the logbook to see what model the factory thought they’d just built,


But black 4 is a case in point, if it’s accuracy you’re after study your photo references. I’m 


And even then, sometimes the dataplate says one thing as the aircraft was modified on the production line!

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Again, much to reply to, and thanks to you especially, @Troy Smith for the kind endorsement of my approach. I will never be an expert modeller or produce the most exceptional models, but hopefully my efforts are interesting (and perhaps even occasionally inspiring) to others! This is a great hobby and this forum is amazing as a place for advice and support!


Before replying to all above, I think it's time to finally update on a little bit of actual modelling! I began both Airfix kits a couple of weeks ago. These will be Finland (OOB):





And, thanks to all the Britmodeller advice, this kit will be used for Slovakia . . .




. . . using the decals and profile from AZ:





I started with the Airfix kits because I assumed they would be the simplest to assemble and be a good start for me on the Bf 109G journey. I think many around here are familiar with these sprues, but I'll share:




One of the kits has one each of an Erla and Galland canopy, but the other one gave me two of each!




The cockpits are famously bland, but I'm not worried about this and in no way considered supplementing. I did bother filling in the holes in the seats where the back of the pilot can stick in.




I intend to mount the underwing guns on Finland, but not for Slovakia, so I needed to fill the holes Airfix has in the wings. I glued pieces from a Hurricane kit to the back...





Then I filled in with putty.




I'm planning to mount the underwing tank on Slovakia and considering a bomb on Finland just because it would be interesting. I realize underwing guns and a bomb is silly, but my desire for interesting models may trump any commitment to plausibility. We'll see, but basically what I'm mostly getting at is I will use those terrible ETC racks because I feel they need to used or removed, and I didn't want to remove.


Here's one of them with fuselage together and wings on. Went together very nicely. 




And here are both Finland and Slovakia as they went into a box to wait for me to start this thread and learn more!



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6 hours ago, ModelingEdmontonian said:

I glued pieces from a Hurricane kit to the back...

Then I filled in with putty.

A good one for this is to use plastic card cut too size, or a shaped piece of sprue, maybe a number tab,  ideally from the kit so the plastic is the same, fill the slot and trim flush.  Save on putty shrinkage. FOr speed do it with superglue, as this can be done in a couple of minutes and you can press on.



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This has been a fascinating thread so far.  I've learned tons about 109's in the last couple of years, but apparently have only scratched the surface.


I have the hobby boss kit with the markings for Croatian Black 4.  Every once in a while I dig it out and think about doing it because it would look really cool and I don't have any late 190's in my cabinet.  Then I look at the photos and have such a hard time making heads or tails of the weathering and over painting and wear that I put it back.  The only way I can describe the sides is "muddled mottling".  :( 


I'm looking forward to seeing this one progress because you've generated some great models in the Hurricane thread!

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6-A24-CC5-D-3017-49-D1-8819-AE69-E0-AC2-Printed and varnished.


9-EE44758-E663-4451-9292-2403985-C0089.jApplied. Along with some cut Luftwaffe crosses from the decal box. Definitely adds to the visual interest of the build. Hmm probably the wrong wing bulges. It’s the revel kit so they’re stuck on, hmm I could probably prise them off and replace. With the G6 style ones, hmmm. Still pleased with the look. 

Edited by Marklo
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Well @ModelingEdmontonian I think we may have another small force user of the Bf 109 - the ROA. This was a small, Staffel strength unit of Russian pilots who fought alongside the Luftwaffe in the East against the Russians. 


In a flourish of serendipity this will bring together our previous conversations about the Bf 109G-10 and markings and camouflage. 

You will recall the Bf 109G-10 was a tricky little beast to study, and that it was produced by three different manufacturing concerns. These were WNF Wiener Neustadt/Diana, Mtt at Regensburg and Erla in Leipzig. Each produced slightly different variants of the G-10, and these changed across the production run from block to block. The subject here is a Diana-built G-10.  As, I believe, is the Revell kit you have.


Here in the background 'White 24'.




The information comes from here. All of the text pictures I upload are intentionally slightly distorted to discourage further duplication - these images are solely intended for the purpose of research and study.



The chaps at JaPo have researched late war Luftwaffe fighters exhaustively, to the point where their knowledge of camouflage variations between aircraft production batches allows them to confidently place a given airframe into a particular batch. This is very helpful in this case as the wings are not visible, but their knowledge of Diana manufacturing allows them to indicate the larger wing bulges with (presumably) larger wheels.



More about the ROA in this pic




 Note the 'two production plates' caption on the lower picture - this picks up on @Dave Fleming's point about the subtype varying on the production line. 2 plates usually means that the aircraft has been modified or converted from one variant to another - the first plate relates to the initial subtype, with the second specifying the 'new' version.


JaPo give us this camouflage scheme, drawing on their knowledge of the Diana production facility camouflage and its use of parts




Note refined cowl bulges on both port and starboard sides, large wheel bulges, no mast and the aerial through the DF loop


Finally a colour reconstruction




So you'll need a kit with the large wheel bulges. Markings should be reasonably easy to do - standard Luftwaffe crosses and swastika, with perhaps the smaller White 24 being a little more challenging to find? Although some of the kits you've posted seem to have small white numerals on their decal sheets, so perhaps that might work?


Some ROA aircraft, but not this one, carried a white shield on the tail instead of the swastika. Our very own @Troy Smith started this thread. I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with his take on the picture of White 15 - like him I thought 'What? Where? :laugh:





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20 hours ago, ModelingEdmontonian said:

+++ One of the kits has one each of an Erla and Galland canopy, but the other one gave me two of each!




Hope I'm not getting into "this is too much information" or "rivet counting", "but" ... in the olden days of modelling the 2-piece canopy with less framing was called "Galland hood", today we know "it is the Erla-hood" and "Galland" referred to the head armor being armored glass not a steel plate.


The old ("bird cage") 3-pice canopy can be seen with steel head armor (of different kinds and you may discern pressurized and non pressurized canopie)s, and you may find some exmples of Galland glass head armor.


The Erla hood is rarely (if ever!) seen with a steel head armor plate.

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Have just caught up with this thread and it's on the same theme as what I have underway at the moment. Great minds think alike.

Fantastic start and plenty of interest already.

'Bf 109's wearing something other than German crosses' or 'Under new Management'


Already collected 44, (plus 4 already built) 1/72 Bf 109's of various versions from A to H plus a couple of HA -1112 Buchons to do up as couple of stars from the 1969 movie 'The Battle of Britain' (yes, they will wear German crosses but they're an oddity so allowed by my rules).

So far I have collected decals for Bulgarian, Finnish, Spanish, Swiss, Slovak, Romanian, Yugoslav, Hungarian all with multiple versions. ie. Spanish B-2, E-1, E-3, F-4

Already completed an Hungarian F-4, Russian Liberation Force G-10, Croatian G-14 and a US captured G-2. Will post some pics later when I get a chance.


Nice work 





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On 18/03/2022 at 16:01, ModelingEdmontonian said:

Let's start here... I think I was actually inspired by one of your posts elsewhere around here, @Troy Smith and I bought these decals from RB. Not only do I think it's a pretty scheme (almost literally all blue!), looks like a good weekend build candidate!




They come with these tear-drop resin gun bulges to make it a Ga-6.


Just saw this on Farcebook, which i don't recall seeing before.  It maybe on the RB decal sheet instructions, but those are buried.  

Though looking at the profile,  I doubt Russian AII Blue, as this was used early war by the VVS.  



FB  change their photo URL from time to time,  so save if of interest.   




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Thanks @Jochen Barett @SafetyDad @Marklo @Dave Fleming @opus999@Troy Smith@Max Headroom @Red Dog @Dric for all the advice, encouragement, comments, and feedback! I am learning even more than I expected to already and I've barely started!


@Marklo, love the goat!


@Dave Fleming thanks for the captured Croat Gustav pic!


@Max Headroom tag me please if you ever build the Slovak Gustav!


@Red Dog would love to see those pics! Your project is much more ambitious than mine! My ~25 Hawker Hurricanes around the World project is as big as I think I will ever go again myself! Sounds amazing though and would love to hear/see more, especially on the Gustavs!


@opus999 yes, I am nervous to begin some of the camo work with my hairy sticks, will definitely be a learning experience! Hoping to get have some good Britmodeller tips for that when it comes to it.


@SafetyDad I must admit I had never heard of the ROA or the Russian Liberation Army! The fact that their Bf 109s wore Luftwaffe insignia makes me disinclined to model one, but I'll be reading more because at minimum it's an interesting topic! Thanks so much for sharing so much of your remarkable knowledge!


@Jochen Barett evidently I still have more to learn about canopies! I'll be sure to ask when/if I have options as to which to use!


@Troy Smith thanks for digging up that Romania 319 photo; duly saved! This is the only photo I had found:




And, further to the Romanian Gustav, I have a big update that I will share soon! Just wanted to catch up with everyone's generous comments first.


Edited by ModelingEdmontonian
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My employer's fiscal year end is March 31 and on March 30 my boss and I found out I had too much leave banked--could be worse problems in life, true, but still not a nice March 30 surprise. I decided to take March 31 off and lower the payout. But, what to do with a random free Thursday? Challenge myself to build a Gustav!? Why not! Can I do it in 24 hours?


At 23:00 (partner and child asleep) on March 30 I began the Romanian Bf 109Ga-6!





Despite @Troy Smith's photo, sticking with Radu's profile. Here are the sprues:




Drying after a bath, along with the Czech Diana S-199:




The kit is super simple, lending itself to a quick build, and likewise the scheme is as basic as they come, so that's why I thought this would be ideal for a 24 hour challenge

Edited by ModelingEdmontonian
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Although the kit and scheme are simple, the MG bulges are where this got a bit more complicated. The Romanian Ga-6 have tear-drop bulges, and the RB decal sheet provides resin parts for these.




After chopping up the sprue (lots of extras--drop tank, wheels, underwing guns, etc.) and cleaning up the parts I started work on the bulges. I had to cut half of the kit parts away, and then marry up the resin pieces to create the tear drops. Ugly at this stage--not my best modelling and certainly not up to standards around here! But, this is where she was when I turned in for the night (now morning of March 31!).





The kit wants you to install the exhaust stacks prior to assembling the fuselage and wings, but I snipped them in half to allow me to install later. Some bronze enamel applied first thing Thursday after waking up--should have done this the night before to maximize drying time!



Then, back to the bulges. There's a panel in between the bulges that RB's instructions suggest building with putty. So, I obliged. Then, affixed the wings and stabilizers, temporarily attached the under carriage, assembled the three-part prop and spinner, and took her outside in the morning sun for some primer.




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Of course, with primer on I found more to do... cleaned up the seam underneath, and opted to cut off the tail wheel and drill a hole to allow me to use an extra AZ one. This was a nicer tail wheel, but mostly removing the kit piece allowed me to clean up the lower fuselage better than I could otherwise.




After more primer, began painting. By now, it was 15:00--I had had some errands to run, etc., so was falling behind schedule, and with a kiddo coming home soon, wasn't going to catch up!




At 18:00 the underside received a gloss coat spray.




And at 19:00, top got the same treatment.



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20:00 and had decals cut up and mostly done the prop, UC, and canopy. Honestly, to this very-new-to-Bf-109s modeller, the prop and UC seems fairly good for a cheap, basic kit.





But, still haven't worked out, and I never skip that, so onto the stationary bike while the gloss coat continued to harden. By now, I knew I wouldn't finish in 24 hours. 😒


Here she is at hour 23--prop and canopy just dry fitted. There's a little silver on the pitot tube, gun metal on the spinner MG and inside the air intake and radiator, and that's both bronze and gunmetal on the exhaust stacks (first time I've done that, and I think I like it). Tamiya German Grey in the cockpit and of course black on the wheels, and some brown for the fabric (?) above the tail wheel. Otherwise, I think this is entirely Tamiya XF-23. 





Spent the final hour with my wife instead of the Gustav, so the above pic is as far as she got in 24 hours. Close, but no cigar! After beloved asleep, a bit more progress, so this was at hour 25:




Oh, forgot to mention that in filling all the holes (Df loop hole mounting hole on upper fuselage, underwing guns and drop tank mounting holes underneath) I modified @Troy Smith's suggestion and cut off the mounting pieces of the parts and stuck them in first, then applied putty over top. You can see on the port wing that I failed to do this perfectly, but I don't think you can even see where I did the work on the starboard wing! Anyway, this was all work I did on Wednesday night as well--between filling six holes and the bulges, the kit "modifications" probably took me two hours out of maybe six total I actually spent modelling.


Anyway, that's where she is now, around hour 36. May finish tonight and possibly get her done in 48 hours, but either way, a good time was had and we are very close to seeing the first completed Gustav of the collection! Obviously trying to complete in 24 hours meant I sacrificed a little in terms of quality, but I think I will always trade quality for joy when it comes to modelling. 😊

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That turned out really well... if any quality was sacrificed, I missed it.  My Airfix Swiss build was a similar exercise -- the family was in the midwest and I was alone at home.  I didn't make it 24 hours, but it was something like 36, so not too bad.  It looks like the exhausts were relatively trouble-free, unlike the Hobby boss 109E's, so I was happy to see that both for your sake (and mine!).


Nice work;  I'm glad it was a fun challenge.

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23 hours ago, opus999 said:

That turned out really well... if any quality was sacrificed, I missed it.  My Airfix Swiss build was a similar exercise -- the family was in the midwest and I was alone at home.  I didn't make it 24 hours, but it was something like 36, so not too bad.  It looks like the exhausts were relatively trouble-free, unlike the Hobby boss 109E's, so I was happy to see that both for your sake (and mine!).


Nice work;  I'm glad it was a fun challenge.

Thanks, @opus999, kind words! That's right, exhausts trouble free-not even glued in at this point, actually.


15 hours ago, Johnson said:

A fascinating project and great source of information on the various types of 109s, as well as the kits that are out there. Thanks.



I didn't make 24 hours, or 48 hours, but 66 hours later, here she is:



Edited by ModelingEdmontonian
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  • 3 weeks later...

I was away for a few weeks and just back to the modelling bench last night. With Romania done, I continued working on Czechoslovakia, the AZ "Diana." I do have Slovakia and Finland underway, but my wife (named Diana) is eager to see this one next 😇


I lost count of all the pieces in the cockpit--this is definitely not an "easy" assembly like the Hobby Boss kit! I am not doing anything fancy with it, but have enjoyed putting it together.





Before I install it into the fuselage, I am trying to figure out what it wants me to do with what I assume are canopy rails... I think it is telling me to sand them off? But on both sides?--I'm confused by "Left side" and "Starboard side." Help?





Prior to wing assembly there is sanding required as well... a little odd, but this part seems straightforward enough.




Oh, another question I have is about the spinner colour. I see in the new Eduard "Mezek" instructions they call out spinner colour as white or fuselage colour for IV-8, but AZ is suggesting yellow. I like yellow, but that doesn't make it the right choice!



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