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My entry will be a 1/32 Bf109D, using the Eduard kit and the Alley Cat conversion set, plus a few other bits and pieces.

The aircraft will be from 1/JG137, the light fighter component of ZG2. Here it is photographed at Gross-Stein airfield, shortly before the start of the war. I assure you that the aircraft is there... ;) Look in the middle distance.

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Edited by Enzo Matrix

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Okay, here we go!

1/32 is not my scale, and so it’s unlikely that I’ll build another model in this scale. Therefore I’ve decided to give it my best shot and throw as much at it as possible, as you can see from the shot below.

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The kit is the Eduard Weekend version of their Bf109E-1 kit. It’s a lovely kit, but the sheer size of the thing is scaring me a little. Sprue shots below.

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This sprue contains the engine parts, which won’t be used in this build. In fact, there’s probably only one part, the gun platform, that will be used and then it will only be to provide a measure of structural integrity.

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Lovely, lovely resin. Sometimes I think I’m turning into a resin junkie.

This is the wonderful Alley Cat conversion kit. It provides a complete new nose and radiator housing, a two-bladed propeller, blanking panels for the wing undersurfaces to replace the Emil’s radiators and new flaps.

The set also has decals for the two options and a very comprehensive instruction sheet.

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This is the nose and flaps.

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The propellor, wing blanks, oil cooler, radiator and exhausts.

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More lovely resin. This is the Aires cockpit set for the Bf109E-1. I don’t know if it’s entirely correct for a 109D, but it’s going in nevertheless.

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A set of generic Luftwaffe instrument decals from Airscale and a set of very detailed seatbelts from Radu Brinzan. These are also scaring me.

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And finally, paints from the wonderful Lifecolor range. For years I have been put off from building Luftwaffe subjects in 70/71/65 schemes because I simply couldn't find paints that seemed right. These Lifecolor paints seem just right and I can see me building many more early war Luftwaffe subjects because of them.

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Only another week to go before I can start work. I'm really looking forward to this. :bounce:

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Looks like an interesting build Enzo. I certainly wouldn't worry about the scale, seeing your builds in 1/48, you shouldn't have any problems. Need to get a 1/48 109D for my stash actually, and I'll probably stick a 109E resin pit in that too!

At least you know that it'll fit your E-1 donor kit.

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:welcome:

I will enter the same kit in the GB later.

Building it like the boxart.

Edited by Erwin

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First day of the GB! :yahoo:

The thing about this build is that there is some scary surgery to be done straight away. You have to cut off the whole nose! :yikes:

So... might as well bite the bullet and indulge in a little destruction right from the start! A few strokes with a razor saw and its all over. Now that didn't hurt at all, did it? :shocked:

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I've only just noticed something about Eduard kits. They don't seem to have any location pins on the fuselage halves! It won't be a problem though. This kit also seems to have a fair amount of flash on the fuselage halves, which is odd for such a new kit. But that won't be a problem either. I have a sanding stick and I'm not afraid to use it! B)

The next step is to remove the fuselage strengthening strip and scribe in a refuelling point under the cockpit on the port side.

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Look like it is going to be a major convertion, looking forward to the the progress

It looks like it - at first. However, having hacked off the nose, I can now do some trial fitting with the Alley Cat resin nose. It turns out that there is some very subtle engineering in the Alley Cat set that will make things a lot easier and more rigid when everything is put together.

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Interesting, to me, as I consider buying this alleycat set.

Thanks already for the out of box review.

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This looks like an interesting build.

Deacon

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I have one on the go on the LSp forums if you want to look. There are some pitfalls, but I was impressed with the ease of it.

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I have one on the go on the LSp forums if you want to look. There are some pitfalls, but I was impressed with the ease of it.

Thanks, Dave. I'll be keping an eye on that thread. You're doing a jolly good job. What paint did you use for the RLM 63?

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A bit of scribing.

Firstly, the fuselage strengthening rib was removed. The Alley Cat instructions recommend that the panel line above the rib is scribed in first, so that's what I did. The two fuselages halves are displayed together, the starboard one is untouched.

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The fuel filler on the Bf-109D was on the port side underneath the cockpit, so this has to be scribed in. The Alley Cat instructions are very comprehensive regarding the panels which need to be scribed.

Here you can see an Eduard scribing template held in place with masking tape. I usually use a Bare Metal scribing tool (the lower tool) but it is only really useful for scribing straight lines. For circles, I use a pointy thing. I don't know where this came from. A needle in a pin chuck would work just as well.

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After the filler access hatch was scribed in, I applied a strip of Dymo tape to allow me to scribe in the hinge line.

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The scribing complete. On the port side, I scribed the filler slightly too far foward. I made an attempt at scribing in the catch but ended up with it off centre, so I simply filled it with Tippex and sanded it flat. On the starboard side you can see an additional hatch scribed under the cockpit sill and the original fuel filler filled in with Tippex. That was what I was aiming for on the port side, but it didn't work out that way. :shrug: My scribing has been highlighted with a pencil.

Both stiffening ribs have been removed. The fuselage halves are now ready for the Aires cockpit installation. Incidentally, the starboard side interior has a square section moulded on the cockpit wall which fits into the sidewall panel. This will also need to be removed to allow the Aires sidewall to seat correctly.

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This is the wing undersurface part, showing the areas which need to be removed. I shall be doing this in stages, otherwise I believe the component will become far too flimsy. I'll fit each radiator blank in turn and bulk up the interior with epoxy. Then I'll remove the forward centreline section. The gear wells should hold their shape because of the interior parts which will be added later.

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The Alley Cat blank added. The fit with this part is astonishing. This is the very definition of "drop in". There is a gap, but that's due to my cutting. When I do the port side, I will cut less and sand for fit. You can also see that I knocked off a delicate bit of the blank. Doesn't matter how good the parts are, I'll always find a way to screw them up! :banghead::D

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Very neat. I found that I should have probably allowed 1mm less cut on my fuselage. The trickiest join I found was the cowling to top deck. My foul up on the cutting. Can I suggest you start with the upper wings to fuselage and then add the lower?

You know I forgot to scribe the fuel filler.... Too keen on spraying!

The Eduard plastic is really thin isnt it? Bendy though! I just got these Brassin wheels which look super.

The spinner on mine is eccentric, but you dont notice too badly. I might do an A next and try the slat extensions out.

Most of my minor troubles have been my own fault. It would be nice to find a flexible adhesive that joins resin-resin and resin-plastic quick but isn't brittle. I have trouble with CA glue.

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The Eduard plastic is really thin isnt it? Bendy though!

Try building any of their 1/48 FW-190s! Oddly enough, the Eduard 1/48 Hellcat is nice and rigid.

I just got these Brassin wheels which look super.

Okay... you talked me into it. I'll have to get some. :D

I might do an A next and try the slat extensions out.

My thoughts exactly! It was my intention to build a single 1/32 model and no more. After all, 1/48 is my scale for WW2 fighters. However, I'm thoroughly enjoying this one and I rarely build just one of anything!

It would be nice to find a flexible adhesive that joins resin-resin and resin-plastic quick but isn't brittle. I have trouble with CA glue.

nodnodnod So do I. Gator Glue is nice and flexible and will stick anything to anything. It's not exactly quick though.

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Not much happened this weekend. I just assembled the wing, after painting and slightly weathering the interior.

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It's about time I posted an update.

I've got so far with the cockpit.

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Over the weekend I hope to get the instrument panels and seatbelts sorted. To be honest they are scaring me! :door:

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It's been nearly a month since I posted an update on this build. Things have just got in the way. Thank goodness Christmas is over! :D

There's a fair bit to catch up on, so I'll do it in stages.

This is the cockpit. The instrument panel comprises the Aires PE panel, with a backing piece of plasticard, painted black with the Airscale decals applied.

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A close-up of the starboard cockpit sidewall. I'm quite pleased with this one.

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The fuselage closed up.

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The nose will butt directly against the firewall, so all location points were sanded off.

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The Aires cockpit went into place perfectly, except for the lower instrument panel. I had attached the PE panel to the plastic card back using Gator Glue. The whole assembly was glued on the resin panel piece using CA. Everything was perfect until I glued the two halves together and sealed them with the firewall and gunbay floor. At that point the PE panel sort of pinged off. I had a hell of a battle with the carpet monster, but for once I prevailed.

Unfortunately I couldn't get the panel back into place without cutting the sides down slightly. I used Gator Glue again. By the time the glue had dried, I noticed that the panel is slightly wonky. But bear in mind that there is an upper panel nad a gunsight to go on yet. With that in place, the wonkiness isn't as noticeable. On the upside, the instruments are now a little clearer.

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The two resin nose components have been cleaned up ready for fitment.

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I'm doing the nose a somewhat odd way round. I am putting the lower part on first, so I can make sure that the wing roots are aligned correctly. There is another reason which will become clear shortly. Here is the wing root and radiator housing in place.

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Note the hole drilled in the lip. This will allow a strut to be inserted later on.

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I found that I hadn't cut enough plastic away from the lit parts, so I had to sand them back. That meant that the joint faces were not quite straight, leadinging to a requirement for filler. For some reason, the joing between the wing and rear fiuselage was dreadful, so more filler was required there.

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Here is the reason for the odd sequence of assembly. The nose component leads into the radiator housing. It will be difficult to paint the radiator housing interior satisfactorily when everything is in place, so I'm doing it now.

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And here is the painted nose dropped into position on the model. As you can see, it will need a bit of filler. Standard practice with my models! :lol:

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The nose has been glued in place using Araldite. Gaps have been filled with Milliput. Finally, the kit gunbay decking part was cut down and glued in place.

I now have to do some minor cleaning up and rescribing of panel line but it's really all over bat the shouting. All the major conversion work is done. Hopefully it will be in the paint shop in the next week or so.

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