Ken Judt submitted this very informative build report- great work Ken!
Recently I wanted to participate in the Monogram Aircraft Fellowship build here on Agape. I did not have anything in the stash that would qualify so I purchased this kit at a model contest/swap meet. I found this kit in a bargain box, it was bagged (no box included) and cost three dollars. I must say a big thank you to Phill Sporton for sending me the Ventura decals all the way from Australia. This made for an unusual subject.
What can I say about the Messerschmitt Bf-109 that has not been already said. This aircraft was the backbone of the Luftwaffe for most of WWII. This specific subject was one of 10 Bf-109G-10s captured by the Yugoslavian resistance during late WWII and used against the Germans.
This kit is the same plastic as the Revell of Germany Bf-109G-10. It fits well but this molding had a couple of problems. The propeller blades were not all the same shape. The supercharger intake on the left side was solid and did not have a hole in it. Nothing show stopping and very easy to overcome. This kit had gotten wet at some point, the decals were ruined and the instructions were water damaged. This is why it was sold for three dollars. I posted on Agape’s forum if anyone had some decals to offer and Phill not only came through but supplied an unusual subject of a German aircraft captured by the Yugoslavians late in the war and used against them. I purchased the EagleCals sheet to provide stencils, data and that cool looking white stripe on the spinner.
As usual, the build started with the cockpit. The kit has a nicely detail cockpit with raised detail on the control panel, sidewalls and floor. Belts were salvaged off the kit decal sheet and applied. Everything was strait forward and assembled easily. Very little filling and sanding was required. I did drill out the supercharger intake and fill a couple holes in the wheel wells. The canopy was masked with Parafilm and trimmed. It was set aside to be painted separately from the rest of the build. I also painted the prop, spinner, landing gear and drop tank separately. They will be attached just before the final clear coat is applied.
For this build I used all Testor Model Master Acryl colors of the RLM variety. RLM 04, 66, 76, 81 and 82 were used for this build. I used to have all sorts of trouble with MM Acryl paints. Dry tip, bad adhesion, too thick or too thin all happened to me. I started thinning the paints with Future liquid floor wax and all these troubles went away. This was a great benefit because the Testor products are readily available where I live. The aircraft was first primed with Tamiya fine white primer from a spray can. This allowed for the rest of the paint to go on thin and get good adhesion. When airbrushing acrylic paint I always leave a couple days between colors for it to fully cure. The yellow was sprayed and was masked off. The gray 76 was painted over almost the entire aircraft. Next up was the wings. I painted all the wings with 81 and used paper masks taped to the surface before spraying the 82. Next up was the most daunting part of the build. I have never done a Luftwaffe mottled camouflage scheme before. I initially painted the top of the fuselage 81/82 again using paper masks. I then tried to free hand paint the mottle. This did not turn out well, too much overspray and spider webs of paint on the smooth surface. I decided to try a different technique that was more controllable. I first painted the dark colors on the sides of the fuselage almost to the bottom. Next I took small balls of yellow tac and covered the areas I wanted to keep dark. I found that the smaller the yellow balls the better the effect worked. Once all the little yellow balls were on the fuselage I masked off the wings and then sprayed 76. The balls gave nice blended edges and the mottle result can be seen in the pictures. I was completely satisfied with the result but it gives me a start to tweak in later builds. I then sprayed a coat of Future in preparation for decals.
I used the Eaglecals sheet for stencils and the spinner decal. They went on very nicely and reacted very well to my setting solution. I use Solvaset, this is very strong but literally melts the decals into the Future preventing you from seeing a lot of the clear film on the edges, giving that painted on look. The disappointing part of the decal stage was that the Ventura decals did not snuggle down to the surface of the tail very well. Even after multiple heavy Solvaset applications there was no snuggle to be found. So, I chalked one up to experience, put on my final coat of Future and went on to the next stage.
I like the way aircraft models look with washes on the panel lines and wheel wells look. I think it tricks the eye into seeing more depth than actually exists. For the overall panel line wash I use the ProModeller dark dirt product. This makes it easy for a fumble fingers like me to get crisp panel lines. For the gear and gear wells I use acrylic black thinned with water. After they had dried the washes were rubbed from the high areas with paper towels, q-tips or whatever was handy. The landing gear, prop, spinner and drop tank were then attached to the aircraft. Next step was final clear coat. I like the way a very slightly glossy finish looks on 1/72 scale aircraft. To achieve this I mix Testor Model Master Acrylic Semi-Gloss 1:3 with 91% rubbing alcohol. It has an added advantage that most evaporates leaving a very thin last coat. The canopy was painted and sprayed with the same last clear coat. The masking was removed and it was attached with Testors Clear Parts Cement. The build was completed by painting the wingtip marker lights.
This build was the first Luftwaffe subject I had done since high school. While it is not perfect I am very happy with the results I achieved. I love being able to look at my shelves of models and see the progress from one to the next. The best thing about this build is I managed to make the prop turn easily when blown on. So you get to see that neat spinner decal do its job. I would recommend the Pro Modeler or Revell of Germany boxing of this kit to anyone who wants a nice 1/72 Luftwaffe build.
If you are interested in learning more about this build I encourage you to join the Agape models forum. There is a step by step build blog that includes hundreds of posts and over 80 pictures. The thread will probably entertain you as much as it informs.
Ken Judt is a salesman in the hotel renovation industry currently residing in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has re-entered the hobby in fall of 2008 and splits his time between working, hobbies and family. Ken models in 1/72 exclusively for aircraft and prefers World War Two and Operation Desert Storm subjects. Ken is looking forward to soon getting his feet wet with 1/350 scale ships.