Forum member John Sachs built this great Taifun and posted it to the forums. I thought he did a great job with it, and asked him if he would write a more detailed build report. Thanks so much, John! It looks great!
Designed in 1934 by the Bayerische Fleugwerke Company in Germany, the Bf108 was to become one of the company’s first designs by Willy Messerschmitt. The company fell out of political favor when one of the company’s designs killed Hans Hackmack a close friend of Erhard Milch, the head of German Civil Aviation Authority (Deutsche Luft Hansa). Apparently Milch was quite upset about the lack of response from Messerschmitt and his company. This caused a large rift between the two and civil contracts were cancelled. It was the beginning of a bitter relationship between Milch and Messerschmitt.
The Bf108 also known as the M37, first flew in 1934. The aircraft was nicknamed named the “Taifun” by Elly Beinhorn, a well known German Aviatrix. The aircraft incorporated what was known as “light weight construction”. This meant that separate load bearing parts where incorporated and reinforced within the load bearing firewall. This saved weight and improved performance. The aircraft was furbished with an Argus As10 air-cooled V8 engine. The aircraft designated as a sports plane went on to set several endurance records. It was entered in the Challenge International de Tourisme 1934 where it finished a very respectful during the fuel consumption trials and finished 5th in the close circuit race. Charles Lindbergh had the opportunity to fly this aircraft and remarked that it was one of the best flying aircraft in its class that he’s flown.
Many of the performance attributes and constructions techniques would be later seen in the Bf/Me109. In fact if you look at the various planforms of both aircraft especially the early 109s, you can see the lineage between the two aircraft. The aircraft was flown just about all parts of the Axis Theater from everything from a squadron hack to reconnaissance aircraft in North Africa. The production of the aircraft soldiered on in France after the war as the NORD 1000.
I found the 1/48 Eduard kit at one of our club shows. Normally I am not prone to build German aircraft, but this one caught my eye. Plus the price was cheap and I just couldn’t say no. The kit sat in my stash for a few months until I thought “let’s break it out and see what it’s all about.” Not to sound like a broken record, but this is just as every good as any Tamigawa kit that’s out there.
The construction of this kit starts with the cockpit. You have the choice to build the Sonder Komando or the Luftdeinst (German Air Service). The difference being the Sonder Komando has two tanks for extended range within the cockpit. This was the option that I went with. The cockpit was painted in RLM 02. A combination of Model Master Rust with Burnt Umber was used to get the leather look and feel on the seats. I then used white artists tape for seat harnesses. Finally a wash was applied. I ran into issues while installing the instrument panel. It seemed that this for some reason or another didn’t fit correctly. I then figured that I needed to bring the cockpit walls closer together in order or the panel to fit. Once I did that, there weren’t any problems. I had read reviews about the cockpit side walls not fitting correctly, but I didn’t have any trouble with mine. In fact there were minimal amounts of filler used. The only thing that I had to correct was the canopy, as mine sat kind of high in order to get it to blend with the fuselage. Once I had it where I wanted it, I gave it the Future treatment.
Next was the assembly of the engine. Man, this thing is a little jewel. Everything fit together terrifically from the block halves to the push rods. That was assembled and attached to the mount which was pre-assembled to the fire wall. It’s a shame that this isn’t really seen once the fuselage gets built and buttoned up because it really is a nice engine. The cockpit gets placed in the lower wing part, then the upper wings are assembled. The fuselage halves where then assembled. And it’s here we start seeing everything come together.
After a quick inspection, all seams are inspected and sure enough, there is little to no spot filler needed. I ended up using a little bit in the front, just ahead of the canopy. I double checked for gaps and “phantom” raised areas especially along the fuselage joints and wing joints. While I didn’t find anything out of the ordinary, I hit the areas with a sanding stick to even everything out. After I have wiped everything down it was off to the paint shop.
Painting and Decaling
It’s here were I broke out RLM 80/79/78 and reefer white. I used the reefer white for the white band around the rear fuselage. Floquil refer white is about the best base/white that I have ever used. You can find this in the railroad sections of the hobby shops. After that was dried, I used Tamiya tape to mask around the white band, which coincidentally is wide as the spacing between the two of the rear spars just before the horizontal and vertical stabilizer. I actually started on the underside of the Taifun. I started with a light dusting of RLM 78, then slowly building up to a wet coat. Once underside was finished, I put it aside to dry and I started on the masking off the canopy with Tamiya tape. The kit comes with canopy masks. I have had some experience with these and I just never got the hang of them. So I left in the pack. If anyone wants them, they are yours. I then laid down a coat of RLM 79. After I was satisfied, then it was the small patches of RLM 80. Once everything was dried, I laid down a light coat of Future. The kit was decaled and some solva-set was used to make the decals conform to all of the nooks and crannies. A light coat of Future was applied over the top of the decals. Finally a dull coat lacquer was applied.
After everything was said and done it’s time to put some of the fiddly and not so fiddly bits which includes landing gear, wheel spats, counter weights on the ailerons. I ended up using some CA for the counter weights which in hindsight, I should have just assembled them prior to painting. One of them has already fallen off. The search party still hasn’t reported back. Sigh!
The landing gear lined up perfectly. No fiddling or fit problems.
I have to echo a lot of the sentiments that I have read on the internet. This is by far one of the nicest kits that I have ever had the pleasure to build. There were really no major hiccups, and everything went together very nicely. I can highly recommend this to anyone with a little modeling experience under their belt. It was certainly well worth the time and effort.