When I was a kid in the 70’s, we didn’t have DVDs or VCRs. If you had a favorite movie, you pretty much had to wait until one of the networks decided to show it to see it. Which would sometimes be few and far between. One of my favorites was “Battle of Britain”. (To see my Spitfire in the Battle of Britain movie markings, check out this build report.)
Because it was so rare to see it, the movie took on almost mythical proportions for me. I probably saw it three or four times until the advent of the VCR (or at least my families acquisition of a VCR), but it thrilled me to see real airplanes dogfighting, spinning and turning about the sky.
The funny thing was I never really paid attention to the accuracy of the aircraft actually portrayed. I guess that’s the difference between the enjoyment of a kid, and the obsessive eye for detail as an adult.
Of course, if I would have paid close attention, I would have seen that the Luftwaffe fighters in the movie were not Messerschmitt 109s.
For the movie, Spanish built Ha-1112s were used, and ironically, they were equipped with Merlin engines, the very powerplants that Spitfires and Hurricanes were equipped with when they fought their battle over the skies of England.
Hobbycraft released a boxing of their Ha-1112 model with markings from the movie, and called it “Civilschmitt”, I suppose to avoid having to worry about license issues.
The kit itself is a very pleasent build. As with most Hobbycraft kits, the detail is a bit sparse, and may not be spot-on in all areas. But they go together well, and look the part, and are generally affordable.
The kit comes with a few parts unique to the movie aircraft- fake guns for the upper cowl, wing gun barrels styled like the ones in the movie, and of course a nice sheet of markings to do just about any one of the “109s” represented in the movie. I also clipped the wingtips, as some of the movie aircraft appeared to have done.
I painted the model with Model Master Acryl paints. Not my usual brand, but not being familiar with Luftwaffe colors, I thought it was the simplest path to completion. (Of course, using them confirmed to me why I don’t like using them…. so much tip dry…) Just the lightest weathering was added.
It was a lot of fun building this, and I especially enjoyed the “research” required by watching the movie several times. If you can get your hands on the kit, I highly recommend it. Even if you can’t get one of the Civilschmitt boxings, the Hobbycraft and Academy Ha-1112 kits I have seem to also contain all the needed parts, so really it just becomes a matter of sourcing the decals.