Brand: KA Models KP48002A
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 is a German World War II fighter aircraft that formed the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force along with the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. Primary deployed by the Luftwaffe, it started operational service in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War and would serve for many years into the 1960s with various countries.
Designed by Willy Messerschmitt and Robert Lusser in the early to mid-1930s, it was conceived as an interceptor although it will eventually be further developed to fulfill multiple tasks such as fighter-bomber, ground-attack, bomber escort and reconnaissance. With a total of 33,984 produced from 1936 to 1945, the Bf 109 is the most produced fighter aircraft in history.
The BF 109G-10 was a basic G airframe combined with the new DB 605 D-2 engine. It was a stop-gap variant until the K-series airframes reached sufficient production levels. The most recognizable external change was the use of the three-panel Erla-Haube clear-view canopy. Approximately 2,600 G-10s were produced from October 1944 until the war’s end.
My build depicts ‘Red 2’, a Bf 1009G-10 piloted by Fedlwebel Eberhard Gzik of JG300 in October 1944.
Info adapted from Wikipedia
KA Models is known for their aftermarket resin and photo-etch accessories. This is one of their first injection-molded kit offerings and is a re-pop of the Fujimi Bf 109 kit and was released together with the G-6 variant. While the base kit is ‘old’ (circa 1993), KA Models includes a small PE fret and a metal pitot tube for additional details. Other options include:
- the base kit comprising 6 main sprues with various parts (for the G-6 variant) marked off as unused
- a separate sprue of G-10 specific parts
- a clear sprue of G-10 specific 2-piece canopy
- nicely done recessed panel lines which look right for the scale
- instrument panel has molded-on details
- options to lower flaps, slats and elevators
- wheels down option only (although it looks to be easy to modify)
- marking options for 2 slightly differently equipped G-10s
I was heavily influenced to get this kit by Gary Wickham’s build review on The Modelling News. Best of all, the price was also quite reasonable.
A few years ago my son was on his school break and asked to build a WWII prop kit. He picked this kit from my stash. Alas, like father like son, he stopped at the priming stage and the kit was put back in storage. Since it was taking up precious space, I decided to finish it.
As to the build itself, I believe he had little trouble with it and the kit came together quite fuss-free. I had to go back in to fix some of the assembly issues and re-scribe some of the panel lines that went missing. He also skipped using any of the PE parts so I’m keeping them for future Bf 109 builds.
Colors & Markings
The ‘Rita 2’ scheme is the more interesting of the 2 options, especially with the optional yellow lower nose cowl so that’s the one I went with. But first, the camouflage.
I’ve never had much fine control of my airbrushes so German WWII camouflage with its freehand mottling is a potential problem for me. Having tested with some success before, I decided to use My Hobby Acrysion thinned with Mr Hobby Levelling Thinner which is a more forgiving combination than using acrylic thinner: there’s less of the tip dry problem and it’s an overall smoother experience.
Luftwaffe’s standard camouflage is RLM76 for the bottom and a combination of RLM74 and RLM75 topside in a unique mix of somewhat solid demarcation lines on the wings and top half of the upper fuselage and softer mottling all over the lower half of the upper fuselage.
The RLM76 areas are easy enough: just whack full bore all over the bottom and partially up top. For the RLM74 and RLM75 combo, I went with the Acrysion thinned with Levelling thinner. I first tested RLM75 with a mix in the cup and it went on very well and easily. So I filled each bottle of paint to the brim with the thinner. But the paints turned into goopy lumps and were unusable. Not sure why it happened but now I’m stuck with using AK Interactive instead. I had to go back and forth with all 3 colors but in the end I think it looks OK.
The decals went on without a hitch and reacted very well with Mark Setter and Mark Softer although I had a bit of trouble putting on the propeller swirl properly. Luckily it didn’t tear. These went on over a gloss surface. I also did some handpainted and sponge chipping on the port wingroot, engine access doors and the canopy at this point. To prepare for weathering, I sprayed a satin coat so there’s more ‘bite’. An overall panel wash was done with diluted Abteilung Starship Filth, which also helped to tone down the chipping I did before this.
I had a bottle of Mig AMMO Shader ‘Starship Filth’ and ‘Grime’ so I used these for my exhaust staining, general staining and streaking which were a lot more obvious on the bottom and the flaps. I also added ‘newer’ chips in the previous chipped areas. Everything was then given a coat of AK Interactive Ultra Matt Varnish. I usually stick with a satin finish but I think a flat finish suits the Bf 109 more. The canopy masking was then removed and I’m happy to say there wasn’t any paint bleeds to fix.
After the landing gear and antenna were attached, I tried out adding antenna wire using Mig AMMO 0.2mm rigging. I think it greatly improves the look of the kit and while it was still not easy to attach, it being slightly elastic definitely helped. This being my first time, it took me about 30 minutes with CA glue to attach. I then went back in and handpainted the connection points to cover up the CA glue marks.
Overall, this builds into a nice looking Bf 109. Detail-wise it might not hold up to Tamiya or Eduard but the build was straightforward enough. The many options for lowered flaps and slats definitely causes some fit problems but it’s nothing too major.
> Construction & Finishing
Number 04 of 2021