Scale Aviation Modeller International — February 2018

(Jacob Rumans) #1
depth, before dry-brushing RLM
over all surfaces to bring out the
true colour of the cockpit. I then
used lighter shades of RLM02 to
further highlight the raised details,
and to add a layer of weathering.
I also tackled the wheel
bays at this time, which feature
separately-moulded wall sections,
which need to be cemented onto
the inner surfaces of the upper
wings. Other than some rib detail
integrally moulded onto the upper
wing, and an etched strip of rivets
that needs to be curled to shape
and secured to the curved wall
surfaces, the bays are devoid of
detail. I therefore decided to use
some Eduard etch from my spares
box to improve their appearance.

The two-piece tailplanes have
wraparound leading edges that
enclose the separate lower surfaces.
The latter parts are overly thick
and needed considerable thinning
before the leading edges would
fit flush. On the plus side, they
feature separate control surfaces,
though to make these fit correctly,
I found it necessary to hollow out
the trailing edges of the tailplanes
once they had been assembled.
The same hollowing-out process
proved necessary on the vertical
tail before the rudder would fit
comfortably. The rudder is also
rather thick and features crude
ribbing and stitching detail. As well,
it does not feature the prominent
trim tab, so I slightly re-shaped the
rudder’s trailing edge to give an
impression of the tab (I would have
replaced the rudder entirely had I
found one amongst my spares).
The wings also feature separate
control surfaces, and here too

some trimming was required
before the long, one-piece flaps sat
correctly. Unfortunately, the upper
and lower surfaces of both flaps
were riddled with very noticeable
sink marks, which required
filling and wet-sanding during
the priming stage. There are no
locating pins on the inner surfaces
of the wings, but with the chunky
wheel bay sections cemented in
place, the fit of the wing halves
was very positive. However, the
wheel bays required reducing in
height before the wings would
close fully. Adding the separate

leading edge slats and the clear
plastic navigation lights completed
construction of the main planes.
Once the fuselage halves
were joined (having remembered
beforehand to insert Part E23, the
tail wheel bay bulkhead), the wings
were slotted into place. The wing
to fuselage joint – so often a weak
point on Bf.109 kits – proved to be
positive, and the wing assembly
clicked solidly into place, without
the necessity of taping the wings
to set the correct dihedral while
the cement hardened. However,
a slight gap remained at the
rear edge of the central wing
section that needed filling.

The feature that really
distinguished the early
Messerschmitts from the more
famous “Emil” version that
followed was, of course, the
lumpen radiator housing, which is
faithfully reproduced in the AMG
model. Made up of four parts, the
radiator and housing fits snugly to
the lower nose, though I found it
necessary to add a touch of Milliput
to blend the rounded contours of
the housing into the fuselage.

The cowling, however, is
another matter. Designed to allow
the modeller to display the engine
if desired, the cowling is made
up of five individual parts, with
the main upper cowling (that
saddles the engine) being split
into two halves. This results in a
very noticeable join line that runs
the length of the upper cowling;
this needs to be removed, without
damaging the subtle recessed panel
lines that run either side of it. The
cowling should, in fact, appear
as a single-piece item, as on the
later Emil. This could be removed
entirely to reveal the engine, unlike
that of the F and G models, which
hinged along the centreline.
Filling and sanding this

upper join is best done with the
cowling cemented in place, though
getting all of the finely moulded
panels to line up is rather fiddly.
Unfortunately, because of the
engine display option, there are no
locating pins on the panels, nor any
internal structure upon which to
cement them. One relies, therefore,
on the cement softening the edges
sufficiently to hold the panels
in place, whilst they are gently
chivvied into position. This method
worked well enough, though I
found it necessary to wet-sand all
of the panel edges once they had set
in place, to lessen any noticeable
steps that resulted where an edge
had been slightly misaligned.
The two small elongated
panels, situated on either side of
the engine, house the exhaust
stacks; these are worth remarking
on, as they are wonderfully and
delicately rendered. Obviously, if
the engine is to be displayed, then
these panels and the exhausts
themselves need to be cemented
directly onto the engine.
The engine block is, as
mentioned earlier, moulded as
an integral part of the fuselage,
and this is problematic if it is your
intention to model an accurate
representation of the engine
compartment. Simply put, there
is no detail at all to the rear of
the engine – no firewall detail
and no machine gun platform,
simply a featureless panel from
which the engine extends. There
is, though, plenty of scope for
super-detailing, if that is your
inclination. The engine itself







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