|Kit:||FineMolds, 1/72; bought on eBay in 2007 for $20.16. Model finished on 2021-03-20.|
|Aircraft:||MT-229, 'Yellow 9', Werkenummer 13993, 3/LeLv 34, Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force), Utti AB, Summer 1943|
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 is without a doubt the most famous German aircraft of all time, and also the one produced in largest numbers, with well over 30,000 built. It served as the backbone of the Luftwaffe fighter force throughout the 2nd World War. The type, specifically the 109G-variant, was also instrumental in Finland's air defense during the war.
The model represents a Finnish Air Force aircraft that initially served with the 3/LeLv 34 after being delivered in the Spring of 1943. In that unit she was mostly flown by Ltn. Paavo Myllylä, an ace with 21 aerial victories, but on 1943-05-20 Capt. Olli Puhakka, an ace with at least 43 aerial victories (and a Mannerheim Cross -recipient), scored two kills with this aircraft.
Restored Bf 109G-2 at the RAF Museum in Hendon
The starting point for this model was the wonderful Fine Molds' kit which does not require much work. I added photo-etch seatbelts from Eduard, but since the canopy was going to be closed, not much extra work was needed. Pitot tube was fashioned from some Albion Alloys' aluminum tube.
I painted the model with Tamiya acrylics, free-handing the mottle pattern, and using masks cut with a Cricut cutter for the white circles and over-painted Balkenkreutze on the wings. Two coats of Future were applied and allowed to dry for a few days before decals were applied. Most of the decals came from the inScale72 sheet AC 001; they are a bit on the thicker side, but on the other hand quite strong. They went down fine with some Solvaset. Detail stenciling came from the kit's decal sheet. They were easy to apply except they had a tendency to tear (despite my applying some Liquid Decal Film on them first). The decals were then covered with some more Future, and eventually the whole aircraft was sprayed with Testors' Dullcote.
First attempt at the overpainted Balkenkreutze.
Second attempt, using RLM 02. After this, a dark gray filter was applied.
Based on photographic evidence the Finnish Bf 109s were often very dirty and had considerable exhaust stains along the fuselage. [Stenman & Hołda 2015 p.91] has a picture of this particular aircraft that shows the exhaust stains clearly. I free-handed the stains with 50/50-diluted Tamiya flat black, with the airbrush pressure dialed down to about 10 psi. To my eye the result matches the photograph spot on.