1/48 Dora Wings Messerschmitt Bf-109B

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Grant Barr

Senior Airman
For my first effort back into modelling in many years I thought it best to stick to an OOB build (at least as much as possible). I found this kit at the LHS and have always been keen to do an early 109 – preferably dressed in Spanish Civil War colours.
Bf-109B Box Art & Instructions.JPG

Having made a start on the kit I found the plastic is quite soft and the mouldings do have quite noticeable flash on some of sprue trees. That being said, the details are crisp and the level of detail is much greater than I remember from way back in the seventies and eighties!

Basic cockpit construction is straightforward; although I found that some of the parts are tiny. The starboard seat rail pinged out of my fingers and was swallowed by the carpet monster so I was forced to make a replacement from a cut section of sprue. It's not a great job, but you won't see it once the fuselage is buttoned up.
Bf-109B Raw Cockpit No Paint.JPG

The instrument panel is a combination of styrene, clear plastic with instrument faces printed on it and a PE fascia. I used this set up, but am not happy with the result. The instrument faces are too indistinct sunk back in the fascia and the paint job is rough – the hands seem to shake a lot more than they used to!!! :triumph:

I won't show the final panel – too embarrassing…:flushed:
Bf-109B Instrument Panel.JPG

I have a bit more done that I hope to post in the next week.

Thanks for stopping by!
I have heard brake fluid works well but have never tried it. Unlike Geo, I have found that nail polish remover softens plastic if left on too long but that wouldn't be a problem with PE.
Thanks gents. Not worried about the PE but I am concerned that the clear acrylic in the dials is a concern. Think I'll just have to be super careful not to let the paint remover get into the dial holes. :thumbright:
Since the last update I decided to redo the instrument panel – my thanks to both Wurger and Crimea River for some guidance on the best way to back up and start again.
The final outcome is still not great, but it is a bit better than my first attempt. I think I must have repainted this thing about half a dozen times now. :facepalm: It's still not great, but the best I can probably do at this time.

I ended up discarding the plastic insert between the PE panel and backing panel. I opted to paint the backing panel black and resorted to dropping some Micro Krystal Clear into the instrument holes to simulate the glass. Not nearly as fancy as the plastic panels instruments but you really could not see them way back in the panel anyway. :shock:

Bf-109B Instrument Panel 2.JPG

Along with the IP, I have been putting some finishing touches to the port and starboard cockpit panels. The port panel had a very unsatisfactory method of sandwiching the two trim(?) wheels with the chain links to the actuators (PE parts). If I simply just tried to CA glue them together I could see myself continually breaking them whilst test fitting and final fitting of the cockpit into the fuselage. So my solution was to fit a shaft to the trim wheels using a piece of 0.6mm brass tube which was the right size to fit through the PE chain pieces needing only a hole drilled through the panel side wheel and partially into the seat side wheel – pics below…

Bf-109B Cockpit Trim Wheel 1.JPG

Small hole drilled part way into inside wheel with a short length of brass tube attached with some CA. Fiddly but satisfying to get done. \\:D/

Bf-109B Port Cockpit Wall 1.JPG

All pieces "dry run" assembled and test fit into the sidewall.

Bf-109B Cockpit Trim Wheel 2.JPG

Assembly painted.

On the subject of painting I have resurrected my 36 year old Badger airbrush. Just popped a new rubber O-ring into the air supply side, made sure it was flushed out with some thinner and off it went. I'm a bit stunned it works perfectly – obviously a good quality piece of kit. :thumbup:

Bf-109B Port Cockpit Wall 2.JPG

Final sidewall, painted and assembled. As the PE chain pieces are able to rotate on the tube I can now install the sidewall and still be able to finalise their attitude once in place.

The starboard panel was a little more straightforward, with assembly being only five pieces, although I did break the PE map tray. :banghead: The pic below shows the panel without the map tray.

Bf-109B Starboard Cockpit Wall 1.JPG

As the map tray was just a series of 90° bends, once broken, gluing them back together with something like CA was not an option (no matter how many times I tried!!!). I ended up using a very small amount of J-B Weld epoxy on the inside of the bend (like a weld fillet) and it worked like a treat. :cool:

Having done the fix up I decided that the panel was a little too bare, so I added a couple of lines using lead wire to make it look a little more interesting (so much for an OOB build…)

Final sidewall below. I did toy with the thought of adding more pipework to the panel. According to some photo references there are some more cables running across where the arrow is pointing but I decided not to get too ambitious with scratch building just yet. Crawl, then walk, then run…….

Bf-109B Starboard Cockpit Wall 2.JPG

The main cockpit tub/seat section has now been painted and is waiting on me to find the patience to install the PE seat belts. Is it just me or are PE bits nearly more trouble than they are worth. I love the tiny detail, but I keep losing bits as they ping off the workbench without provocation!!! :mad:

Bf-109B Raw Cockpit Paint 1.JPG

I've roughed up the edges and some of the flooring with a silver pencil to represent wear and tear. Some dry brushing to represent worn off paint on the floor in front of the rudder pedals is also in order. I got busy with the rudder pedals and drilled out all the holes to "lighten" them, only to later discover that this may not have been done with the A/B models of the 109! Too late now!

I also had a bit of time to do a dry run for fit on the major components. Overall the kit looks to be pretty good, with only two main areas of concern that I can find.

Bf-109B Fuse & Wings Dry Fit.JPG

The first one is that the wing section will need some minor trimming to fit snugly back against the bottom of the fuselage as shown in the shot above.

Bf-109B Fuse & Wings Dry Fit 3.JPG

The second is the slight gap in the wing root join, shown above. I'll set up a little jig to make sure that this gap is as close as possible when gluing. Hopefully it will be invisible once done. The arrow in the shot shows the slight step in the leading edge wing root join as a result of the fit issues at the trailing edge of the wing to fuselage joint.

Finally, I have started to drill out the exhausts in preparation for fuselage assembly. They're fiddly little buggers but I got there in the end - one side down with the other to go.

Bf-109B Exhaust Manifold 2.JPG

Well, I think that will do me for tonight's update. Thanks for looking in on my project. :thumbright:
Very promising indeed. The instrument panel looks not bad at all.

To prevent PE parts from pinging away on you, try applying masking tape to the back of the fret. Turn the fret over and make sure the the part that you are cutting has adhered to the tape then cut the part out with your favourite blade. The tape should hold the part in place and you'll only need to peel it away with tweezers.

"so much for an OOB build…" -Boy do I know THAT feeling!
To prevent PE parts from pinging away on you, try applying masking tape to the back of the fret. Turn the fret over and make sure the the part that you are cutting has adhered to the tape then cut the part out with your favourite blade. The tape should hold the part in place and you'll only need to peel it away with tweezers.

Thanks Andy - very helpful tip. Gathering up some courage to do the seat belts over the weekend...

Thanks to all for the encouragement!
So - a quick update on some bits and bobs done since the last post.

I gathered up enough courage to tackle the seat belts on Monday, with the brutal close up below showing the results. Looks a bit rough when viewed this closely but seems to be Ok when looking at them in scale. Andy will notice the use of tape to hold everything in place - very handy tip thanks again!

Bf-109B Seat Belts.JPG

I've now put them in place with a tiny dab of CA where appropriate - hopefully I used enough to ensure they stay put.

Bf-109B Basic Cockpit 3.JPG

Whilst looking through the next few steps in the instructions I realised I have a question to ask the forum regarding the wheel wells for the 109. The instructions for these parts are shown below. I know that the surround for the wheel is a leather insert with a zipper type closure around the middle (as represented by a tiny PE strip in this kit). I can paint this section accordingly - dirty brownish leather colour sounds right to me. My question is what is the material that is used for enclosing the section for the oleo leg? I've circled the section in question below to be super clear. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Bf-109B Instructions 2.JPG

The only other item of note is that when doing some further test fitting of the cockpit tub and IP into the fuselage I found that lining up the embossed panel lines, tail section edges and rear cockpit edge seemed to produce a mismatch of the front cockpit edge and all parts forward from there. After much fiddling around I realised that the port fuselage half is ever so slightly warped. Its not noticeable when viewed on its own but produces around 0.5mm offset in forward panel lines and edges. I must remember when closing up the fuselage to start gluing from the tail and work my way forward so as to pull the warp back straight. I'm certain it can be done - just need to be a bit more patient...

That's all for tonight - once again thanks for looking in on my project.
Good stuff.
If you mean the moving part of the oleo, (red arrow in drawing below) this was chromed, and at this period it was covered with a leather gaiter, in dark brown. which would appear slightly corrugated.
Later, during WW2, on later model '109s, this was replaced with a canvas gaiter, due to leather shortages, and was often removed in muddy conditions, if it became hard and then split or otherwise damaged.

Instructions 109.JPG
Terry posted as I was writing this. I think you mean the curved portion of the wheel well.

I'm not sure about the B model but assume that the construction is the same or very similar to the E, with which I'm more familiar. The section of wheel well housing the struts on the E was of curved aluminum and would be RLM02. There is a lightening hole near the end toward the tire side. Here's a pic I took of Paul Allen's 109 which, though not very good, shows the area reasonably well:

My question is what is the material that is used for enclosing the section for the oleo leg? I've circled the section in question below to be super clear. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Bf-109B Instructions 2a.JPG

Terry, IMHO the question is because of the parts. circled red in the pic above. The part of the wheel bay was made of a metal plate and was of a trough shape.

bf-109 landing gear copy.jpg

bg-109 wheel bay canvas cover 1 copy.jpg

the pic source: Messerschmitt Bf-109 E3 Walkaround

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