**** DONE: 1/48 Bf109F-4 J.Steinhoff - Your Favorite Aircraft of All Time GB

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Thanks guys. Not much to show since Sunday. All I've done was saw off the crank case breather and turn it 90 degrees so the hoses will spill over the sides.
Well, it was a gradual realization on this one. I ran out of Luftwaffe PE seat belts so started looking at Squadron for another fret. In doing so, I searched all the PE stuff and decided to go for the full cockpit set. The ICM pit details are OK but, if left alone, would not match the quality of what I want to achieve in the engine compartment. So I ended up getting PE belts, the detail set plus 5 other detail sets for stashed models (Airfix Stuka, Tamiya P51B, Tamiya Corsair, Tamiya P-1B, and their P-47M). Just like going to the hobby store for a bottle of paint and walking out with a hundred bucks worth of kits!
Got the t-shirt, then while I was at it, I bought 6 pairs of underwear, 8 pairs of socks, 3 shirts, a pair of pants, and some toothpaste.
Some more to show for today. With the cockpit on hold pending receipt of the PE detail set, I continued to focus on detailing the port side of the engine compartment and started to assemble some of the nose pieces.

One of the details to tackle was to eliminate the tail stiffeners present on the 109 F-2 since I'm depicting Steinhoff's F-4 which did not have these features. The pictures below show before and after shots of the removal process on the starboard side. The jacking hole still needs to be drilled out.

120303 Stiffeners Before.jpg

120303 Stiffeners after.jpg

One of the tricky things on the ICM kit, as Terry pointed out earlier, is to make sure all the nose pieces line up perfectly since the whole thing is made up of 6 pieces. The port side engine cowl will be modeled in the open position so that meant lining up and gluing the starboard cowl. Shown below is how I made sure the cowl on this side was cemented onto the fuselage straight and true.

120303 Cowl Before.jpg

120303 Cowl.jpg

A similar technique was used to ensure that the oil cooler was perfectly matched to the two piece spinner back plate assembly. Fortunately, ICM provided both the shallow oil cooler typical of the F-2 and the deeper cooler featured on the later production models of the F-4. Steinhoff's rig had a later Werke Nummer so despite lack of photo evidence to confirm, I opted to go with the deeper cooler.

120303 Oil Cooler.jpg

Finally, the below pic shows more details added to the engine area. Extensive review of photos on the net showed that the ammo box arrangement provided by ICM was not quite kosher so I faced this are with a piece of cut card. Ammo box straps were added using Tamiya tape. In front of these boxes, you can also see the throttle linkage made of card and sprue. I also fabricated a complete shelf on the firewall which was missing from the model. This was done with card and along with this addition, cooling lines were added from the wing radiators. There was one central hot line to the radiators and two separate returns to the cylinder banks. I also added the extension of the turbocharger manifold to the underside of the engine. Exhaust stacks were also added and a couple of holes were drilled in the tank situated in the engine bearer to receive cables which will extend back to the firewall. Lots more plumbing has yet to be added as well.

120303 Engine.jpg

Hopefully I'll get some more done tomorrow. If so, I'll post more pics. Thanks for stopping by and for your interest..
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