Juliusz D

[MOC] Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/Trop

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There are only a few planes that have achieved legendary status, and Messerschmitt Bf 109 is certainly one of them. With 34 000+ built, and an estimated 20 000 aerial kills, it remains the most widely produced and by far the most successful fighter of all time. 

About the aircraft

In 1934 Luftwaffe held a competition for a new fighter aircraft. The Messerschmitt proposal was a Bf 109 design, with the prototype's first flight in May 1935. Curiously, the V1 prototype was powered by a Rolls Royce Kestrel engine, with the others utilizing the Jumo 210 engine. After some controversies, the Bf 109 was named the winner, with Heinkel’s He 112B updated design coming too late to change the outcome. The first generation of Bf 109s, the so-called “Jumo-Schmitt's”: Anton, Berta, Ceasar, and Dora (Bf 109A, B, C, and D), were from the start planned as interim fighters, being severely underpowered with Jumo 210 engine developing around 610 – 700 PS. The next generation of Bf 109 was the Bf 109E Emil, which entered the production by late 1938. Powered by the Daimler-Benz DB 601A engine, developing 1100 PS,  the Emil proved to be a match for the RAF’s latest Spitfire Mk. I, also outperforming the Hawker Hurricane by a visible margin. Nevertheless, outside of the engine, the airframe of Bf 109E still represented the 1935 standard. With Germany being in the lead, the designers took their time to develop the thoroughly updated Bf 109 F “Friedrich” version, representing the final generation of 109s. It featured new wings, a new engine cowling, an enlarged propeller spinner, a modified tail, and a number of other improvements. The Bf 109F, powered by DB 601E (1175 PS, F-1, and F-2 variants), or by DB 601N (1350 PS, F-3, and F-4 variants), proved to be a huge success, dominating the 1941/42 season. Many pilots regarded Friedrich as the pinnacle of Bf 109 evolution, combining the lightness of the early versions and the refined aerodynamics of the later ones. Later, the G and K models were developed, with the same airframe, but a heavier and more powerful DB 605 engine, but this is a story for another occasion.

About the building process

Rather atypically, this particular model was not a coincidence – after finishing the Spitfire, I just had to make the Bf 109. And I must say it was a very challenging build. The problem with Bf 109, which was an actual issue during the war, was its relatively small size for its weight. The wing area of Bf 109F was just 71% of the Spitfire’s Mk.V one, even though both were more or less comparable in terms of power and weight.  As a result, it took me a lot of time to pack everything into such a tiny model. In fact, I started with the Bf 109G-6 version, but gave up, as its characteristic bulges were making everything too complex. The next issue was the wings – strangely angled, with pronounced dihedral. Here, I was saved by the mechanixlego's excellent Bf 109K. Even though it’s in a much smaller scale, I was able to adapt his solution to my model. After getting the wings right, the rest turned out to be relatively easy – the canopy was a bit of a headache, and sturdiness initially also left a lot to be desired, but still, it came along rather quickly. 

About the model

The model represents the tropicalized Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4/trop in 1/33 scale. The camouflage is based on the famous “Yellow 14” flown by the Hans-Joachim “Star of Africa” Marseille.  Marseille was the Luftwaffe’s most successful fighter pilot at the moment of his death in September 1942, with 158 aerial kills, of which 151 were achieved in the North Africa theatre. Worth noticing, contrary to many of his contemporaries, he rarely overclaimed. Even his famous “17 planes in a day” feat has left strong evidence in RAF’s archives. He is also commonly regarded to be a rather atypical Luftwaffe member – he was known to fly over British airfields delivering messages about the fate of his shot opponents and is believed to be rather unsympathetic towards the Nazi ideology. During his career he flew several Bf 109s, all of them carrying the “Yellow 14” mark. He is associated mainly with the “Friedrich”, as the Bf 109G was introduced only shortly before he died in combat.  Similar to all my other models, this one features a working landing gear, both main and rear, movable flaps, and a working horizontal tail. 

Flickr Gallery

 

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Edited by Juliusz D

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Fantastic model, although I'd argue that the most successful fighter of all time is the f-15, with a kdr of 104-0 ;). Nitpicking aside, the wings are glorious, and I love the way you were able to get working flaps.

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Really a fantastic model and instantly recognizable :thumbup: Great company for your spitfire model (also both have different theatre camo schemes of course).

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Thanks! As I've mentioned, the wings were the biggest headache. The good thing is that the final solution is as accurate as it gets. As for keeping the company to my Spitfire, I actually took a few pictures of both models together. It is really surprising to see how relatively smaller the Bf 109 looks.

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Amazing work on the Bf-109F. You've captured all the details, down to having retractable landing gear! Making is all happen at such a small scale is insane. Brick on!

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Outside of the Spitfire and Bf 109, I have also recentely uploaded P-51B Mustang. I have also already finished Hawker Tempest Mk.V, and will post it probably within 2 weeks time. After that I will likely go back to modern jets, as my F-14 needs a thorough rebuilt. 

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Nicely done @Juliusz D. Great build. The Bf 109F was the most important German aircraft and you captured it almost perfectly in LEGO!

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