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A pair of aces in E major - Mig88's Armory Bf 109E-4s

The second year of WW2 is primarily remembered for the Battle of Britain, but there was far more besides, both from a military and a civilian perspective. So, eighty years hence, this Group Build is open to anything that was around in 1940, from fighter aircraft to armoured cars, from battleships to buses.
Runs from 8 February to 31 December 2020.
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Tim R-T-C
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Re: A pair of aces in E major - Mig88's Armory Bf 109E-4s

#11

Post by Tim R-T-C »

Good luck. I'm watching with interest before I invest in some of these kits myself.

Pity Sweet didn't make any more variants, their F-4 is a super kit.

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Re: A pair of aces in E major - Mig88's Armory Bf 109E-4s

#12

Post by F_IV »

Hopefully AMG will do an Emil at some point. Their C and D variants are very accurate and nicely moulded.

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Re: A pair of aces in E major - Mig88's Armory Bf 109E-4s

#13

Post by Tim R-T-C »

I didn't realise those AMG releases were different, seen them on Hannants but not found any reviews.

Better fitting than the Armory ones then?

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Re: A pair of aces in E major - Mig88's Armory Bf 109E-4s

#14

Post by F_IV »

Yeah, I’ve been very pleased the the fit of the AMG kit. I posted some sprue shots in another thread of the GB. Really must get back to it soon. :oops:

viewtopic.php?f=52&t=6510

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Re: A pair of aces in E major - Mig88's Armory Bf 109E-4s

#15

Post by Mig88 »

It's just a shame you only get one kit in the AMG box!

Starting - not too well

Well, I started today and the first steps haven't been encouraging. All the parts have some flash and need cleaning up. Care must be taken removing them as the sprue gates are quite tough but the plastic seems brittle.

Bf109BoB-w05s.jpg
I was shocked when one of the fuselage halves just snapped in two while I was removing it carefully with a small etched razor saw. I also broke one of the tailwing struts with just a little accidental tap on the part. Above you can see one set of fuselage halves (with one in two parts) which have been cleaned up and the other two, on the left, with the mass of flash covering the cockpit opening, the bottom opening and more. Considering how fragile the fuselage halves seem to be, removing it required care which just made things harder. Fortunately, the break was clean and I managed a good join of the broken parts.

Bf109BoB-w06s.jpg
As I said, I won't be superdetailing the kit but one detail I have added are harnesses from Tamiya tape. I word of warning: the instructions will have you glue the armoured headrest to the sill behind the seat. This is fine if you have the canopy closed but it would be incorrect for the open option, and the instructions make no mention of this! The headrest was standard from the E-4 onwards but was retrofitted to earlier models in the field, and in some cases removed (for example Von Werra's machine) so you better check your references as the instructions don't give any clues.

Bf109BoB-w07s.jpg
Finally, a slight change of plans. I remembered that I had some other decal sheets for the Bf 109E and one of them is the Bf 109E "Super Aces" sheet by MYK. This has options for 6 aircraft: an E-3 of Adolf Galland in Aug 1940, an E-3 of Heinz Bar, an E-3 of Josef Priller, Helmut Wick's E-4 in two different moments of Summer 1940 (different from that on Armory's sheet) and Galland's E-4/N of Dec. 1940. I'll still be doing Wick and Galland's machines but I'll be taking the decals from here. I haven't decided which of Wick's options I will do but the last one for Galland is a definite as it's an E-4/N and it seems it had the spinner tip cap.

Miguel
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Re: A pair of aces in E major - Mig88's Armory Bf 109E-4s

#16

Post by smeg1959 »

With the very limited print runs that MYK does, there's been times when I've thought about building up a stockpile of their products. I haven't, of course, then cursed myself when they've gone OOP.

Back to the 109, quite alarmed by the fragility of the plastic Armory are using. In hindsight, I was lucky my 109A/B build didn't start in a similar manner. Indeed, the only kit I've built that I can ever recall snapping like this was the fuselage of my OzMods' Canberra, and that was down to the weird bluish material Greg used to injection-mould his early kits in.

And many thanks for highlighting that the headrest was an integral part of the canopy itself, so when open, it certainly was no longer behind the seat. About halfway down this 1/32 build (albeit of a G-2/R6) is a nice close-up of exactly where it should be. Whilst Armory's instructions are pretty good (they did a decent job of pointing out various differences between subtypes in the 109A/B kit), things like this have been missed. You get away with it if you only provide the enclosed canopy as a single transparency. You don't if you provide a 3-part canopy with an "open" option.
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

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Re: A pair of aces in E major - Mig88's Armory Bf 109E-4s

#17

Post by F_IV »

Those MYK 109 sheets are so rare these days you could flog it off on eBay and buy a half dozen AMG kits with the proceeds.

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Re: A pair of aces in E major - Mig88's Armory Bf 109E-4s

#18

Post by Mig88 »

Cockpit, fuselage and wings

Oh dear, this kit is full of unpleasant surprises! I see what some have said about unbuildability but I will persevere and try and prove it can be done!

Bf109BoB-w08s.jpg
The cockpit parts completed, painted and ready for assembly. The kit comes for decals on the instrument panel which went on well without fuss. My hunch on leaving the headrest for later as opposed to what is suggested in the instructions was right as you will see.

The instructions suggest gluing the panel to one fuselage side and imply adding the cockpit to the main wing and inserting it from underneath. Plainly, you can't!! As soon as I realised the panel was too wide, I did the following:

1) Assembled just the fuselage halves. In future, I may do this right from the start!

2) Sanded the instrument panel on the sides until I could slide it in from underneath.

3) Sanded the cockpit assembly sides especially at the rear end which is far too wide but a bit at the front end. Kept checking with the fuselage. I also thinned the bottom area of the fuselage cockpit walls to avoid sanding too much from the cockpit part.

4) Once satisfied, and the fuselage interior had been repainted, I slid the cockpit from underneath, gluing it at the rear and the applying some glue from underneath.

5) Finally, I attached the main wing part to the fuselage after having checked and trimmed for a better fit.

w09s.jpg
w10s.jpg
With all this, you can now see why it's best to leave the headrest for later! I have attached the radiators to one of the wings and, surprise, they won't fit without trimming! One of the wings is slightly malformed at the ailerons, and lack the rim tabs so I have an extra problem to fix. As I imagined, this kit has plenty of work in it.

Miguel
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Re: A pair of aces in E major - Mig88's Armory Bf 109E-4s

#19

Post by Tom's »

Nicely done !

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Re: A pair of aces in E major - Mig88's Armory Bf 109E-4s

#20

Post by ajmm »

Very nice - with those results you’ve made that all look much easier than I’m sure it was.

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