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Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4

by Doowan Lee


Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4


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This is the Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 flown by Hptm. Hans “Assi” Hahn with JG3.

The model is a combination of the Hasegawa 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/7 kit, the Verlinden Bf 109E superdetail set, and some scratch-building.

I think the Bf 109E superdetail set is one the best detail sets Verlinden ever produced. It comes with a detailed and accurate engine, gorgeous cockpit, radios, rudder controls, PE canopy frames, and a plethora of small parts. Frankly, I didn’t need any other aftermarket update sets other than the Verlinden set for this project. On the other hand, it is a little disappointing that recent Verlinden superdetail sets are not as complete as its earlier products.


I started with the cockpit. Verlinden’s cockpit had a great deal of details.

Once painted, washed, and dry-brushed, it looked great. I especially liked the combination of PE part and film to accurate represent the instrument panel. Assembled and painted correctly, it looked gorgeous and sharp. The wheel wells received some detailing using the PE parts that came with the superdetail set. It gave the correct look to the wheel well, not the bland flat surface of the kit. Some of the details around the machine guns are scratch-built using various spare parts. Looking at the details, I realize there are some empirical inaccuracies. Wires and tubes were added to the engine, and it was heavily weathered to reflect the overworked condition of a typical Bf 109E-4. It was really convenient to use the PE frames for the canopy as opposed to masking/painting. However, due to some miscalculation on my part, there is a visible gap between the front windshield frame and the fuselage. Perhaps, I will correct this in time.

The ailerons were separated from the part and reattached to droop. Unlike the Fw 190, I was informed by Steven Eisenman that on the Bf 109E series, ailerons could slightly droop, if the flaps are fully lowered. (Thanks Steven!) At the point of construction, I wasn’t aware of this. I think I saw a picture of a Bf 190E with both flaps and ailerons lowered, but frankly the memory of it is rather faint. In any event, it’s nice to be empirically lucky once in a while.

Brake lines were added to the landing struts. The antenna wire is my own hair (Good thing I can still spare some…).



Painting and Markings


The model was painted as suggested by the kit’s instructions. Once the basic camouflage was completely dried, I gave it a thin coat of Future, liquid floor wax. Once that was dry, I applied the decals that came with the kit.

Everything had a perfect shape and register. The only drawback was the crosses somewhat lacked opacity. After a couple of days, I applied another coat of Future for weathering. Once the coat was completely dry, I somewhat heavily weathered the model in order to reflect the typical field condition under which these airplanes operated.



Typically, the 109 series had a notorious oil leakage problem throughout its production cycle. That means the underside should significant oil stains. I used a fine brush and thinned oil paint to simulate the oil leakages. Exhaust stains were airbrushed using Gunze’s acrylic ‘smoke.’ A couple of flat coats finally completed the paint job. The signal lights on the wings were first painted with silver then clear red and blue from Tamiya. I think this method is much easier than carving, shaping, and painting clear plastic parts.





In summary, both the Hasegawa kit and Verlinden set were a real pleasure to work with. While the Hasegawa kit provides an excellent base for additional detailing, the Verlinden set was well engineered to fit smoothly with the kit.

As for the completed model, I admit there are a few little mistakes here and there.

Well, next time I will try the Tamiya counter part and CMK’s 109E engine set to see how that combination measures up!


Additional Images


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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Doowan Lee
Page Created 28 October, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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