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Hasegawa's 1/72 scale
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4

by Glenn Irvine


Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4


Hasegawa's Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 is available online from Squadron 



The kit was built as a challenge following an Australian Nationals at EXPO in Melbourne a couple of years ago.



A friend and I decided to choose a kit and both of us would build it out of box. – This was to try and get me out of my AMS rut and force me to build a kit and paint it with the minimum of time wasting modifications. We would then both enter the same category at the next EXPO, (this was another rule, it had to be finished by the following Expo) and see who did best. – But the main aim was to finish a kit (for me),- he is very prolific.





To sum up, the kit was built up out of box. Some areas were enhanced or cleaned up, depending on your definition. The cockpit was built as supplied and the kit decal belts were cut out and carefully glued to the seat. Fine detail was enhanced with careful shadow and highlight work with a brush. After fitting the kit instrument decal a touch of matt varnish overall and the instrument lenses filled with future helped bring up the panel.

The gun sight reflector was thinned down and polished. The cockpit glazing exterior armored windscreen was glued in place with Future and the canopy masked with Tamiya tape.



The wheels and oleos were carefully cleaned up and painted, followed by washes and dry brushing. Intakes and scoops - all openings were thinned down and repainted, washed etc. The spinner back plate was painted white and the forward section painted yellow 04.



Painting and Markings


The forward cowl was painted RLM 04 Yellow and masked off as was the lower section of rudder. The airframe was painted Aeromaster enamel 65 undersurfaces and most of the fuselage. The wings and the fuselage spine were painted Aeromaster 71 – 02. The 02 was darkened with 71. After this the upper surfaces were dry brushed with standard 02 and lightened 71 to enhance the surface detail and weather the paint, producing a faded surface finish.


The mottling on the fuselage sides was a special challenge, trying to find a way of successfully duplicating the particular ‘look’ of this type of application I finally found duplicating the original method of application in miniature was the best way of duplicating the distinctive mottling on the sides of Wick’s aircraft. This was achieved with very small pieces of very fine grade sponge held in tweezers dry-mottled on the sides of the fuselage to build up the colour and density variation along the fuselage.

The sponge type is that used by women to apply makeup, commonly called a ‘foundation sponge’ it is very soft, very fine grade synthetic type sometimes sold in cubes. A small piece is torn off and held in tweezers and dabbed in the paint, this is then dabbed on paper until most of the paint is gone (like dry brushing)  and it is making a definite ‘sponge’ pattern, then it applied to the fuselage sides and gradually built up. Replacing the sponge regularly also helps.



Afterwards, as is so often the case, I felt that I had overdone it, well; I then tried a method of paint removal I have seen used before by other modelers, namely Chris Beaumont.

I used a cotton bud and a soft toothbrush loaded with plain toothpaste and carefully started to scrub the fuselage sides in a small circular motion. This slowly removed excess mottling and cut back the paint to reveal a perfect representation of the mottling in 1/72 scale complete with wear marks around the cockpit. (I will be using this method again) Some of the upper wing panels were treated the same way to check the effect – lightly does it and it was better I think.

Testors Glosscote was applied and the decals followed from the kit and an application of decal softener.

After drying and cleaning up the residue, a product similar to Testors Metalizer Sealer was applied and a follow up wash of oils and water colours as appropriate. After drying, Testors Dullcote was applied and some chipping with a silver prismacolor pencil provided the finishing touch.



After judging at Expo was over, an aerial was fitted and a base made to display the finished model.

I hope this helps you duplicate that unique mottling on Wick’s aircraft, no matter what scale you build.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images: 


Bf 109D/E Aces 1939–41
Aircraft of the Aces 11
Author: John Weal
Illustrator: John Weal
US Price:
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date:
 November 15, 1996
Details: 96 pages; ISBN: 1855325969
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Glenn Irvine
Images of finished model on white background Copyright © 2004 by Brett Green 
Page Created 05 October, 2004
Last Updated 05 October, 2004

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