Messerschmitt Bf 109H
by David C. Jones
Classic Airframes' 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 C/D is available online from Squadron
Bf 109H was designed as a high altitude interceptor pending the
arrival of the Me155 (or Bv155).
The Me155 never
arrived and the Bf109H was cancelled due to the success of the
superlative Fw190D/Ta152 series.
The first prototype
Bf109H-0 V54 (Wrk. Nr. 15708) had its maiden flight out of Augsburg,
Germany on November 5, 1943 with test pilot Fritz Wendel at the
controls. After testing at Messerschmitt the aircraft traveled to
various facilities in Germany until the type was cancelled on July
18, 1944. The V54 itself was destroyed during a bombing raid on
August 14, 1944 while at the Daimler-Benz Stuttgart plant. The
aircraft existed for less than a year.
model; it was completed years ago so I have no “in progress” photos.
I depicted the V54
prototype because I had accurate references to its codes PV+JB. It
was converted from Hasegawa’s 1/48 Bf109G-6 kit. I also added parts
of the Eduard photo-etched set designed for the Hasegawa kit.
The construction of
the new wing center section was straightforward. The leading edge
was plastic tube and the rest was all layered Evergreen plastic
sheeting. It also had two brass rods to reinforce the whole wing
Aside from that,
the split flaps were constructed separately as I originally meant to
build it with lowered flaps. I eventually decided to have them in
the raised position since their interior structure would have to be
total conjecture on my part.
The weathering was
kept to a minimum. I only added minor exhaust/gun stains and gave
the RLM76 undersides a “patchy” appearance because of it being a
converted rather than new build aircraft.
The references I
1) The Luftwaffe
Album by Joachim Dressel and Manfred Griehl.
It has no line
drawings but an excellent history of the type. They used a model to
depict the airplane; I rejected some of their model’s details based
on the text and other sources.
2) Messerschmitt Bf109 by Robert Grinsell.
Some line drawings
(head on view) and great artwork by Rikyu Watanabe. I’ve always held
Watanabe’s work in high regard; there is a ¾ view painting of an H-1
(not an H-0) in the book.
I’d consider the
line drawings in the book very accurate.
3) The Messerschmitt 109: A Famous German Fighter by Heinz J.
It is old (1963)
but it has three view drawings of every Bf109 spin off there ever
was. There are accuracy issues with some drawings (they are a bit
simplified like in old profile books) but they gave me the gist of
what I needed to do.
It also shows a
four bladed prop. I believe this is incorrect for the V54; however
it would fit the description of the projected H-2 variant. The
dimensions, Wrk. Nr. and other data were from this book. I consider
the text accurate in spite of its age. Most other sources agree with
the text as well. There are references in the text that Wrk. Nr.
15708 was a modified F airframe with a DB601. If this is correct, my
model is wrong. Source (4) cites this serial as a G-5/6 airframe.
Since the H was to be a high altitude pressurized fighter, it makes
sense to me they would have used a G-5 (pressurized) airframe if
available. I removed the air scoops to show the model as a G-5
conversion. Source (4) is also more reliable in my opinion.
4) Messerschmitt Bf109 F, G, & K Series by Jochen Prien and Peter
references the Wrk. Nr. 15708 as being in the first batch of G-5/6
airframes made at the Erla factory. Hence I incorporated some of the
early features (short tail wheel, tall antenna, short tail, aerial
configuration) associated with the early G-5/6 series. I did add the
R/F loop as described but this was purely a judgment call on my
part. My reasoning was the high altitude/longer range missions (even
for a test bed) would have required it.
I consider this book to be among the best Bf109 books there is.
5) I later found this after my build; everything matches up exactly
to my model except they show lengthened ailerons and slats.
Collections Messerschmitt Me109 Volume II by Dominiquue Breffort and
Andre Jouineau. Line drawing (top view). It is a nice book, but it
tends to generalize so I’m sticking to my guns on the aileron/slat
Source (1) cites
the aircraft was thrown together in a mere ten weeks so I doubt they
made these changes on the V54. Perhaps this was something that would
have been on production models.
In essence the model is a culmination of filling in the gaps with (I
hope) educated guesses. I’m not a 109 expert by any measure, so any
comments are welcome. All I can say is the kit certainly sticks out
among a line up of other late model Bf109s. I hope you enjoy the
the thumbnails below to view larger images:
Model and Images Copyright © 2006
by David C. Jones
Page Created 31 March, 2006
30 March, 2006
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