Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Black 13 – That was to be expected! | Part One

After a break of almost 5 years from plastic scale modeling, I came across the Hasegawa 1/32nd scale kit of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 (Gustav) in my stash of unbuilt kits. Going through the Kagero #22 book on the Bf109G, I found two black and white photographs of a crash landed Gustav coded black 13 wearing white winter camouflage.
Two photographs of the authentic situation depict the following setting: Black 13 of 9./JG 51 crash landed in January 1944 either due to a mechanical problem or enemy gun fire (although no signs of this are recognizable in the photographs) on an initially snow-covered and harvested cornfield. Black 13 remained in this situation for some time before being finally recovered. Most of the snow had melted away in the meantime leaving only some residues of snow and slush underneath the right wing. The ground was frozen at the time of the crash landing as the aircraft did not dig in very deep into the frozen ground. Damage to the aircraft seemed to be limited; the rearward bent propeller blades indicate that the engine was running at the time of impact with the ground and the oil spill on the spinner, upper propeller blade and on the engine cowling seemed to originate from the ruptured oil tank directly behind the spinner. The left landing gear dropped out of its bay due to a loss of hydraulic pressure.
The aircraft in white winter camouflage with lightish dried mud stains on the dark, wet cornfield presents an attractive contrast and setting for a diorama.
Construction of the kit was straightforward. The kit has no fit issues and represents a fairly accurate reproduction of the famous Bf109 fighter. Nonetheless, I decided to use a resin cockpit set from Aires as I will leave the canopy open which allows a good view into the pilot´s compartment. On the authentic photographs, one can see the storage compartment hatch open, too.
The Hasegawa kit is lacking in rivet detail and I opted to use a stone beading tool to emboss the countersunk-head rivets using the Kagero drawings and photographs as a reference.
 Some snap shots:
01 Internal detail of the storage compartment
consists of a horizontal floor and a vertical
bulkhead at the rear end of the compartment. These
parts were made of sheet styrene. The longitudinal
stringers were made of u-shaped brass profiles.
The compartment was painted with
Tamiya AS-12,
followed by a coat of hairspray. The compartment
was then airbrushed RLM 02
grau (grey). The
weathering consists of chipping, scuffs and
scratches and a final oil wash of raw umber.

02 I embossed the rivets along panel lines freehand
with a stone beading tool and used strips of thick
tape as a guide when embossing rivet lines
across panels.

03 The fuselage and all lower surfaces were
airbrushed in RLM 76 and all upper surfaces in
RLM 75. Since the white winter camouflage was
quite dense on black 13, I just airbrushed one
upper surface color.

04 With the camouflage colors dry, I airbrushed
the white winter camouflage in three layers:
(i) vertical streaks on the fuselage and streaks
parallel to the airflow on all horizontal surfaces,
(ii) a cloudy mottling on all surfaces and finally
(iii) a layer of heavily thinned white lacquer to
blend all layers together.

05 I designed both styles of the »13« on the
computer and made some test printings on paper
to finally adjust the design. Next, I cut masks
from Kabuki tape of both »13« and attached
them to the fuselage and applied a
thin coat of black lacquer by airbrush.
Once the paint was dry I removed the masks.

No comments:

Post a Comment