This is my third plasmo since I resumed building in mid-2014 and follows the F-86F and the Spitfire Mk 24. I continue to stick to the 1/32 scale for size comparison.
THE REVELL GERMANY BOX
THE INSTRUCTION SHEET
SOME OF THE PARTS ON THE SPRUES
THE VERSION THAT I CHOOSE TO BUILD
I have opted for the aircraft flown by Hauptmann Franz Dorr of Stab (HQ Flight) 3 JG 5 based in Gossen, Norway in 1945 who had a kill record of 128 aircraft.
A MORE DETAILED MODEL
This time round I decided to add a bit more realism and accuracy instead of simply building out of the box (OOB). There are several guides on the net for this adventure of mine, so I could count on those who had gone through the process before. One source was a detailed and well-researched article by Matt Low and Mike Offutt on the inaccuracies found in this Revell Germany model. Another was a detailed step-by-step account of a Group Build project for Large Scale Modeler forum by the above two together with DoogsATX and Rick using the Alley Cat replacement parts which addressed the inaccuracies to a large extent.
Encouraged by the above and other tips found on the net, I ordered several after-market (AM) parts:
A BAG OF REPLACEMENT PARTS FROM ALLEY CAT OF A2Z MODELS, UK
MONTEX MASKS FROM POLAND FOR PAINTING THE COCKPIT CANOPY FRAMES
RAISED RIVET DECALS FROM HGW, CZECHOSLOVAKIA
Sunk rivets were used by modelers previously but these new raised rivets are more like the pop rivets used on most aircraft.
BASE WHITE IS REQUIRED TO TREAT THE SURFACE FOR TAKING ON THE DECAL RIVETS
CLOTH CONTROL SURFACES RESEMBLING THOSE USED ON THE REAL AIRCRAFT
(FROM HGW, CZECHOSLOVAKIA)
WET TRANSFER DECALS FROM HGW, CZECHOSLOVAKIA
With this new invention, only the markings are stuck onto the aircraft skin. Previously used dry transfer decals cannot be moved if placed incorrectly while the conventional wet decals have a visible carrier film.
FABRIC SEATBELTS WITH PHOTO-ETCHED METAL PARTS
COMMENCING THE BUILD
As usual paint colours recommended by Revell are almost impossible to find in Kuala Lumpur, so I have to find colours that are not too far off and from other brands. For some colours, I would have to mix what I already have in my paintbox.
THE FOOTPLATE PAINTED AND WITH WEAR MARKS
THE JOYSTICK FROM ALLEY CAT
I broke the stem while sanding but managed to glue it back.
FOR THE WIRING ON THE COCKPIT SIDEWALL, I RIPPED THE WIRES FROM AN IDE CABLE
FOR THE BIGGER WIRES, I USE TELEPHONE WIRES
THE WIRES GLUED INTO PLACE
THE MK108 30mm CANNON COVER WITH A BIGGER STRAP MADE FROM TELEPHONE WIRE
SEAT, CANNON COVER AND COCKPIT FLOOR PAINTED AND WITH WEAR MARKS ADDED
RUDDER PEDALS INSTALLED
The pedal straps were made using kitchen aluminium foil and then painted.
CANNON COVER, FLOOR PLATE AND JOYSTICK INSTALLED
THE FABRIC SEATBELTS WERE INSERTED INTO THE PHOTO-ETCHED BUCKLES AND ANCHORS BEFORE PAINTING THEM
.THE SEATBELTS WERE INSTALLED ONTO THE BUCKET SEAT
THE INSTRUMENT PANEL BASE WAS PAINTED AND INDIVIDUAL INSTRUMENT DECALS AFFIXED
THE DECAL SHEET FROM WHICH THE INDIVIDUAL INSTRUMENTSB WERE CUT
THE TWO COCKPIT SIDEWALLS WERE PAINTED AND CONTROLS AND HOSES FIXED INTO PLACE
THE YELLOW FUEL HOSE WITH CLEAR GLASS INDICATOR INSTALLED. THE FLOORBOARD WAS THEN AFFIXED ONTO THE MAIN WING SPAR.
THE LEFT COCKPIT SIDEWALL WAS INSTALLED WHILE THE INSTRUMENT PANEL WAS GIVEN A COAT OF CLEAR SATIN FINISH
THE RIGHT COCKPIT SIDE PANEL WITH THE GUNSIGHT INSTALLED
The gunsight shown above is the ReVi C12 used on earlier versions of the G6. I had accidentally broken the glass parts of the ReVi 16 (which is the correct gunsight for the late version of the G6) while trimming it, so I was forced to use the earlier version of the.gunsight instead.
THE FUSELAGE HALVES ENCLOSE THE COCKPIT
ENGINE COWLING AND MG131 13mm MACHINE GUNS INSTALLED
The machine gun cover is a more realistic substitute from Alley Cat but the engine cowling panels from Revell did not merge well with the part leaving a large gap and a protruding edge from each panel. After much filing, sanding down and filling with a putty made from talcum powder and Pledge, I managed to create some sense of smoothness though the result is far from satisfactory. The putty crumbled easily when dry, so I had to add several coats of Mr Base White 1000 to complete the filling job. In the full scale aircraft there is only one cowling panel each side with the hinge being on the centreline between the machine guns.
NEW LOCATION FOR THE COCKPIT AIR VENT CREATED
The template for the vents on both sides of the cockpit is from the Alley Cat pack. The original vents were sanded away.
THE FUEL CAP RE-SCRIBED
The original shape and location of the Revell fuel cap is inaccurate and was sanded down. The re-scribing template came in the Alley Cat pack.
THE RADIATOR INTAKE AND TWO MACHINE GUN BREECH COVERS WERE ATTACHED
The three parts from Alley Cat, though more accurate, fit poorly with the Revell fuselage. My home-made putty and Mr Base White had to be used to close the gaps found. Again I could not do a good job on this.
ALLEY CAT AIRSCOOPS REPLACE REVELL'S SOLID VERSION
OIL COOLER RADIATOR UNIT INSTALLED
I accidentally installed the Revell version instead of the Alley Cat's,
the latter being slightly bigger and more accurate.
LEFT UPPER WING PANEL WITH HGW MODELS' RAISED RIVET DECALS APPLIED
The wing tip on the left shows the completed rivets while the main wing panel to the right shows the clear carrier film still in place. Once dry the fim will be peeled off.
By this time I had just purchased my airbrush set after sighting an anniversary sale on the net. The wing panel above had been sprayed with a coat of Mr Base White 1000 which is required to ensure adhesion of the rivet decals. I had to dilute the Mr Base White for the airbrushing as my original intention was to hand paint the model.
THE FUSELAGE LOOKS AGGRESSIVE WITH RIVETS ON
INBOARD UPPER WING SHOWING THE UNDERCARRIAGE HOUSING
Having applied the raised rivet decals on all surfaces, I commenced spraying first the fuselage. When the forward fuselage airbrushimg was completed and as I moved on towards the tail, the airbrush started malfunctioning. Paint was being spewed out from the cup instead of being sprayed out through the nozzle. It was a really messy affair with a lot of cleaning required. This went on for a few days as I washed and washed the airbrush until it was squeaky clean. The result was no different and there was paint ending up on my wall. I finally decided to handpaint the model including over the previously sprayed parts.
THE FUSELAGE AFTER REPAINTING WITH BRUSH
The rudder seen here was painted at a later stage but I used the wrong colour instead.
Note the missing propeller shaft which I broke accidentally.
UPPER OUTBOARD WING HALVES
I made another discovery here. When I airbrushed the surface of the fuselage and wings, all the raised rivets disappeared under the paint. It was as if there were no rivets at all. Postings in various fora on the net too mentioned this failure of the HGW Raised Rivets. Modelers be warned.
The painting of the exhaust stacks was a challenge as the space was narrow and deep inside. Naturally some of the metallic black paint ended up on the periphery of the exhaust stack, so I had to later repaint the affected areas. Here I made a mistake and used the wrong colour (aircraft blue) which can be seen below. I wrongly assumed that it was the right colour (Aircraft Grey) that somehow changed after applying it over the previously sprayed surfaces. I continued to use this aircraft blue on the rudder subsequently and on some other surfaces where repainting was required.
The exhaust stack came from Alley Cat and have hollow exhaust pipe openings instead of Revell's solid ones.
THE EXHAUST STACK BEFORE INSTALLING THE EXHAUST OUTLETS
THE EXHAUST OUTLETS
These have to be installed individually
THE EXHAUST PIPES IN PLACE
The stencilled area with Aircraft Blue background is discernable against the surrounding Aircraft Grey scheme
Upon completion of the exhaust stack installation, I began to apply a satin cote to all surfaces before affixing the HGW Wet Transfer Decals (Stencils) beginning with the fuselage surfaces. I experimented on some unused Revell parts to see if the stencils stick better on the painted surface below the satin cote or on top of it. There was no difference, I found, but applying the satin cote above the stencil gives the stencil a glossy appearance, which reduces the realism. So all the stencils are applied after the satin cote.
At this point, I realised the mistake I made about the Aircraft Blue paint colour. So I decided to repaint those affected surfaces with the right (Aircraft Grey) colour. That also meant repainting the Blue-Grey mottles onto the Aircraft Grey background on the rudder and other affected surfaces. A problem arose in the areas under the exhaust stacks as I had already affixed the stencils onto the previous wrongly painted surfaces. I was forced to leave the stencilled areas alone and as seen above it is not what you will find in a real Luftwaffe Bf109.
THE RUDDER AND OTHER AFFECTED PARTS REPAINTED
The propeller assembly is from Alley Cat consisting of three propeller blades, a spinner, a back plate, three retainer brackets (in two halves each) and three locking lugs.
A PROPELLER BLADE, LOCKING LUG AND BACK PLATE
The bracket halves were cemented together on the inside of the back plate creating a hole for the stem of the propeller to slide into.
THE PROPELLER RETAINING BRACKETS
This assembly will end up inside the spinner
The back plate is then lodged into the base of the spinner.
THE SPINNER ASSEMBLY
There are three holes on the sides for the propeller blade stems and tiny holes on the back plate for the locking lugs
THE PROPELLER BLADES
The hole on each stem is only on one side and will accommodate one end of the lug
inserted through the back of the spinner.
The holes in the spinner (through which the propeller stems had to be inserted) however were not accurately aligned with the holes in the retaining brackets. Therefore it was impossible to insert the locking lugs into the holes in the stems. Furthermore the diameter of the lugs was too big for the stem holes. With the three stems in place inside the brackets, I drilled through the three tiny holes in the back plate and into the stem holes to enable the lugs to be inserted. The lugs were also too long and I had to truncate them to be flush with the back plate.
THE COMPLETED PROPELLER ASSEMBLY
The flush ends of the three locking lugs can be clearly seen on the back plate
As the fuselage was fully painted by now including a top satin cote, I began to affix the Wet Transfer Decals (Stencils) from HGW. On smooth surfaces they came out well as seen below. However I found it necessary to keep the top layer of protecting paper intact over the stencils when affixing them and remove it together with the carrier film only after six hours. Without the top protecting paper the markings just came off the carrier film when wet rendering them unusable. On some spots, the carrier film did not peel off easily thus requiring some careful extraction. There was good adhesion on smooth surfaces such as that of the wing seen below.
THE HGW STENCIL ON THE UPPER WING SURFACE
On roughly overpainted surfaces such as on the lower surface of the wing below, parts of the markings remained stuck to the carrier film.leaving bare patches on the markings.
POOR ADHESION ON THE ROUGHLY PAINTED LOWER SURFACE OF THE WING
Mr Mark Setter is required to wet each surface where the stencil is to be affixed to ensure good adhesion and minimise bubbling. However Mr Mark Softer should not be used as it will make the carrier film stick to the surface. For really tiny markings, I used the Revell decals that came with the kit as the carrier film helps to keep them intact.
After the application of decals and stencils, the horizontal stabiliser and wing sections are then mounted.
MOUNTING THE HORIZONTAL STABILISER
The joint gap is filled with home made putty
THE LOWER WING HALVES AND UPPER WING SECTIONS MOUNTED
The joint gaps are filled with home made putty. I accidentally broke the original
propeller shaft and had to make one using a sprue part.
INBOARD SPLIT FLAPS, MAIN FLAPS AND AILERONS INSTALLED
The split flaps and main flaps are set to taxying configuration.
Note the white lines where the joint gaps were filled with home made putty.
I found the main and tail undercarriage legs rather weak and while attaching them to the wings and fuselage, I broke one main and the tail legs. Somehow I managed to re-attach them with CA.
MAIN UNDERCARRIAGE INSTALLED
I ran out of matt paint for the tyres, so a satin finish will do.
THE TAIL UNDERCARRIAGE
THE 300-LITRE DROP TANK CARRIED UNDER THE FUSELAGE
THE AILERON MASS BALANCES, THE RADIO ANTENNA
AND THE PITOT TUBE
I lost the kit's pitot tube after painting, so a replacement made from
a telephone wire will do (shown here before painting)
IMPROVISED PITOT TUBE, RADIO ANTENNA &
AILERON MASS BALANCE IN PLACE
CANOPY COMPONENTS & ADF LOOP ANTENA
I have opted for the late version canopy manufactured by the ERLA factory. The open
canopy support bar is made of telephone wire. Revell wrongly instructed to place the lower
end of the bar on the cockpit sill. I have placed it in the middle based on studies made.
THE ADF SENSE ANTENNA
This is made from a used IDE cable
THE PROPELLER ASSEMBLY INSTALLED
This is the final part.
VIEWS OF THE COMPLETED MODEL
--- END ---