Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

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Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

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Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby morrigan » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:30 am

I've decided to use this years Airfix club offering of the new tool 1/48 Bf-109E as the basis for a how to step-by-step build. If anyone wants to join in either following along or offering hints and tips, please do,
All are welcome, even non-109 kits :D

First up the kit:
This is a reboxed version for Airfix Club members of the new tool 1/48 BF-109e series and has decals for RAF and Japanese 109's, the RAF E-3 version will be easier to paint than Japanese -7 one as it has none of that pesky mottling (kit no A05122 also has a version that doesn't have mottling) :
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The spures are a vast improvement over previous Airfix offerings, look Ma! No rivets!!!! :D :
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You even get a little bit of engine detail for your money:
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Sidewall detail even!:
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Decals and colour artwork:
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A nice feature, especially for beginners is a set of retracted undercarriage:
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Plenty of canopy options for the various versions, so if you (naughty word) one up - theres plenty spare:
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So whats needed to build this kit?

Essential tools, if on a tight budget check out the dollar/ pounds shops most will sell cheap tools, they aren't great but will do just fine for a plastic kit. In New Zealand we also have Davids Emporium which sells a magnificent array of craft and hardware goodies and is somewhere between a cheapie bric-a-brac store and a 'proper' store.

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Top Row: Plastic cement/ welder - plastic welder is my preference but standard plastics cements are fine - look for the ones like Revell contacta that come with a fine nozzle for less mess, paintbrushes ( I get variety packs of susprisingly good quailty brushes from a dollar store that carries quite a bit of art stuff), decal setting solution ( the decals on this kit are stubborn going by reviews)
Middle row: Scissors for cutting out decals, pegs and clamps, cotton buds, tooth pick, sprue nippers or use dollar store side cutters for removing parts from the sprues.
Bottom row: Scalpel, nail buffer and sanding pads (dollar store), Tamiya masking tape (do not use cheap masking tape!!!)

Good to have tools, I reach for these these quite a bit. I have many more tools and clamping do-dads but this is my 'must haves' part b! :
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Top row: Pin vices and micro drills , needle files, nail file, rifler file, panel line scriber.
Bottom row: small pliers (just one from my small collection!), probe set for manipulating small bits, good quality tweezers

I usually get my tools from here: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__178__157__Tools-Hand_Tools.html or http://www.micromark.com/

Also good to have is a good double action airbrush, I have this one http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__9294__Twin_action_air_brush_set_.html, it performs brilliantly for such a cheapo, the only thing I've changed on mine is to swap out the rubber o ring for a teflon one as I sometimes use automotive lacquer paints which destroy rubber o-rings in seconds! Hobbyking also have a cheap mini air compressor, nothing flash but again it does the job and won't break the bank.


Paints, just a small sa,le of my amassed collection :roll: :
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Left most is primer which is absoulutely essential if you want your colour coats to stay stuck to yourmodel especially if using acrylic paints, I normally use Alclad primer as its ready for airbrushing and is a safe base coat for 'hot' lacquer based paints , I also recently scooped up some bottles of Plastikote sanding primer from Davids Emporium for $2 a bottle :D
Next is the lacquer based Alclad this stuff needs very potent lacquer thinners for clean up but is the bees knees for natural metal finishes, next two bottles are enamel paints which need turpentine for thinning and cleanup and then lastly water based acrylics from Games Workshop, Tamiya, Vallejo and craft paint. Note that Tamiya acrylic doesn't really thin or cleanup with water well , meths or Tamiya acrylic thinners are needed for best results. Vallejo and Games Workshops colours are brilliant for brush painting.

Clear coats,
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Gloss clear is needed for a good decal base, then a matt, satin or gloss clear to finish and seal paint, decals and weathering in. Klear is my favourite clear gloss as its very easy to apply even with a brush and dries quick and is alos good for attaching small parts, if spraying Klear or similar acrylic based floor waxes use Ammonia based window cleaner for clean up.

Keeping the paint collection under control: I keep my paints grouped in containers and trays, here you can see my Vallejo acrylics and Tamiya metallic and clear enamels:
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby morrigan » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:37 am

First step.

Wash the sprues in warm soapy water to remove any greasy mould release agents that will stop glue and paint sticking to the plastic.

I first let the sprues soak for five minutes, swill about occasionally:
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Then scrub well, if worried about knocking the parts off use an old toothbrush:
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Then let dry thoughly, drip drying spures adorning the kitchen is a common sight here:
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby Julian » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:41 am

Morrigan, I hope you don't mind, I'll move this to Modelling Master Classes
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby Mark » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:15 am

Nice topic Morrigan. I may add a section to the group builds if you get some people joining in.

I'd add one tip. If you are in a hard water area (I.e. Your kettle furs up) you may prefer to dry the sprues with kitchen roll to save white deposits on the plastic.
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby Eric » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:43 am

I'm looking forward to watch your work Morrigan, I have the almost identical 1:48 Airfix ME109 TROP, the frets look the exact same.
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby morrigan » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:17 pm

Mark wrote:Nice topic Morrigan. I may add a section to the group builds if you get some people joining in.

I'd add one tip. If you are in a hard water area (I.e. Your kettle furs up) you may prefer to dry the sprues with kitchen roll to save white deposits on the plastic.



Good tip there Mark. THe waters here's so soft the Goldfish think they're swimming in feathers......
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby morrigan » Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:19 pm

Eric wrote:I'm looking forward to watch your work Morrigan, I have the almost identical 1:48 Airfix ME109 TROP, the frets look the exact same.


I think the only difference is the decal and instruction sheets! Not complaining mind, kits like this are good for replenishing the spares box :D
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby morrigan » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:46 am

Next step

Is sorting out what paint is needed so have a good read through the instructions. Airfix don't make it easy if you want to use something other than Humbrol as they don't give you a list with the colour names just little numbers sprinkled through the instructions.
My first stop is here to work which paints are what: http://www.paint4models.com/paintchart/paintconversionchart20100101d.htm#
I also went here to check for the right RLM'sto use : http://www.rlm.at/cont/archiv01_e.htm

To save some hard work heres a pretty chart with a selection of paint brands and FS numbers, at the bottom is a chart with the correct RLM colours and RAL numbers as the top chart is mostly straight equivalants to the listed Humbrol colours some of which are not quite right. I normally use Gunze & Vallejo paints when painting RLM colours as they have most of the colours needed and they're a good match. But don't get too tied up with getting colours exactly right, there was plenty of variation between batches due to the usual wartime shortages and need for haste and quantity over exact matches to the prescribed formulas.
If it looks right, it is right.

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Note that if you want to do the Japanese 109 with a pilot onboard paint his uniform Khaki Drab instead of RAF Blue: Humbrol 159, Tamiya XF51, Revell 146, Vallejo 887 or Gunze 304
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby baby_astons » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:46 pm

great chart morrigan - note however to all reading - german for black is schwarz (without the "t"),
even if I know it looks much more menacingly teutonic with the "t" :mrgreen:
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby morrigan » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:13 am

Cheers for that baby_astons, thats what I get for copying the colour names from Airfix's painting guide with out checking properly :doh: .
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby morrigan » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:16 pm

Be a delay for next step folks.
Me internet has been crippled thanks to the new sewer pipe being laid, the happy hole diggers dug right though our phone line, several times :angry-banghead: so its going to take a wee while for the techs to fix the mess.
Vodafone kindly gave us a free mobile data stick even though the outage is not their fault :clap: but since cell coverage is rubbish here its dial-up ssssslllllloooooww so uploading piccies is a no go!
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby Eric » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:32 pm

Dial up speeds, dear God!!!

Thats your diaries down the drain for a while.... :shock:
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby Mark » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:38 pm

There's a naughty word that springs to mind ! Hope it's sorted out soon
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby morrigan » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:39 pm

I think the phone tech was saying a lot of naughty words, I don't think standing in a cold muddy hole with the end of the phone line in one hand and a 50cm section of line in the other was his idea of a splendid Friday afternoon! The happy hole diggers were observed to be giving him a very wide berth. :lol:
Oh well it could of been a gas line......!
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby morrigan » Sat May 12, 2012 11:04 pm

Huzzah! We have proper broadband again. :dance:
Speeds are down and ping is up thanks to numerous splices but its real proper broadband. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

So with a decent connection again, I could do the next task, use some google-fu to find some reviews and build logs of this kits to see if there are any 'gotchas' to watch out for. Yes no real internet has held the build up!
Happliy for this kit the only issue is the same issue that pops up for most kits, the undercarriage oleo struts are too long as they are in the unloaded maximum extension state that would be seen with the gear down and the BF-109 airbourne.
Uncompressed Oleos:
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Compressed when on the ground:
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This is easy fixed and I'll cover it detail when we get to building the undercarriage.

I've also gone through the instructions and make notes of any changes or fixes, I also mark any optional steps that I will do, so I don't get all mixed up and conflused :lol: This is particulary important for kits like this that provide for various subtypes of a subject in one box.
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I also hunt out any reference pictures I can find.
I managed to hunt these phtotos of the RAF option AE479:
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And the Japanese one:
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Just waiting on a new bottle of RLM02 paint to arrive (amazing what can't be done without internet when you don't have a LHS) and its time for some paint :D
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby Eric » Sun May 13, 2012 6:51 am

Great to see you back again Morrigan!
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby casper » Sun May 13, 2012 11:31 am

good to see you are back online again morrigan, looking forward to the next step of this learner class :D
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby Mark » Sun May 13, 2012 9:09 pm

Glad you're back in the land of the living again Morrigan.
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby morrigan » Sun May 20, 2012 7:06 am

Right then lets get the paint brush out. Oh hang on a minute, not just yet, I see I made a note to remove the moulded on seatbelts as they're a little bit lacking.
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So sharp object out first then.

First a peek at real Messerschmitt seat:
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If you can, use a knife with a rounded blade:
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Then gently scrape of the moulded seatbelts, working slowly remove small amounts at a time. Don't try and remove the seatbelt in one go!:
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To finish off or if you don't have the right shape knife blade - use a medium grit sandpaper then fine grit sandpaper. If your fingers are not up to it use a paintbrush handle to manipulate the sandpaper into the seat bottom. Again take your time and finish off with Wet n Dry sandpaper :
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It took me about 20 minutes to get this:
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Use a pin vise and a .05mm drill bit to drill two holes near the top of the seat, if you don't have a drill use a pin or needle heated piping hot with a candle or lighter and poke it through the seat back, then clean up with a knife and sandpaper the lttle ridges that will surround each hole (note: practise on the part number tabs first!!!):
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Then join the holes using a sharp knife, the plastic is soft so this is very easily done:
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Ok now what, we've taken off the supplied seatbelts and make a hole so....??
Lets make some betterer seat belts. :D

Grab some non textured lead or aluminium foil from packaging or a wine bottle, or even kitchen foil will do and cut four 1.5mm x 3cm strips:
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Then get some 10amp fuse wire:
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Wrap the fuse wire round the tine of dinner fork to make 4 square loops:
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Then cut the loop and flatten:
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To make triangular loops do the same but carefully wrap the fuse wire round some sidecutter blades. Make two triangular loops.
This is what you now have:
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Thread some foil through a loop:
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Then fold the end of the foil over and secure with dab of superglue.
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You'll need two belts with square loops at the end and two with triangular loops at the end:
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For the two belts with triangular loops, use the back of the knife blade to make a little mountain:
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Drop the remaining square loops over the little mountains you have made and secure with super glue.
So hows does it look so far?:
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Paint the straps whatever matt tan or buff colour you have handy as seatbelts vary quite a bit in colour, I used a 5/0 brush to apply the paint- don't forget to paint both sides of each seatbelt:
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And another trail fit:
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Well look at that you've done your first mod to this kit :clap:
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Re: Airfix 1/48 Bf-109e learners class

Postby Eric » Sun May 20, 2012 7:25 am

I'm going to be paying close attention to this for when I make mine, fantastic work as always Morrigan! :clap:
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