Bf-109 T-2 Fighter

Published: April 30th, 2011     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Tracy Palmer, IPMS# 39188
Scale: 1/48
Company: Academy
Price: $35.00
Product / Stock #: 12225

Bottom line

A good kit which will require a knowledge of using and working with resin parts, doing conversions, and a higher level of air brush skills.

History

The Messerschmitt BF-109T was the projected carrier version of the Bf-109E model. About 70 planes of this version were built by Fiesler. Several modifications had to be made to adapt these single seat fighters for use on aircraft carriers:

  • T-0: 10 Me-109E-3 modified by Fiesler in 1939/40, span enhanced to 11.06 meters, arrestor hook and catapult mountings. Those aircraft were planned to be used on the Graf Zeppelin and were later used by I/JG 77.
  • T-1: like T-0, 60 build by Fiesler and delivered to JG 5. Since the carrier was not completed, all planes were modified to T-2
  • T-2: All equipment for carrier operations removed.

The first 10 aircraft were of the pre-production Series (T-0), followed by 60 production aircraft of the T-1 series. When construction of the Graf Zeppelin was halted in 1940, further development of the Bf-109 T was stopped, too. In late 1940 Fiesler was ordered to complete the 60 T-1 models but to remove all carrier-equipment. The results were 60 aircraft of the now called T-2 series which were able to operate from short land airstrips.

The first aircraft were delivered in the beginning of 1941 and were used in Norway until the summer of 1942. The surviving aircraft were then transferred to the Helgoland, a small island in the North Sea, where they were used for point defense up to late 1944. (http://www.german-navy.de/kriegsmarine/aviation/carrierbased/me109/index.html)

Kit

The kit contained 3 sprues of green parts, one of clear parts and one resin plug with the tips and radiator cover on it.

Construction

The directions started in the cockpit. All was simple until you have to fit a 'u' shaped part around the bottom of the seat. It's a good guess as to how it goes on and this might need to be addressed in future directions. Overall the kit moved on easily from the cockpit to the fuselage. You then glue the wings together and glue them to the fuselage, keeping the kit on the verysimple and easy to build scale. THAT is where it ended!  Now you have to cut off the wing tip and attach the resin wing tip replacement that makes this an Bf-109T. Here's where it goes from being a very easy kit to jumping into the multi-media realm, requiring much higher skill levels. First off is trying to cut off the tip squarely. On the first tip, I was silly enough to think the panel lines were the right place to cut and that they were square. Wrong!

Now that I have both tips off and the resin ones have been removed from the plugs, we have to decide what substance to attach them with. Epoxy was my first thought, but I had just finished a good deal of things with super glue, and was having a run of good luck and success with that product, so I used it. It worked, sort of. While the super glue worked perfectly, as mentioned earlier, the cuts were not exactly what I was expecting, and I did dry fit them too. This brings into play an issue for younger or less experienced modelers. The kit was good looking and simple for any age until the tips. Those parts, while looking easy enough, jack up the skill level a notch or two. Getting beyond the tips, the rest of the plane went together well, except for the canopy. The canopy was a touch (a few hairs if you like) narrower than the fuselage. I tried to squeeze the fuselage, widen the glass. Nope!  Just fill in the gap with white glue and move on.

Finishing

I used Model Master enamel paints for the camouflage job. The paint went on OK over a coat of primer and the instructions called for a standard RML 74/75/76. OK so far. Then you have to decide which plane to make. I made the one on the box cover, after much prodding from friends and family members. This is where the skill levels jump yet again!  You see, the RML 74/75 on the top is over-sprayed with squiggle lines of RML 76. It is now up to your skill level with an air brush and a good air brush, to finish this kit in the version I chose. Only you can decide where you are on this scale and build from there. The decals came next. The decals are from Cartograf, are excellent and went on with no problems from the decals point of view. However, the red flames did not quite match up at the top. A little red paint covered this well. Testors dullcoat covered the end and there we have a Bf-109T.

  • Kit parts
    Kit parts
  • Port wing with new tip
    Port wing with new tip
  • Adding final coat
    Adding final coat
  • Model port front quarter view
    Model port front quarter view
  • Model frontal view
    Model frontal view
  • Model aft port quarter side view
    Model aft port quarter side view

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