The vehicle, figures and background
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Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 crashlanding
models and diorama by Bjørn Jacobsen
Thousands of aircraft were shot down over Europe during World War 2.
How many, nobody knows, but the estimates range between 70.000 to 90.000 aircraft.
If you add the losses by Flak (Antiaircraft fire), the total number increases by 10 – 20.000 aircraft.
Most of the losses were Allied planes, of which the Soviet Union had by far the highest count. Roughly about 50% of all aircraft lost during the WW2 had a red star on the fuselage.
Most historians agree that Luftwaffe lost 16 – 17.000 aircraft, which is around 21-24% of all losses over Europe.
So, If I should make a typical WWII aircraft crash, it should be Russian plane, or a British/American
plane, not a German.
So why do I come back to a German aircraft when I like to build a crash scene?
Probably because I find the German aircraft of WW2 much more exciting and interesting than the Allied aircraft:
They were much more innovative, and the fantastic variety of camouflage on the Luftwaffe machines is
a modeller's wet dream!
I ended up with a Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 from early 1945.
At the end of 1944, the German war industry was bombed to pieces, but against all the odds, the Germans kept on producing large numbers of
aircraft which were superior to anything else
produced at any other moment of the war!
The majority of them were the Bf 109s in different versions.
The overwhelming problem for the Luftwaffe in late 1944 was not the number of aircraft, but the chronic lack of fuel and the growing number of inexperienced pilots.
In 1944/1945 the Bf 109 was faster than ever, but
the latest versions were heavier and less nimble
than previous models.
Only the aces were able to get most out of it, and there were not many aces left in Luftwaffe.
The G-10 was the fastest of the Bf 109 ever built, but it was not able to change the course of the war.
Its role was made all the more difficult by the arrival of the P-51 Mustang, and the latest version of the Spitfire used to escort the large bomber formations – the German fighters favourite targets.
The G-10 I am building was from JG-300 and piloted by one of the many inexperienced pilots.
The meeting with the escorting American Mustangs caused the demise of this beautiful aircraft.
The pilot, however, managed a forced landing which was so brutal that the fuselage almost broke in two.
The fighter skidded over the uneven terrain and ended up with the nose in a creek.
Luckily the pilot survived the ordeal and was taken good care of by German soldiers who were in the area.
Building the Bf 109 G-10
The kit was the 1/32 from Revell which is a nice product, almost too nice to rip it apart and make a wreck of the beautiful aircraft.
The first thing I did was to plan which damages I should inflict on the aircraft and which I had to do before assembly and which could wait until the pieces were glued together.
The cockpit should be intact, so I made that part first.
Then I did the pre-assembly damages:
1.The aircraft nearly broke in two during the violent belly landing.
The fuselage was decompressed and almost ripped apart behind the cockpit area. I saw the fuselage in two pieces and glued thin metal sheets to the edges. Then the parts were glued together, and the metal bent and twisted as the aircraft skin.
2.The panels at the engine area were shaken loose and partly opened when the aircraft came to a standstill.
As always, the plastic in any kit is far too thick to look like the real thing.
Normally. I would have changed the panels into thin metal sheets, but in this case, the panels were only partly opened, and I could file the edges so thin that it would look quite normal in thickness.
3.The inspection panel on the left fuselage side was cut open, and the edges filed to an acceptable thickness.
4.The rudder was damaged, and I drilled holes and glued paper to the edges to look like the fabric which covered the ribs.
5.The left wingtip was ripped off during the landing, and I had to make a wing rib in the breaking zone.
6.The propellers and the spinner took a beating during the landing.
The spinner was heavily dented, and the metal propeller blades were bent. I warmed the pieces with a candle to do these damages.
Regarding the propeller blades, you should know that the blades of the G-10, probably were made by wood.
Why I choose to bend them like metal blades, is the dramatic effect this has
on the diorama. A wooden propeller blade would only leave small bits and pieces of wood on the spinner, which would not look half as good as the bent propeller blades. And who really knows? This G-10 might have metal blades.
Then, after the model was glued together, I did more damages:
1.Bullet holes in the fuselage and wings. Note that a bullet often goes right through an aircraft and leaves two different holes. The entering hole is dented inwards, and paint is often missing around the hole. The exit hole often rips the aircraft skin outwards.
2.The left aileron is missing due to the missing wingtip, and the slats are bent due to meeting trees and bushes.
The camouflage was mostly made by airbrush. The colours are RLM74/75/76 (black-green GrauGrün, a purplish-green GrauViolet, and a very light blue-grey Lichtblau). The light blue on the undersides and the fuselage sides.
The mottling on the fuselage was in RLM74 and 75, plus some green and yellow spots.
I tried to do the mottling by hand brush, but the result was not very good, and I had to repaint the sides in light blue and do the mottling by airbrush. It looked much better.
I choose to make the G-10 part of the
JG 300 because of the blue/white Reichsverteidigung (defence of the Reich) band on the tail (each Jagdgeschwader had a different tail colour).
Together with the camouflage, this makes (in my opinion) the Bf 109 from JG 300 a real beauty, despite all her damages.
This is how she looks, decaled and painted:
I used a 40 x 40 cm (16” x 16”) OSB board on which I glued (with wood glue) Styrofoam to create a base for the terrain.
On top of the Styrofoam, I placed a layer of Paper Mache.
Small pebbles were placed in the creek. Then everything was painted with acrylic colours.
The bank of the creek was covered with sand (glued with clear glue), and straws (from a soft brush) was glued to the top of the banks, also with clear glue.
The ground was covered with artificial grass.
As water in the creek was used Natural Water (from Woodland). Before I poured the water, I fixed plastic sheets to both ends of the creek to prevent the water from pouring out of the diorama. After the water had stiffened, these plastic sheets were removed.
A Steyr Type 1500A was used as the German vehicle arriving at the scene.
The pilot was not seriously wounded and was given first aid from the German medic.
The German figures were made up of bits and pieces I found in my scrap box. Most of them are probably from Verlinden Production.
The background was painted on a cardboard (acrylic colours).
This was not really necessary, but it looks good for the picture taking.
And here is the finished diorama: