Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Anton Hackl in 1/72 Scale

Anton Hackl flew throughout the war, his final tally was 192 confirmed victories.  He was one of the seeming rare Experten who was able to successfully transition from the East to the West, claiming 105 victories against the Soviets and another 93 against the Western Allies.  He claimed 34 four-engined bombers, making him the Jagdwaffe’s most successful pilot against the “heavies”.  He was himself shot down eight times and wounded four. The model depicts Anton Hackl’s Bf 109F-4 of 5. / JG77, flying from Oktoberfeld, Crimea, during JUN42. 

Tamiya Bf 109E-3 of Hauptman Adolf Galland in 1/72 Scale

Adolf Galland was posted as Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26 “Schlageter” in June 1940, just prior to the beginning of the Battle of Britain.  He would hold this position until the end of August, when he was given command of the entire Geschwader.  While with III./JG 26 he increased his personal score to 22 and was awarded the Knight’s Cross.

The model depicts the Bf 109E-3 of Major Adolf Galland while Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26 in June, 1940.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Oberleutnant Hans Philipp in 1/72 Scale

Hans Philipp was credited with his first victory on the fifth day of WWII, a Polish PZL P.24 near Radomsko.  He continued to score during the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain, and was awarded the Knight’s Cross on 20OCT40 for 20 victories.  He then flew in the Balkan Campaign, where he added two Yugoslavian-flown Bf 109’s to his total.

JG 54 was re-equipped with the improved Bf 109F-2 for Operation Barbarossa.  Philipp continued to score steadily against the Soviets, who were overmatched in both equipment and in training.  In March 1942 he was presented with the Swords and had achieved his 100th victory, the fourth Luftwaffe pilot to do so.  A year later he had achieved 200 victories.

Philipp was transferred to the West to command JG 1 in April 1943 to combat the ever-growing streams of American heavy bombers.  Like many Luftwaffe fighter pilots, Philipp found the transition from fighting small groups of Soviet tactical aircraft to large formations of American heavy bombers and their escorts difficult.  On 08OCT43 he led his Geschwader against a formation of B-17 Flying Fortresses escorted by P-47 Thunderbolts.  His Fw 190A-6 was hit by defensive fire from a B-17, Philipp bailed out but was too low for his parachute to open and he was killed.  Some sources credit LCOL Robert Johnson, an ace with the 56th FG with downing him.  Philipp was credited with 206 victories.

The model depicts Philipp’s Bf 109F-2 of 6./JG 54 in Russia, July 1941. RLM 74 / 75 / 76 camo with 70 squiggles on the fuselage sides.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Oberleutnant Erich Rudorffer in 1/72 Scale

Erich Rudorffer served throughout WWII on every front where the Luftwaffe was engaged.  He downed A French Hawk 75 for his first victory in May, 1940 and his last flying the Me 262.  He fought against the Western Allies until June 1943 when he was transferred to the East as Gruppenkommandeur of IV./ JG 54.  He made the transition successfully and scored heavily against the Soviets.  He was credited with thirteen kills in one day on 06NOV43, all Soviet fighters.

In all, Rudorffer was credited with 222 victories, 136 in the East, 26 in North Africa, and 60 in the West (including 10 heavy bombers) and 12 on the Me 262.  He was himself shot down 16 times, taking to his parachute on 9 occasions.  He survived the war, and passed away in 2016 at the age of 98.

The model represents Rudorffer’s Bf 109F-4 of 6. / JG2 in France, September 1941.

Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 of Oberleutnant Friedrich-Karl Müller in 1/72 Scale

Friedrich-Karl “Tutti” Müller claimed his first victory, a French Curtiss Hawk during the Dunkirk evacuation in May, 1940.  His score improved to ten during the Battle of Britain, but he was forced down into the English Channel due to fuel exhaustion.

Müller served in all the major theaters where the Luftwaffe was engaged.  He claimed 89 victories against the Soviets and 51 against the Western Allies, including 24 heavy bombers, for a total of 140.  He was killed on 29MAY44 when his Bf 109G stalled while coming in for a landing.

The model represents Müller’s Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 in the markings of Stab III./JG 53 in October 1940.

Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 of Major Adolf Galland, Stab/JG 26 in 1/72 Scale

Adolf Galland flew ground attack missions in He 51’s with the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War, and in Hs 123’s during the invasion of Poland.  Both of these were biplane types, but Galland repeatedly made requests to be assigned to fighters.  He was able to arrange a transfer to JG 27, then flying the Bf 109E, and was seconded for a time to JG 53 where he was tutored in fighter tactics by Werner Mölders.  Galland claimed his first aerial victories, a pair of RAF Hurricanes on 12MAY40, and added a third on a later sortie that day.

Galland’s success continued, and he was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 26 in June, rising to command the entire Geschwader in August.  In September, he was awarded the Oak Leaves after achieving his 40th victory.  During October he claimed a further eight victories, all fighters, which brought his total to 50.

The model depicts the Bf 109E-4 of Major Adolf Galland while Geschwaderkommandeur of JG 26 at Audembert, France, in October, 1940.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2 of Leutnant Max-Hellmuth Ostermann in 1/72 Scale

Max-Hellmuth Ostermann began the war flying the Bf 110 twin-engine fighter with ZG 1 during the Invasion of Poland.  He transferred to JG 21 flying the Bf 109 in time for the Battle of France, where he scored his first victory, a Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 on 20MAY40.  By the close of the Battle of Britain he had achieved eight victories.

Ostermann continued to score against the Soviets from the start of Operation Barbarossa, being awarded the Knight’s Cross at the beginning of September 1941 for 29 victories.  His score had risen to 70 by February 1942, when he was granted leave to get married.  Because of his small build and youthful appearance, he was briefly arrested for impersonating a Luftwaffe Officer on his wedding day.

He achieved his 100th victory on 12MAY42 but was wounded in the engagement.  He was presented with the Swords while recuperating.  Ostermann was shot down and killed on 09AUG42 by Arkady Ivanovich Sukov flying a LaGG-3.  His final score was 102. Max-Hellmuth Ostermann’s Bf 109F-2, 7. / JG54 at Dno, Russia, September 1941


Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Erich Leie in 1/72 Scale

This is Erich Leie’s Bf 109F-4 assigned to Stab / JG2 at St. Pol-Brias, France during the Summer of 1941.  His best day was on 23JUL41 when he claimed six Spitfires.   He was eventually credited with 118 victories (some sources say 122) and over 500 combat sorties.  He survived through most of the war, but was killed on 07MAR45 when he collided with a Yak-9 which he had just shot down.

Tamiya Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 of Oberleutnant Heinz Bär in 1/72 Scale

Werknummer 3714 was the Bf 109 E-3 of Heinz “Pritzl” Bär while at Saint Ingevert airfield in France, September 1941.  He was assigned to 1./JG 51 at the time.  Bär was one of the “Old Hares” of the Luftwaffe, flying from the beginning of the war through the end.  He amassed more than 1,000 combat sorties, and survive being shot down himself 18 times.  Various authors differ slightly in the number of victories credited to him, Toliver and Constable put his total at 220, including 16 on the Me 262.


MPM Messerschmitt Bf 109 H-1 Höhenjäger in 1/72 Scale

The Bf 109 H-series was Messerschmitt’s bid to satisfy the RLM’s high-altitude fighter requirement, which was issued in anticipation of the American introduction of the B-29 Superfortress to the European Theater.  The design optimized the engine for high altitude performance and extended the wings.  In the end, the RLM favored Kurt Tank’s Ta 152 design, although Messerschmitt produced a small number of Bf 109H’s, a few of which saw operational service according to some sources.