Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 of Major Kurt Brändle in 1/72 Scale

Kurt Brändle claimed a French M.S. 406 for his first victory on 10MAY40, and a further six RAF Spitfires on the Channel Front.  However, the majority of his 180 victories would be over Soviet opponents.  He achieved his 100th aerial victory on 23AUG42, earning the Oak Leaves.

In August 1943 II./JG 3 was transferred to the Western Front to oppose the ever-increasing American heavy bomber streams.  On 03NOV43 Brändle was credited with a pair of P-47 Thunderbolts while attacking a formation of American B-17s.  Later in the day his Gruppe was scrambled again, but Brändle was shot down and killed by Canadian Spitfires.

The model depicts the Bf 109G-6 of Gruppenkommandeur Kurt Brändle II /JG3, Schiphol, Netherlands, Oct 1943

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4 of Oberleutnant Wolfgang Tonne in 1/72 Scale

Wolfgang Tonne scored his first victory over an RAF Blenheim during the Battle of France on 14MAY40, but was himself shot down later in the same day.  He fought with I./JG 53 during the invasion of Russia.  He was briefly transferred to the Mediterranean Theater, but returned to Russia where he continued to score steadily.  By September 1942 his total stood at 101.

Transferred back to the Mediterranean as Staffelkapitän of 3./JG 53, Tonne added a further 21 victories to his total before being killed in a flying accident on 20APR43.

The model depicts Tonne’s “Yellow 7” at Bizerta, Tunisia in February 1943.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-2 of Leutnant Hans Beißwenger in 1/72 Scale

Hans Beißwenger was assigned to 6./JG 54, and scored his first victory over Yugoslavia on 07APR41, a Hawker Hurricane.  During Barbarossa he was assigned to 3./JG 54.  He was shot down himself on 17JUL41 but was able to walk back to German lines.  Subsequently he was able to score steadily and was awarded the Oak Leaves after passing the Century mark on 26SEP42.

Beißwenger’s final victories were a pair of LaGG-3s on 06MAR43, his 151st and 152nd.  However, his Messerschmitt was last seen attempting to return to base with engine troubles, and was never seen again.  Hans Beißwenger remains Missing in Action.

The model depicts Hans Beißwenger’s Bf 109G-2 while based at Dugino, Russia in August 1942 wearing a field-applied camouflage.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Oberst Gordon Gollob in 1/72 Scale

Gordon Gollob was an Austrian, but was transferred to the German Luftwaffe after the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria into the Reich in March 1938.  He was assigned to ZG 76 flying the Bf 110 when the war broke out, and claimed his first victory, a Polish PWS 56 on 05SEP39.  He went on to score a total of six victories flying the Bf 110, including a British Sunderland flying boat.

Operation Barbarossa saw Gollob assigned to JG 3 flying the Bf 109.  He was promoted to Gruppenkommandeur II./JG3 following the death of Lothar Keller in a mid-air collision.  He continued to score steadily as the German Army advanced into Russia, scoring a total of nine victories over three sorties on 16OCT41, his best day.  Shortly thereafter II./JG 3 was withdrawn to Germany.

In May 1942 Gollob returned to the East as Geschwaderkommodore JG 77.  He was given command of JG 52 in July. In August he became the first Luftwaffe pilot to reach 150 victories and was awarded the Diamonds to the Knight’s Cross.  He was then withdrawn from combat operations and was assigned to a series of commands and staffs, eventually succeeding Adolf Galland as General der Jagdflieger in January 1945.  Gordon Gollob survived the war with a total of 150 victories.

The model depicts one of the aircraft Gollob flew as Geschwaderkommodore JG 77.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/AS of Oberst Walter Oesau in 1/72 Scale

Walter “Gulle” Oesau flew with the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War and was credited with eight victories there.  During the Second World War he fought in the Battle of France, the Battle of Britain, the invasion of Russia, and in Defense of the Reich.  He was credited with a total of 125 aerial victories including 44 Spitfires and 15 four-engine bombers.

On 11MAY44 Oesau was sick with the flu and a high fever when Hermann Göring called and attributed his not flying that day to cowardice.  Oesau was goaded into flying despite his fever and was subsequently shot down and killed by P-38 Lightnings of the 428th FS, 474th FG.  Ironically, Oesau’s Messerschmitt was only claimed as damaged.

The model depicts “Green 13” of JG 1 Geschwaderkommodore Walter Oesau, Lippspringe, Germany, 11 May 1944

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Hauptmann Kurt Brändle in 1/72 Scale

This is “White Double Chevron” of Kurt Brändle while serving as the Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG3 Tusow, Russia, August 1942.  Already one of the Luftwaffe’s leading scorers against the Russians, Brändle had 95 victories to his credit at the time.  Eventually he would go on to achieve a final tally of 180 victories.  Like so many of the Luftwaffe’s top aces, he was killed shortly after being transferred to the West.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/R6 of Oberleutnant Wolf-Udo Ettel in 1/72 Scale

Wolf-Udo Ettel joined the Luftwaffe shortly after the invasion of Poland at the age of 18.  After training, he was posted to 4./JG 3 on the Eastern Front and scored his first victories, a pair of IL-2 Sturmovik, on 24JUN42.  Two weeks later he was himself shot down and spent four days working his way back to German lines.  He continued to score steadily and had reached 120 victories when he was shot down again by flak on 11MAY43.

Ettel was then transferred to the Mediterranean Theater as Staffelkapitän of 8./JG 27.  He soon opened his account against the Western Allies with victories over two Spitfires and two B-24 Liberator heavy bombers.  On 17JUL43 he was shot down an killed by flak while flying a ground support mission against British troops near Catania.  He was 22 years old.

The model depicts Ettel’s “Black 6” of 8. / JG27 at Brindisi, Italy, July 1943.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Oblt Werner Pichon-Kalau von Hofe in 1/72 Scale

Werner Pichon-Kalau von Hofe opened his account by downing three RAF Defiants on 19JUL40.  He would go on to amass a total of 64 victories, mainly against the Soviets, including five in one day on 16MAR42.  He was shot down himself on 23APR42 but managed to return to German lines.  He survived the war.

This is Werner Pichon-Kalau von Hofe’s “White 1” as he was serving as Staffelkapitan 7./JG 54 at Utti, June 1942.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 of Hauptmann Franz Dörr in 1/72 Scale

Franz Dörr began the war flying reconnaissance aircraft during the Polish Campaign, but by 1941 had transferred to Jagdgeschwader 5 (Eismeer) flying Messerschmitt Bf-109s over the Northernmost sector of the Eastern Front.  He claimed his first victory, a Soviet-flown Hurricane, on 09MAY42.  He continued to score until July 1943, when he collided with a wingman and bailed out into the sea near Vardø, Norway.  Rescued by a minesweeper, he was back with his squadron the following month.

Dörr was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG5 in August 1944.  He was able to claim multiple victories in a single day, being credited with eight victories evenly split over two sorties on 17JUN44.  On 12 November 1944 RAF Lancasters sank the battleship Tirpitz.  Looking for scapegoats, the Luftwaffe court martialed Dörr and the Geschwaderkommondore of JG5, Heinrich Ehrler, an ace with 208 victories.  Dörr was acquitted, and survived the war with a total of 128 victories.

The model is a Fine Molds Bf 109G modified with a resin cast of a tall tail from a Hasegawa kit.  It depicts Dörr’s aircraft while Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG5 at Gossen, May 1945.

Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109 Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part III

Prime time! Once the models are assembled it’s time to prime and check for flaws. I have a strip of scrap plywood with a series of holes drilled every few inches which is perfect to hold the models while the paint dries. Each model got a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000. Any flaws are sanded out and then re-primed on down the line until everything is smooth.
RLM 74 / 75 / 76 were the standard Luftwaffe day fighter camouflage colors for most of the war. If you’re building a big batch of Messerschmitts this turns out to be very convenient as the majority of the builds will be painted in some variation of this color pallet. In this case eight of the twelve used these colors.
Several Messerschmitts were camouflaged in Desert schemes at the factory and then sent to the Russian Front. This one was originally painted RLM 78 / 79 and then field camouflaged with RLM 71 Dark Green and RLM 75 on the upper surfaces.
Another rather interesting field-applied scheme is this one with RLM 70 upper surfaces oversprayed with loose bands of RLM 79 and bands of meandering 79 as well.
This is another scheme typical for Luftwaffe aircraft operating in the Mediterranean, RLM 78 / 79 / 80. The color of the “5” on the fuselage sides is the subject of some debate, being interpreted as RLM 02, RLM 79, or my choice here, RLM 75. This was sprayed using a paper stencil.
Decals were sourced from just about everywhere, including four sets which were included in books from the Kagero Top Colors series. Stencils are from the kit sheets, there were a lot of them but the field-applied schemes provided some relief.
Propellers are their own little projects, several variations of colors and patterns on display.
The models received washes to highlight the panel lines and dirty them up, along with varying degrees of oil streaking. I put a drop of a light tan in with the flat coat to vary the finish and simulate dust.
Building in batches takes advantage of efficiencies in construction and painting. These took just under eight hours per model which is a considerable time savings compared to building each one individually. Most of these will fill in gaps in my Luftwaffe Experten collection, although there are always a few with interesting schemes which manage to sneak in as well.

Part I here: