Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F-4 of Hauptmann Heinrich Ehrler in 1/72 Scale

Heinrich Ehrler was assigned to Jagdgeswader 5 “Eismeer” on the Arctic Front for most of the war, eventually leading the unit as Geschwaderkommodore.  He was awarded the Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and was ultimately credited with 204 aerial victories.

He was most famous for being scapegoated for failing to prevent the sinking of the battleship Tirpitz by RAF Lancasters on 12NOV44.  Even though Ehrler was in the air with 9./JG 5 at the time, several communication errors resulted in the Eismeer fighters not being notified of the RAF attack.  In fact, the command had not even been notified that the Tirpitz had been moved into the area.  None the less, Ehrler was court-martialed for cowardice.

On 01MAR45 Hitler pardoned Ehrler.  His rank of Major was reinstated and he was assigned to JG 7, then flying the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter.  Although he claimed a further ten victories on the jet, he was emotionally devastated.  On an intercept mission against an American bomber stream on 04APR45, he claimed two B-17s.  He then radioed his unit, his last transmission was, “Theo, Heinrich here. Have just shot down two bombers. No more ammunition. I’m going to ram. Auf Wiedersehen, see you in Valhalla!”

The model depicts Heinrich Ehrler’s Bf 109F-4, of 6. / JG 5, at Petsamo, Finland, MAR43

Revell Horton Ho 229 Whiffer in 1/72 Scale

Revell Horten Ho 229 in 1/72 Scale

The Horten Ho 229 (also known as the Horten H.IX or Gotha Go 229) was designed to meet an RLM requirement for an aircraft capable of carrying a 1,000 kg bombload a radius of 1,000 km at a speed of 1,000 km/hr.  This “3 x 1,000” requirement was impossible to achieve with a propeller-driven aircraft, and challenging for a jet aircraft due to the high fuel consumption of the early engines.

The Horten brothers submitted a design for a flying-wing aircraft, which reduced drag considerably compared to a conventional layout.  Glider trials proved promising, and the design was refined by Gotha for mass production.  The first prototype flew on 02 February 1945.  Several additional test aircraft were in development when the war in Europe ended.  The V3 aircraft was brought to the United States after the war, it is currently under restoration at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The model is painted in an RLM 82 / 83 splinter camouflage derived from the pattern authorized for the Me 262.  Location of the “Yellow 2” individual aircraft markings is a guess, but locating them on the landing gear covers and boattail would allow the aircraft to be identified both in the air and on the ground so I thought it was plausible.

Revell Horton Ho 229 Re-build

This is an older build of Revell’s Horten Ho 229 flying wing. The model has not aged well, suffering the collapse of the landing gear which was the straw which broke the camel’s back. I also grew dissatisfied with the paint scheme, I had tried to duplicate “scale effect” by diluting the topside paint with white, but had gone too far and washed out the colors. I also applied too much chipping for a largely wooden airframe.
The underside shows the wing cross decals have yellowed badly. The upper wing decals had yellowed as well but were harder to see. I see this occasionally on a few of my older builds, but I’m not certain what causes it on some decals and not others.
I started by sanding off the bad decals and generally cleaning up the finish. I didn’t feel the need to strip the paint as it was generally adhering well and was laying smooth.
After consulting some photographs of the real thing I was able to figure out where all those landing gear pieces were supposed to go. However, I discovered that one of the nose wheel doors was missing and had to build a new one from sheet styrene. The Horten had always appeared to sit nose-high so I took the opportunity to shorten the nose wheel strut about 4 mm.
The Horten got a fresh coat of Mr. Color RLM 76 / 82 / 83, which looks much better than my previous attempt. I copied the splinter pattern on the wings from a Messerschmitt Me 262 but improvised a little on the center section.
Here is the underside with the new decals. The Mr. Color RLM 76 was a close enough match to the old Model Master paint I likely used so I was able to blend the outer wing panel in and leave the center area as is, which saved a lot of masking.
The new upper surface scheme is much better to my eye. One problem with this unusual configuration is where to locate the aircraft numbers and other markings. On this model there are no fuselage sides, so I put the aircraft numbers near the tail on the upper surface, and on the landing gear doors underneath. This would allow ground crew to see the numbers while on the airfield and the numbers would be visible on the underside with the gear retracted.

Dragon Arado E.381 Julia Whiffer in 1/72 Scale

The Arado E.381 project was symbolic of the desperate situation faced by the Third Reich in 1944.  Ever-increasing numbers of Allied aircraft pounded Germany both day and night, each raid reducing the ability to continue the war.  The Luftwaffe was on the defensive and was powerless to protect the Reich.  The Arado E.381 was designed to be easy to produce and operate.  The pilot lay prone in the aircraft, which was to be carried aloft by a conventional bomber to be released near an Allied bomber stream.  The E.381 was powered by a Walther HWK 109-509 liquid rocket engine and carried a single 30 mm cannon, the pilot was intended to make two firing passes before gliding clear and landing the aircraft on its belly skid.

Dragon Arado E.381 Julia Parasite Fighter Build

This sprue was included in one of the many re-boxings of Dragon’s Arado Ar 234. I had already built the Ar 234 as part of another project so the little E.381 Julia was an orphan in the stash. What better time to built this one than when I had several other late-war kits on the bench? The Julia project was a rocket-powered interceptor, this version was intended to be dropped from a parent aircraft when in a favorable position.
The pilot was to lay prone and accessed the aircraft from a hatch in the top side. The kit has no interior. I scratchbuilt a “couch” with Eduard PE belts and gave him a control handle on each side. The instrument panel is printed on photo paper using a desktop copier.
The Julia has only eight parts total and a simple configuration so there were no surprises during assembly. Instead of paying for one of the various “thin” hobby glues I buy MEK by the quart from the hardware store, which is about the same thing only much cheaper.
The model primed and cleaned up. There is a wire handle in the rocket exhaust to afford a place to handle the model while painting.
The model received a late-war RLM 76 / 81 / 82 scheme scheme using Mr. Color paints. This is very similar to the scheme worn by the Heinkel He 162 Salamanders.
The finished model with markings from the spares box. The support stand is built from Evergreen strip and is purely hypothetical.

Revell Focke-Wulf Flitzer Whiffer in 1/72 Scale

The Focke-Wulf Flitzer design had entered the mock-up phase at the end of the war in Europe.  It shares the same general configuration as the successful DeHavilland Vampire, but early drawings added a liquid-fueled rocked for added acceleration.  This feature would likely have been dropped on production aircraft.  I also thought the wings looked a bit short and extended them both by about ¾ of an inch (18 mm) at the tips.

The aircraft is painted in a late-war camouflage scheme with the blue-white-blue Reich’s Defense Bands of JG 300.  The Ruhrstahl X-4 air-to-air missiles are spares from Revell P.1101 kits.

Revell Focke-Wulf Flitzer Build Part II

Here the Flitzer has been primed with Mr. Surfacer 1000, checked for flaws, and re-scribed as needed. With the extended wings the general configuration even more closely resembles the DeHaviland Vampire.
I painted the Flitzer in the late-war scheme of 76 / 81 / 82 with the light green fuselage color mixed from 81 and white. The Reich’s Defense bands are the blue / white / blue of JG 300.
Decals are from the spares box, but follow late-war standard Luftwaffe marking paradigms.
I cut out the flaps and replaced them with plastic card so I could show them dropped. The Ruhrstahl X-4 air-to-air missiles are spares from the Revell P.1101 kits. I had intended to add drop tanks as well but the Fitzer was looking a little busy under the wings so I decided to leave them off.