1/72 Bf 109 Night Hunter - What If 1945

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1/72 Bf 109 Night Hunter - What If 1945

Postby Swede » Sat May 25, 2019 5:29 pm

I know that the Luftwaffe experimented with radar equipped night fighting Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8 planes. Günther Migge's "White 9", serial number 170975, of NJG 10 from the Autumn 1944 is a well studied example of this.

I decided to build the Fw 190 kit without the radar antennas, but kept them just in case I should decide to use them for another project in the future.

That idea came when I bought Hasegawa's Messerschmitt Bf 109G-14 kit. I used the camouflage on the existing Bf 110 and Ju 88 night fighters and applied it in the splinter form instead of painting dots of darker colours onto a light blue upper Surface, like they did on the twin engined aircraft.

This is the end result.

Since it is 1945, the stencils have been reduced to the bare minimum required and the overall markings have also been simplified. The serial number 464549 is from an existing Bf 109G-14 that belonged to an unknown fighter unit 1944 or 1945 - I honestly don't remember - so I decided to use it for this project. The Hasegawa decals however turned out to be of low quality on this specific kit, so I used some decals from two other AZ Models kits instead. The kill markings on the tail rudder are from Revell's 1/32 scale Bf 109G-6 kit and are just a tad oversized, but they still look some what convincing.

This pilot has shot down four Soviet' and nine British' aircraft in total.

The hand painted look of the darkened markings is intent. The idea is that one of the mechanics has used left over German Grey paint to cover up the otherwise white markings, since these otherwise would be too visible in the dark night skies over Germany. They have also tried to hide the glow from the exhaust pipes by welding on two sheets of aluminium.

Of cause this is a pure What If project. They did use Bf 109 fighters for the night fighting role, and these were fitted with 20 mm cannon gondolas underneath the wings, but were of cause without radar antennas.

But maybe this would have been a future development for the later Messerschmitt Bf 109K model, had the war dragged on for another twelve months or so?

Anyway, it was very fun to build this What If Bf 109.

Cheers, Morgan // Swede
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Re: 1/72 Bf 109 Night Hunter - What If 1945

Postby Damian C » Sat May 25, 2019 7:37 pm

An interesting and plausible what-if.

I presume you're talking about the Revell Fw-190A-8;A-8/R-11 and Hasegawa kits in 1/32. I'd be interested to know what you thought of the Revell kit in particular.

Being pedantic for a moment, this particular radar may have been an experimental fit, FuG 216 and 217 Neptun sets were installed in some Fw-190A-5s and 6s, if I recall correct (one or the other or both). And Owl decals and accessories seem to think some 109s were so fitted as well ;)
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Re: 1/72 Bf 109 Night Hunter - What If 1945

Postby Swede » Sun May 26, 2019 1:50 am

Thanks, Damian!

So far I only have experience with the Revell 1/32 Bf 109G-6 kit, but not with the new Fw 109A-8 kit, which I've read is excellent (I subscribe to a German' plastic modelling magazine), although I've very much wanted to. But you only have 24 hours at your disposal in one day, and on top of things also have to go to work five days a week

I'm actually planning to build the very same large scale Bf 109 kit again, since I made some critical errors last time around. Now I also know how the kit works, and what to look out for. Because it is a good kit with lots of options, for example the freedom to have the rudders any way you want to.

Cheers, Morgan // Swede
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Re: 1/72 Bf 109 Night Hunter - What If 1945

Postby saxon » Sun May 26, 2019 12:25 pm

Looks good. I am presuming a little here and it's also based off my own experience. I really struggle painting canopy framing no matter what method I have used. I tried using the cover tarp method too but dislike it. I started to do models desktop style which is a lot easier and I think looks better as well. Plus it means I don't have to worry about interiors!

Just thought it was worth mentioning anyway.
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Re: 1/72 Bf 109 Night Hunter - What If 1945

Postby erussell » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:55 pm

You have taken a different course to what the Luftwaffe actually did. In fact, some Bf109G-6 models were fitted with radar in the form of the FuG Neptun J. This parallel development of SN-2 radar had some advantages over SN-2, mainly light weight and aerodynamic design causing little drag. By 1944 about 35 Fw 190 and Bf 109 nightfighters had been equipped with the Fug 217 and were used in combat.
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Re: 1/72 Bf 109 Night Hunter - What If 1945

Postby surfsup » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:32 pm

That certainly is different and very appealing.....Cheers mark
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