Slipping the Bonds
by George Paterson

Bf 109E-3-bobaikens2


Back in 2013 I presented two images which both derived from a model by Bob Aikens. The first one appeared on MM in April, and the other followed in May.

The earlier of these two images was made using a simpified method that is a lot less time-consuming than my usual element-by-element selection procedure, and the resulting image was quite satisfactory. That was mostly due to the good quality of Bob's starting picture, which was big enough to show a lot of detail, and was uniformly sharp over the whole airframe. I said in my text that in due course I would apply my normal procedure as a separate task, allowing me to make some refinements to the image.

Treatment of the Image

The main structural components were selected and stored, so that they would be clearer in the final image. The décor elements were also clarified. I used Claes Sundin's excellent profile as my guide for the finer details. For example, in one or two areas his profile shows some local caulking which appears to be red lead, and there are two tally-bars on the fin. Apparently most aircraft from JG77 at Herdla had yellow areas on them, and the profile shows such an area at the head of the fin. I recoloured this area by colour shifting.

When I had completed these extra details I went in search of a background image. I found a photograph of the valley of the Klaraelv, which runs close to the Norwegian/Swedish border not far from Karlstad on the Swedish side. Having lost his way on a flight from Herdla in December 1940, and accidentally straying into Swedish territory, Ludwig Froeba landed on the track of the Karlstad race-course; his plane ended up on its back, with what looks to me like 50% damage.

Froeba was soon re-patriated to Norway, and his aircraft followed a few months later.


Norway and Sweden are big countries, much of which is covered with endless conifer forests. I should think it's not easy to get your bearings in such terrain, and our man Froeba was lucky to find that race-course.