Airmodel 1/72 Me-109TL








Scott Van Aken


Resin with metal parts and vac canopy


Back in early 1943 when the Me-262 was being tested and getting ready for production, the Luftwaffe wasn't really sure if it would work, so wanted a back up plan. It had to be something that would be able to get built relatively quickly in case of some unforeseen problem. Messerschmitt came up with what is known as the 109TL. This basically took the fuselage and wings of the Me-155 high altitude fighter that was under construction, the landing gear of the Me-309 and mated two Junkers Jumo OO4s to them. 

Fortunately for the Luftwaffe, the 262 seemed to be doing well, so the project was dropped a few months after it was proposed. No metal was cut for the prototype, no mockup was built. The aircraft was a pure paper project that, though interesting, never was needed.


My only experience with Airmodel has been with their vacuforms and vac conversion bits. They worked, but were not exactly what I would call cutting edge. I have always had a fascination with Luftwaffe paper projects (the infamous Luft '46 disease!). When I saw this kit recently, it drew me in. There were two strong incentives to buy this kit. One because it was a 109 variant, and two, because it was 75% off retail price. The fact that the box stated that there were no decals is not a hindrance to a true Luft '46 builder!

Upon opening the box, I was greeted by a plastic bag full of smaller plastic bags and a two sheet instruction sheet.  As you can see, Airmodel has a true multimedia kit on their hands. Most of the components are made of a nice tan resin. You may also notice that there are no resin plugs on any of the parts! Very unusual and most welcome. Even a number of the smaller bits are not on a resin wafer, though some are. The landing gear, wheels and engine inlet and exhaust 'spikes' are made of metal and very well done. Two vacuform canopies are provided. These are probably the weakest part of the kit as the frames are very large. Perhaps a replacement from Squadron would fit.

The instructions consist of an exploded view of the parts. There is a very nice three view drawing and another than shows a camo scheme of RLM 81/82 over 76 along with where to place the insignia, which will have to come from the spare decals pile. Paint numbers are given for Aeromaster and two ranges of Humbrol paints. No interior colors are given. 

There is some detail on the inside of the fuselage, which is nice. There is also plenty of room in the nose for weight, which will be needed as this plane has lots of resin aft of the main gear. What is missing is a separate floor to the cockpit. Getting the seam out of that area will prove to be interesting. Especially as it is a very tight fit and it looks as if you'll have to install the cockpit components prior to gluing the fuselage halves together.

Overall it looks as if it will be a very nice model when done. I especially like not having to sand off those darned resin plugs!

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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