Pend Oreille 1/35 Bf-109G-6

KIT:

Pend Oreille 1/35 Bf-109G-6

KIT #

3501

PRICE:

$95.00

DECALS:

Two aircraft, see review

REVIEW &
PHOTOS :

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

Resin kit

HISTORY & KIT

For the history and description of the kit, follow this link.

CONSTRUCTION

I decided to make this review a primer on how to do resin kits. It is perfect for this purpose as it is not a real multi-media kit not having any etched or injected plastic parts. It will also be in a diary format so you can see how things are going. I'll do images when it is practical.

July 30, 2000

The first step in doing a resin kit is cleanup. Resin kits are generally hand made or at least a very low production run. That is the reason resin kits and conversions are so expensive. However, they all have some sort of agent that is used to keep the resin from sticking to the molds and this needs cleaned off. Warm (not hot as it will warp the resin) soapy water is the best, followed by a thorough towel drying.

Here is are some general cautions about resin. 

First of all, it can warp. To remove the warp, simply dunk the part in very hot (not boiling) water and gently bend back into shape. It may take several applications to get it right. 

Secondly, resin is often brittle so cannot take a lot of stress before it breaks, so be careful when handling it not to put too much pressure on it, especially thin parts. If a part does break, superglue is the only thing that really works well.

A third caution is sanding parts. Depending on the quality of the resin and the method of casting, resin can be chock full of tiny air bubbles. Most are just below the surface of the 'skin' of the part. For an example of these bubbles look at the three part image below. You can see large air bubbles that are just lightly skinned over. Vigorous sanding will break through that skin and open all these bubbles, which are a real pain to fill and get rid of, so be very gentle when sanding in areas that will eventually be seen on the model. 

Along with that, resin dust is not good stuff so wet sand and/or wear a dust mask to keep from inhaling the particles.

Back at the kit: now that you have the release agent removed, you need to to remove the bits and pieces from the excess resin. There are two main ways of molding resin pieces. One is by having a resin block  and the other is the wafer. Both have their uses. Wafers are generally used for relatively flat pieces like gear doors and instrument panels, while blocks are used for large, chunky pieces. These methods relate to the way the mold is made. Resin isn't cheap so the most economical method is used depending on the size and shape of the resulting part. 

Removing an item from a wafer usually just requires a good pair of small scissors. I use moustache trimming scissors for this purpose. The large blocks have to be sawn off using a razor saw. The best ones are thin to fit under some of the larger blocks. It is a good ideal to start at the edges and work your way in. Don't cut too deep or you may overcut the part. Any excess left can be sanded down. You can also sand off the resin from the back of parts on a wafer. Often the additional thickness is not a problem, but in some instances (like side panels) this additional sanding will be needed. 

Once you have all the parts free, then all the flash and other imperfections must be removed. Some of these are easy to remove and others require a delicate touch. 

The first  are mold seams. These can be easily removed with sandpaper. Again, be very  careful when doing those to prevent opening up any air bubbles. Often this cannot be prevented. Once you have all the mold seams cleaned up, hold the part up to the light and look for imperfections. If you find bubbles, you need to fill them. The best thing I have found is Mr. Surfacer. It is really just very thin filler. You can also use White Out or other paper correction fluid as it is also thin and fills these small holes. Once the filler has dried, carefully sand it down and repeat if necessary. Again, the key is to be gentle as firm sanding will only open more holes. Any really large air bubbles can be filled with superglue, then hit with accelerator and then sanded down. The key is to not let the superglue dry to where it is real hard or it will be a chore to sand. Start sanding almost immediately after using the accelerator.

Another area where bubbles can be found is in seams or corners of parts. These bubbles are usually outside the part and need to be removed. The best way is to simply scrape them off with a sharp knife or to dig them out of corners. Those in seams can also be removed with a knife and then the seam cleaned out. At times these bubbles can lead to buried air bubbles that need filler. At other times there is no easy way to clean them up and you have no choice but to leave them and mask their presence as well as you can.

The other areas needing attention are those that are filled with resin that need cleaned out. Often this is just a thin area and all that is needed is a hobby knife and a quick swipe with sandpaper. Other times the resin is thicker. These can be cleaned up after some careful carving or you can use small files. It is important to remove all the resin to assure a good fit.

It is not unusual for this step alone to consume a large number of hours. While this part is dated 30 July, in reality the cleanup is an on-going process. Often it is a good idea to keep the smaller bits on their wafers or blocks until they are needed. This prevents loss or accidental breakage.

July 30, 2000

Not much modeling time available today, so I only worked on a few parts. That consisted of more clean-up though some actual construction got underway. This was confined to the cockpit area. The front bulkhead, rudder pedals and control stick were glued in place. At this time I test fit the sidewalls to make sure there would be no problems in installation. The rudder pedals have a nice eyelet on either side for the foot straps. These eyelets stick up at a 90 degree angle from the rest of the pedal. Unfortunately, all but one was broken off during shipment. That is the problem with packaging all the bits in one bag.

The underwing radiators had the resin blocks removed from the rear of the part and a number of small resin bubbles removed from the inside and grille areas. Then they were test fit in the wing. The left one was nice and snug while the right one has a bit of play in it. Some small imperfections had putty put on them and will be smoothed out tomorrow. 

I also cleaned up the exhaust. Make sure that you DO NOT remove the seam on them as they are supposed to have it there. The exhaust were then test fit in the slots in the nose section. The slots needed some cleaning up. The exhaust fit snugly. In fact, too snugly as there are a couple of metal plates that need to fit above and below the exhaust. I got out the plates and then started to carefully sand away at the opening until I was sure that I could get them to fit. These parts will be installed AFTER the fuselage is complete and painting has been done. To make sure that I can get them to fit without falling into the fuselage, I superglued a piece of strip plastic in behind the exhaust slot opening.

All of this took about an hour and that was all the time I could spare on it. Tomorrow, I'll start cleaning up the other exhaust.

August 2, 2000

Today's efforts were mostly in the cockpit section. First of all, the partially assembled cockpit and the sidewalls were painted RLM 66 using Aeromaster's paint. When that was dry, the seat belts were painted with Gunze sail color, though you could use a very light grey as well. The buckles were carefully painted with aluminum. 

On the side panels, I still had the quandary about the trim wheels. It has to fit on the middle sprocket so cannot be too large. After much mulling, I hit on the idea of using tubing. I had some 1/4 inch (.25 inch) Evergreen tubing so cut off a thin section of that. The edge was scored several times with a razor saw until I had a nice groove. This would simulate two of these wheels side by side as in the real plane. The interior bits of the wheels was made from tiny bits of .03 inch  Evergreen strip. It took a while to get everything in place, but it should hopefully look OK once cleaned up and dry brushed.

Next, I turned my attention to the right inside panel. Now there is a fuel line that runs along the sill on the right side. This fuel line has a clear piece in it on the real plane. That way the pilot can tell if his engine problem is due to no fuel flow, as the tinted fuel will be visible if everything is all right. What I did was to remove the section that is supposed to be clear. I'll replace it later with a section of clear rod. This section will be made by heating and stretching a piece of clear sprue. I've done this in 1/48 before and though it will take several attempts, the proper size can be made.

I then went on to the right fuselage half to open up the exhaust opening so that the exhaust and metal shields would fit. After using a sanding stick to get the opening wide enough, a piece of plastic sheet was superglued to the inside. This will allow me to install the shields and exhaust after the kit has been painted. I did notice that the depth of these slots was different from side to side. Apparently the excess material was removed from the inside of the fuselage masters with a power tool of some sort as the thickness varies between the right and left side. This may mean that some more trimming of the back of the exhausts will be needed prior to installation.

I also took the opportunity to paint the inside of the gear doors with RLM 02. These parts are extremely thin and are best painted while still on the resin wafer. I also took the time to clean up the landing gear. These have metal rod reinforcements in them which is very nice. Most of the cleanup on these parts is removing much of the casting block from the bottom (this part needs to be shaped so be careful and don't get carried away with sanding). There are also a number of resin bubbles that need cleaned up. Most of these just brushed off, but a few needed a sharp knife point to remove.

 I also cleaned up the main wheels. Once the seam has been removed, the tread was replaced in the wheels by gently scoring it with a razor saw. Again, you need to be careful so as to not overdo it.

Though this kit may seem like it is an awful lot of work, this is pretty well standard for a resin kit. This particular one is one of the better ones that I have worked with. So far, everything is going quite smoothly.

Tomorrow or the next day, I'll be doing some more work in the interior and starting to glue some major bits together. 

August 3, 2000

Now that the backing plates are dry, it is time to check the fit of the cockpit. First the fuselage halves were taped together. Then the fuselage side panels were taped to the cockpit side. The entire cockpit assembly was then fit into the fuselage halves. Fit is quite good. What I learned from this is that I need to trip the rudder pedals as I put them in wrong. They are too tall and should be more horizontal. They prevent the side panels from fitting all the way. It also looks like I need to do a touch of trimming on the cockpit to get a perfect fit. I'll deal with that when the time comes.

Next, the fuselage halves themselves were glued together. Since I already had them taped  and properly aligned, it was a simply matter to drip superglue into the seams from the inside. This way, there were no superglue smears on the outside of the fuselage to clean up. This was allowed to dry for a few hours. Then the seams were filled using putty. The fuselage was then set aside to dry until the filler completely cured.

After that, I spent some time adding small amounts of filler to some areas on the wing edges as well as the wing radiators that needed it. I also cleaned up the tail insert in preparation for installing it in the fuselage.

August 4-6, 2000

Like most of you, I spent most of my weekend doing something other than modeling, however, some work was done on the kit. First of all, I smoothed out the filler that was put on the wings and fuselage. Once that was done, it was time to tackle the tail insert. Now here I ran into some problems, and I'm not sure if they were self-inflicted or not, so I'll take the blame. There was a lot of fiddly cleanup done to both the insert and the fuselage to make sure I had a good fit. When I had it to where it looked like a good, tight fit, it became apparent that the horizontal stabilizer wouldn't be horizontal. In fact it appeared that it would have a decided forward tilt. 

The result is that when the tail was glued on, it was done so more with a look at the final placement of the horizontal stabilizer than anything else. The result is that a lot of sanding was needed on the bottom of the tail insert. To add to this, the insert was a bit wider than the rest of the fuselage at that point so I had to sand that section as well. This opened up some air bubbles along the leading part of it which needed filler and so on. Finally the section looked good. Then I went along and rescribed those panel lines that had disappeared during filling and sanding. 

Then it was on to some other parts of the kit. The interior was next with a bit of attention. If you recall, on the 2nd I removed a section from the right sidewall for the insertion of a piece of clear sprue. That was accomplished with minimal fuss. Only took three or four stretches to get a section the right diameter! It was glued in place with non-fogging superglue. Next, the trim wheel that was made on that day was also installed and painted.  With the installation of this bit, I can now finish up painting the interior. I have a great shot of a G-6 interior taken at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum back some 20 years ago that is a great reference for 109 interiors. When I find it, I'll make a large scan of it and post it so you can use it as well. While in the interior, the instrument faces were filled with white paint in anticipation of having Reheat instrument decals installed in them.

Turning to the wings, the underwing radiators were painted on the inside and then glued into the appropriate slots in the wing. These are actually a bit long as they jut out over the edge of the trailing edge of the wing. Once these are fully dry, I'll do some sanding to cure that. This will have to be done over much of the bottom of the radiator otherwise there will be a large blocky edge to them. These radiator doors fit flush and very smoothly in with the rear of the wing.

August 7-8, 2000

The last few days I have been doing some small stuff. First of all, I painted the wheels black. Then drilled out the attachment holes to accept the gear struts. Then the gear was painted RLM 02 Grey and when dry the oleo was covered with chrome Bare Metal Foil. The tail wheel strut was also removed from its block. Unfortunately, the fork of the tail wheel was broken from the strut during shipment and that will have to be repaired. 

Then I added a few more rounds of filler to the tail section just to take care of a few holes. When that was done the fin tip was glued on. I am using the taller wooden tail. This was attached and the attachment points were then smoothed out and filler was applied to take care of any glitches. Looking closely at both the fin and fuselage, it seems that the tail section is a bit too large as the fin tip extension is actually thinner than the tail section itself. I'll eventually fare in as much as possible, but other than a killer sanding session (which I'm not going to do for fear of opening up a mass of air bubbles), it will be  quite a challenge to correct the size difference. I also slightly enlarged the slot for the horizontal stabilizer, removing small amounts of resin until the stabilizer fit snugly into place.

The next thing was to test fit the lower wing again to see if everything lined up. Again, the wing dihedral seems to be a bit much. I decreased the dihedral a bit by pouring very hot water over the center section and then gently bending the wing. That seemed to have done it. Be very careful not to use water that is too hot as resin will warp; even the thick pieces.

I also cleaned up the prop and spinner as well sanding on the aft part of the wing radiators to get a good fit. Then went and did a bit of more work on the interior. Painted a few more things and then added some instrument decals to the various instruments. I used all three scales of Reheat Instrument Decals for this one. The downside of this sheet is that it is basically for modern aircraft, though it does have some 'older' instruments. Of course, none of them are for any Luftwaffe aircraft. Upside is that unless you are an expert, you won't notice the difference and they really to look nice when done. For those of you who want to see what a 109G interior looks like, here is a picture I took back in 1981. It is quite large and will take a bit to load. You'll notice that this interior and the kit one are not exactly the same. 

August 9-10, 2000

I started off by finishing the drybrushing of the interior parts. Then it came to be time to install the interior into the fuselage. First, I glued the bottom of the side panels to the interior, leaving the tops slightly spread out. That way, they will push out to the sides of the fuselage. At least, that is the theory and it has worked with injected styrene kits.  There are some cut-outs on the side walls for the instrument panel to fit on, though they need to be enlarged slightly. The panel was glued to two fuselage sides and I had a complete cockpit.

Then the cockpit was carefully installed into the fuselage from below. It was a bit of a tight fit, but superglue and accelerator are wonderful things. I was able to get it in place without major trauma. Unfortunately sometime during this process, the instrument panel slipped from one side and is now in their a bit crooked, fore and aft-wise!

Then it was time to put on the wing. First attempt wasn't too good as there wasn't any way to get it to fit flush. The problem is a large resin block that is in the bottom of the inside of the wing. That is there to hold the interior in, but it is too tall. This baby took a LOT of sanding to finally get it down to size. One way to tell if something like this is hitting (because you can't see it when installed), is to slightly wet the top of it and then do a test fit. If there is moisture on the bottom of the interior, then the block needs more sanding. Once that was done, then the wing was test fit. Fits perfectly. 

Before gluing, the was installed to check for alignment. Something wasn't right. There was a gross alignment difference between the wings and tail section. I tweaked the horizontal stabilizer to see if that would cure it and immediately broke the fin tip off! AAARRRGGGHHH! 

After redoing the fin tip, the stabilizer was again installed. It lined up perfectly with the fin; a nice 90 degree angle. So what was the problem?  Well, it seems that when I glued the tail section into the aft section of the fuselage, I didn't get it perfectly aligned. No way could I get this thing back out to try again. Superglue is very unforgiving stuff! I thought about heating the fin tip and bending it to compensate, but that would have put a kink in the rudder hinge line and I couldn't have installed the rudder. 

No, the only way I could fix this mess was to shim the wing. This was done using evergreen strip. I had to shim it about .03 inches on one side. Now this meant that the front and back of the wing/fuselage join was sticking up on one side. No choice but to break out the 120 grit sandpaper and start grinding away at the wing to get it smoothed out. As you may suspect, when everything was nice and smooth, a bunch of tiny air bubbles were brought to the surface of the wing. It took several applications of Mr. Surfacer and filler to finally get all the bubbles filled in. However, I now have an aircraft where the wings and horizontal stabilizer are pretty well aligned with each other. There is a message here, unfortunately, it is one I ignore frequently!

Coming up, tailplane and rudder! :o)

August 11-16, 2000

Despite the time that has passed, not much has gone on with the kit. This is mostly due to a contest on the 13th that took priority. I don't know about you, but I always need a day to recuperate after long drives and this one was a bit over 600 miles round trip. Did rather well though, placing with 4 out of 8 entries.

Meanwhile, when I did get back to the kit, I did more work on smoothing out the self-inflicted wing alignment. I mentioned earlier about the air bubbles I opened up while sanding the wing. Here is a picture of what that looks like after all the various fillers have been applied and the area smoothed out. Things look pretty ugly right now, but that will all disappear under paint. 

The horizontal tailplane was installed and glued into place. Some filler was needed in that area as I overdid some of the opening up to get it to fit. Nothing major. Then the elevators were glued in place. I left them drooping a bit just to add to the look. The rudder was not yet glued in place as I'm still not sure what camouflage scheme to use with the kit. 

The oil cooler under the nose was also glued in place. Fit is quite good. Just a couple of coats of Mr. Surfacer to fill in a few gaps, a quick sand and that was it. Also glued in place at this time was the supercharger intake. I really thought long and hard about waiting until installing the exhaust and shields before doing this, but I figured that if any filler was needed, it would be better to get it done now. Good thing, too as I rounded the base of it a bit and it will need some filler.

Then I started cleaning up the tail wheel. If you recall, this was broken in shipment. I glued the fork to the base of it and then started cleaning it up. This part is badly formed. It seems as if the mold slipped while curing and the offset between halves is really bad. There was also a huge chunk of resin around the mating pin. I ended up removing all of it as it would have been more work than it was worth to clean it up. During this work I was reminded of the need to wear eye protection as a small piece of resin flew into my eye as I was clipping it off the part. That pretty well put a halt to the work until I was able to get it removed. 

I'll just reiterate that even hobbies can be dangerous and to take full advantage of what safety items are available. In addition to eye protection, that also includes a respirator when sanding and painting to prevent breathing in all the dust and harmful particulates. 

That is where the work now stands. I have a coat of filler on the supercharger intake and once that is all done, I'll start painting the airframe!

August 17-21, 2000

Just to let you know, work is still going on with the kit. I have done some work around the supercharger intake as I really messed up sanding the bottom of it. Now that I have a pretty complete airframe, it is off to the paint shop.

PAINT & DECALS

The first thing I did was to paint the aircraft overall RLM 76. I did this for several reasons. First of all, it does make a very nice primer. Once I painted the entire aircraft (and that took a few days as I don't have it on landing gear), it was carefully scanned for places that might need some more filler. I found a few spots and so had to fix them and then repaint the areas sanded off. Secondly, I was seriously contemplating leaving the model in overall 76. According to one of my references, Erich Hartmann flew an overall RLM 76 Bf-109G-6 with a tall tail and Galland hood. 

After some serious consideration of actually doing this, I decided against it and will go for a 'normal' RLM 74/75/76 scheme with this one. With that in mind, I painted much of the upper surface with the lighter of the two greys, RLM 75. That is where the kit now stands, so to speak. I have a few more bits to clean up that need added, and I still haven't settled on the final aircraft that I want to model. There are about four aircraft to choose from and it depends on how I can do the decals that will depend on which one will be done. Stay tuned. 

August 22-29, 2000

It has been a week since the last update. since then, not that much has happened of any real significance. For me, painting a kit is one of the most time consuming parts of model building. It would not be incorrect for me to say that it easily is 1/3 of the construction process, if not more. It all depends on how well the painting goes. Sure, one can do it in a few days, but I generally like to give paint at least a day to dry between applications. 

It also doesn't help that there was a model contest during this week and I had to prep and repair other kits for that. During this time, I had some pictures come back from the developers, one of which shows the shimming of the wing that was needed. You can see that image in the August 10 update.

I was recently given a relatively new product to try and figured I'd do it with this aircraft. The stuff is called 'You Knead It' and it is a masking putty very similar to Silly Putty. The idea is to use it to mask over what you don't want and the height of the material will give your a finely sprayed edge. Well, with a kit of this size, using to mask big areas wasn't an option so thin lines of it were made, placed along the border area, then a business card was used to contain overspray. When painting, make sure that you do NOT spray right at the putty or it will build up against it and look very yucky! 

The results are quite convincing as compared to free-handing it. It leaves a nice transition area that isn't as sharp as tape and is much cleaner than free-handing it. Downside is that it doesn't like matte surfaces that well. It sticks VERY nicely to gloss surfaces, though. I have given samples to friends and they report the same thing.

As you can see by the images above, there is a definite difference in results. I sprayed half the plane by masking and the rest was done free-hand. Frankly, I like the masked line a lot better, despite the time it takes to do all the masking and painting. It should be even more convincing and useful when doing smaller scale aircraft.

Once the upper colors were sprayed, the demarkation line along the fuselage was painted. This was done free-hand as that part always looked more ragged in photos than the upper surfaces. The kit was then taken back to the work bench to have more done to it prior to continuing on.

August 30 - September 25, 2000

During this long period of time, the kit was set aside for much of it in order to concentrate on other projects. Not to say that nothing was done, as the final paint job was done to the kit. First of all, I sprayed the wrong pattern on the right wing. That was corrected, using U-Knead-It as a masking material. The more I use this stuff, the better I like it. It doesn't eliminate the need to mask areas you don't want overspray on, but it does a good job on getting relatively tight demarkation lines done.

Also during this time period I acquired two new toys. One was an Iwata Eclipse airbrush. Though it did not have the fine tip installed, I used it to spray the mottling on the fuselage sides using RLM 74/75/02. AT this time I also painted the rudder RLM 66 and masked off a large black band on the aft fuselage. This was done using a drawing found in 'Luftwaffe Codes, Markings and Units' for an aircraft from JG 53. I then sprayed some areas of the fuselage with clear acrylic gloss in preparation for adding the decals. Additionally, the prop blades were painted RLM 70 and the spinner black.

The other toy was a Nikon 990 digital camera. This required a bit of a learning curve, but I think it will be a real asset to the site. The image at right as well as the two side by side images of the cockpit under 'August 9-10' were taken with this camera. Now that I am back into working on the kit, it shouldn't be that much longer before the kit is completed. Stay tuned.

September 25 - October8, 2000

Ye Gads! This has been going on for over two months! Isn't this thing ever going to get finished?

A positive and constructive comment, to say the least. Well, I had hoped to have had it done by this time, however, a number of things have happened to it since then. FIrst of all, I decided to give the kit decals a try just to say that I had. So I cut out the wing crosses and applied them using Microscale's setting fluids. As you know, these are a solid sheet so need to be cut out. When placed on the aircraft, of the four crosses, two of them broke into pieces as in the accompanying photo. As for the opacity of the white, it is quite good and I shouldn't have worried as you can see by the image below. The Microscale stuff had no effect on them whatsoever. So I tried Solvaset. While it made the decals stick, it didn't help them conform to the panel lines. What was worse, the upper crosses silvered very badly. The only choice was to remove them and use other decals. 

This is where I ran into big trouble. I put numerous applications of Solvaset on the decals in an attempt to soften them up so I could remove them. Nothing. Then I tried some Pollyscale Decal and Paint remover. I had used this in the past with much success in removing decals. More nothing, however it did start to remove the paint around the decal. Well, by this time, I had enough and went for a surefire material, Strip-a-kit. In no time, I had not only the decal but the paint removed from the wings where the crosses went. Naturally, this meant some extra sanding to smooth the edges and a respray of the wings. During this evolution, I managed to drop the model on the floor. Concrete, nonetheless. To say a few pieces departed the kit would be a fair guess. Mostly landing gear stuff. 

Well, the kit has been repaired, repainted and ready for another attempt at putting on decals. I also have the canopy cut and pretty close to fitting. It is a vacuform, so I'm not that good at cutting them. Fortunately, there is a spare, thanks Pend Oreille! That is where we now stand. This is pretty standard for me and resin, vacuform and multi-media kits.

October 8  - December 27, 2000

As often times happens, when one runs into a major glitch, things tend to sit around for a long time before the muse strikes again to start in. That is what has happened to this kit. After much hunting around for decals, I managed to find a sheet that supplied the upper and lower wing crosses. However, finding fuselage crosses was a task that met with zero success. So I basically gave up for a while. 

The other day, I had finished a kit and was considering starting another. I then noticed that there were a number of models in various boxes around the bench that were near completion, but for one reason or another, I had not worked on for quite some time. This kit was one of them. With renewed enthusiasm, I pondered what to do about the fuselage decal. About the only thing I could think of was to either mask the area and paint it on, or to take a 'regular' fuselage decal, cut the white parts out and apply them. That is what I chose to do. The end result is not bad, though not as good as a dedicated decal would have been.

CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES

I then set to try to get the canopy to fit properly. What seems to have happened is that the master mold is 1/35, but the actual canopies themselves ended up being larger, like 1/32. I messed up both windscreen sections of the two Erla Haube canopies trying to get them to fit. In the end, I cut the canopy from the messed up windscreen section and then cut the windscreen section from one of the older canopies given. 

Before trying to attach the canopy parts, I first installed the gunsight, painted it black, drybrushed it and put a small square of clear on it. Then I cleaned up and painted the canopy armored back section and cut a section of clear to install on that. I'm still trying to figure out how to attach this piece to the very flimsy canopy section. At the same time, the exhaust and exhaust shields were glued in place. The shields still need to be painted. Still going slow, but at least it is still going!

December 28 2000 - January 1 2001

Had a nice long weekend to work on the kit but did little more than get the windscreen glued in place. It isn't a very neat installation, but the windscreen just doesn't fit the allotted area worth a hoot. I faired it in as best I could and it required some sanding to get it to look any good at all. This kit definitely won't be a contest winner!  It was then masked off with Tamiya masking tape. 

Also painted the exhaust shields with RLM 76. Then I went to look for ways to attach the canopy armor. Most of the methods I though of were not very practical. What I decided to do was to make small tabs from scrap brass sheet and then attach it to the inside of the canopy with non-fogging superglue. The installation just didn't work well and so I removed it and the brass strips and will try again.

January 2 2001 - July 12 2001

Hate to say it, but the kit sat and sat and sat. Interest had completely gone away. This happens from time to time and it often takes a push of some sort to get things going again. This was done in the form of a replacement sheet of decals and a new kit to review from Pend Oreille. There was some guilt involved in knowing that I had been sitting on this thing for so long as well!

July 13 2001 - July 21 2001

Resolved to getting the kit finished, I attacked it with renewed vigor. The first thing I did was to get the armored head rest glued in. This was done not with brass strips, but with attaching thin pieces of styrene to it. These were then trimmed to fit onto where the framing was on the canopy. The canopy was then masked and painted RLM 66 using Testors Model Master paint. Many late war 109s had canopies that were simply primed and without exterior colors. Once the paint was dry, the armored headrest was glued in with non-fogging superglue and actually helped to stiffen the very flimsy canopy! A small section of stretched sprue was glued to the right lower canopy frame to represent the hinge and the canopy glued to the fuselage in the open position. I also glued a couple of pieces of sprue to the upper corners of the windscreen frame as grab handles.

Next, the gear doors were glued on again as they had broken off during the preceding months. Returning to the upper fuselage, the short antenna mast was glued on and painted. Then a small section of wire was formed into a loop antenna by bending it around a paint brush handle and then trimming off the 'legs'. These were inserted in holes that were drilled in the loop antenna mount. Another hole was drilled in the upper fuselage near the tail for the radio antenna lead in and a similar one was drilled in the right lower fuselage near the  cockpit section for another antenna.

Once that was done, a long-wire antenna was made from clear stretched sprue and attached to the antenna mast and tail with superglue. The lead in wire was placed in the hole and also glued to the long wire. The underfuselage wire was then glued in. A section was also used to simulate the cable that kept the canopy open and was glued to the interior and the bottom of the head armor.

At this time, the very thin tail wheel fork on the right side decided to break off and disappear into the hands of the carpet elves. No choice but to make a new one from plastic card. This was done and glued in place. It was then smoothed in using standard putty and repainted.

Then it was back to the decals. I used the number 6 and a few stencil decals. These went down OK, but no amount of pressure or setting solution would have them conform to the panel lines. The yellow is also very transparent, even when backed up with white. While I did not have the problem with fragmenting decals from the earlier sheet, my lack of success in getting them to snuggle into crevices means that they are still less than ideal. Perhaps installing them onto Future, as many do, will be beneficial.

Next the pitot tube was glued into the wing leading edge, followed by the prop. These were given any last minute painting needed. The model was then sprayed with clear matte where needed before the final parts were glued on. These are the aileron balances. Of all the 109s I have built, these bits are the easiest to lose. If someone wanted to make major money, they'd produce an after market set of these in styrene or resin in at least 1/48 and 1/72 scales. I can't tell you how many of my 109s are missing these bits! Once the balances were on, the kit was given some exhaust staining with pastels and was finished (chorus of 'Hallelujah' in the background).

CONCLUSIONS

Pend Orielle has done us a real favor by producing this kit and doing it in 1/35 scale. It is just what WWII armor diorama builders have wanted. Now they can use all those neat military vehicles in an airfield scene and have a properly scaled aircraft to go with it. I would hope that it would spawn other models in this scale like a Hurricane or a Mustang, but that has not yet happened.

109 addicts will like it because it is another 109 model, and one that looks pretty accurate to boot. As you know, I don't drag out the tape measure for each kit, but base my opinions on if it looks like what it is supposed to be and this one does. What wasn't planned was that it would take almost a year to finish, and that is entirely my fault. The model is not a terribly difficult build and anyone who has any experience at all with resin models should be able to build theirs in considerably less time. I am quite pleased with the over all result and it will look really great in with my ever-growing collection of 109s!

Review copy courtesy of Pend Oreille Thanks for your support and your patience!

2008 update: To my knowledge, Pend Oreille is no longer a going concern.

 

July 2001

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