|Kit:||FineMolds 1/72; model completed on 2022-03-20|
|Aircraft:||MT-452, "Yellow 4" W.Nr 165277, HLeLv 31, Ilmavoimat, Luonetjärvi, summer 1948|
Messerschmitt Bf 109s served in the Finnish Air Force (Ilmavoimat) well into the 1950s until being replaced by de Havilland Vampires and Folland Gnats. This model represents one of those aircraft, she served with HLeLv 31 (Fighter Squadron 31) and later also with LeSK (the Finnish Air Force Academy). Note the prominent emblem of the night-fighter operations unit.
Post-war Finnish 109s tended to be well worn and have patch paint on them. There are at least three photographs of this particular aircraft. Some sources suggest that the aircraft had a spiral painted on the propeller spinner, but the photo in [1, page 28] shows that our model is correct in this respect and that the aircraft retained its old 2/3 RLM 70, 1/3 white coloring. Also, the aircraft may have had the Trop air filter, but I cannot quite tell from the photos I have.
This aircraft was preserved after being retired (see the photo below), one of two Bf 109G-6s surviving in Finland (a G-2 fished out of the Bay of Bothnia also survives in somewhat sad condition).
Restored in its (not entirely authentic) wartime colors at the Utti AB seen here in September 1977; the aircraft has since been re-restored.
Some of this model project, part of our "Grand Messerschmitt project", has been documented in our blog. The model is a fairly straightforward build of the FineMolds G-6 kit, with minor detail additions such as Eduard photo-etch seatbelts, and brass gun barrels and Pitot tube from Master Models. The decals came from the kit. The model was painted with Tamiya acrylics and Mr.Color lacquers, sprayed with Alclad II Klear Kote Gloss before and after decals, and finally sprayed with Testors' Dullcote/Glosscote mix.
My initial application of decals failed miserably, as the decals refused to conform to the airframe surface despite my use of MicroSet and MicroSol. As a result, I had to scrape off the decals from the fuselage, sand the surfaces, and re-paint them. I had made some mistakes with the initial camouflage pattern, so I was able to fix those as well. After some experimentation with other decal softeners, Mr. Mark Softer (from Mr. Hobby) emerged as the clear winner, and now the decals behaved without any problems. The Balkenkreutze on the wing upper surfaces were painted. Exhaust stains were airbrushed at low pressure using a highly diluted mixture of Tamiya flat black.
FineMolds' interiors ready to be installed
Initial camouflage; the aircraft on the left will eventyally be MT-431
Masked for the re-paint operation
After re-painting, ready for the initial gloss overcoat
There are actually quite a few photos of post-war Finnish 109s. I was able to find three pictures of this particular aircraft. The reference sources useful for this aircraft specifically are listed below.