Bf 109E-4/7 Trop.
A.G. Messerschmitt made a number of modifications to the standard Bf 109 in order to
make it suitable for tropical climates. The most obvious added feature was an elongated
air intake filter on the engine's port engine cowling. This was vital to screen out desert
sand during takeoff and landing.
Hasegawa's 1/48 scale Bf 109 E-4/7 kit was enhanced with the "Model Technologies" photo-etched detail set and various scratchbuilt extras. The Hasegawa kit supplies six "Trop" paint schemes. This is option 4; a Bf 109E-7/N/Trop flown by an unknown pilot of 2./JG27 during the Summer of 1941.
This camouflage scheme is a classic of concealment. I know of two WWII colour
photographs that depict this style of camouflage. They both can be seen here at IPMS
War II German aircraft gallery.
The weathering effect was obtained by spraying a base coat of white before applying the
camouflage colors. The top camouflage coat was subtly rubbed back by polishing with
toothpaste to give the paint a bleached appearance as if a result of the blazing desert
The decals were highlighted wherever this was both possible and convincing to denote the access or inspection panels underneath. You can see in the above image this treatment on the national crosses on the wings.
The dark green patches used in the Trop. colour schemes were sometimes seen with a soft
edge and sometimes with a hard edge. I copied their appearance from the kit's box art ,
which was painted by the talented Shigeo Koike.
This Me 109's shapely legs feature a combination of scale-thickness photoetch landing
gear covers and wire for the brake lines. The dints in the drop tank enhanced the battle
worn appearance of this fighter. Desert mud has been splattered onto the underwing
surfaces by the spinning wheels during take-off and landings.
Model Art No.375 "Messerschmitt
Aero Detail No.1 "Messerschmitt Bf109E"
The Japanese Aero Detail and Model Art publications are available from
Click on the thumbnails below to view the full-sized image.Most images are captioned
Model, Description and Photographs Copyright 1998 by Chris
Back to HyperScale Main Page
Back to Features