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Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4/7 Trop.

by Chris Beaumont

Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7/N Trop
2./JG27 , Summer 1941



  D e s c r i p t i o n

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 Stockholm's World War II German aircraft gallery.


  P a i n t i n g    &    D e c a l s



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 sun.


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.





R e f e r e n c e s

Squadron/Signal Publications No.44
"Messerschmitt Bf109 in action. Part 1."

English text, WWII era B/W photographs.
Variants' details illustrated in line drawings, schemes by color paintings.
This edition covers Bf109V-1 to Bf109E-7 types.
There is a 3 page section devoted to the Me109E/Trop
featuring desert service notes and 9 wartime photographs.


Model Art No.375  "Messerschmitt Bf109-E"
Japanese text.
B/W wartime and plenty of B/W museum walk-around detail photographs.
Provides almost 45 color detail photos of the cockpit and external features
of a museum Bf 109E-3.
Color profile paintings, marking and stencilling plan and paint chips.
Technical drawings show plenty of characteristics applicable to this model.
This was the main source of reference for this project.


Aero Detail No.1 "Messerschmitt Bf109E"
This is from a series of titles that is well deserved I'm sure of
showing even though it wasn't about when I was making this model.
The formula for these excellent specialist references are;
Bilingual text. Full color photograph section showing all-over
details of surviving aircraft. B/W wartime photographs.
Color marking and stencilling plans and painted profiles.
Detailed technical drawings of various aircraft types.
Btw, the actual cover is printed in color.


The Japanese Aero Detail and Model Art publications are available from
specialist hobby shops and at HobbyLink Japan


 A d d i t i o n a l   I m a g e s


Click on the thumbnails below to view the full-sized image. Most images are captioned





Model, Description and Photographs Copyright 1998 by Chris Beaumont
Page Created 17 April 1998
Last updated 26 July 2007

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