Artesania Messerschmitt BE 109G

Ken

Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
355
Points
323

Hello. I am about halfway through a build log of a Euromodel kit, HMS Ajax and I’ve decided to take a break from it for a few weeks and do something completely different. I’ve chosen to build the Artesania Messerschmitt BE 109 G, and have been asked to do a build log on it, I was initially reluctant to do so, firstly as this was supposed to be down time and secondly because I have never done anything like this before and at present haven’t a clue about this type of build or fine scaling. You must accept that this build won’t be a very detailed step by step account but rather a sort of progress report on how a complete novice to this type of build manages just following the step by step instructions, all 295 pages of them.

On opening the box I was pleasantly surprised at the superb quality and detail of the photo etch, I have never seen the likes of before. It is made from some sort of steel which I soon learned was like building with razor blades, I need to be very careful and buy some more plasters. The metal cast parts are very good quality with hardly any flash but with good detail. The instructions and part list comes on disc, I’ve printed them out for convenience all 295 pages. I have never seen instructions this detailed before, good for a novice like me, they assume you know nothing and lead you through each part step at a time, even showing you the order of bending the holding tabs when there is a line of them. The whole package instils confidence that you will end up with a successful build.

I had already started before I decided to do this log so the pictures show the early stages of the build. The open frame is held together by tabs on one surface which pass through slots in the part to be joined then bent flat, the accuracy of fit is very impressive. I did have one slight issue and that was some of the slots were a tight fit and as with all photo etch if you use too much force the whole thing buckles and is difficult to get perfectly back into shape again, I did it once on a frame and learned my lesson. To avoid this I slightly opened every slot. The width of a scalpel blade was just right, I filed one to size, covered the handle with heat shrink for grip, to support the thin PE. I cut a slot in a piece of wood laid the PE over the slot and just pushed my scalpel through, it worked a treat and the tabs now pass through easily but are still snug. See photo. The other photos show what’s in the kit and where I’m up to at the moment.

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Joined
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Hello. I am about halfway through a build log of a Euromodel kit, HMS Ajax and I’ve decided to take a break from it for a few weeks and do something completely different. I’ve chosen to build the Artesania Messerschmitt BE 109 G, and have been asked to do a build log on it, I was initially reluctant to do so, firstly as this was supposed to be down time and secondly because I have never done anything like this before and at present haven’t a clue about this type of build or fine scaling. You must accept that this build won’t be a very detailed step by step account but rather a sort of progress report on how a complete novice to this type of build manages just following the step by step instructions, all 295 pages of them.

On opening the box I was pleasantly surprised at the superb quality and detail of the photo etch, I have never seen the likes of before. It is made from some sort of steel which I soon learned was like building with razor blades, I need to be very careful and buy some more plasters. The metal cast parts are very good quality with hardly any flash but with good detail. The instructions and part list comes on disc, I’ve printed them out for convenience all 295 pages. I have never seen instructions this detailed before, good for a novice like me, they assume you know nothing and lead you through each part step at a time, even showing you the order of bending the holding tabs when there is a line of them. The whole package instils confidence that you will end up with a successful build.

I had already started before I decided to do this log so the pictures show the early stages of the build. The open frame is held together by tabs on one surface which pass through slots in the part to be joined then bent flat, the accuracy of fit is very impressive. I did have one slight issue and that was some of the slots were a tight fit and as with all photo etch if you use too much force the whole thing buckles and is difficult to get perfectly back into shape again, I did it once on a frame and learned my lesson. To avoid this I slightly opened every slot. The width of a scalpel blade was just right, I filed one to size, covered the handle with heat shrink for grip, to support the thin PE. I cut a slot in a piece of wood laid the PE over the slot and just pushed my scalpel through, it worked a treat and the tabs now pass through easily but are still snug. See photo. The other photos show what’s in the kit and where I’m up to at the moment.

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Very nice piece to build but from that small tool which looks like a micro soldering iron I am curious about the nature of how all of that metal goes together??? Open frame structure like an Admiralty ship model. This will be great to follow in your sixes slipstream. Rich (PT-2)
 

Ken

Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
355
Points
323

Very nice piece to build but from that small tool which looks like a micro soldering iron I am curious about the nature of how all of that metal goes together??? Open frame structure like an Admiralty ship model. This will be great to follow in your sixes slipstream. Rich (PT-2)
Hi Rich, That small tool is only a Swann Morton scalpel which I have ground down to a size for cleaning out and opening up the slots which the joining tabs go into before then being folded down to lock the parts into place. I also use it to apply cyno, when the cyno builds up I burn it off, that’s how it got its burnt colour, the handle is covered with a tube of heat shrink tubing for a better grip. Thanks for looking in, I too thought that it looked as if it might be interesting and hope that you enjoy the build. That goes for Brian, Peter,Tony, Jan and all those that have given their likes.
 

Ken

Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
355
Points
323

Fabulous! Really great to see a build of this new model I think it is AL's flagship model released to bring them back after closure.
I will certainly be following this one closely thank you.
Allan
Hi Allan, Thanks for joining me on this build. I agree with you about this new offering, when I mentioned quality it really is with a capital Q, the photos whilst looking good don’t do it justice you have to handle it whilst looking to appreciate just how good it real is, I only hope that I can do it justice
 

Ken

Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
355
Points
323

Hello All, I’ve been making this 109 for about a week now and I’m getting more familiar with its build concept, so with the interest shown I’ve decided to do a more comprehensive log than I’d first intended, so here goes.

The model has a wing span of 24 inches with a similar length, so it’s larger than it first appears. It comes with LEDs for its navigation lights and has a low revs electric motor for building into the engine for turning the prop and a nice stand for display. The undercarriage and all the control surfaces will function, and the canopy and cowl will open ( hopefully )

The PE. is .25mm thick and appears to be made from stainless steel, on some of the parts such as straps etc. the surface is textured and the instruments are beautifully expressed. As I’ve previously mentioned the structure is held together with tabs through slots, where the tabs are folded down the area is further etched for the tabs to fold into to make them more flush with the surface, that only works to a certain degree because of the natural spring they lift a little, not much though. This also helps knowing which direction to bend the tabs. The only glue that is needed is when the pieces are slotted together like the wing ribs into the spars, but it’s only to stop them moving and not for strength. I mentioned that it is like building with razor blades and I’m not joking, my wife’s amused when she hears OUCH at least four times each hour.

I was going to paint much of the larger cast parts, like the wing tips, rudder, leading edge etc. but have decided against it. I painted the radios, oxygen tanks, battery etc. but found that handling them when fitting the bulkhead that they were mounted to the paint came away from the corners and raised edges too easily even though I’d primed it with metal etch, I think it must be the type of surface on the metal. I decided to see how they would polish up with the idea of leaving them bare so out with the metal polish and gave a wing tip a good buff. I got a surprisingly good result, so much so that I’ll paint as few of the parts as will look right.

The tail section with the rudder was built up and attached to the left side of the fuselage then the interior sections that I had made up were attached again to the same side using the tabs then secured. Each bulkhead section had about five tabs that needed lining up before I could press them home, if you’ve ever tried to get more than three things lined up on anything that you’ve bent to shape with PE. you’ll understand my difficulty; I was pleased that I’d opened up the slots a little. Because of the perfect fit of the PE. and after some jiggling ( and cursing ) it all went together well. The left side of the fuselage was a different matter, I had to line up about thirty tabs all at the same time before I could push that fuselage side home. To add to the difficulty the structure wasn’t yet rigid, it wobbled about from side to side like a fish, it didn’t have a flat or straight edge to lay flat or secure. When you think that your getting there you can guarantee that a couple of tabs will pop out and you’ll have to start again. After a couple of frustrating hours and having used every clip, clamp, tape that I had, Oh! and my wife I got them all into place and secured, Phew. Anyway that’s where I’m up to at the moment.

I’ve shown some pictures of the plans and model which might go someway to explain better than I’ve described it.

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Ken

Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
355
Points
323

Hi Uwe, Thanks for your interest. There’s no soldering needed, the slots are so perfectly cut that there isn’t any play in the tabs and now that it’s a 3D structure it couldn’t be more solid. The tolerance I don’t think couldn‘t be bettered by NASA, it’s that good. Hopefully this is the quality of kits for the future.
 
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Ken

Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
355
Points
323

Hello Everyone, Again thanks for showing interest, here’s my very rapid progress, the tail section. I think that the pictures will speak for themselves. I’ve shown the very small size of some of the pieces against my tweezers, you don’t want to drop these. I had taken quite a few photos during the build but they’ve disappeared somewhere so you’re just left with these.

Problems that I’ve had, not the kits fault but mine. The locking tabs have a small groove at their base, this is good as when fitting you will see that the part is fully inserted and when you fold the tab it gives it a nice square bend in exactly the right place, however you only get one go. If for some reason you’ve missed out a part or inserted it in the wrong slot which is easily done and need to open the tab it breaks off when you re-fold it. I’ve broken about five and I’m trying to be very careful. It is absolutely necessary to follow the instruction to the letter, I fitted the side of the fin to the ribs, there seemed to be no reason why I couldn’t then fit the other side which I did, later I saw that I should have trapped the nav light between the sides I then found it tricky to remove the side to put in the light without damaging it. I’ve printed off the instructions which are numbered for ease, so that I don’t miss anything I have them on my desk, I pick up one sheet, do that part, throw it away then pick up the next and then work through that one. One occasion I hadn’t realised that one of the sheets was out of order and I hadn’t linked both elevators together, I had then built up the fin too soon and could no longer insert the elevators link, it was quite a task to correct as the fin needed disassembling, I even considered just leaving it but decided to fix it. I’m learning to be very careful but you can understand how easy it is to break off those tabs and you have to be ingenious to replace them without them showing. Having said that it’s coming together very nicely, I’m still in awe with the quality and the ingenuity of how it all goes together; I think that it’s going to be a show stopper.

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Ken

Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
355
Points
323

Wow... very nice. I looked up the price for that kit. I won't be buying one soon, so I will enjoy vicariously by following your build.
Hi, Yes they are very expensive, development and the cost of bringing it to the market must have been huge so I’m not surprised, I’ll have to admit though that I didn’t have to pay for it, but that’s another story.
 
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Hi, Yes they are very expensive, development and the cost of bringing it to the market must have been huge so I’m not surprised, I’ll have to admit though that I didn’t have to pay for it, but that’s another story.
Well if you are married, you know you pay for everything... dearly... hahaha.
 

Ken

Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
355
Points
323

Hello, Just a quick update. I’ve made up and fitted the tail wheel. The top fits into a hole previously built into the structure, the lower part fits into a hooked shape mount again built in, it is locked into place with another hooked shaped piece which is then secured in place with the usual slot/tab arrangement. I needed to touch up the paint once fitted as again it just rubbed off when handled.

I’ve shown a picture of the spinner and prop to give an idea of scale.

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