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Morne Meyer
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Junkers Ju-87 R-2 Stuka ‘Desert Snake’

September 3, 2014 · in Aviation · · 23 · 8.5K

This is 's 1/48 scale rendition of the famous 'Desert Snake' flown by Leutnant Hubert Polz from Tmimi on the Libyan coast in 1941. Polz was later transferred to the Russian Front where he won the coveted Knight's Cross and Oak Leaves. Polz ended the war as Gruppen Kommandeur of 1/SG 151.

The snake motif adorned at least two Stukas in North Africa. However, there is doubt about the unit code of the aircraft that I built. At the time of the build most reference material gave the code as T6+CP but after completing the model I discovered a photo showing the code as T6+DP. It is also doubtful if the snake was painted red at all since it's difficult to see from the black and white photos. I opted to leave the snake red and the codes unchanged. The prop spinner shows a squiggle pattern added to the yellow but this was applied much later which might hint at the fact that the red on the snake might have been over-painted as well. Such is the conundrum of our hobby sometimes!

German Stukas arrived in North Africa still painted in RLM 70, 71 topside and RLM 65 on the underside of the aircraft. The RLM 70 Schwarzgrun was initially over-sprayed with Italian camouflage yellow and later again with RLM 79. I used Modelmaster's RLM colours. Weathering was done per usual with Doc O' Brien's weathering pigments and Tamiya weathering kits to duplicate as best a well used Desert War Stuka.

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses

  1. Nicely done and photographed, Morne - a real eye-catcher.

  2. yes, i agree - nice job on the weathering, and your photos look very professional! It looks like it went together very well - how was the kit as far as engineering and fit?

  3. morne you strike again

  4. Another excellent article and model, thank you, Morne.

  5. Guten Morgen Morne !

    Nice Stuka and a great article about that, the Stukas, deployed to the african campaign are a challenge to do! Your kits are all on this high level

    i guess.

    Ceasar-Paula also graces my shelf, it is a must have, because of the snake motive, i found only blurry pictures of these planes in the Osprey book ( it is on the cover as a painting). This must be a whole "Kette" painted with thes snakes, the true colors, i guess will never come out again, for myself, i chose the red one too.

    to continue the "henschel-chat" your pupils are enjoying a thrilling lesson in history ? It is sad to hear, that your daughter has no interest in your hobby, so it is a good idea to share your models here in the net, they deserve attention !


    • Guten Morgen Bernd!

      It is a very good kit. I enjoyed the build very much. I have the same Osprey publication and I never thought they would get it wrong! 🙁

      My pupils at school find the models very interesting especially when I teach them about WW II and the Cold War. I have seen photos of another Stuka on the Eastern Front in winter distemper with a similar snake motif. Can't recall if it was Polz's Stuka on the Eastern Front. I must say I like the snake motif or should I say giant Tatzelwurm.

      • Hi Morne, i believe that, models are "living" history, did you
        have a display at your school ?
        Those snake is a very much a "must" for Stukas, there is an Eagle Cal sheet around, that shows the snake in tan, anyway
        the red one is on and i like it.
        Yes a Tatzelwurm, i will do some research about this term, i guess it is a mythical creature from an area, that is called "Schwarzwald" more on this later

        • Hi Bernd. You and I share the same perspective about models. Also see it as living history and a form of art. The passion with which we approach our hobby is often not understood by those who don't suffer from our addiction. I have seen Tatzelwurms on many Luftwaffe fighters. It must have had a certain conotation attach to it! Aufwiederhoren.

  6. Love it! Anyone who's interested in the Ju87 knows this particular machine and you have rendered it perfectly. Great job Morne.

  7. Great work, though I do come down on the side of the "white outline only" snake, which I think close examination of the photos shows since you can see "split" areas of darker color that match the "split" of camouflage colors outside the snake.

    That said, it's not the first time that Skull Muddling Hexspurtz have managed to not see what was there in front of them. The all white Sea Hurricane IIc's - despite the fact that there are two of the five photos of them that show the airplane up on its nose and clearly show the underside being normal FAA camo and the fourth one showing the edge of the "wraparound" white on the lower wing, and the fifth "out of focus" one clearly showing in-focus people standing around it - are a prime example. Then there are the JV-44 Parrt Flight Dora-9s for which the initial "hexspurt" color call out was black/white, followed by green/white. Assi Hahn's famous "red cowling" Bf-109F, despite the obvious fact that it was shot with orthochromatic film, also springs to mind.

    But it does look nice. Very nice.

    • I concur with your assessment Tom. However, if you look closely at the one black and white photo showing the nose of the aircraft you'll see that inside the white outline of the head of the snake is a lighter colour than the green camouflage. That is why I opted for the red within the white outline of the snake. Thanks! It is always good to know someone with such a wealth of knowledge regarding the history behind our subject matter. The history behind each aircraft is what makes the hobby so appealing to me. You are a true asset to the hobby!

  8. Another beautiful model Morne.

  9. Morane,
    This is absolutely gorgeous. What a great job.

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