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Battle of Kasserine Pass Group Build: 1/48 Bf-109F

Once again a big thanks you David Thomas for creating this group build, I personally had a fair amount of fun with the models I chose to build. Added bonus is I get to see David eat his hat because he stated I couldn't build three models for this subject. I built four, I'll buy the sauce for the hat David. Enough frivolity especially at David's expense. The kit I choose is the Bf-109F-6U, "Galland Special" which just so happened to have the desert air filters attached to the sprues. Leave off the two 20MM cannons add the filters and I have a desert Friedrich. The subject I chose was Franz Stigler, who as a young boy from Bavaria along with his brother was fascinated with flying and joined a Glider Club. Later they would be accepted into Germany's "Airline Pilot School", fully paid for by the German Government. After graduating he accepted a job with Lufthansa. Walking through an airport one day a German Officer approached him and stated, "here are your orders", he was now in the Hilter's new Luftwaffe.

After several assignments Franz picked up a factory new F-model Bf-109 that was already painted in desert camouflage with a white spinner. He would fly it to Martuba Airfield in Libya and join Fighter Wing 27 (Jagdeschwader27) or JG-27. After arriving he noticed the number 12 had been painted on his 109 and his girl had a new name, White 12.

It was during the summer of 1942 he noted "the men lived like animals." they didn't sleep in tents or under the stars. "To avoid British strafing they slept in what Franz called "graves.." six by six foot holes hacked into the earth, with a sheet of canvas overhead. The days of showering in freshwater were over, everyone stank."

In the spring of 1943 he went home on leave to visit his parents. It was then he realized that Germany was going to lose the war. He would later pick up a new G or Gustav model Bf-109 and proceed to Sicily. Later during the defense of Germany Franz had an encounter with a B-17, "Ye Old Pub" flown by Lt. Charlie Brown. That engagement was classified secret until well after the war. But that's another story. You can however read about it in a book written by Adam Makos, titled 'A Higher Call."

Typical Hasegawa kit, no real issues, fit and alignment was fine. Not much detail in the cockpit so I kept the canopy closed. I did add some PE hardness but nothing else to enhance her appearance. Decals are from EagleCals and were excellent. Paints were Model Master RLM enamels and were applied with an airbrush. As usual I used nylon threat for the antenna.

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses

  1. I like it, Tom...nicely presented (and photographed).

  2. Great 109,Tom! And an interesting narrative.

  3. Another stunner, Tom. And I should be the one offering the thanks. This presentation is fantastic, and you answered the call when no one had claimed a Bf 109. Much appreciated!

    By the way, I've learned that a pressure cooker can make the toughest hat tender enough to cut with the side of a fork. But as they say in some quarters, the sauce makes the meal...

  4. That’s a cracking 109 Tom. I’m really impressed by the high standard of your KP builds. The narrative is great too. I’m reading a book at the moment that is made of interviews with WW2 air crew members. What Strikes me most is that the majority of people involved were ordinary humans doing extraordinary things. It seems Stigler fits that bill too. Thanks for sharing this brilliant model, great photos and very interesting post!

  5. Hi Tom. Franz Stigler is one of my favourite subjects of WW2, despite being on the wrong sigde. Your 'Friedrich' is gorgeous - lovely painting and attention to detail.

    ...and I hope Herr Thomas enjoys his hat!

  6. That's a great looking Friedrich and like everyone else has said, cleverly set and photo'd in a desert setting. I've got an Eduard F sitting on the shelf waiting for an appropriate time and subject. Like you, I enjoy building models around the history of their pilots and their exploits. Great work! Paul

  7. Tom, a good looking 109, the Hasegawa 109 kits are always enjoyable to build. I really like the desert scheme. Nice work.

  8. Very nice work Tom, you can list it as one of your best. Nice presentation also.

  9. Lovely 109! I don't believe I have an F in my stash, but may have to add one. I like desert-scheme birds, and this one is great!

  10. Hey Tom ! Man you knocked this one out of the park ! I love it ... The desert base for the plane is a very nice touch.
    I like everything about this one. The article and accompanying original era photos help to make it really stand out. These Hasegawa 109's build up rather well...
    Well done Sir !
    Now about that hat... 🙂

  11. Great 109, Tom! You've been really busy!

    Did Stigler continue flying after the war? I just watched the YouTube video of their 1st meeting (1987) but neither said what they'd done later in their lives.

    Truly a touching story and a great model to honour it, Tom!

  12. Thanks Jeff, look forward to seeing you Mar 10th in Indy

  13. Tom, great looking 109F. I like Afrika markings on those more than European or Ost Front.

  14. Whatever markings they have 109s always look great and this one is no exception, nice history and photographs as well, all round good job. Your prize was well deserved.

  15. Nice story and model but what that rocks under ? It will destroy tyres in seconds 🙂

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