Bf-109F-4 Royal Hungarian Air Force, 1943 (AZModel, 1:72)
This project was a “sanity keeper” – I needed a project to help me through some difficult times. I grabbed a random box from the stash and started a build. It was finished in two weeks.
In 1942 the main fighter type of the Royal Hungarian Air Force was the Reggiane Re-2000. It was the first modern fighter plane of the RHAF, but by 1942, it was simply obsolete. The “Héja” (Hawk in Hungarian) had weak armor and weapons, unreliable engine and somewhat tricky handling characteristics. It was clear that a new type is needed against the Soviet forces.
The obvious choice would have been the Bf-109. However, the Germans were initially reluctant to sell this modern type to their ally, Hungary – the reasons behind this decision are complex and do not belong to a modeling page. If you are interested in WW2 geopolitics, then look up the last 150 years of Central and Eastern Europe in the history books. It will be an interesting and controversial story, I promise.
So, late 1942. It was clear for the Germans as well, that the victory against the Soviets won’t be easy. All forces on the eastern front had hard times, the Germans and all their allies as well. Finally, the Germans agreed to sell the license of Bf-109 to Hungary and helped them to start their own manufacturing. Before the first Hungarian made planes (G series 109s) arrived in 1943, the RHAF received used F-series Messerschmitts from the Germans in late 1942. The planes were repainted on the front, the German markings were covered by gray paint on the sides and most probably by green overspray on the originally yellow engine covers. The national markings and tricolors were also painted, however the quality of the overpaint was not the best. In some cases the swastika was still visible under the tricolor. Many of these planes received winter camouflage during the winter, my model represents one of these 109s.
It wore the markings V-+07, and was flown by Dezső Szentgyörgyi, the most successful fighter pilot of the RHAF with 29 victories. According to the photos, the plane received a very crude winter wash, and was heavily weathered. (A few words about the markings – “V” stands for “vadász”, fighter in Hungarian. The dash is a placeholder for type identifier, these F series 109s got “0” as type ID later. The last two numbers are the unique number for a plane within the type series)
This 1:72 scale kit is made by AZmodel, and probably the best Bf-109F on the market in this scale currently. I bought the release with the Hungarian markings, but decided to use the Bf-109F decal set from S.B.S Models instead.
Unfortunately I made a few errors during the build, because my thoughts were all over the place. As I mentioned, this project was a sanity keeper... The most obvious mistake is the wrongly placed head armor. It was way too late to correct it, when I spotted my mistake.
The paint job was a true multi layer experiment. I started with a dark gray base layer, then I built up a full, standard eastern front German camouflage. The second layer was the Hungarian overpaint – green on the upper engine covers, gray on the sides and tricolor on the stabilizers.
A decided to make a full decaling before applying the winter wash. I masked the main markings, mixed white paint with 10% gray and sprayed this over chipping fluid on the upper surfaces. After the chipping, I made two additional layers with brush to imitate the original, crudely made winter wash. The finishing steps were quite standard, oil washes, pigments and exhaust stains.
I enjoyed the build, and will definitely buy more of these little gems – I have other interesting markings on the S.B.S. Model sheet. And yes, next time I will place correctly that darned head armor plate.
9 additional images. Click to enlarge.