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Bf109E3 – Royal Yugoslav Air Force

The third decade of 20th century was world’s turbulent turning point. Germany was ruled by total dictatorship, Italy was finding way into world’s politics, Britany and France were asleeped…and everyone was rearming and arming for the upcoming conflict in Europe and in the world. Serbia was part of outdated kingdom which lost king Aleksandar Karadjordjevic in 1934. who was killed by separatist during his visit to friendly France. After his death his nephew prince Pavle gained control over kingdom. Althought he was oriented towards Britain he saw real threat from Germany and he was trying to make good politic arrangements with it. One of his plans was to rearm gravely outdated Yugoslavian army. After heroic battles in WWI our army was in very bad condition, outdated in every possible way. By 1930 the Royal Yugoslav Airforce was numbered amongst the ten largest and best equipped air forces in the world. But, in the early 1930s we saw that our airforce was outdated by faster and deadlier monoplanes. Our fleet consisted of Breguet XIXs, Potez 25s and Dewoitines… General M. Nedic and prime minister Milan Stojadinovic knew that we had to renew airforce. First attempt was to engineer domestic plane, that planes were Ik3 fighter and Ikarus Orkan Destroyer, but they weren’t good enough.

After some negotiations with Britain we bought Hawker Hurricanes, then Capronis from Italy. But we needed modern fighter planes and bombers. Obvious choises were Dorniers, Heinkels and, of course… Messerschmitts Bf109… After tough negotiations Yugoslavia bought licence for manufacturing Do 17, and we signed contract for some 100 Bf109E3 fighter planes. Althought contract was signed we didn’t get all the planes in one batch. It took long 3 years for almost all Bf’s to arrive.

Pilots were selected from elite units to retrain. At first they flew in Taifuns (Bf 108), then they were transferred to pilot Bf 109s. Althougth they trained hard it was almost impossible to be prepared for the upcoming conflict.

Yugoslavian planes were mainted in excellent condition, there weren’t almost any scratches, blotches, dirt… They were painted in RLM 70 and RLM 65, but in RLM 02 inside. Machines were signed with L letter and number (L – 8, L – 46, L -52…). main force was stanioned around Belgrade, in Zemun, Krusedol and Vojvodina, Kraljevo…

In 1941, during the Easter morning of the 6th of april mass force of German fighters, dive bombers and bombers gather in Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgary for the so called punishment of Serbia due to demonstrations agains the pact with Germany. Couple of thousands of planes attacked Belgrade and key army instalataions in Serbia, althougth the real state consisted of several countries, only Serbia received mass destruction. During the attack many schools, churches, cultural objects were destroyed, countless civilians died…

Althought our airforce was gravely outnumbered almost all of our pilots stationed around Belgrade and it’s vicinity scrambled to defend Kingdom. Under command of cpt. Zunjic they tried to defend destroyed homeland. Commander cpt Zunjic was very commited to defend his capital city and claimed few victories, but he was shoot. He menaged to paraschute from burning plane, but crews of German Heinkels and Stukas shoot him, although he wasn’t war target after jumping from plane. He died as a hero. Some 85 Yugoslav Bf109s were destroyed, but they menaged to destroy almost 100 German planes. Belgrade was annihilated from the sky, but heroic pilots, even they didn’t stand any chance, died as a real heroes defending their homeland and capital city.

This is my second Yugoslav Bf109E3. This time I choose to do old Bf109E3 in 1/48 scale. But, this time I put myself to the limits, I bought many photo etche addond, resin cockpit and full detailed radio compartment from Eduard. It is stayioned in plane’s tale, You must see through the opening with the light. I also bought Das Werk Luftwaffe Jack Stands, added ICM ground crew modified to match Serbian ground personnel. I did scratch build on ladders, added NOCH grass on Vallejo mud texture… Added parachute to the cockpit.

The model…Well, I did this same model few years ago, and I knew that there would be some problems. But main problem was withresin cockpit, which must be trimmed, sanded down and carefully fitted to the fuselage. After that part everything else was easy. I used lacquer colors for priming and painting, and Abteilung 502 oils for weathering. Our Messers were maintened perfectly, almost as a newso I did very little weathering, just some engine grease, panels and rivets with color modulation.

Decals are from Serbian manufacturer Lift Here… Serbian BF109s had German stencils, but roundels and some marking were in Serbian language. So I had to use this old set from 2011. And that was BIIIIG problem, my first intent was to do L33, decals were annihilated almost same second when I took them from the film carrier… Same was also with L21… I was forced to this maschine with ID White 11.

So, this is it. Thank You for Your attention and feel free to comment! Cheers!

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. Beautifully done! Just a solid job all the way around.

  2. Nice work and a great result.

  3. I really like what you did here, really nice presentation on a nicely built and painted kit. Small compact and to the point. It shows very nicely!

  4. An excellent build!

  5. It's a very inspiring job. Congratulation!

  6. This is a wonderful work, Djordje!
    What a nice diorama! All your hard job paid off: an excellent result!

  7. Very nice - I like all the extras! Regarding the decals, I just got hold of a few Lift Here! decals, and will try to remember your words of caution when I get around to using them.

    Nice photos too!

  8. This is a real quality build, Djordje.
    Also the way you present your model is superb.

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