Bored at the "phoney war"? A very special Bf 108 Taifun!
As fascinating as the Bf 108 Taifun is as an aircraft, the motivation to build this model this time clearly came from the paint scheme. As soon as I saw this special Taifun, I knew which of the five marking variants of the Eduard Profipack I wanted to build! The special thing about it: the snake motif running along the length of the fuselage was created by masking the relevant zones before the colour RLM 65 had been applied to the undersides and fuselage sides of the machine.
The colour change between the blue-violet RLM 24 and the new shade was slightly gradient on the fuselage, but sharp-edged in the area in front of the cockpit. That's what the building instructions and the only photo of the model aircraft I could find reveal.
Unfortunately, I was not able to find more details about the location and history of this unique Taifun. Although Eduard gives with "France, May 1940" an approximate indication of the time and geographical location of the prototype, he does not go into further details. Although the initial part of the marking "WL"- is known to me as an Luftwaffe- identification, I could not find any further details about IQBR.
As conspicuous as the motif of a fuselage-length snake is, I can spontaneously think of two other Luftwaffe aircraft of those days, which also carry the stylised silhouettes of the lambent reptile on their sides. One is a Ju-52 of a transport squadron, also in spring 1940 in France, and the other is the Me-209 V4, albeit for propaganda purposes to suggest to the trade press a fictitious new fighter plane. Appointed experts will certainly be able to extend the list of examples.
The snake is therefore likely to serve a certain tradition within the Luftwaffe. Whether this certainly not prescribed interpretation of the application of RLM 65 had anything to do with the strangely wait-and-see and uneventful frontal situation of the "Sitzkrieg" or "phoney war" remains (my) speculation, however.
Eduard still offers with the new version of one of his oldest kits the only possibility to build a Bf 108 in this scale. The parts themselves promise good model making home cooking, but the equipment as a "professional pack" raises the standard to a welcome higher level with the included etched and resin parts.
What adds to the pleasure of this inexpensive kit is the high quality decal sheet with the markings for a total of five interesting variants. This praise must be accompanied by a criticism, however, which refers to the decals of the WL-IQBR I chose.
The snake can be applied as a long decal. Trusting in the high quality of Eduard products and since the first sight seemed to be right, I assumed that the shade of the decal and that of the proposed colour H322 by Gunze would at least roughly match. Unfortunately, after applying the decal I had to admit to myself that this was not the case at all.
After some consideration I decided to use a dry brush to apply the acrylic paint H322 in layers on the decal. After realizing that this action could also go quite decidedly wrong, I was all the more pleased when the functioning of this plan began to show. In the end I came to a result that I can really live with. Neither the traces of the brush's work are forced into our perception, nor is there any noticeable difference in colour.
The design of the glued wood layers of the propeller was done with the hand brush and pastel colours, sealed with a solid layer of glossy clear varnish.
Finally, to come back to the initial question about the missing historical embedding of this special Bf 108: if these lines reach one of the proven experts, I would be very grateful for any information about the historical background or combat- or unit history of WL-IQBR. A result would certainly be exciting - and I will certainly enjoy any increase in knowledge!
10 additional images. Click to enlarge.