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Paul Barber
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Junkers EF 126, Das Werk 1/32, 'First and Last' Project

January 21, 2022 · in Aviation · · 25 · 1.6K
This article is part of a series:
  1. Junkers EF 126, Das Werk 1/32, 'First and Last' Project
  2. Matilda Tank 'Red Army' Tamiya 1/35 'First and Last' Project
  3. Seafire Mk III, Special Hobby, 1/48: last dogfight of the World War 2 'First and Last' Project.

After the 'Flight 19' lost Avengers project, a mini-group build instigated by our absent but not forgotten friend David Leigh-Smith, the small group of friends who had participated decided we might use the title of Adolf Galland's book and build some models under the broad title of 'First and Last'.

This is one of my builds from that project. The 1/32nd scale Junkers EF-126 is a gem of a kit. It offers three different design versions of one of the last experimental aircraft of the Emergency Fighter Program instigated near the end of World War 2. It offers many scheme possibilities. In fact most builds will be something of a 'flight of fancy' as there are few pictures of the original aircraft, and none in some of its various propulsion configurations.

The following pictures show a version that employed a single Argus power plant.

The two MG 151 mm canons on each side of the cockpit were similar to the He 162 Salamander. The design shown above used a single Argus As 014 pulse-jet engine but was found to be underpowered. Alternatives were explored including a dual Argus As 014 configuration, a Walther 509C rocket motor like that carried by the Me 263 Komet, and a single Jumo 226 pulse-jet.

Flying surfaces were made of plywood and the fuselage and key structural elements were made of aluminium and other metals. 4 Schmidding rocket boosters were placed on the rear fuselage, similar to those used by the Bachem Natter Ba 349. To achieve the wooden finish Uschi Van Der Rosten Wood Grain decals were used.

To enable the Ef-126 to take off under its own power a wheeled trolley was used.

Landing was achieved by the retractable belly skid and fixed underwing skids. I used Uschi metal polishing powder to achieve a shine that may be wholly unrealistic!

The interior of the kit is really well designed, and can be enhanced using HGW paper belts (in this case meant for the Me 262).

Aside from that there is little to say, other than I highly recommend this kit as there are so many options, from fantasy late war camo schemes to a captured Russian version.

I chose a version that was as yet 'undressed' having been found in the 'Underground Production Facility' in Dessau, Germany in late 1945.

Thanks for looking! And special thanks to the small group of friends who picked up the idea and ran with it so wonderfully well!

Reader reactions:
16  Awesome

25 responses

  1. I like this a whole lot, @yellow10. Great work and I love the "undressed" look.

    • Cheers, Tom. It’s a fun kit - everyone should build one because it’s straightforward and the configuration choices are limitless. I’ll probably build another in time.

  2. Marvellous work Paul, congrats!
    I think this Luft’46 plane also qualifies as “a missile with a man in it”

    • Thanks Pedro - hard to imagine having a plane for which they mixed and matched the propulsion methods so much. I chose ‘the double Argus with side rockets’ which sounds more like a burger than a missile, but there are many more options. I may be a subliminal Star Trek fan!

  3. What an amazing result. Paul!
    Lost of words, to be honest: it looks simply spectacular!
    A great "last" for our so inspiring "First and Last" group.

  4. This is an excellent build of a not so common subject, Paul @yellow10
    I was not even aware of this aircraft.
    Love the chosen scheme and how it looks.

    • Thanks very much, John. The first time I set eyes on this plane was when I saw a kit review. Das Werk of course are better known for Armour - I believe this is currently their only plane. It's nicely molded and engineered - I can only recommend it.

  5. Professional, worthy of hard copy.

    Two thumbs up.

  6. That truly looks amazing, Paul! That will certainly catch the eye in your display...Well done.

  7. This build turned out really great! I had not heard of this plane before now, and find it interesting.

    Also, your photos appear professional in quality. Would you mind explaining your setup?

    • Thank GT, the kit is great - as I have said before because of lack of info and the somewhat 'fantasy' status of Luft '46 subjects you can safely concoct something unique from the box.

      For the snaps I use a Canon EOS R - their first version of a mirrorless 'dslr'. I had a lot of lenses from my love of photography anyway - I used a Canon 1D previously and an adaptor allows me to use them on this new body. My 'go to' lens oddly is a 17-40mm zoom - wide angle. I also use a 100mm macro lens and a 50mm prime if needed.

      Everything is set on a tripod with a joystick style head for maximum manoeuvrability. Exposure times can be long (up to a second or two) because I want a high f-stop (between f9 and f20) to allow maximum depth of field, so the tripod is the most essential part of the set up.

      The lighting is not so technical - my bench has three spot lights on it (I use a magnifying visor to build but I want a lot of light). On the wall behind my bench hangs a large silver reflector (cheap on ebay). I line the bench with A2 sized white card.

      After photographing I use the 'curves' function in photoshop to get the white balance right - so that the light is not too warm - I want the white background to be white but that's the only correction I do and it doesn't always work perfectly! My workshop walls are a dark yellow so there is a significant colour cast - I need to repaint the whole place white! If the white is right the rest seems to look ok.

      Finally, for those who know photography a little I over-expose by a third to two thirds of a stop to 'keep the histogram to the right' and ensure a bright look straight out of the camera - this depends on the window light on the day and a couple of checks to ensure I don't lose detail.

      I am going to post again this weekend @GreenTerrorz I will take a phone shot of my set up when I do. Hope this helps.

      • Wow I wasn’t expecting such a detailed and elaborate explanation of your photo setup. I really appreciate it!

        Also, I would love to see an image of the setup. I’m still a novice to taking photos of my projects (using my phone and an led desk light)


  8. Exceptional work Paul, with a very unusual A/C. She looks great and the photography is outstanding. Well done buddy.

  9. A classic post, equally superb write-up, model and photography.

    • Cheers George - much of the info came directly from Das Werk excellent package and instructions, and in terms of the finishing the Uschi materials are fairly foolproof!

  10. A very cool aircraft and a wonderfully executed model Paul! Smashing!

  11. Paul, @yellow10
    First off, I want to commend you on just how fantastic this model looks. You have done some wonderful workmanship on this kit, which I have learned over these last few years is to be expected from you. 🙂 I really like the way the wooden panels look. But what is the most impressive part of this build, is the seat and harness. This model would look right at home in any museum, or contest table.

    Can you imagine what kind of a ride it would have been had this one actually became airborne and was controllable ?

    It was a lot of fun watching you build it from the ground up. Now I need to get it in gear, and finish up my First and Last. ( Which it seems now I will be the last of the "First and Last". 😉 )

    I wish David was still hanging around here with us. It seems like we have lost a little bit of sparkle this website had while he was active here. Hopefully someday he will return, as his humor and whit is truly missed. But above all, he was a true friend, just as you are. This was a wonderful idea, and I feel honored to have been included among you guys.

    Here's to wishing all of us health, happiness, and overall good times in this new year.

    Well done my friend ! VERY well done. You know I will definitely check the "like" box before I sign off.

    • Louis, the pleasure has been all mine watching the guys put together F and L builds - I can’t wait to see yours in the headlines section! I know how good they are! I doubt if you will be the last. I still have at least a couple to post!

  12. Fantastic build, look at the wood detail! Congratulations. I also miss David, I hope he is in good health.

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