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Joe Boylan
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1/32 Matchbox Messerschmitt BF/109E-3

March 12, 2022 · in Aviation · 20 · 1.8K

Another garage sale "gem". The box was crushed, decals shot, but it appeared all the sprues were in it. this kit was molded in the early 80's in England. This took me awhile to build and landed on the shelf of doom more than once. It is a bit of a "paint donkey" as I am still honing my airbrushing, weathering and chipping skills. In hindsight, I may have gone a bit overboard with the chipping. I realized after shooting the pics, I am missing the antenna on the spine behind the cockpit. Looked high and low for it. No dice. Oh well, I may add a piece of toothpick later...

Fit was excellent with very little flash. I was surprised with the level of detail in both the cockpit and engine. I have included some progress shots of these from a couple of different angles. I also included photos of the box and the price I paid for it! DEAL!

This aircraft has some interesting innovations. The Daimler-Benz V-12 is inverted in the fuselage with a 20mm cannon as part of the propeller shaft, two synchronized machine guns to fire through the prop, and two more cannons out on the wings. The model has a removable cowl, and I had to do some filing on both pieces to make it fit.

I was so bummed the decals were not salvageable. The glycine protective sheet was bonded to them, so I am guessing the kit was exposed to some heat. I tried steaming, ironing, soaking with it in the hopes they would separate. Nothing worked. I ended up ordering some from Scalemates. The markings are fictitious, no particular pilot or squadron. They are supposed to be late war markings, but my gut questions the accuracy of that.

Oh well, it was fun, and that's what it's all about, eh?


Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. Looks good. I love the old 1/32 Matchbox kits have a couple in my stash

    • Thanks Mike. I had no idea Matchbox made kits until I came across this one. I had a lot of their little cast metal cars and Hotwheels as a kid.

  2. An 1/32 Matchbox original, built in excellence: cannot get better, Joe!

  3. Too much chipping? Yeah, probably but it still looks good. It's not over difficult to paint a few out should you decide to. Good work with a nice result sir

  4. Great result on this old Matchbox, Joe @jboyla
    The engine and interior are indeed very detailed and you made good use of that.
    A great kit for just $3, a lot of fun, even for your cat.

  5. Great job, Joe. Honing? I would like to be that close to a fine edge... Love your modeling buddy.

  6. Cats and boxes! Mine do that all the time.

    Nice work on this.

  7. That 109 turned out very well. Nice painting.

  8. Brilliant job on this Joe, I've seen these kits for sale at club meetings they always seem to bashed up and abandoned ,I think Matchbox put out a few models in this scale.

  9. nice kit an model, congratulations Joe!

  10. Impressive build of a great looking Matchbox kit!
    And what a DEAL! - I would have grabbed that bargain for sure!

  11. I love old kits, and deals! This came out nice. The thing about chipping is to think about the story it tells - where would the wear and tear naturally be? And it's hard to make the brain do "random" very well, so it helps to add a little, then step away for a while, then look it over and perhaps add a little more, etc. You'll get the hang of it!

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