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Spiros Pendedekas
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Hasegawa 1/48 Bf 109E-3

February 7, 2023 · in Aviation · · 48 · 0.9K

Otto “Otsch” Bertram was born on 30 April 1916 at Wilhelmshaven and joined the Luftwaffe in 1935.

He was sent to Spain in 1938, where, belonging to the Condor Legion, he claimed nine victories flying with 1./J 88, becoming one of the most successful fighter pilots in that conflict. In October 1938 he was shot down by an I-15, bailed out and taken prisoner. He was awarded the Spanien “Kreuz in Gold mit Brillanten'' for his accomplishments.

In October 1939, Bertram was appointed Staffelkapitän of 1./JG 2, claiming four victories during the Battle of France.

In May 1940 he was shot down and crash-landed, but he made it to his unit unhurt. During the opening phases of the Battle of Britain, “Otsch” claimed seven victories in five days between 2 September and 6 September 1940 with the unit, all RAF fighters. On 26 September 1940 he was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 2, where he claimed two further victories with the unit and on 28 October 1940 he was awarded the Ritterkreuz for 13 victories in World War 2.

Betram was one of three brothers serving in the Luftwaffe, so, when the other two were killed in action, the order to cease combat flying and return to Germany came as no surprise.

Prohibited from further combat duty, he was to spend the remainder of the war in administrative posts or training units. He served at the JG5 at Wien-Schwechat during 1940/1941 and was Kommodore of JG 101 from January 1943 to April 1944. From February 1945, Major Bertram was appointed Gruppenkommandeur of I./JG 6, a position he held until the end of the war.

In total, the talented “Otsch'' Bertram shot down 22 enemy aircraft. He survived the war and died on 8 February 1987 at Freiburg.

This is the initial release of the Messerschmitt E-3, a by all means advanced kit upon its release in 1988 and a fine kit in general, even for today's standards...

...aside from the fact that it has two "serious" shape issues (rear fuselage too thin, front top cowling too flat), together with some minor ones. The fact that Hasegawa urged to correct the two main inaccuracies (something not that difficult - basically shaving material off from the existing molds) was the kiss of death for the first "uncorrected" editions, such as this one, which, nevertheless, do not look too wrong to the casual viewer.

The kit was was yet another combo-build, started by my good friend @johnb.

Should you wish to read the full build review, you may do so by visiting my beloved site Modelingmadness:

Happy Modelling!
Reader reactions:
17  Awesome

48 responses

  1. Nice job, Spiros!

  2. Very beautiful work, Spiros @fiveten

  3. Beauty. I like these early war Me-109's. Nice paint work.

  4. Nice work Spiros! I have the Hasegawa Bf-109E-4 from the same 1988 group of 109s released at the time. Painted it in the classic N. African color scheme. Your attention to detail of the pilot history is "Tom Cleaver- like" 👍
    I plan on painting my Tamiya 109E-3 in the same color scheme as your model. My compliments to you on a job well done! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    • Thanks so much, my friend @jaltergott6! Tom's @tcinla writings are "original", really wonderful stuff, whereas my historical sections are practically edited net material. Tom's knowledge and the way he presents this knowledge in writing is really unique and utterly inspiring.

  5. Excellent work, Spiros @fiveten
    A great historical background of Otto accompanied by a beautiful build of his aircraft.
    It was a pleasure to build those Emils together.

  6. Nicely done, Spiros @fiveten. I've always thought the 109 (like the spitfire) was just a big engine with wings and a seat! The pilot is practically wearing the aircraft... 🙂

  7. Nice Emil and interesting bio of Otto.. Always enjoy your posts!

  8. Good story and Nice build of an early 109. I am not an 109 expert, but it looks great and I like the scheme. It is different, and the clean blue sides without mottling is looks great.

  9. A great-looking Emil - my favorite version of the 109. I have a whole stack of them to eventually build...

  10. Great job Spiros @fiveten. I have not seen this color scheme on a 109 before. You seem to have executed it beautifully!

  11. That's an 'E' for 'Excellent' Spiros! Nice work.

  12. Your Emil is a very pleasant trip down memory lane Spiros. I too built this kit in the exact version (the box was inspirational to me then, and surely it still is to anyone who has the kit in the stash). I think you made a splendid paint work and a very solid build as usual my friend! @fiveten

  13. Very neatly built and painted, Spiros, an overall great job on this venerable kit.

  14. Nice result, Spiros. That kit and Hasegawa’s 1/48 P-51D really started the modern era for our hobby.

  15. Fine work Spiros. These old Hasegawa kits still can stand up to the newer kits.

  16. Nice looking 109, Spiros. Proof that the older kits still look good when finished and sitting on the display shelf!

  17. Beautiful Spiros @fiveten! 👍 This build inspires me to get my Hobbycraft 109 going again; it stalled when I got to the canopy masking. I'd be tickled pink if it ever turned out this well. This is really nice Spiros, and a wonderful history lesson as well. 🥂

  18. Great build and dialogue Spiros. I didn't realise the old Hasegawa kits had a few shape issues. Looks good though 😊

  19. Good looking early Emil and detailed story about Bertram. Much enjoyed, Spiros! @fiveten

  20. Spiros Pendedekas (@fiveten)
    You did a magnificent job with your Emil. I have plans to finish up the ones I started with you guys soon. I have to finish up the Corsairs and the 1/32 Revell Mustang "LOU IV", and then I should be getting back to work on them. I'm looking forward to finishing up the Spanish Civil War Emil in particular.

    I especially enjoyed reading your article. They are getting better with each new one you post. QC1 and QC2 are definitely keeping you on track. It was nice to see your 109 over at M2 as well.

    Take care my friend. I definitely clicked on the "like" button too.

  21. Real nice, love the color scheme.

  22. Nice job, Spiros! I have one of those on the "Shelf of DOOOOOOM!" Now I am going to have to finish it! Great work.

  23. Great looking Emil, Spiros!

  24. Very nice Spiros! Nice read on the pilot's history, and great job on the 109 build.

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