Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-8

by Floyd S. Werner Jr.


Messerschmitt Bf 109G-8


Fujimi's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10/R2  is available online from Squadron.com




In 1997 David Wadman and Hikoki Publishing company released a wonderful book entitled “Aufklarer-Luftwaffe Reconnaissance Aircraft & Units- 1935-1945”. While searching through the photo filled pages I was struck by one aircraft in particular, on pages 214 and 215 there was a Bf-109G-8 (maybe G-6) belonging to Hauptmann Emmerstorfer that had a strange zigzag paint scheme. While the zigzag pattern was unique, the aircraft did not seem to me to use RLM 74 and 75. Now I know that Dave has been answering questions on this aircraft for quite some time. He used the Discussion Boards of Hyperscale and 12 O’clock High. I’ve been copying every correspondence on this aircraft that I was aware of so that when I wanted to build it I would have an expert’s opinion. What Dave found out was that the aircraft was painted in Dark Brown, no RLM number just Dark Brown. The ground crew could not remember if it was different colors of Dark Brown or not. So with this information or lack there of I started my model.


The Model

People have asked why use the Fujimi kit when Hasegawa has such a beautiful kit? Well I’ll tell you, I built it because I had already spent the money. I bought the kit while on vacation in Spain. I couldn’t speak Spanish and the shop owner couldn’t speak English, but I had brought some model photos along and that broke the barrier. He showed me what I was after and the Photo Recon bird came home with me. It beats some shellfish or other junk that I won’t want. I like to hunt out model shops in foreign countries and unfamiliar cities.

Enough has been written about the shortcomings of the Fujimi kit, but let me refresh you a little bit. When the kit came out I was awe inspired until I started to build one. There was the over engineering to deal with. I hate to fill seams and holes. The flaps couldn’t have been based on anything real. They are supposed to be the same size to articulate up and down. The Fujimi has the top one being smaller than the bottom. The other thing that I remembered as I was finishing the kit was that the canopy doesn’t fit. The middle section is too short.


I decided to use the photo recon kit because it had a section of clear parts that would be surgically implanted in the tail section for the G-10/R2 and I wanted to see if it would fit. Because I wanted to build a G-8 it was the same thing as the G-10 except for the nose section and tail. I brought this kit with me while moving from Texas to Missouri, but my new airline career was thwarted by September 11. Anyway, after settling down temporarily in NJ I started the kit. I had planned the conversion before leaving, but I made a mistake by bringing the wrong forward cowlings. Milton Bell and Morris Duet both came to my rescue. Milton sent the cowlings and Morris sent another entire kit. Thank God they did, I needed both. I screwed up the wheel well on the first kit.



Fujimi Bf 109G-10/R2 “Photo Recon” Kit # 48012

Aftermarket Accessories Used:

  • Cooper Detail (now Jaguar) cockpit set

  • True Detail wheels

  • Eduard 48 110 Photo etch set

  • Verlinden Detail Set for the Bf-109E

  • Fine Molds AC-18 1 German Aircraft Seatbelts Set 1

  • Cutting Edge CEC48154 Luftwaffe 300 Litre Drop Tank

  • Cutting Edge CED48068 Luftwaffe Recon A/C Decals

  • Period Miniatures #2068 1920’s Gas Pump

Let me tell you that I love Cooper Details (now Jaguar) interiors. The fit is perfect and they look very convincing. I added the additional boxes, wiring, and the lower panel on the instrument panel for the photo recon bird. This is enough to make a G-8, but I wanted something that would make this aircraft a G-8 without having to lift it up to see the photo recon windows.

A quick review of the Cutting Edge drop tank would be in order. I liked the set a lot but it is not perfect. There were some sink marks and there is some work required in the area of the pour gate. These are relatively easy repairs though, just a little filler, sanding and rescribing.

What I did like was that the sway braces for the tank looked very realistic. The Eduard set provided the band for the tank. The only modification needed for this was that the hole in the rack had to be opened up, very simple and effective.

I added the two feed and vent lines for the tank but they are hardly noticeable. I would recommend the ETC rack and tank, as it is very nice. I would like to see the other types of tanks available and capable of fitting this rack.



The thing that I thought would set the G-8 from the other G-6 aircraft in my collection would be the camera equipment. So I decided to open the rear access and scratchbuild the cameras. This all proved rather easy after raiding the Verlinden set. The Verlinden set donated the access hatch, the radio sets, the formers and longerons. The fit of the set was perfect for the Fujimi kit.

The thing that needed to be built was the cameras themselves. A quick trip to the model railroad section and hours of searching the detail sets revealed that 1920 gas pumps actually look like the camera lens area for a Rb32/7x9 camera. The body of the camera was built with styrene. The mounts for the lenses were actually easy. I drilled straight through the fuselage halves to ensure the camera supports were straight and aligned. The wires for the cameras were added and the whole area was painted RLM 02 with a dry brush of White artist oil. I was careful to make sure that the cameras actually pointed out of the windows on the bottom of the airplane, it is so cool.


Construction of the aircraft was straightforward with nothing to mention except the fit of the wings to fuselage was not the greatest. I did have to use a tail assembly from a G-6 kit. One thing that I did do was to burnish the bulges in the wheel well from the Eduard set. This provides vertical relief, which is more realistic. Even if you don’t burnish the wheel well inserts they don’t fit real well. Like I said I ruined one set of wings before getting it right.


Painting and Markings

First off, prove me wrong!

OK, with that out of my system, I looked at the photos that I had and determined that there were in fact two shades of brown and a gray even lighter than RLM 76. Now this contradicts Dave Wadman’s conclusions and totally differs from Cutting Edge’s conclusions. Aren’t Luftwaffe colors a blast? There was a model in “Replic” a while back that was wonderful with RLM 79, but I thought it was incorrect. So I started looking for my appropriate colors. At first I thought that the Germans might have used paint supplies from the Italians or Vichy French but didn’t like the hues of any of those colors. I use hues and tonal qualities to determine my colors and finally I decided what I thought looked good. I based my colors on a color photo from Prien’s book “Messerschmitt Bf109 F, G, & K” on page 207 to determine my shades of brown. This showed a crashed airplane from 6./JG51that is definitely dark browns. The aircraft was from the same theater of operations.

The paint scheme did start out normally with pre-shading and the application of Model Master Acrylic RLM 76 to the bottom. Now came the out of the normal part of the model. After looking at the photos and the instructions from Cutting Edge I realized that the Cutting Edge instructions were just wrong. The fuselage camouflage (one side only) is fairly accurate. The wings were nothing like I the instructions, so I blew up some plans and drew the correct camo (IMHO). I started the camouflage with Model Master Acrylic RLM 77 overall. I drew the camouflage scheme very lightly with a pencil so I had something to follow. A quick word about Model Master Acrylic, they are opaque, have a very fine grain and spray nicely. These contrast with my normal Polly-S which dries transparent (which can be nice if that is what you are looking for) and grainy, but dries too quick. Both paints seem to catch the Luftwaffe colors correctly, if there is a correct. I will continue to use both as necessary. I prefer the Polly-S, but like the Model Master Acrylic paint range and availability.


I started the camouflage with the lighter color of brown, Humbrol 29. This was applied VERY carefully with a Tamiya airbrush, but the airbrush wasn’t the reason for fine lines (it didn’t hurt). Tamiya’s Bob Ohler passed down the secret to fine lines to me, so don't tell anybody. He told me to remove the end of the airbrush, the tip not the whole assembly. This allows you to get extremely close and get a really tight line. The reason this works is the air doesn’t cause any burbles, it dissipates the airflow evenly with no blowback into the tip. It works on the same principle as the crown tip. You can get really close to the aircraft but you have to be careful not to hit the tip on the kit, I did and ruined one needle. You have to lower your air pressure when using this method, but not too low as to cause splatter. The key is to practice, practice and practice some more. Using the same method apply the Dark Brown, Humbrol 98 (maybe 86?).

Multiple coats of Future prepped the model for the decals. The Cutting Edge decals are great. The best thing about Emmerstorfer’s machine is that the camouflage was field applied and it covered all the stenciling. So decalling is done quickly. The decals are covered with Future and then with Polly-S Flat.

Weathering was completed with an overspray of Polly-S Dust, Dark Tan and Black exhaust streaks, pastels, silver pencils, and Burnt Umber artist oils. The streaks were done with black and burnt sienna artist oils.



The Hasegawa kit would have been easier, but for someone who already spent the money this exercise in scrathbuilding and painting was very challenging and rewarding. I now have a colorful G-8 for my collection. I don’t know if I would do it again, I do know I won’t use the Fujimi kit if I do. I may have to sell my remaining Fujimi kits now, any takers? Didn’t think so. It is time to bring on the Bf-109G-4/R3 with it’s underwing drop tanks.





  • “Aufklarer-Luftwaffe Reconnaissance Aircraft & Units- 1935-1945”, David Wadman, John Bradley, and Barry Ketley, ISBN 0-9519899-8-7

  • “Messerschmitt Bf109 F, G & K Series”, Jochen Prien and Peter Rodeike. ISBN 0-88740-424-3

  • “Messerschmitt Bf-109 G” Mushroom Model Magazine Vol 1, Robert Peczkowski, ISBN 83-88006-84-3

  • “Aero Detail 5 Messerschmitt Bf109G”, Shigeru Nohara, ISBN 4-499-20589-1

  • “Model Art #290-Messerschmitt Bf-109G/K Augsburg Eagle”, Unknown ISBN

  • “Militaria in detail #5-Messerschmitt Bf 109 G in detail”, ISBN 83-7219-091-7


Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Article Copyright © 2002 by Floyd Werner
Page Created 12 February 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Features Page