The story of Swiss Messerschmitts began in 1937 at the famous Dübendorf Meeting (see article here
). The event was for the Swiss Authorities a way to test potential fighters for their own Air Force. The Luftwaffe, eager to impress the aeronautical world, sent their most modern aircraft to Switzerland. Amongst them were Bf 109 Ds and the Bf 109 V-13 and V-14. Unfortunately, Ernst Udet crash landed the V-14 prototype during the Meeting because of engine failure. However, the reputation of the Bf 109 did not suffer from the crash landing of Ernst Udet. To the contrary, the Swiss were impressed to see that he escaped the wreck with no injuries because of the solid design of the airframe and, broadly satisfied with the overall performance of the plane, they ordered 10 "Doras" and 80 "Emils" in the following years.
The Bf109 E-3s were delivered in two batches. The first from J-311 to J-340 and the second from J-341 to J-390. But another type of Messerchmitt was used by the Swiss Flugwaffe: the G-6. Indeed, in 1944, the Swiss wanted to replace their obsolete machines and though their first choice was the Spitfire Mk.IX, an incident made them switch to the German fighter instead. In April 1944, a Bf110G-4 nighfighter landed by error on Swiss territory equipped with the latest version of the SN-2 Lichtenstein radar. In exchange for the destruction of the aircraft, Germany agreed to supply Switzerland with 12 new Bf109 G-6s. However, due to poor construction, the "Gustaves" were plagued with accidents and incidents and were removed from service before the "Emils"!
Victory Production's 1:32 scale Swiss Bf109s decal sheet comes in an A4 sized resealable plastic bag. The content is the following:
- One big decal sheet.
- One B&W A4 sheet with the desciption of all marking options and an history of Swiss Bf109s.
- One color A4 sheet with decalling and painting guides as well as drawings which show the modifications made on Swiss machines.
Here is a list of the 16 marking options included:
1 - Bf109 E-3, J-315 (W.Nr. 2165), Cp Av 6, Thun Summer 1940.
2 - Bf109 E-3, J-317 (W.Nr. 2165), Fl Kp 7, 1940-1942.
3 - Bf109 E-3, J-360 (W.Nr. 2427), Fl Kp 8, Avanches, Summer 1940.
4 - Bf109 E-3, J-362 (?), Fl Kp 8, Avanches, Summer 1940.
5 - Bf109 E-3, J-346 (W.Nr. 2403), Fl Kp 8, Thun, November 1944.
6 - Bf109 E-3, J-350 (W.Nr. 2407), Fl Kp 9, Avanches, Spring 1941.
7 - Bf109 E-3, J-318 (W.Nr. 2166), Fl Kp 9, 1940.
8 - Bf109 E-3, J-374 (W.Nr. 2355), Fl Kp 9, Lt Dedompierre 1941.
9 - Bf109 E-3, J-356 (W.Nr. 2420), Fl Kp 21, Emmen, Summer 1940.
10 - Bf109 E-3, J-371 (W.Nr. 2352), Interlaken, September, 1944.
11 - Bf109 E-3, J-346 (W.Nr. 2403), Fl Kp 15, 1940-1941.
12 - Bf109 E-3, J-387 (W.Nr. 2379), Fl Kp 15, 1940.
13 - Bf109 E-3, J-378 (W.Nr. 2359), "Super S.F.R.", Fl Kp 9, June 1942.
14 - Bf109 E-3, J-316 (W.Nr. 2164), as delivered, 20 June 1939.
15 - Bf109 G-6, J-702 (W.Nr.163320), Fl Kp 7, Interlaken, may, 1944.
16 - Bf109 G-6, J-705 (W.Nr.163248), Fl Kp 7, Sion, November, 1945.
The quality of the decal sheet researched by Victory Productions and printed by Cartograf is excellent, as you would expect from the Italian manufacturer. The white crosses are provided in two exemplars (with or without the red color). This will allow you to mask and paint the red areas yourself rather than using the big decals. However, the roundel crosses are not separate. An extra line of code numbers is present as well in case you want to do another machine than the ones proposed. But remember, there are already 16 possibilities! One set of stencils may seem too little but appart from a couple which are typical of Swiss aircraft for some options, the others are identical to the german ones, so using those of the kit is possible in case you want to do several machines.
The instructions are excellent and amongst the best I've seen for a decal sheet. A full history is provided, as well as some drawings which explain the modifications one has to do to convert the E-3 to Swiss standards (see accompanying pictures). If you want to display your machine with the upper cowl removed, don't forget to replace the MG17s with Swiss MG29s.
I won't comment on the various marking options provided since everything is well explained in the 16 aircraft presentations as well as in the accompanying history. Victory Productions have obviously used very good sources of information for their work, including Philippe Osché's work which is very complete on the subject. I'm pretty confident that this sheet has been well researched.
This is another fantastic decal sheet from Victort Productions. it features 16 very attractive decorations for the Bf109 E-3s and Bf-109 B-6s of the Swiss Flugwaffe. If 1:32 is your scale and if you like exotic and colorfull paintshemes, go for it!
Victory Productions' 1:32 scale Swiss Bf109s
decal sheet is available from www.victorymodels.com
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