|The Bf 109K4 represented the final development of the original airplane, sometimes referred to as the Me 109. The Bf 109K4 was an extremely fast and agile aircraft and was a formidable threat to the best allied fighters and bombers. In Italian use the Bf 109 is usually known for its extensive use with the highly-effective ANR (Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana) although a fair number had been in use with the RA (Regia Aeronautica) during the Husky landings in July, 1943. The ANR received approximately 200 Bf 109s of which 19 K4s were supplied.|
|Hobbycraft models are known for their “more-bang-for-the-buck” type kits and in particular this is true of their late series Bf 109G/K 1/48 scale kits. In this article I build a late-war ANR Bf 109K4. The Hobbycraft Bf 109K4 comes replete with finely engraved recessed panel lines and a fairly well detailed cockpit interior. The fit on the molding halves is good and the kit is molded in soft gray plastic. The model depicts K-4 3a Sq./I Gruppo Caccia, 3-17, W. Nr. 330209 present at Lonate Pozzolo on March 1945. The plane sports the RLM 81/83/76 camouflage scheme with 75/82 rudder and a white spiral on a black spinner. Some sources suggest 3-17 carried the so-called “Regensburg” pattern RLM 83/75/76 while Aeromaster (Decal Sheet 48-007 Italian Air Force Bf-109G/K 48-007) suggests RLM 75/82/76 as a possible alternative. Previous German markings were conspicuously over painted with Grigio Azzuro Chiaro FS. 36307 as was typical practice of Italian foreign built aircraft. Polly Scale Paints were used for all paints and I used the kit decals which reacted well to setting solution. Overall the kit construction is straight forward with no difficulties. Highly Recommended.|
Aircraft: Messerschmitt Bf.109K4
Manufacturer: Messerschmitt A. G.
Engine: Damiler Benz DB 605ASCM, 12-cylinder V, liquid-cooled 2,000hp
Wingspan: 32 ft 8 ˝ in (9.95m)
Length: 29ft (8.84m)
Height: 8ft 2 ˝ in (2.49m)
Weight: 7,475lb (3,386 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 452mph (727km/h) at 19,685ft (6,000m)
Ceiling: 41,000ft (12,500m)
Range: 356miles (573km)
Armament: 2 15mm cannons, 1 30 mm cannon
The Aviazione Nazionale Repubblicana, Italian Air Forces 1943-1945, R. J. Caruana and M. Bonello, Modelaid International Publications, 1989.
World Aircraft, World War II – Part I, Sampson Low Guides, E. Angelucci and P. Matricardi, 1978.
Messerschmitt Bf 109 in Action, Squadron/Signal Publications, J. R. Beamna, 1983.
Messerschmitt Bf 109, La Bancarella Areonautica, G. Alegi, 2002.
Regia Aeronautica Vol. 2, F. D’Amico and G. Valentini, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1986.
|Hobbycraft 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf.109K4
Italian Messerschmitts Part II
by Vince Tassone
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