Revell ANR 1/32 Messerschmitt Bf.109K4
Italian Messerschmitts
by Michel Gruson

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The Bf 109K represented another attempt by the German Fighter Staff to simplify and streamline Bf 109 production. The initial attempt to simplify all the options that were causing confusion and delay in the DB 605A-engined aircraft with the G-14 was reasonably successful. When the more powerful DB 605D was made available, an attempt was made to incorporate all the refinements of the G-14 and G-10 into a single model. The K did this, adding a few refinements of its own.

Externally, the K was similar to the G-10. The wider main wheels and the large recctangular upper wing bulges were made standard. The radio hatch in the left side of the fuselage was relocated forward and higher, the DF loop was moved back a panel, the tailwheel was made retractable with doors, and there were two external trim tabs on the rudder. As far back as the Bf 109F, there were experiments with a wheel well cover and this was finally installed on the K. The wheelwell cover was frequently removed by units in the field, however.

Several versions of the K were planned but there is no evidence to suggest that any of them, other than the K-4 were operational. The K-4 was armed with the deadly 30mm MK 108 cannon firing through the spinner. This weapon had been used sporadically throughout the G series as supplies permitted. It was a remarkable weapon in that 2 or 3 hits was usually sufficient to ensure a kill even on a heavy bomber. The problem with the MK 108 was that it frequently jammed leaving only the 13mm cowl guns and a vulnerable pilot. The problems were ironed out in time for K-4 production and deliveries of this potent warplane began in October, 1944.

Only some 700 K-4 aircraft were produced by April 1945. It served with a variety of units, among them JG 3, JG 4, JG 27, JG 51, JG 52, JG 53 and JG 77. In Italian service, three K-4s were on charge in May 1945 with 3a Sq/I Gr. C. as follows:

1. W.Nr. 330209, 3-17, 28.2.45 Serviceable
2. W.Nr. 333878, 3-14,10.4.45 Damaged in combat. S.ten.Gallori
3. W.Nr. 333958, 3-15,28.2.45 Serviceable

The K-4 was the apogee of development for the Bf 109. It was a remarkable testimony to the original design and to the tenacity of Messerschmitt's continuing development engineers, that the aircraft was still reasonabley competitive as the war ended. From the beginning to the end, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 was ever willing and able. A truly remarkable machine.


In this build I used the Revell 1/32 Bf.109 K-4. Aftermarket additions included a Bf.109 K-4 cockpit from Eagles Parts, corrected spinner MDC, Air Master Series for the MG-131 and resin exhausts from Ultracast.

Construction began with the cockpit, the internal parts of the interior are painted in Tamiya XF-63 Other details were then painted using several shades of acrylic Prince August.

The main gear retraction jack (tube Evergreen) was mounted behind the set of the holes drilled. The leather weather stripping made with Tamiya. The sewings are represented with a castor rivet Trumpeter and painted with acrylic shades Leather and green chestnut. The system of undercarriage made with a piece of PE For more accurate showing, radiator fairing was made deeper with plastic card.

The Landing Gear
The brakes hoses are added using fine lead vire. These parts are then painted following the instructions: RLM 02, aluminium for the shock absorber, satin black for the wheels and Nota black for the tires. For the weathering I used Pigments CMK.

For the spinner I used the resin part MDC with correct « Teardrop » The propeller and the spinner are painted with RLM 70 (Gunze H65).

Markings are from STORMO! Italian Bf.109 Aces Part III - 48003. I chose the plane flown by the Lt Gallori, 3° Squadriglia, I Gruppo Caccia "Asso di Bastoni".

The basic color scheme of this BF 109 K-4 was RLM 83/82/76. The rudder painted in RLM 83/82 and the German markings overpainted with grey RLM 75. My model has been painted with Gunze acrylics colors. Note: Lt. Gallori's Bf.109 K4 colors are 75/83/76.

1) Messerschmitt Bf 109 in Action Part 2, 1057, Squadron/Signal Publications, J. R. Beamna, 1983.
2) Messerschmitt Bf 109, La Bancarella Areonautica, G. Alegi, 2002.
3) Camouflage and Markings of the Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana 1943-1945, F. D’Amico and G. Valentini, Classic Publications, 2005.

Technical Data

Technical Data
Aircraft: Messerschmitt Bf.109K4
Manufacturer: Messerschmitt A. G.
Type: Fighter
Year: 1944
Engine: Damiler Benz DB 605ASCM, 12-cylinder V, liquid-cooled 2,000hp
Wingspan: 32 ft 8 ½ in (9.95m)
Length: 29ft (8.84m)
Height: 8ft 2 ½ 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 x 15mm cannons, 1 x 30 mm cannon
Crew: 1

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June, 2012
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