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1/12 Messerschmitt Bf 109

aircombat contest fighter

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Timo Starkloff01/05/2018 17:56:32
447 forum posts
951 photos

In only wanted to update an old plan for a friend, which led to many hours of redrawing and redesigning over the winter and spring. So I decided building one too, which is not much work for such a small model, but finally I'll have a 109 on my own after many years without one!

My first plan was from 1998 with refinement in 2001. Due to requests I made a quick update in 2014 and now again. This time with main focus on electric motors instead of .15 IC engines and a wooden wing instead of foam/balsa. And with all main versions combined in one plan (Bf 109 E, F, G and K). I already built all of them, so I took the chance to try the V48 "V-Tail"

My colleague will fly his 109 for pure pleasure, while mine has to fight at the Aircombat Eurocup in Normandy and the German Mastership in Bavaria this summer. I'm now in the fifth year with 163s and I want to have a more manouverable plane again. Therefore, mine will be a bit easier on the finishing details.

Here are some pictures of the Bf 109 from Alex, already flown last week (on one picture together with my Fw 190).







Timo Starkloff01/05/2018 18:18:58
447 forum posts
951 photos

Building pictures are from my V48, which is nearly finished but not ready for flying, yet.

For the four pieces of wing skin I make a long sheet of 1.5mm balsa. A paper template is used for cutting out the pieces and mark the rib positions.



All ribs are glued to the lower surface.


Parts for servo installation are placed in their position.


The wing is fixed on the building table with needles and the help of a long strip of balsa, below the edges of the ribs, to get the right washout of 2°. With washout the 109 is easy to fly, without it's difficult to impossible. Washout improves flying qualities of bigger warbirds and racers a lot, but is really essential for the small 1/12 fighters with their small wings and high wing loads.



Then the top wing skin is attached.


5mm balsa in the front and 3mm balsa in the rear and the wing is nearly finished.


Wing tip installation.


Servo installation is from the lower side. In my case they are wrapped in heat shrinking tube and just glued in position. Normally I prefer servo installation with screws, but that wasn't possible with these and I wanted to use what's available from my workshop. Main focus this year with many expensive parts in the Westland Whirlwind


The hole for servo cable is secured by a plywood ring, also the center of the wing as seen in the picture above. I will use elastics for wing attachment since this is still the best option for an aircombat model. A screw will fail in a collision ( and you'll loose the wing, too), but the elastics allow the wing to move a bit and normally you're still able to fly or land.


Timo Starkloff06/05/2018 17:26:13
447 forum posts
951 photos

First task for the fuselage is of course cutting out all parts. Sometimes I use a iron to bring the outlines on the plywood, or I just glue the paper on the plywood.


Balsa parts are cut out by using the paper as a template for the sharp knife. Works fine with a quiet hand a bit of routine.


Timo Starkloff06/05/2018 17:40:13
447 forum posts
951 photos

Some parts need reinforcement before the real start of fuselage building.



Timo Starkloff06/05/2018 17:42:53
447 forum posts
951 photos

Due to the new accumulator mount, I start building the fuselage with the inner structure.





Trevor Crook06/05/2018 17:51:19
1038 forum posts
71 photos

To my eyes, that looks very authentic in the flying shots. Good work!

Timo Starkloff10/05/2018 19:39:58
447 forum posts
951 photos

Thanks Trevor

Many single engine aircombat models look the same if you're further away. But a 109 looks distinctive from all angles and even from long distance. And it will look even better with the right spinner, but more on that later

The outer surface of the fuselage is wetted with water and a sponge. If you wait a minute, the parts will already bend slightly on their own.



Then comes the most exciting part of putting all parts together, with the aid of many needles and elastics. The trick is, to have two really identical fuselage sides which are glued together at the rear end exactly on top of each other. This helps to get a straight fuselage without any other help.


Thick parts of light 10mm balsa are used for the lower front. Good for getting the right shape, but also more robust at the most critical fuselage part in case of a bad landing or rough ground.


3mm balsa is bend in front of the cockpit.


The nose is made from 3 layers of 5mm balsa.


Already looking good


Two thin balsa strips are added for the next step...


... of adding the next sheet of 3mm balsa, also watered on the outside for easy bending.


This fuselage part is covered with two halfs of balsa.


Adding the second half:


Edited By Timo Starkloff on 10/05/2018 19:40:40

Edited By Timo Starkloff on 10/05/2018 19:41:05

Timo Starkloff02/06/2018 20:07:39
447 forum posts
951 photos

Yesterday I made the first flight of my V48, so it’s time to finish the building report.


Timo Starkloff02/06/2018 20:10:09
447 forum posts
951 photos







Timo Starkloff02/06/2018 20:11:25
447 forum posts
951 photos


Ace04/06/2018 09:03:01
384 forum posts
23 photos

Looking good Timo thumbs up

I use to make my 1/12th combat's from blue foam covered in brown paper, quick, cheap, disposable but no where near as pretty.

Timo Starkloff05/06/2018 20:07:56
447 forum posts
951 photos

Foam and paper is the usual way making aircombat models. Easy to repair and as you said, very cheap. An important fact when you think about the many collisions during contest heats. But it is also possible to be competitive with traditional balsa and plywood models.

A friend (or foe during contest    .) designed and printed some spinners for me. That’s a real problem for rc models, a 109 is only complete with the proper spinner. Here’s the link to the 3D print file:



Edited By Timo Starkloff on 05/06/2018 20:09:57

Edited By Timo Starkloff on 05/06/2018 20:10:30

Edited By Timo Starkloff on 05/06/2018 20:11:21

Edited By Timo Starkloff on 05/06/2018 20:11:47

Timo Starkloff05/06/2018 20:17:55
447 forum posts
951 photos

Finish is done with Oracover for a quicker result. Airbrush looks much better, but I wanted an easy build this time.

The colours are according to one of the night fighter squadrons. I want to make sure that the unusual silhouette with the v-tail is visible in daylight sky. The pilot is originally from a Dutch aircombat pilot, but copied by another friend. The Dutch pilot isn’t active anymore.



Timo Starkloff07/06/2018 07:15:10
447 forum posts
951 photos

Car is packed for the aircombat Eurocup in Caen, Normandy this weekend. Quiet a long journey from South Germany. Will be exciting how the 109 is doing in combat!


Edited By Timo Starkloff on 07/06/2018 07:16:08

Ron Gray07/06/2018 08:05:07
2521 forum posts
1009 photos

A few 163s in there too Timo!

Timo Starkloff15/06/2018 19:48:41
447 forum posts
951 photos

The 163s are/were my standard contest models for the last five years. The TK4 went with me for an evening pleasure flight.

The motor setup for the 163 is the same as with the 109, but the 163 is much faster. My intention with the 109 was to fly at the same speed like the others, while being more manouverable than the 163, which worked out perfectly. And compared to my old 109 design from 2001, the new one is really easy to fly with no bad habits. Looks are good to during aircombat, with the v-tail.




Comparison with my Gloster Meteor, two sleek looking planes!


Timo Starkloff15/06/2018 19:50:02
447 forum posts
951 photos

Dogfight with a Corsair devil



Timo Starkloff15/06/2018 20:05:28
447 forum posts
951 photos

For a small report with more pictures from the contest I started a new thread in this forum under the topic "Events and Competitions":

Edited By Timo Starkloff on 15/06/2018 20:05:50

Timo Starkloff19/04/2019 12:05:53
447 forum posts
951 photos

One year gone by, the next Eurocup in Normandy is near and last weekend we’ve had a quiet chilly weather. So it was a quick decision to build another 109. This time a bit easier for contest flying, a different airfoil and with the twin-seat G-12 another rare version.


Edited By Timo Starkloff on 19/04/2019 12:08:18

Timo Starkloff19/04/2019 12:09:13
447 forum posts
951 photos



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