Messerschmitt Me 209 H (or is it the Bf 109 V-55?)

Joined: May 17th, 2005, 3:19 am

May 10th, 2018, 9:46 pm #1

After finishing the AMG Bf 109 B, it was time to clean up the workshop before moving on to the next project. There was simply too much dust and clutter scattered around. So after two solid days of effort, here's how it looked.


A word of caution; it will never look this good again.

Now on the the next model. I needed a conversion to fill out this year's traveling troupe and have always liked the Bf 109 prototypes, particularly the stretched high altitude types. I've already done the 109 T and H, but references to the exceedingly extenuated 209 H variant got me to researching. There are just a few references on the topic and fortunately none of them agree. As a result I get to pick and choose the features that appeal to me the most. Call me wrong; I would love to see the definitive drawing or (gasp) a photo.
So here are the primary references I used:


This book provided this drawing, which has most of the defining points that I used for the model. Notice that is calls out the stammkennzeichen (DV+JC) and the werk number (15709), lending creditability that the bird was actually built. More on that soon.


Here's the next source:


This reference was invaluable because it has 1/72 six-view drawings.



Also helpful was Thomas Hitchcock's book on the Ta 152. Buried in its pages is this drawing:


Another good, but different interpretation. Hitchcock states that the 209 H did fly.
I emailed several times with the guru of all things 109, Jean Claude Mermet, who provided insight.
Finally, I had a series on conversations with good friend (and noted 109 expert) Woody Straub.
First, I had to clear up some disagreements. Two of the drawings show an additional section placed in from of the windscreen. Interesting, and it could be accomplished by some clever dissecting on Fine Molds G-6 and G-10 kits (more on this later). But why would Messerschmitt engineers push the engine that far out; wouldn't it play havoc with the CG? I scrapped the idea and besides, the Hitchcock drawing does not show this. Other drawings show an added section directly behind the canopy. Certainly possible, but again, Hitchcock doesn't have this (again, thank you Thomas!). Other variations include the type of leading edge radiator intake, three or four blade prop and inward or outward retracting landing gear. The 209 H was apparently a hybrid of a Bf 109 G-5 fuselage and other components including the Me 209 V-5 wing, so that gave some guidance. I gethered up some kits, my trusty UMM razor saw, and set to hacking.
Fortunately this build was not the typical "I began by assembling the cockpit". Boring. I've always believed in getting the most difficult thing out of the way first; in this case the wing. There is a resin kit of the 209 H available from Planet Models, which actually is quite crude. AZ has recently released a 109 H with an extended wing. This might provide a starting point. Finally from Pegasus Models there is a rather ancient 109 H (V-54). Here is a comparison of the wings.


Planet resin is on top, then Pegasus and finally AZ. I had already done quite a bit of hacking on the AZ kit when this photo was taken. Not two spots on it mate together, so a lot of sanding was done. Also I removed the radiators and blanked off the area with plastic card. A final decision was made for the Pegasus wing. The outer panels leading edge rake differed from my drawing, so I also would have had to separate the AZ wing into three sections. That was already done with the Pegasus wing. Pegasus was a bit thicker as well with less defined scribing. Since most of this would have to be filled, Pegasus got another point. The final straw was the wheel wells. I wanted an inwardly retracting landing gear and blanking off the area looked easier with the Pegasus wing. The AZ had molded-in wells, which would have meant cutting them out or filling in the area with epoxy putty.
Here the process begins. The wells have been blanked off with plastic card and superglue.


Once the area was smoothed out, I cut out the wheel well covers from a drawing. These acted as templates which were then Blu-Tacked in the proper position. Black paint was sprayed to define the new well.


I used a dental bit in my Moto-Tool to rough out the hole, then refined it with a scalpel and files.


Next, some creating gizmology with .005" plastic card. This was embossed with a Rossie the Riveter (MUCH more of this as we progress) to make impressions of raised rivets. It was then cut in strips. These were placed along the edges of the wells and inside the upper wing. They were even laminated to impersonate the wing spars.



My rather bright light washes out the effect on the wing interior, but the rivets can be seen on the wheel well linings and spars.
Well, that was the easy part. The real fun began with the leading edge radiators. Since probably no one alive has actually seen them, I can let my imagination lead the way. I tried two variants. Both began with my trusty Mattel Vac-U-Form machine and a bit of RenShape that someone had given to me. RenShape is an expanded foam of varying degrees of density. It cuts very well and is used by pattern makers. I cut and sanded the basic shape...


...then Vac-U-Formed a number of copies.


Prior to test fitting them, it was time for more surgery, somewhat major this time.I cut the forward section from the lower center wing part. I will be lowering the flaps, so that area was also removed. Since the engineering of the Pegasus kit differs from the Fine Molds model, the outer sections were removed from this piece also.



Here you see the first attempt with the entire front of the radiator open.


Not my favorite, I just wasn't taken by the look.
The second and much more difficult attempt involved cutting two symmetrical slots in the front of very thin vacuformed pieces. Again the dental bits, Moto Tool and files came out.
I think this is far sexier, but could I make two of them?



There were failures, but eventually yes.


This is only part 1 of where the project stands at the moment, but since it is getting lengthy (uh-huh), I'll continue with part 2 separately. I haven't posted anything for a while and here you can see why. This has kept me rather busy. Also, I didn't want to start posting and then run out of enthusiasm. This thing had to reach critical mass, the point of no return if you will, before I committed to it here.

Hope you've enjoyed the prequel.
Last edited by barrye on May 11th, 2018, 10:18 am, edited 3 times in total.

Joined: May 20th, 2013, 12:03 am

May 10th, 2018, 10:10 pm #2

Nice start Barry. Keep on trucking' 👍
I just like airplanes

Joined: May 17th, 2005, 3:19 am

May 11th, 2018, 12:40 am #3

OK, here's part two.

Concurrent with the airframe mods, I modified the spinner to take a four blade prop. This came from a Hasegawa Ki-84 Frank, but slightly shortened and reshaped. Two of the prop holes in the spinner were plugged and three additional were cut. They were blanked off with plastic card and superglue, then sanded flush.




Concurrently, the radiators were finished. I tried a number of internal grilles and finally stumbled across these from the ART Model Ta 152. Fortunately this kit has been rendered obsolete by the excellent reissue of the Special Hobby model. 

Here a section has been shaped and removed.


After scribing and riveting them,  it was time to attach the rads and blend everything in with epoxy putty. 



The prop was primed as well.


All flying surfaces on this bird were extended, including the stabilizers. The easiest solution was to cut two Fine Molds parts at different places and splice them together.



At this point I couldn't resist taping everything together for a photo.


The tricky thing about scratch building and converting is getting everything square and even. The inner starboard wing was a little shallow so I glued some plastic strip on as a wall and filled the section with epoxy putty. This has been done in other places as well.


After a coat of Mr. Surfacer 1000, things looked better. I also decided that this would be an unarmed prototype, so the gun troughs were filled with plastic rod and superglue (notice a trend?), and sanded flush.


The cockpit (finally) is a mixture of several different sets. The right sidewall is my own scratch build and casting, the floor and left sidewall are the Aires Bf 109 G-10 set, the rudder pedals came from Cooper Details and the belts are the relatively new Eduard steel pre-painted items. I have mixed feelings about these. The printing is a step above their brass sets and the buckles are integral, but the paint tends to peel off when the belts are folded sharply. This was not the case  with their brass sets. The instrument panel is also an Eduard pre-painted part. These are simply excellent.


Moving on it was time to glue the fuselage together. I follow a rigid pattern with this. First, apply glue to the vertical fin and attach. To make the panel line on the top and bottom of the fuselage I bevel the edge with a scalpel held at a 45 degree angle before glueing them. To preserve the line I apply a fast setting glue to the interior of the joint, in this case Tenex 7R. This was then clamped and Testor's liquid cement was flowed along the interior of the lower fuselage. The different glues and their varying drying times just seem to work. The fuselage is left overnight to set up before moving on to the forward area.


The final extension was the vertical fin, done with more plastic card. The rudder was removed from the Pegasus kit and reshaped to match the drawings. 


I've also removed the leading edge slats and blanked off the hole with .005" plastic sheet.


Finally catching this two month project up to the present, here's where she stands at the moment. Some areas were spot primed and major components taped together for a photo.


Thank you for your patience and I hope you've enjoyed the ride.

Joined: March 22nd, 2018, 7:25 pm

May 11th, 2018, 12:52 am #4

Very good work. Nice bench!
I'm not retro, my stash got old. ~John Krukowski

Joined: February 28th, 2005, 12:37 pm

May 11th, 2018, 1:59 pm #5

Great job! Interesting to see how it compares with a BV 155.

Joined: June 28th, 2005, 12:03 am

May 11th, 2018, 3:49 pm #6

Very nice progress Barry. Great workplace. I wish I could get mine to look like that!!


Joined: October 19th, 2005, 12:22 am

May 11th, 2018, 9:24 pm #7

That bench cleanup just made you the neatest modeler that ever lived!

Joined: May 11th, 2005, 3:20 pm

May 12th, 2018, 2:00 am #8


Joined: March 3rd, 2005, 2:16 am

May 12th, 2018, 12:37 pm #9

Look forward to seeing this strange beast..Well done Sir

Joined: October 9th, 2007, 1:53 pm

May 12th, 2018, 5:48 pm #10

Thanks for these posts - exceptionally interesting, great work and your build area looks like a lab!