SBS Model just released 2 decal sheets (both in 1/72 and 1/48) covering Hungarian Bf-109 F’s.
VOL.I includes a spectacular 3-tone camouflaged example which participate in a wartime calendar. Thanks to Zoltan Tóth, we could take a closer look on the original one from 1943.
We asked our friend Sándor Fülöp to explain a bit deeper the story of this fascinating camouflage. Enjoy!
Hungarian Bf-109 F in export colours:
One of the most impressive looking Hungarian Bf-109 F is the 3-tone camouflaged example, the ‘Calendar star.’ There are several ‘urban legends’ among the historians about the reason of the camouflage, the most prominent are simply mistakes:
– it was repainted for propaganda reasons
– the colours are Hungarian produced Krayer paints.
The Hungarian government started negotiations in 1941 with the German government about licence production of Bf-109 F and Me-210. At the same time the Spanish government also negotiated about the Bf-109 F production. In the early autumn of 1942 the Germans supplied 3 Bf-109 D’s and at least one Bf-109 F to Hungary; this particular Bf-109 F took part in the well known coloured 1943 Calendar.
Imre Varga and Károly Magó made extensive research on this topic, and they found the Bf-109 D’s were overhauled in the Reich at Amme-Luther-Seck Werk GmbH Wien – Atzgersdorf workshop. In Hungary at that time the necessary know-how and equipment for overhauling was not available, documents prove MWG at Győr could start the work only in January 1944. At Székesfehérvár the 4. Önálló Repülőgép Javítóműhely (4. Independent Airplane Repair Workshop) received the first Messerschmitt parts in early 1943.
The documents clearly states, it was not possible to overhaul any Messerschmitt Bf-109 subversions in 1942 in Hungary.
The most documented Bf-109 D example (V 6 +02) had very similar camouflage to the ‘Calendar star’ Bf-109 F. How special is the 3+1 colour scheme?
The German government supplied many aircraft types to the Royal Hungarian Air Force: Ju-86, Ju-87, He-46, He-111 P, He-112, Ar-96 types arrived with RLM 61/62/63/65 camouflage.
RLM did not allowed the use of Luftwaffe standard colours and/or schemes of the actual period of export, that’s why many countries received the 61/62/63/65 coloured German produced airplanes, as those schemes were not in use by Luftwaffe at the time. Some of the most exotic examples are Japanese Ju-87 and Soviet Do-215s.
Among the Bf-109 F’s delivered to Spain at least one wore the same camouflage scheme. (6.135, see picture Ref.2: page 239, Ref.3: page 131, Ref.4: inside cover)
All in all, the scheme of Bf-109 F is not special, but a quite common export scheme.
Regarding the second ‘urban legend’ the usage of Hungarian Krayer colours, there are also some mistakes. There are no evidence of independent Hungarian paint production, and new research proved, all remaining wrecks of Hungarian Airplanes of German origin wore German colours.
Some notes about the recommended colours
In the decal sheet painting guide we suggest 61/62/63 for upper camo but the canopy frames are 75 as per German standards.
For lower surfaces the recommended colour is 65, the 1941 version (later version, noted by Michael Ulmann) which has a shade close to 76. So 76 is also a possible option. As the canopy frame remained 75, may be export painting was done in an economic way, and late 65 was not so different to 76.
1, K.A. Merrick with Jürgen Kiroff: Luftwaffe Camouflage And Markings 1933-1945 Volume One (Classic Publications, 2004.)
– page 206. (Pay attention, the picture is mirrored)
2, Hans-Jürgen Becker/ Rudolf Höfling: Messerschmitt Bf 109 unter femden Flaggen (Motorbuch Verlag, 2006.)
– Cover page
3, Lynn Ritger: The Messerschmitt Bf 109 Part 2: „F” to „K” Variants (SAM Publications 2007.)
4, Robert Michulec: Messerschmitt Me 109 cz. 6 (AJ Press, 2000)
– page 100.
5, Magó Károly: M.Kir. Honvéd Légierőben rendszeresített rejtőző (camouflage) színek 1938-1939 (Private edition, 2015)