A blast from the past; I’m a member of agapemodels.com, that I joined about a year before Tom’s sudden tragic death in 2008. I became acquanted with Tom at a relatively early stage as the first Fellowship Build on the site was organised by him. The build was a competition in association with Accurate Miniatures as Tom was the company’s Art Director and required entrants to simply select and assemble anything from AM’s catalogue. I chose their Il-2 and was lucky enough to win.
Tom was a Christian and one of the original members of the site and after consultation with his family and those on the forums a memorial build in 2009 was agreed.
I chose as my entry, Tamiya’s ultimate ‘slammer’, their Bf109E-3 with Tom’s Possum Werks decals for ‘Macky’ Steinhoff’s bird during the Battle of Britain. Eduard’s now quite ancient brass fret for the Tamiya E3 and E4 kits was dragged out of the spares dungeon and yielded a selection of bits to busy up the pilot’s station. You’d spot belts in there obviously and these passed through an oblong hole in the seat obligingly created by me and ringed with an etched oval of brass so tiny I left the CA alone and fixed it in position easily with gloss enamel varnish. The etched leather strap for what I think was the battery cover was dobbed in with enamel gloss varnish too.
Etched trim wheels, stand and chain were added. The chain terminates in a sprocket but has nothing else to connect it with the fuselage wall, so the Punch & Judy set yielded a disc of card to suit. The etched double panel had the instrument acetate back painted in light grey, not white, as it drops the contrast and looks more in keeping with reality to my eye but that’s just a personal thing. The acetate was ‘glued’ using enamel gloss varnish to the panel rears and further dabs filled in the ‘glass’.
The instruments themselves needed edging in black and in this scale I ditched the enamel black for artists oil mixed with the UK version of Japan Dryer, Liquin. This viscous paint readily stays put and is perfect in this application.
Etched seat rails sealed the port side of the deal. The only addition on the starboard side was the etched map case holder – lots more convincing than the moulded version. It grew a map later in the build. From there it was a simple case of closing up the fuselage, adding the wings and sending the lot into traction before priming, top colours and a little weathering – truly ‘a slammer’. I hoped back in 2009, as I do now, that Tom would approve.