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39" Messerschmitt Bf 109 Swappable - Build Thread


High Alpha!
Thought I should finally post a couple pics of my localfiend inspired 39" Bf-109. I used an enlarged jpg image of the plans - grainy, but useable. This is my 4th FTFB scratchbuild (FT Old Fogey, FT Spit, FT Storch), but my first post.

This is my take on Oblt. Wilhelm Schilling's Bf-106, circa February 1944, with a little artistic license (no swastika on tail - instead a German national flag with coat of arms, no flak splotches - instead a little more pleasing smooth camo). And no machine guns on the front cowl-didn't feel like cutting holes in what I thought was a nice rounded shape.
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I also tried out a rounded front lower cowl instead of the more typical FliteTest-type square front end. While it really cuts down on air circulation to the ESC, I like the shape much better. The entire bottom cowl comes out for access. I've been thinking of how to add maybe an air scoop on the bottom or opening up the oil cooler scoop and moving the ESC a little further back.
And, instead of the red devil on the front cowl of Schilling's, we have a red version of localfiend's buddy.
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And as far as the pilot, goes…..
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“I think you may have underestimated the power of the force!”

view of cockpit & instrument panel from outside the canopy.
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I also added a small removable access hatch to get to the servos right behind the rear of the wing, and added the radiator scoops as well.
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I know....there's no prop! (I broke it and need to get another). and I didn't like the slop in the aileron servo so I need to get some more wire.

hope you like it!
That's awesome man. Much prettier than mine. I like your scale touches. I have radiators on my plans, but forgot to add them to mine. I'll have to rectify that. The rounded cowl is pretty cool too. Makes the whole plane come together.

And it looks like I still forgot to upload plans for this, so here they are. Sorry about the wait for those who asked, it just slipped my mind.

39" Messerschmitt Bf-109 Beta v.2 - Tiled

39" Messerschmitt Bf-109 Beta v.2 - Full
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Warbird Crazy!
Looks like he just slid the power pod further back and pinched the nose in to get the correct curve. Could be even easier to do if you forgo the pod and use an FT elements firewall. Lighter too.
I'm a huge warbird fan and i like the scale details you guys are putting into these builds! I can't get enough of the info on the techniques your using! I want to learn everything I can to build semi scale planes that last a while longer than a normal DTFB plane.


Junior Member
Hey folks.just a quick thanks for the kind words. I'll try and put together a longer response about the rounded front cowl/fuselage tonight/tomorrow. I work slow. ....being a full time caregiver these days.
I guess I should have checked my quote with my daughter, who is the star wars aficionado (although I did actually buy the soundtrack LP for the 1st movie when it came out - remember vinyl lp's??).
I didn't move the power pod back, but instead worked forward from where the firewall fell. The big trick was to use a circular former the size of the back of the spinner minus the thickness of the foamboard. Put a hole in the middle and slide it over the motor shaft then build forward toward it. Cut the bottom of the cowl out after it was formed, then glue on the tongue on the back to hold it on.
I should have taken in progress pics but to be honest I wasnt sure it was gonna work. Plus I was kinda making it up as I went.
I'll write more tomorrow.



Junior Member
Localfiend – thanks for the plans! It’s folks like you that develop these planes and plans and make them available to the rest of us that gives inspiration and allows us to create these craft. I wish I had half your talent in designing planes!!!!

I hope you noticed the red localfiend icon on the front of the fuselage!! It is, after all, your design!

I have downloaded and started your PBY Catalina! I’ve had a thing for that plane since I saw “Midway” with my Dad in 1976. Was one of the last times I went with him to the movies. He was a WWII US Navy vet, a plank owner on USS Hornet CV-12.
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Junior Member
Round fuselage, part 1

Ok folks. I’ll try and explain how I did the rounded fuselage. I made up a lot of this on the fly, so I don’t have any plans drawn up. I didn’t take any in-progress build pics either, so this is all after the fact.

The general strategy was to create a rounded fuselage with the power pod in place then cut the bottom ‘chin’ off to create an access hatch.

1. Build the plane as you normally would, but:
Do NOT use the front-most fuselage former at the front of the front turtle deck.
Do NOT apply the front turtle deck, as it will need to be modified.
Make sure you remove the paper from the inside of the front portion of the fuselage as called for on the plans.

plans piece1.jpg

2. Round off the top square corners of the firewall……this will make it easier to insert/remove the pod with a more rounded fuselage (see pic below)..

pod and chin.jpg

3. Cut the top of the fuselage plate at the green line on the plans all the way across…..this is where the firewall for the power pod falls (see pic #1 above). This was because I wanted the nose to narrow more than the top plate would allow. I then added a small doubler to support the BBQ skewers (see pic below).

inside fuse no pod.jpg

4. Mount the motor on the firewall at the front of the power pod. Install the power pod on the 2 BBQ skewers as normal. You can stab another BBQ skewer thru the back of the power pod in the typical location at this point to hold it in place.

continued on part 2 in the next post.


Junior Member
Round fuselage, part 2.

Here’s where things get a little different.

5. Get the spinner that you’re going to use. Measure the diameter at the rear of the spinner.

6. Cut out a circle of foamboard equal to the diameter of the rear of the spinner minus the thickness of the foamboard. This will become the front former of the fuselage that will sit directly behind the spinner.

front view no pod.jpg

The white circular former in this pic above is the front former. The former will be further modified later, which is why it has a bigger hole in the center, and has a big chunk out of the bottom.

7. Punch a small hole all the way thru at the center of the circle and slide the circular front former onto the motor shaft. Make sure you have enough motor shaft sticking out the front to attach the spinner and prop adapter.

The flat-top cone-shaped front cowling.
1. You already have the diameter of the front circular former.

2. Measure the height of the cone (i.e. distance to the front of the circular front former that you slid over the motor shaft). You will also need the diameter of the base of the cone. Get this from the diameter of the fuselage.

3. Now you need to figure out how to lay out the flat-top cone in foamboard. Sheetmetal folks have been doing this for years. I used a website to figure this out. One such is http://craig-russell.co.uk/demos/cone_calculator/
Input the diameter of the circular front former as length A, the diameter of the fat end of the cone as length B, and the height of the cone as length C.

flat top cone.png

Run the calculator, then layout the cone on a piece of foamboard, using the 2 radii supplied, and the arc.

cone layout.png

4. Remove the paper from the back of the cone layout, and gently roll it into a nice cone, with the paper on the outside. Glue the ends together to make a nice smooth cone shape.

5. Take the circular front former off the motor shaft. Slide the cone over the circular front former and glue in place so the former is flush with the front of the cone (see the pic #4 above).

6. Trim the fuselage sides.

7. Put the cone assembly back on the motor shaft. Make sure the power pod is still installed in the fuselage. Add some scrap foam in between the front corners of the power pod and the fuselage sides to maintain a little space. In the next step, you will curve the fuselage sides, but you DO NOT want the power pod to wedge in too tightly or you will not be able to remove it.

8. Align the back edge of the flat-top cone with the fuselage sides – curve the fuselage sides as much as you can to match the cone curve. Glue the back edge of the cone to the edge of the fuselage ONLY around to a horizontal line aligned with the motor shaft (see pic below).

fuse glue.jpg

Use several rubber bands (elastics ??) to help hold the fuse shape nice and round.

You will notice that the fuselage sides DO NOT go all the way around to close together along the bottom of the fuselage….no worries! You’re going to cut the fuselage sides out anyway to make to lower cowl/chin in the next step.

on to part 3 in the next post.


Junior Member
Round fuselage, part 3

Cut the fuselage sides.

I consulted a boat-load of images for Bf-109’s to get an idea of how the planes were constructed so I could decide where to cut the fuselage sides. Each variant was a little different over the life of production (before, during, and post-war Spanish Hispano Aviacion Buchons), but in general panel lines are near the exhausts….so…………


1. Cut the fuselage sides vertically upward just ahead of the wings, then horizontally forward parallel to the centerline of the plane (or thereabouts). Cut ALL THE WAY forward right on thru the cone cowling. From the front, I then angled the cut thru the circular front former (see pic #4 above). The old lower fuselage sides should come loose – discard them.
Hold the cone cowl and front former back in place with some rubber bands.

fuse & chin no pod.jpg

New fuselage ‘chin’

The ‘chin’ is the lower removable fuselage, which is rectangular in cross-section at the rear and curved to match the cone-shaped cowling at the front.

1. Measure the length of both vertical cuts you just made ahead of the wing, and the width of the fuselage. Let’s call this the rear perimeter length.

2. Measure the distance from the rear vertical cuts you made ahead of the wing forward to the rear of the cone shaped cowl. Let’s call this chin length.

3. Measure the length of the lower edge of the exposed front circular former….i used a slip of paper laid against the exposed former edge, make marks at both ends, then layout the paper flat and measure the distance between the marks. Let’s call this length chin cowl length.

4. Layout the new lower fuselage ‘chin’ by:
Draw a center line on a piece of foam which is a couple of inches wide. Layout the distances according to the diagram below.

chin layout.jpg

5. Remove the paper from the inside of the chin.

6. Cut a narrow wedge shaped bevel on either side of the centerline – these will allow you to fold the sides of the chin up in the rear to create the rectangular shape. Roll the front edge of the chin to create a curve that matches the cone cowling.

7. Glue the cone cowling to the curved front end of the chin.

8. Apply glue to the inside of the wedge bevel cuts and fold the sides of the chin up to match the rectangular section of the main fuselage.

9. Cut a circular former with a diameter equal to the rear of the cone cowling. Cut hole at the center of the former with a diameter slightly larger than the diameter of your motor. Cut the do-nut shaped formed horizontally in half. Glue together, then insert and glue at the rear of the cone cowling into the bottom of the chin….these will help maintain the shape of the chin.

chin no pod top view.jpg

10. Add some rectangular strips along the inside of the chin at the rear as tongues to help keep the chin in place at the rear.

11. Add a back-up circular former behind the front-most one to make the front end a little more rigid (see pic #3 above) and to keep the chin rounded in the front. Cut larger sized holes in both front circular formers slightly larger than the diameter of the motor.

on to part 4 in the next post


Junior Member
Round fuselage, part 4

Front top turtle decks

1. Make another former for the front turtle deck at the front edge of the fuselage. Lay a straight edge along the top of the front cone cowling and the former on the top fuselage plate located immediately in front of the forward-most power pod locating slots. Measure the height of the new former. You will need this former since I made the front turtle deck in several pieces.

2. I created new front turtle deck outlines since the shape of the fuselage changed. This was a matter of measure, layout on paper, cut the paper, see how it didn’t fit, and redo…….took me 4 tries to get the posterboard turtle decks just right……talk about frustrating!!

In the pic below you can kinda see there are 3 pieces of turtle deck behind the cone-shaped cowling. I hold the chin in place with a black rubber band instead of another BBQ skewer thru the fuselage.


To remove, take out the BBQ skewer at the rear of the power pod, take off the rubber band, pull the chin down, slide the power pod forward to take the firewall off the BBQ skewer studs, and pull out the pod.

Good luck, folks. I guess that I should try and build another plane with a rounded front fuselage and take some in-progress pics. I have a nerdnic Chipmunk which is 3/4 way finished (frustrated with the split elevators) that started out as a V1 - I have tried to update to a V2 style, so is that V1.75???. Maybe it needs an oval front end too!?!?!?

Or should this be an article??
Localfiend, what a great warbird rendition. One of my favorite planes. Really appreciate the hard work and effort you put into this build.
Budzo, what a great addition to this beauty, adding realistic lines and shape to this plane makes a great build, even better. Both of you deserve Big Kudos for this terrific rendition of the BF 109/Me 109. I'm sure I speak for a lot of people when I say Thank you.


Less than 250 Grams!
O.K., Here's my wack at this design. No paint yet. Flying it ugly.


I made a few deviations from the plan.


No Power Pod...I built a tray ala-Bushwacker instead. The battery loads through the hatch opening.


Had a go with some foam curving on the nose which turned out quite well.
There are a few other modifications as well.
Motor is a Suppo 2212-13 swinging a 9-6 prop.

Maiden flight today at my club's Fun-Fly. No pressure. :p
I took off and it literally, this is such an over used term, it flew right off the building board.
Only 2 or 3 clicks of right aileron trim needed to fly hands off.
Balance was perfect to the plan with a 2200 Mah 3S all the way up front. BTW, it was quite windy, 5 - 10 MPH winds w/ 15 MPH gusts. Not the best for a maiden flight.
Video to follow as soon as I return from a business trip.
Many thanks to Localfiend or this great airplane.

Now I have to build one from water resistant foam and go hunting for those Tower Hobbies P51's...:p


High Alpha!
Awesome you guys. It's always cool to see people building your designs and having success with them. I need to check these threads more often.