Early Morning Scramble
by Walt Moore
The concept with this model was to give a visual contrast of aircraft and terrain in a realistic setting – hence Early Morning Scramble. The display starts with a 7″ x 9″ wood finished particle board plaque available at most trophy shops, or elsewhere. The surface of the board is sanded smooth with fine sandpaper. A layout of the display follows a construction familiar to most model railroaders.
A strip is laid out, slightly off center, that with serve as the “hard stand.” The hard stand will be floored with 1/4″ x 1/8″ thick balsa or other wood strip to simulate the square timber planking used by the Luftwaffe in the field during the latter days of WW2. At the rear of the floor is a vertical wall that visually encloses the center of the display. The edge of the floor is built up with sections the same strip or 1/4″ x 1/4″ that simulate the full size timbers actually used. This will be the inside border of the revetment.
The edges of the base have 1/8″ holes drilled in them along the perimeter for the support dowels used for the tablet back exterior walls that are glued to the dowels; the contour is purely eclectic. Once the edge walls are up, you have a cut-away construction of a protected site for an aircraft on alert.
What remains is to fill the interior of the edge boxes with plaster or other substance (mortar mix, in my case) that can be sloped to complete the contour. Once the filler sets up, you can add surface color and terrain effects like you would on your train table. I used some dark earth acrylic topped with green dyed saw dust and some HO gauge terrain cover.
The balance of the display was stained an oak shade, then sprayed with a clear gloss lacquer. I used gloss to simulate wetness from a rain shower.
Now you have a display of an aircraft with pilot and ground crew as they prepare for pre-flight on a rainy day. The ground crewman wipes down the windscreen as the pilot scans the cloud cover.
The aircraft modeled for this display is a “retread” Monogram kit from several years ago finished in accordance with Aeromaster decal sheet no. 48-383, “Augsburg Eagles”, Part IV and depicts a Bf 109G-6/AS used in the spring of ’44 by 2/JG3 against our heavy bomber formations. The pilot is reportedly one Feldwebel Horst Petzschler.
The paint job is an air brushed Floquil Military oil base RLM76 – Light Gray/Green – lightly over sprayed with light gray between the panel lines to illustrate fading. The panel lines are highlighted with black drafting pencil. The spinner is Floquil Military Dunkel Grun oil base with a hand painted Floquil White spiral and the chin panel is Testors Model Master oil base Insignia Yellow ( I left the molded-in cheek bulges not specific to the exact aircraft displayed). The model has installed a hand detailed cockpit including a glass paned armored headrest.
Photos by Jeff Junker