Supermodel 1/72 Blohm & Voss 138 “Flying Clog”: Part 2

I finished my previous post having painted the finicky yellow stripe on the rear of my aircraft. Having masked that off, I sprayed the RLM65 blue underside, and masked that, followed by a base layer of RLM72 dark green for the upper surfaces.

Then there was a lot of tricky masking for the even darker RLM73 splinter camouflage pattern—particularly complicated on such an unusually shaped aircraft.

Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS, masked for splinter camouflage
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I used Sovereign Hobbies Colourcoats enamels for all my exterior paint—a small local company that puts a lot of effort into getting their colours right. It was the first time I’d tried them, and I’ll certainly use them again.

The Luftwaffe marine camouflage combination of RLM72/73 is intensely frustrating, since there’s very little contrast between the two shades. This is reflected in the impossibility of picking out camouflage patterns in black and white photographs of the aircraft, and also in the feeling, after all that masking, that one has very little to show for all that effort when the masking is removed and the pattern revealed.

Here’s the aircraft with a layer of gloss varnish applied, ready for decalling. The shine of the gloss pretty much obscures all the camouflage detail—it’ll re-emerge, to some extent, once a matt layer goes on top of the decals.

Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS, gloss coat lower
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Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS, gloss coat upper
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Decals, then. The Supermodel decal sheet is pretty basic, and provides few of the markings I needed. I used the kit’s Balkenkreuze for the wings and fuselage, but sourced the correct lettering from Fantasy Printshop. Swastikas for the tail are always a problem—legal restrictions in some countries mean that most kit makers simply omit them. So I used the Xtradecal swastika sheet from Hannants. I also used an Xtradecal sheet of white stripes to produce the fan pattern on the starboard side of my chosen aircraft’s nose.

Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS, decals lower
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Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS, decals upper
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Another layer of gloss, and then some light weathering to bring out panel lines, show some exhaust staining, and create paint damage around the various cleats, eyes and removable panels. Then a layer of matt varnish to seal everything in. At this point I also removed the Montex paint masks from the transparent parts, dealt with all the paint leaks, and sprung off and reposition the cockpit side windows in the open position.

Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS, cockpit starboard
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Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS, cockpit port
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You can just about make out how the matt layer has allowed the two similar shades of green to visibly separate from each other.

With the painting all done, I finally attached the floats (painted separately) and a few other details. The trickiest part was mounting the mine-detonating ring, which is supplied without any kind of locating holes or lugs apart from a single stud at the rear. There are two problems—the easier one to solve is getting the thing positioned properly on the underwing mounting points; the harder is to find the correct run for the wires that connect the ring to the central engine fuselage, one of which is prominently visible here:

BV 138 MS

There is very little clearance between the central and outboard propellers, so I mounted my propeller discs and dry-mounted the ring, tested the run of my monofilament nylon, and marked up drilling points on the ring before disassembling everything again so that I could drill the ring on a flat surface. Then I put the ring back into position on the inverted aircraft, with the rear stud carefully centralized and taped into position.

Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS, underside weathered, positioning MS ring
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With the ring properly positioned on the underwing mounting points, I slipped a scalpel blade loaded with a tiny blob of cyanoacrylate between the ring and each mount point in turn, and then let the ring set into position under its own weight. Once that was secured, another blob of cyanoacrylate delivered to the rear stud fixed it permanently in place. Then I erected the little tripod on the nose that supported the front of the ring, and finally ran the wires down between the prop discs, threaded them through my locating holes, and glued them into position.

Here’s the final result:

Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS completed 11
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Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS completed 12
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Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS completed 9
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Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS completed 7
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Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS completed 3
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Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS completed 4
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Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS completed 5
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Supermodel 1/72 BV 138 MS completed 17
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2 thoughts on “Supermodel 1/72 Blohm & Voss 138 “Flying Clog”: Part 2”

  1. Ariel mine detonating has fascinated me since electronic warfare school back in the 80’s.
    When the Suez canal was reopened the US Navy used helicopter towed magnetic sleds. The fields put out by the anti-mine sleds were so powerful that towing in down the middle of the canal would detonate *land mines* on both sides of the canal!
    (Oh oh, incoming BigDonism!)
    Makes you wonder if the aircrew of the flying clog could:
    A) Have children afterward
    B) Needed special equipment to reheat their coffee (or tea. I don’t know what wartime Germans drank)
    (I wish we had the ol BAUT whistle emoticon here.)

    1. Presumably anti-tank magnetic mines, which would make sense in the context.
      The Mk 105 certainly didn’t need to get particularly close to detonate a mine—there’s a nice short video on YouTube illustrating that:

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