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The Arctic Experte

Bf 109G-2 flown by Luftwaffe ace Heinrich Ehrler (204 victories)

n by Tomasz Gronczewski

The man ...

Heinrich Ehrler was one of top Luftwaffe Experten with 204 kills. He fought almost entirely in far North area of the Eastern Front with JG 5. This Geschwader supported German attempts to seize Murmansk port and produced three then, or future 200+ Experten: Weissenberger (208 victories), Walter Schuck (206) and Heinrich Ehrler (204). But in order to be honest the Luftwaffe enjoyed total air superiority in the area throughout the war. This was simply because they were faced by the inferior, and poorly equipped Soviet units from the northern sectors, where I-153 and I-16 fighters were common adversaries until 1943. On the other hand,  modern research shows that JG 5 seems to be one of most trustworthy outfits as regards scoring victories. 

After Heinrich Ehrler had scored 200 kills with JG 5 (some sources say 201), he was immediately grounded by Göring. He returned to operations in 1945 when he joined jet-equipped JG 7. Flying Me 262s Ehrler added four kills to his credit (some sources say 5, other say 8 kills). A month before war ended he was killed while flying jet.

... the machine ... 

On the Eastern Front Heinrich Ehrler flew exclusively Bf 109s from F variant to G variants. Usually he marked his planes with number 12. Modeled Bf 109G-2 shows yellow 12+-, what denotes aircraft of 6/JG 5. Flamboyant winter camouflage was fully confirmed by photo. Little is known about Ehrler's Me 262, but I suppose it could carry number 12 (his group mate Theo Weissenberger "took" his favourite number "4" from JG 5 to JG 7)

... and the model. 

This is Hasegawa 1/48 Bf 109G-2 built out-of-the-box.

In order to achieve best results I like to follow the original ways of painting. I first applied a typical temperate scheme 74/75/76 to the model. Later I sprayed upper surfaces with Humbrol no. 28 to simulate off-white finish. I then loaded my Testors airbrush with my Model Master mixture of Black Green and applied the mottle freehand.

Decals were taken from Aeromaster special sheet devoted to Luftwaffe aces. The decals were perfect except of opacity of yellow colour. I had to ask my friend for additional 12+- and laid it over first one in order to avoid mottling showing through the number.

Conclusion is simple: if you haven't done it already, buy and build this kit: it still is one of the better ones out there.

gronczewski_bf109g_04.jpg (55203 bytes) gronczewski_bf109g_01.jpg (45728 bytes) 

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