The German Mistel combo of a single-engine fighter on top of an unmanned Ju 88 remains one of the most unusual military aircraft ever put to operational use. As such, it is of given interest to modellers.
One of Dragon's finest 1/48 aircraft kit is the Mistel combination of Fw-190A and Ju-88G. This kit comprises two very realistic looking models. You can also save some display space thanks to the piggyback arrangement!
About 10 years ago I built the first Mistel kit that I received from an old girlfriend of mine (and they say that women do not make men happy). True to my habit, I chose the out-of-the-box option featuring the double-crew Mistel S2 that was used for training.
This model shows one of my building principles to advantage. The Fw 190 did not require glue to be secured, so I just positioned it on top of the holding struts. I revamp my models often and mess around with them, taking them in and out of the display area. Having a complex model such as this one in detachable components makes handling easier - but you must not forget which parts are loose when lifting the model!
I also used not to glue canopies unless the transparent parts cannot be press-fitted. Keeping the canopy loose makes life easier should you need the model require a repainting session or the correction of build errors.
The second Mistel, S3 featured the Ju 88A-10 with the long fuselage to accommodate extra fuel stores. My objective was to depict a unique aircraft that was well photographed by the Americans shortly after Germany's surrender. I concentrated on the painting job and used my own templates instead of the decals (other than the Werknummer). This model does not have a fighter aircraft to go with it.
The most widely recognised combat version of the Mistel was Mistel 1, featuring a war-weary Junkers Ju-88A with massive warhead replacing the crew cabin and a Messerschmitt Bf 109 as control aircraft.
Building a Mistel 1 required some conversion. I added Dragon's Mistel struts and warhead to a Dragon Ju 88A and Hasegawa's Messerschmitt Bf 109F-2. Although I read that the Mistel 1 combinations had the DB 605A engine, I decided that an F-2 with the shallow oil radiator was more appropriate.
The unique markings were applied using templates. My "secret" source of reference had been a skin from the Shturmovik combat simulator game! Over recent years, I found out that flight simulator games complement modelling well and provide further input for building better models.
Additional images, click to enlarge