Otto Shultz’s Jg 27 Bf 109F-4/Trop

One of the  II/JG27 Bf 109F’s Schulz used in February, 1942.  Bf 109F-4 Trop  WNr. Unknown 

Oberfeldwebel Otto Schulz
Stab II/JG 27, Martuba/Libya, February 1942

Otto Shultz joined the Luftwaffe in 1934 and served for many years as an instructor. On 3 January 1940, Schulz was transferred to 4./JG 27. He participated in the French campaign and the Battle of Britain. He recorded his first victory on 31 August 1940. By the end of 1940, he had four victories to his credit. In April 1941, Schulz participated in the Balkans invasion scoring two victories over Greece, a Greek PZL fighter over the airfield at Larissa on 15 April and a RAF Hurricane fighter on 20 April. Schulz participated in the invasion of Russia. He claimed three victories during June 1941 before the unit was transferred to the Mediterranean theatre in September.

Hasegawa 1/48 Bf 109F-4/Trop

With the cockpit complete and installed in the now joined fuselage halves, I completed the rest of the basic construction phase without much more ado.  One point of note, the cowling in the Hasegawa kit comes in two pieces which are joined and then added to the fuselage.  I chose to do it that way to try and ensure a good all-round fit and was largely successful. As I had done with my Tamiya Spitfire MkI (link), I joined the top half of the wings to the fuselage first, ensuring a very clean and crisp join, and then I added the bottom single wing piece.  Fit was very good and minimal clean up was required.  One thing I didn’t realize I should have done at this stage was the addition of the reinforcing plates at the tail, I only learned Schulz’s aircraft carried them after the model was complete.

Into the Desert

Operating over the deserts of North Africa, Schulz was to be particularly successful. On three occasions; 6 October, 30 October and 28 November he recorded three victories. Schulz shot down another two RAF P-40’s on 30 November to record his 23rd and 24th victories. Both were piloted by notable Allied pilots: Australian, Sgt Alan “Tiny” Cameron of 3 Sqn, RAAF who crash-landed, and British pilot P/O Neville Duke of 112 Sqn, RAF. He claimed another notable RAF pilot on 15 December (30), when he shot down and killed P/O Geoffrey Ranger of 250 Sqn, RAF. It is also thought that Schulz was the victor on 11 January, when he shot a P-40 in the Agedabia-El Brega area (33) flown by the Australian ace F/O Andrew “Nicky” Barr of 3 Sqn, RAAF, who crash-landed, wounded.


Martuba, Libya, 15th February 1942

On the 15th February, 1942 Shultz was the lone pilot to get off the ground in defence of Martuba when it was raided by the RAF’s newly formed No. 94 Squadron. In the action that followed he shot down four of their Curtiss P-40 fighters in 10 minutes, including another British ace, S/L Ernest “Imshi” Mason (Link) who was killed. 

S/Ldr Ernest “Imshi” Mason of No. 94 Squadron RAF who was one of Shultz’s four victories in 15th February, 1942. “Imshi” Mason is the subject of a feature article elsewhere on Making-History

Just three months later though, on 17 June 1942, Schulz was himself shot down and killed. His final tally was 51 victories achieved in approximately 400 missions. He recorded three victories over the Eastern front and 48 victories over the Western front.

Applying the Markings

I used a combination of kit decals and the Third Group sheet to finish the markings on the model.  The kit decals were typical Hasegawa, they worked, were in register and I had no problems with silvering using Microsol/Microset.  The third Group decals appeared to be very thin and were printed in almost perfect register.  I was a little nervous however, as the Stab markings were printed in two decals, one white only as the backing and the other black.  They had vast areas of clear decal film – perfect silvering traps!In the event however, the decal performed beautifully, they were thin but strong and settled down very well even though in places there were three decals on top of each other.

Weathering and Completion

I attached the previously painted undercarriage, the flaps and exhausts.  The exhausts were painted with ModelMaster Burnt Iron and I used Burnt Steel from the same range of paints for the exhaust shields.  The propeller was painted RLM70 with one third masked and painted white.  I unmasked the clear parts and after a little clean up the canopy and windshield were done.  I had broken the pitot tube so I used a #25 Gauge hypodermic needle to which I applied several heavy coats of paint to replicate the stepped shape.  I used #16 Gauge hypodermic needles for the machine guns in the cowl, which look convincing aside from the lack of muzzle detail. Lastly, I attached the aerial post, used stretched sprue for the antenna wire and the canopy restraining wire.  I used pastels for the exhaust staining, which I left quite restrained, and a silver pencil to simulate paint chipping on the wing root and leading edges of the wings.

References and Credits

This piece first appeared on Making-History in its earlier iteration in 2003. The references and credits listed below are those listed in the original.

  • – Petr Kacha’s excellent Luftwaffe Aces site.  Thanks to Petr for allowing me to base my biography of Shultz on his text.
  • – Lynn Ritger’s 109 Lair web site, THE resource for BF 109 information and discussion.  Thanks to Lynn for the use of the colour photograph of the F-4/Trop in the section on development of the 109Fseries.
  • – Claes Sundin and Christer Bergström’s informative web site with more of Claes’ excellent profiles.
  • “More Luftwaffe Fighter Aircraft in Profile” – Claes Sundin and Christer Bergström.  ISBN 0-7643-1559-5  Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
  • “Messerschmitt 109, Luftwaffe Fighter” – Ron Dick and Dick Patterson.  ISBN 1-85310-949-5
  • “Aircraft of World War II – A Visual Encyclopedia” – Michael Sharpe, Jerry Scutts and Dan March.  ISBN 1-85648-589-7  PCR Publishing Ltd.
  • Cockpit – An illustrated History of WWII Aircraft Interiors” – Donald Nijboer and Dan Patterson  ISBN 1-55046-253-9  Boston Mills Press.
  • “The War in the Desert” – Richard Collier and the Editors of Time-Life Books 

Copyright:  I claim original work and Copyright 2020 for the text in this article and the photos of the model.  As usual though, I am indebted for the material used in research listed above in the References and Credits section. Except where noted otherwise, I sourced all other images and photos from the internet and are used under fair-use.  Any copyrighted images will be removed or credited forthwith upon request by its rightful owner.

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