Sunday 12 June 2011

Modeler Profile - Jes 'Touvdal' Christensen Luftwaffe fighters model collection (ICM Emil, Zvesda F, JG 300)

I imagine most Luftwaffe modellers know of Jes Touvdal from or will have seen photo features on his models on sites such as the 109 Lair. I was recently chatting to Jes and thought it would be an idea to put together the following small feature on Jes and his models.

Hi Jes, can you tell us something about yourself please?

Hi Neil, I’m a regular reader of your blog which I find very interesting and informative. About me ..I am 53 years old, live approx 40 km from Copenhagen, in a small town named Viby. I make my living as a sales consultant selling Ford and Kia at the moment. I’ve been modelling since I was approx 10 years old. I learnt my English when I was out in Singapore for a number of years.

Just how big is your collection of Luftwaffe fighters ? Are you still adding to it and how quickly do you build ?

As for my collection it is 160 Bf 109, and 59 Fw 190, and still growing. 99% of my builds are 1/72 scale aircraft, although I have build some dio. in 1/48 and 1/32, and a few panzer dios in 1/35. My total collection is 600+. How quickly I build is hard to say, normally I build in batches approx 10 to 20 at a time, so it is hard to say how long I take on each model..maybe 3 hours for a 72nd scale fighter. I think I will always be adding to my collection, there is always something new coming up. And now Zverda has announced a F, that is affordable - I have at least 50 schemes in the books for this variant. I know that Fine Molds kits are super but for my use, a bit on the expensive side.

What are your favourite kits and your favourite subjects ?

Favourite kits are the Emil by ICM , it is a good and quite accurate kit, the E-3 canopy has a bad fit though. For the Bf 109 G I use mostly Academy, it goes together very nicely. It has a few shortcomings though, the tail planes need a little reshaping, the wing is too thin, nothing really I can do about that. For the 109 K it is the old Heller although I've only built a few of these. The best Fw 190 A-3/4 is the Tamiya, a very nice kit and for the A-6/7/8 I prefer Hasegawa also nothing say about that. Unfortunately there isn't a A-5/6 really available. The Fw 190 D-9 by Academy is also a nice fit. I know that the rivet counters have something to say about all these models, but I think that if the look is okay when seen from a ‘scale distance’ then I am happy. Actually I just read your article on 1/72 Fw 190s, I vote for the Hasegawa, I have held it up against the 1/72 drawings in Japo FW190 F-G, and it is spot on, as far as I can see and if it should be perhaps 1/10 of a mm out in some places the Hasegawa kit looks like the real thing at scale distance. As to what is right or wrong, my approach is, if it looks okay to the eye it is okay - who can see whether a model is 1 mm to long or short, not many I think. Sometimes discussions can get a little too extreme as regards size or length. I look forward to doing some Zvezda Bf 109 F, especially JG 54 as they have some colorful and intriguing schemes in the locally mixed greens. As for favourite builds, I would say some of the machines flown by JG 300. The two volume history of this unit was fascinating. Reading the books and the story of those brave men, in some cases no more than boys, was an inspiration. They went into the air against all the odds day in day out, until they were shot down and killed in many cases.

Do you ever find yourself having to make your own decals?

I make my own decals in a few cases. As an example take the Emil flown by JG 51 ace Fw. Arthur Hasse (photo top) of 6./JG51, (ref. p 166 in JG 51 by Stipdonk/Meyer). The initial drawing was copied from the photo and drawn in felt-tip onto some clear decal sheet. But as a general rule I have a lot of decal sheets so it is possible to combine from these, badge and numbers.

What about your reference library?

As for references I have a large library, favourite books are the Prien series, I have been buying them since the first JG 53 book was published many years ago, and now the JV series is super. Yes I speak and read German. When it comes to modelling I never make a plane that I do not have a photo of. And for the all fighter planes I build I usually only build subjects that can be associated with a named pilot. This is very essential for me in order to be able to build the model.

Jes' model of  'Green 1' flown by the CO of JG 300 during the wilde Sau period and based on the photos featured in Lorant's JG 300 history. No relation to the fanciful Airfix 1:24 scale Fw 190 kit box top artwork!

And what about storage though ?

As for storage I have glass cupboards, with glass shelves taking each 100 single engine a/c. The photo (above) of my 109s and 190s on display was taken at the Esbjerg open day in 2008.

Thanks Jes for answering my questions. Great work and a super collection!