Friday 5 June 2020

AZ Bf 109 G-6/AS Hptm. Horst Carganico Kommandeur I./JG 5 'Mickey Maus' in 72nd scale

Continuing with the small-scale Bf 109 theme and built from the AZ Bf 109 72nd scale kit, this is my representation of Hptm. Horst Carganico's G-6/AS from May 1944, displaying the personal 'Mickey Maus' and 60-kill rudder scoreboard of the Kommandeur I./JG 5 as photographed at Herzogenaurach during May 1944.

 As a far better modeler than me put it, " I keep going back to the 1:72nd scale AZ Bf 109s ...and then reality hits home.." Now - based on just one build so far - I decided that I quite like AZ Model's Bf 109 G-6 series - 'Model of the Year 2015' in the small scale category in the German 'Modellfan' magazine. I've just added a couple of G-6/AS variants to the stash and bought both the 'Limited Edition' JG 300 boxes.

But I'd forgotten how tricky these kits are - not much fits well unfortunately. Especially where the cockpit is concerned - a large chunk of that need sanding down to get it between the fuselage halves. The G-6/AS variant featured a refined cowl, tall tail and enlarged supercharger - Peter Schmoll refers to the variant as being 'Beulenfrei'. Hence the parts in the box are the same as those featured in AZ Model's Bf 109 G-10 boxes. However for a G-6/AS as depicted in this box the chin bulges will need to be sanded off - AZ don't tell you this anywhere.

Decals are taken from an old Encore Models Gustav sheet and performed just fine considering that they must be at least 15-20 years old - the coloring of the 'Mickey' emblem is probably not 100% accurate (note the red shorts..) and there is no actual image of Carganico's rudder scoreboard although he had some 60 victories by the time he was shot down and killed over southern Germany during May 1944. Perhaps his machine did not carry any other markings but on the starboard fuselage side I have used standard command chevrons. Note AZ do not give the modeler a spinner spiral ! These have to be sourced separately or else purchased on a separate sheet from AZ  ( thanks Jan .. no I haven't forgotten!)

Horst Carganico flew in Norway and Finland from the first days of the invasion in April 1940 until March 1944. He then departed the Eismeer front and II./JG 5, being appointed Kommandeur I./JG 5 in the Reichsverteidigung. By then his Mickey Mouse personal emblem was well known. In official German papers his aircraft was listed as "Mickey Maus".  Erik Mombeeck's 'Luftwaffe Gallery' JG 5 'Special Album' features an interesting photo of this machine. It is apparent that the aircraft was painted in light blue-grey overall (standard G-6/AS Höhenjäger finish) The picture is partially double-exposed, showing part of the wing - confirming the wing cross (black, filled, and not white outline as per my model..)  and the single-colour finish of the wing. On May 27, 1944, aged 26 years old, Carganico was killed in this machine crashing after colliding with power cables while attempting to make an emergency landing following combat with P-51s - no fewer than 13 of the nineteen I./JG 5 Bf 109s deployed against an 8th AF raid against rail hubs and infrastructure in eastern France and s-w Germany were lost that day. Carganico's body was repatriated back home to Berlin and he was buried on June 6, 1944. His father, Generalmajor Victor Carganico died exactly one year later - May 27, 1945 -  shot by Soviet troops.

According to some sources, Carganico's machine may have been a  a G-5/U2. This is essentially the same as a G-6/AS, only with GM-1 or MW-50 booster injection installed. The Erla canopy means that the G-5 pressurised cockpit features were of course absent. The cowling was 'bulge-free', like the G-10 and K-4. Standard 160/660 wheels, small 'tear-drop' wing bulges, low tail wheel and tall tail.

extract from Luftwaffe Gallery 'Fighters of the Midnight Sun' still available from