Messerschmitt Bf 109E

1988. I had just joined design school and decided to build a superdetailed paper model. The theme was to be a crashed aircraft and I chose an all time favourite, the Bf 109 in the libyan desert, early forties.
Perfectionists will certainly find details and proportions inaccurate..but it's ok, the pilot survived the crash!!

It is a different mindset to not want to build perfect surfaces, but rather try and imitate crumpled metal and distorted structures. Of course it's a good theme to compensate for parts that don't fit haha. Imagining impact damage on the fuselage and wings, smashed and missing parts, distributing bullet holes generously... and then painting on rust, faded and damaged paintwork, exposed metal and lubricant leaks...

The engine block is made from paper (of course), guitar wire, toothpicks, telephone wire, bits of cork..
The wheels retract! Great fun doing that and then adding on the oil leaks.

The gun barrels were perforated with a clutch pencil and then rolled into a tube. I was so hesitant to bend those propellar blades once I had built them!

The cockpit!! At the top left corner is a photo of the pilot's girlfriend!! Even signed at the back haha..
The guages are actually felt pen cap sections ( for the serrated profile!) and the markings and details are all hand painted. At the back of the instrument panel, the leads and wires connected to the guages are also visible!

Rusted twisted metal...and not to miss, in the right hand image, the inside of the engine cover, dead center, the inverted greasy handprint of the mechanic!!

This model has gained me the reputation of being totally certified mad, by my well wishers. And it was a maniacal joy to build!


  1. AnonymousMay 02, 2010

    Amazing ! incredible ! definatly you're talented, your work is fantastic, this is something you must be proud of !!!
    do more, continue, let yourself be inspire with anything around you , you deserve awards, the best considaration for your work!
    don't loose this little light inside you that inspire you and give you the energy to do those wonderfull things!
    those wings can take you really high , in mind, and bring you a lot of success!

  2. Have always loved the intricacy of detail in your models - and how it is achieved!
    Am thrilled that people (everyone?) now has the opportunity to be as awed.

  3. I will answer in french pour tous les amis à qui j'ai montré le site : pourquoi restent ils tous bouche bée ? pourquoi lèvent ils les yeux comme s'ils cherchaient les avions ? pourquoi ? parce que soudain chacun réalise que ces avions sont en papier et l'incroyable devient réalité. Ils sont si fragiles et si plein d'énergie à la fois qu'on en reste sans voix . Puis lentement on s'envole avec toi sur tes paper wings

  4. Sujit showed me your blog. These are amazing models. Your photographs are also wonderful; crisp, focused and great light. This is a wonderful talent that is a joy to have been able to view. Thank You.

  5. Suhail, takes me back to NID!

    May I suggest you go closer in the photographs? I have seen the originals, and these images do not do justice to what you have created.
    I have a bellows and macro gig, extension tubes, and all that juice.
    Just fly these babies to India, and I can…


  6. But Wheaare are the boats and fish and dragonflies????
    Look, the planes were pretty damned detailed in real life, but in photographs they look hyperreal. how much ever you say "paper" and "clutch pencil", its quite impossible to imagine the scale. The messerschmitt looks like you took a photo of a hollywood set piece! If i hadn't seen you build it, I would probably think "yeah right". serrated edges on instrument guages? Youre mad, but this is bound to drive some others mad too, just thinking about it!
    If you have the messerschmitt still, put up a close up of the exposed engine, and put a lady bug on it for scale.

  7. ...and whose guitar strings did you use?

  8. Sanchay RoyJune 28, 2010

    I mean.. awesome indeed!! These should have a world rating or not?? Like UberKlass Weltmeister kind of title.. what else can you call this quality and detail of work. Admiration and respect my friend. Sent you a link to a job posting at Lucas Films.. what have you got to loose?

  9. All this enthusiasm is getting me all worked up wanting to fling myself into a huge pile of paper like a maniac and cut, fold and glue and build, build, build!!! Planes planes everywhere!!!! Thank you so much everyone for your words...they are so encourageing!!

  10. hail suhail scissorhands! i can imagine you as an animated character, with a manic expression on your face, bit of tongue sticking out, hacking through a reservoir of excellent (recycled) paper. But Planes only?

  11. i come here from time to time to see if more people have commented on your genius work ;)
    also eager to see if you've posted more work!!

  12. Turnesh GilderJuly 26, 2010

    Brother you are an "Institute of talent" .....

    Mogambo khush huya!!!

  13. What a wonderful model! Many compliments, amazing job on this superdetailed Bf 109!!!


  14. Hey Su!..Hope you are working on my Me109 also..Eli

  15. It is simply incredible the model from the pictures is made almost entirely from paper. Those interested in this legendary fighter, I suggest a link to some blueprints - Messerschmitt Bf 109

  16. Wow this is amazing. It's also the first papermodel I really like!