Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1
Eduard, 1/32 scale
u m m a r y
||Eduard Kit No. 3001
|Contents and Media:
||169 parts in olive coloured plastic; five parts in clear; two photo-etched frets (one in colour); canopy masks; markings for four aircraft plus full stencil data.
||USD$74.95 available online from Eduard
and hobby retailers worldwide
||Very high level of detail including optional engine; restrained and impressive surface features; separate control surfaces including flaps and leading edge slats; colour photo-etched parts; excellent quality decals with colourful options
||A few sink marks; main wheels appear to be too narrow and hub detail is shallow.
||At last, a high quality 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 E! This will be a straightforward build, especially if the engine is not fitted.
Eduard's 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 is available online from Squadron.com
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 A, B, C and D were powered by the Junkers Jumo engine. The Spanish Civil War presented the opportunity to test these revolutionary fighters in action, and they proved their worth in combat with Legion Condor over the skies of Spain.
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 E series was the first of the family to be fitted with the Daimler Benz DB601A engine, resulting in a significant improvement in performance.
Two variants were manufactured in parallel - the lightweight Bf 109 E-1 which retained the wing-mounted 7.9mm machine guns of the earlier Bf 109 B, C and D; and the Bf 109 E-3 which was fitted with one 20mm MG FF cannon in each wing. Both variants featured two additional 7.92mm machine guns in the cowl.
1,183 Bf 109 E-1s were delivered. They saw first saw service with Legion Condor in Spain, then continued in widespread action alongside the Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 in Poland, the Low Countries, across the English Channel in the Battle of Britain and in the Balkans.
...but do we really need another Messerschmitt Bf 109?
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 G and K have been well represented in plastic over the last few years. Hasegawa has just about cornered the market with excellent kits of these mid and late war variants in both 1/48 and 1/32 scale. The Hasegawa 1/48 scale Bf 109 F is also quite respectable.
In 1/48 scale, the early Bf 109s have done quite well too. Both Hasegawa and Tamiya offer Bf 109 E-3 and E-4/7/Trop kits. Hasegawa even released a couple of Bf 109 E-1 kits in 1/48 scale, but these were really their E-3 plastic with resin plugs for the cannon bulges in the wings and a set of DIY instructions to recreate the machine gun wing of the E-1.
The situation in 1/32 scale has not been so rosy. The two major options are typical products of the 1970s. Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Bf 109 E-3/4 has raised panel lines, questionable shapes, peculiar (but fashionable for the day) cross-hatched fabric surfaces and ficticious cockpit and wheel wells.
The Matchbox kit was visited by the Mad Trencher, with wide, soft panel lines, chunky detail, gimmicky working parts and a poorly shaped nose.
And, of course, nobody had ever offered a Bf 109 E-1 in this scale.
Eduard has released a brand new 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 comprising 169 parts in olive coloured plastic, five parts in clear, two photo-etched frets (one in colour), canopy mask, markings for four aircraft plus full stencil data.
The parts are very well moulded, with only a few shallow sink marks that will be visible on the finished model (most notably the front of the top wing halves near the wing roots).
Surface detail is state-of-the-art. Finely recessed panel lines are supplemented with even finer rows of rivets. These are barely visible at some angles, and are consistent over the whole airframe. Very nice indeed. Control surfaces feature raised "fabric strips" and stitching. Lighting for photography seems to exaggerate the effect, but they look great on the sprues. Even so, if the fabric sag is too much for your personal taste, it will be a simple matter to fill the recesses with Mr Surfacer, or lightly sand the raised ribs.
Detail is excellent. The plastic cockpit parts are combined with colour and nickel-plated photo-etch to deliver an authentic front office. Colour photo-etched parts include the instrument panel sandwich, fuse panel and harness straps.
A full engine is supplied, but this is an optional element. Eduard has taken notice of customer comments about the complexity of some of its earlier kits including the 1/48 scale Fw 190 and Bf 110 families. In the case of this 1/32 scale Bf 109 E-1, the DB601A engine may be installed and displayed, or the cowl may be glued closed without the engine. Alternate parts are supplied to mount the propeller, the exhaust stubs and the cowl guns if the second option is chosen.
The engine looks good. Individual exhaust stubs are provided. These are hollow at the end and have raised weld seams down the middle - don't sand these off!
The cowl itself is supplied in four pieces - the main upper cowl, two rear side cowl panels and the gun deck.
All control surfaces are separate - the flaps, leading edge slats, ailerons, elevators and rudder. The rudder actuator is provided in photo-etched metal. Flaps are moulded with tabs that will pose them dropped without modification, but it will be very easy to slice off the tabs and reposition if desired.
The oil cooler and wing radiator front and rear faces are all supplied as photo-etched grilles.
The main wheel wells are nice done. The ceiling of the well features a ring of raised rivets and reinforcement strips. The sides of the main wells are boxed in with separate parts.
The wheels appear too narrow, and the cast rib detail inside the hubs is too shallow. These should ideally be replaced with aftermarket items.
The early style canopy with the low horizontal framing is provided as three separate parts. External armoured glass for the windscreen is also included. Although it is not used on any of the kit's marking options, this was sometimes retrofitted to Bf 109 E-1 abd E-3s. The final clear part is the gun sight.
All the transparent parts are clear and free from distortion.
The self-adhesive canopy masks are a time-saving touch.
Four marking options are included:
Yellow 11, Fw. Arthur Beese, 9./JG 26, August 1940
Red 1, W.Nr. 4027, Hptm. Hannes Trautloft, Staffelkapitän 2./JG 77, September 1939
Red 13, Fw. Kurt „Kuddel“ Ubben, 6.(J)/TrGr.186, March 1940
Yellow 2, 6./JG 52, Calais, France, September 1940
Two decal sheets are included. One contains the main aircraft markings and the second supplies a full set of stencils. In fact, a number of alternatives are included on the stencil sheet.
Decals have been printed by Cartograf. Register is perfect, colours are rich and opaque, and visible carrier film is non-existent. They don't come much better than these. I particularly like the interpretation of RLM 04 Yellow on this sheet too.
I have already started building the kit. The photo below shows the main cockpit, engine and fuselage components test-fitted. Note that these are not glued in place - the fuselage halves are only taped together.
The fit looks very promising so far.
So did we really need another Bf 109?
Eduard has filled another important gap in the Luftwaffe modeller's repertoire with their 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1. At long last, we finally have a worthwhile large scale Emil.
Eduard's 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 is very well detailed straight from the box, and the modeller has the choice of tackling the engine or simply buttoning up the cowl. Construction should be quite straightforward.
Thanks to Eduard for the sample
Review Text & Images Copyright © 2009 by Brett Green
Page Created 23 February, 2009
24 February, 2009
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