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Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4

Eduard ProfiPACK, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Eduard Kit No. 82114 - Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 ProfiPACK
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 184 parts in grey coloured plastic (including 78 marked not for use); six parts in clear; colour and brass photo-etched frets; self-adhesive die-cut masking sheet; markings for six aircraft
Price:

USD$49.95 plus shipping, available online now from Eduard

GBP£32.60 (£27.17 Export Price) plus shipping available from Hannants

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Accurate; high level of detail; outstanding surface features including crisply recessed panels and subtle rivet lines where appropriate; includes colour photo-etched parts; separate control surfaces; many useful options including alterative propeller blades, wheels, oil cooler housings, bomb racks, trop filter and supercharger intakes (some parts not applicable for this kit); high quality decals; includes die-cut canopy masks.
Disadvantages: Only one style of seat is supplied.
Conclusion:

I appreciate that not everybody is interested in the Augsburg Eagle, but I am pretty excited about Eduard's new 1/48 scale Bf 109 F-4.

The new kit is accurate, well detailed and boasts surface textures as good as anything currently available. The addition of coloured photo-etched parts plus an excellent decal sheet with six varied options is a real bonus.

I have built three of Eduard's 1/48 scale Bf 109 G kits and they were a joy to work on - straightforward engineering, brilliant fit and a gorgeous result once they're finished. I have no reason to expect that this kit will be any different.

I can't wait to get started on mine.

Highly Recommended.


Reviewed by Brett Green


Eduard's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 ProfiPACK will be available online from Squadron.com

Background

 

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 F delivered a major transformation to the famous Augsburg Eagle. The airframe was streamlined with a newly designed engine cowling, large spinner, rounded wing tips, revised flaps and many mechanical modifications compared to the earlier Bf 109 E.

The Bf 109 F entered service in 1941 at around the same time as the RAF introduced the Spitfire Mk.V. RAF Fighter Command also switched to offensive operations over France and Belgium during this period, creating a new challenge for the Luftwaffe.

 

 

The new Spitfire was superior to the Bf 109 F in most respects, and it would not be until early 1942 with the general introduction of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 that a Luftwaffe fighter aircraft would gain a temporary upper hand over the English Channel.

Despite this see-sawing combat on the Channel Front, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 F achieved stunning success over the grassy steppes and frozen tundras of Russia, and the harsh desert of North Africa during 1941 and 1942.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Eduard's Bf 109 F-4 ProfiPACK comprises 184 parts in grey plastic, although there are 78 marked "not for use", bringing the total actually used to 106. In fact, the total is lower than this again as there are various alternative parts that won't be used depending on the version you are building. There are also six parts in clear, a coloured photo-etched fret, a brass photo-etched fret, self-adhesive canopy masks and markings for six aircraft.

 

  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4 Review by Brett Green: Image
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Compared to Eduard's earlier Gustav releases, this Bf 109 F-4 kit contains new sprues for the fuselage and wings, a new clear sprue, two new photo-etched frets and of course all-new decals.

Straight from the box, you can build a regular Bf 109 F-4, an F-4/Trop, an F-4/Z and F-4/B or even a late-build F-2.

The fuselage is presented as a full-length side per half, including the fin moulded in place, so there should not be any dramas with aligning multiple parts.

In 2013, Eduard’s Spitfire family set a new benchmark for 1/48 scale surface detail, and this new Bf 109 F-4 is equally impressive in this regard. Panel lines are very crisp, fine and even. Lines of rivets are present, but they are very subtle.

 

 

Fabric matches this high standard, with strip and stitching texture beautifully presented on the control surfaces. If you look closely enough, you will even see the zig-zag pinking edges on the fabric strips.

Eduard combines plastic and colour photo-etched parts in their ProfiPACK, resulting in a very high level of detail straight from the box. The cockpit benefits most from the dedicated Bf 109 F coloured photo-etch with a nice multi-layered instrument panel, harness straps and other coloured details. Half-tones and shading seem to have taken a great leap forward on this photo-etched fret, especially the harness straps.

 

 

A second brass photo-etched fret supplies more detail for the exterior.

 

 

The cockpit is fitted with the late pan-style seat (the same as the G series), which does seem to be a common type in the Bf 109 F-4, although there is a similar seat with a slightly different backrest seen in these aircraft too. Early Bf 109 F-2s and it seems at least some F-4s were alternatively fitted with a one-piece pressed metal seat similar in appearance to that in the Bf 109 E. Check your references to see what style of seat is fitted to your chosen subject - there are a number of 1/48 scale Bf 109 E seats available if you want to backdate your Friedrich.

The canopy is offered in three pieces with the windscreen, fixed rear section and poseable centre. The inclusion of the clear fuel line is a welcome touch. The inspection tube may be masked so that it remains clear after painting.

 

 

The circular wheel wells are nicely detailed. Eduard depicts the wheel well sidewalls with the zippered canvas covers at the front and rear. The fabric texture looks good, and the zipper is represented by a raised line.

The exhausts are supplied in one piece for each side with an optional moulded-on shroud. The centreline weld beads are present, and each of the stacks are hollowed out at the end.

 

 

Three propeller assembly options are supplied with nice pitch collar and hub detail.

 

 

Two styles are relevant for this boxing, while the third is appropriate for Bf 109 Gs.


 

Engineering and Options

The kit is broken down conventionally. The fuselage is full-length with no structural inserts. The two deep pressed gun troughs are separate parts.

 

 

The upper and lower cowls are moulded as part of the fuselage sides.

Two styles of supercharger intake are included. The smaller intake is for the standard F-4, while the larger version is for the F-4/Trop and is also appropriate for the F-4Z. The supercharger intake fits into precisely recessed areas on the nose. An optional tropical filter (with the front moulded shut) is supplied for the F-4/Trop.

 

 

Two styles of oil cooler housing are included too. The shallow type is for the standard F-4, while the deeper version may be used for the F-4/Trop and F-4/Z.

 

 

The wing tips are moulded as part of the upper wing halves with solid navigation lights and the pitot tube moulded in place.

All control surfaces are separate, including leading edge slats, ailerons, flaps, elevators and rudder. The ramps at the leading edges of the radiator housings and the cooling flaps at the back of the oil coolers are moulded shut. All the radiator faces are supplied as photo-etched parts.

Eduard has supplied the four empennage reinforcement strips as photo-etched parts. The strips were a temporary measure to stop the tails falling off early production Bf 109 Fs. These are more relevant to the Bf 109 F-2, but some may have been fitted to F-4s. Once again, check your references for individual configurations.

Many options are offered on the sprues including a drop tank, bombs, bomb racks and different styles of wheel hubs. Some of these relate to earlier and later Bf 109 G or F versions and do not apply, but others – even though they are marked “not for use” – might come in handy for the enterprising modeller.

Check your references to see which of these features is present on your preferred subject – a number of different combinations are possible.


 

Markings

Markings are supplied for six varied Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-4s.

 

 

The two decal sheets are perfectly printed in the Czech Republic. One sheet carries he national markings and unique numbers, chevrons, Gruppe markings, unit insignia and kill markings; while the other has a wide selection of generic Bf 109 stencil markings.

 

 

Printing, colours and registration is perfect on my sample.


 

Eduard Compared to Zvezda

Zvezda's Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-2 and F-4 kits have been clearly the best Friedrichs in 1/48 scale since their release in 2010. Detail is excellent, including a full engine, and they have been praised as being very accurate.

The downsides are variable quality plastic (both of my Zvezda Bf 109 Fs have a short-shot propeller blade plus some warped parts due to the soft plastic), questionable supercharger intake shape and poor decals.

The approach of the two kits is quite different too - Zvezda with its multi-part fuselage, full engine detail and all-plastic construction; and Eduard with its full-length fuselage, better quality plastic, straightforward engineering, more intricate surface textures, photo-etched enhancements and superb decals.

Personally, I like the surface detail of the Eduard kit better, and the modeller-friendly parts breakdown really appeals.

I was interested to read well-known Bf 109 fancier Floyd Werner's rankings of the currently available 1/48 scale Bf 109 F kits recently on HyperScale's Plane Talking Forum too.

But the best news for fans of the Bf 109 F is that now you have the choice between two excellent Friedrichs depending on your personal penchants. You want to show off an engine? There's Zvezda. You want a well-detailed, easy to build kit with the cowls closed? That's Eduard.

 

 

Conclusion

 

I appreciate that not everybody is interested in the Augsburg Eagle, but I am pretty excited about Eduard's new 1/48 scale Bf 109 F-4.

The new kit is accurate, well detailed and boasts surface textures as good as anything currently available. The addition of coloured photo-etched parts plus an excellent decal sheet with six varied options is a real bonus.

I have built three of Eduard's 1/48 scale Bf 109 G kits and they were a joy to work on - straightforward engineering, brilliant fit and a gorgeous result once they're finished. I have no reason to expect that this kit will be any different.

I can't wait to get started on mine.

Highly Recommended.

Purchased by reviewer.


Review Text Copyright 2016 by Brett Green
Page Created 13 October, 2016
Last updated 14 October, 2016

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