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Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla Production

Weekend Edition

Eduard, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Eduard Kit No. 84174 - Bf 109 G-10 Erla Weekend Edition
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 188 parts in grey coloured plastic (including 99 parts marked not for use); 10 parts in clear (including four parts marked not for use); markings for four aircraft
Price:

USD$29.95 plus shipping, available online now from Eduard

GBP£16.30 (£13.58 Export Price) plus shipping available from Hannants

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: High level of detail; the only standalone Bf 109 G-10 Erla straight from the box in this scale; outstanding surface features including crisply recessed panels and subtle rivet lines where appropriate; separate control surfaces; many useful options; five marking options.
Disadvantages: Somewhat overheight exhaust stacks.
Conclusion:

Eduard's 1/48 scale Messerchmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla is another very welcome addition to their lower-priced Weekend Edition family.

With four decal options, the Weekend Edition is no poor relation, but will be the logical choice for somone who prefers to work with plastic parts or is planning to use a BRASSIN replacement cockpit.

A final factor in this kit's favour is that the ProfiPACK is no longer available, so if you want a 1/48 scale standalone Bf 109 G-10 Erla, this is your only choice!


Reviewed by Brett Green

Background

 

Once upon a time, not really all that long ago, it was commonly believed that there was a variant of the Bf 109 G-10 fitted with the DB605AS engine. In fact, quite a number of books included reference to the "Bf 109 G-10/AS".

This was a fair assumption based on examination of wartime photos. A number of very late-war Bf 109 G-10s were observed with the streamlined "asymmetrical" cowl but without the characteristic lower chin bulges. These aircraft also shared another trait - the crescent-shaped fairing on the fuselage side below the port side of the canopy was substituted with a simple, flat rectangular panel.

Subsequent research uncovered the true story. These aircraft were powered by the DB605D engine like the rest of the Bf 109 G-10 family. However, they were the subject of an attempt at the Messerschmitt Erla production facility at Leipzig to further streamline the front end of the bulging fighter. 

 

 

The oil cooler was made wider and shallower, and the plumbing was redesigned. This led to a new wider and shallower oil cooler housing, and permitted the lines of the lower forward cowl to be smoothed, eliminating the cheek bulges. The main cowl contours were modified too, as were various panels. This, in turn, led to different shapes for the gun troughs. A new, larger supercharger intake was installed. The squared-off port-side fairing was another key identifying factor.

Luftwaffe researcher Jean-Claude Mermet labelled this the "Type 110 cowl". This was not a Luftwaffe designation, but is a convenient way to name the cowl in the absence of an official designation. These days, the type is more commonly referred to as Bf 109 G-10 Erla.

In can be argued that the Erla-built G-10 was the ultimate Bf 109. It was lighter in weight, more streamlined and actually performed better than the Bf 109 K-4, making it the fastest of all the Messerschmitt Bf 109s.

It would appear that all Erla built Bf 109G-10s had the tall tail, but photos show that they could be fitted with every possible combination of short/tall tailwheel strut and narrow/wide wheels and upper wing bulges. Early Erla G-10s also had the canopy-mounted antenna mast.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Eduard released their ProfiPACK Edition 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla production kit in 2020, adding two new fuselage halves with the revised engine cowl fairings to what was otherwise a late version Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6.

I have long found the Erla Production Bf 109 G-10 to be one of the most interesting variants of this large family yet somehow I managed to miss this release (late clarification - the G-10 Erla is also available in the Limited Edition Dual Combo set, Wilde Sau Episode Two: Saudämmerung, along with a Bf 109 G-14/AS, which is still available now).

Fortunately, as is their habit, Eduard is now offering a lower-priced Weekend Edition version of that kit and it has my full attention this time around.

Eduard's Weekend Edition kits have recently gone through a bit of a transformation. Whereas the traditional Weekend Edition featured its own simplified style of box art and a single marking option, this latest Weekend Edition kit boasts a classy painting on the box and two decal sheets with four marking options.

In common with other Weekend Edition Edition kits, there are no photo-etched parts or self-adhesive masks, but the price saving is substantial - USD$29.99 for the Weekend Edition compared to USD$49.99 for the ProfiPACK.

It is also worth considering that anyone who prefers working with plastic parts, or who is planning to replace the cockpit with after market items, won't be requiring the photo-etched parts anyway. If you want to add masks, they're available separately for less than US$10.00 and you'll still pocket a handy $10.00 saving.

All this seems to suggest that the Weekend Edition is being repositioned from the poor relation to a better class of kit.

For the truly budget conscious, there is also still the very basic Overtrees option for just USD$19.95, which I think represents outstanding value. You don't get photo-etch, masks, decals or even instructions with the Overtrees series, but the excellent Eduard plastic parts alone are well worth the price.

So the choice is yours!

Alongside its now out-of-production ProfiPACK cousin, this is the only Bf 109 G-10 Erla straight from the box in 1/48 scale.

Eduard's new Bf 109 G-10 Erla Weekend Edition comprises 188 parts in grey plastic, 10 parts in clear, a coloured photo-etch fret, self-adhesive canopy masks and markings for four aircraft. More than 99 of the grey plastic parts are marked “not for use” and there are a few optional parts too, so the actual number of parts used is really quite modest.

The fuselage halves were new in the 2020 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla ProfiPACK kit.

 

  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla Review by Brett Green: Image
  • Eduard 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla Review by Brett Green: Image
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As usual with Eduard's Gustav family, the lower wing is full span and upper wings provided in port and starboard halves.

Note that Eduard has supplied the G-6-style wing with the small kidney-shaped wheel bulge. This is appropriate for the five included marking options. Check your references if you are planning to finish your Erla in other markings.

 

 

Both short and tall tail wheels are supplied although only the tall option applies for these five marking options.

In the absence of photo-etched parts, the cockpit is all plastic. These parts have always been on the sprues and they look good when carefully painted up.

The decal sheet supplies an overlay for the instrument dials and a set of colour harness straps. If you plan to use the decal harness, I recommend that you apply the decals to a thin sheet of lead foil. This will allow you to naturally draps the straps over the seat.

 

 

Structural detail is moulded on the inside of the upper wing, which will be visible from below as the wheel well ceiling.

 

 

The fuselage is moulded with a separate fin.

The characteristic simplified port side panel under the windscreen is a very clear point of distinction between the Erla variant and other G-10s. It is almost flat, but it does display a very subtle bulge. I think Eduard has done a good job here.

 

 

Intake scoops and filler caps are also correct for the Bf 109 G-10 Erla.

The armoured glass “Galland Panzer” and several optional windscreens and canopies are provided on the clear sprue. The inclusion of the clear fuel line is a nice touch. The inspection tube may be masked so that it remains clear after painting.

 

 

The other sprues are the same as Eduard's re-tooled Bf 109 G-6 kits. This is a good thing!

In 2013, Eduard’s Spitfire family set a new benchmark for 1/48 scale surface detail, and this Bf 109 G-6/AS is equally impressive in this regard. Panel lines are very crisp, fine and even. Lines of rivets are present, but they are incredibly subtle. The rivet lines seem to accurately follow the pattern applied to the full-sized aircraft too.

I was impressed to see that the small scoops on the nose are actually hollowed out - nice! Other raised surface features include the sealing strip between the mid-fuselage and the rear of the engine cowling.

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.

The wheel wells are nicely detailed and are correctly concave thanks to the bulges moulded to the top of the wings.

Eduard depicts the wheel well sidewalls with the zippered canvas covers at the 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. The centreline weld beads are present, and each of the stacks are hollowed out at the end. In common with the previous Eduard Bf 109 F/G family, the exhausts are slightly too tall. This is only really apparent on the starboard side as the port exhausts are partially covered by an extended fairing.

Propeller blades look to be a good shape, with nice pitch collar and hub detail.


 

Markings

Markings are supplied for four nicely varied Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla machines.

All are finished in the standard mid-war colours of RLM 76 Light Blue lower surfaces with RLM 74 Grey Green and RLM 75 Grey Violet on the upper surfaces; expect Petzschler's Gustav, which is in overall RLM 76 Light Blue.

The decal sheets are perfectly printed in the Czech Republic. One sheet carries the national markings and unique numbers, chevrons, Gruppe markings, unit insignia and kill markings.

 

 

The second sheet provides stencil markings.

 

 

It would appear that the decal sheet with the markings is the new style as seen in Eduard's recent releases. These offer the option of peeling off the carrier film after the decals have been applied. I have experimented with these and they seem to work in this pell-off mode as well as conventional decals.

I have also found that the film can be easily peeled from the markings while they are still on the backing sheet. Once the film is removed, you can brush on liquid decal film over the top of the markings. Once the liquid decal film has dried, you can cut around the markings and apply the decal to the model in the usual way. I was very happy with the results.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Eduard's 1/48 scale Messerchmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla is another very welcome addition to their lower-priced Weekend Edition family.

With four decal options, the Weekend Edition is no poor relation, but will be the logical choice for somone who prefers to work with plastic parts or is planning to use a BRASSIN replacement cockpit.

A final factor in this kit's favour is that the ProfiPACK is no longer available, so if you want a 1/48 scale standalone Bf 109 G-10 Erla, this is your only choice!

Thanks to Eduard for the sample


Review Text and Model Images Copyright 2021 by Brett Green
Page Created 3 August, 2021
Last updated 5 August, 2021

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