Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3
Wingsy Kits, 1/48 scale
S u m m a r y
||Wingsy Kits Item No. D5-08 - Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3
|Contents and Media:
||110 parts in grey injection moulded plastic; five clear parts; 43 photo-etched metal parts; one die-cut self-adhesive vinyl canopy masking sheet; markings for four aircraft.
USD$35.00 plus shipping available online from Wingsy Kit's web store
and specialist hobby retailers online and worldwide
||Crisp and fine surface textures; high level of detail; excellent moulding quality; useful options; high level of research and accuracy.
||Some won't like the absence of fabric or tape texture on control surfaces; thick seat pan walls; quaestionable propeller blade profile.
Wingsy's second 1/48 Emil is just as good as its first – well detailed, crisply molded, and clearly designed with passion. Wingsy's Bf 109 E-3 will give you even more colour and marking possibilities than the family debutant, the E-1. At USD$35.00, this kit represents outstanding value too.
by Brett Green
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.
1,540 Bf 109 E-3s were delivered. They saw first saw service with Legion Condor in Spain, then continued in widespread action alongside the Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 in Poland, the Low Countries, across the English Channel in the Battle of Britain and in the Balkans.
Emil in 1:48 scale
There is no shortage of 1:48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 E kits. The Bf 109 E-3 has been kitted by a number of model companies.
Although the Tamiya and Hasegawa kits are still widely available, I think the choice for the best Bf 109 E in 1:48 scale is balanced between the Airfix and Eduard kits at the moment.
Both these kits are very good in terms of detail, accuracy and fit. I think Eduard has the edge in detail and surface textures, while the Airfix kit is slightly more accurate.
So do we really need another Bf 109 E-3? Let’s see how the brand new Wingsy Kits Emil measures up.
Wingsy kicked off their Bf 109 family with an E-1 kit as recently as June this year. I started working on the E-1 as soon as it hit my desk and found it to be a a very enjoyable build with almost flawless fit.
Wingsy has quickly followed up with this Bf 109 E-3.
The differences between this kit and the E-1 is a brand new lower wing with blisters to accomodate the 20mm MG-FF outer wing cannon and a new decal sheet.
This variant should be a popular choice with modellers due to the wide variety of colours and markings available, from the Spanish Civil War through to the Battle of Britain.
Under the attractive box art we find a modest 108 parts in grey plastic with eight of those pieces not used for this time, five parts in clear plastic, a photo-etched fret and decals for four marking options.
If you like recessed rivets, you’ll love this one. Prominent lines of rivets supplement crisply recessed panel lines.
In contrast, fabric texture is very restrained on the control surfaces.
The rudder, ailerons, elevators and flaps are all separate parts. The instructions don’t mention it but I am sure that these could easily be posed deflected if you wish.
The leading edge flaps are separate parts too. These may be posed dropped or raised.
Cockpit detail is good. The instrument panel is made up from two plastic parts with raised bezels, over which decals and photo-etched parts are applied. The pilot’s head armour is a multi-part photo-etched assembly.
The pilot’s seat is chunky with thick sides, unlike the thin pressed metal of the real thing.
The propeller blades look too broad to my eye, particularly approaching the tip. They look more like the bread knife profile of the later VDM 9 propeller blades used on the Bf 109 F and G rather than the slender and slightly pointier blades of the Bf 109 E. The difference between the Wingsy blades and the Airfix propeller is very stark indeed, but I actually think the Airfix blades are too skinny. S.B.S. Model offers a replacement propeller and spinner assembly that treads the Goldilocks path - just right (to my eye anyway).
Photo-etched parts are supplied for the harness straps, the upper and lower exhaust shrouds, the radiator flaps and other smaller details.
Parts breakdown is conventional, with full-length fuselage halves and the wings split into full span lower and separate halves for the upper wings. The configuration of the lower wing is 100% dedicated E-1. No inserts or cut-outs are required here. You will only need to hollow out the cannon opening in the wing leading edge.
The clear parts are thin and free from distortion.
The centre canopy section is moulded separately and may be posed open.
The separate armoured glass and a clear moulded gunsight are also included.
Decals are supplied for four Bf 109 E-3s.
Decal colours and registration look good.
Stencils are supplied on a small separate sheet.
Self-adhesive die-cut vinyl masks are also included.
Wingsy Kits 1:48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 is a well detailed and accurate model with crisp surface textures.
Having already built Wingsy’s 1/48 Bf 109 E-1, I can advise that the fit of the plastic parts is flawless too.
While it is undoubtedly a very good kit, there are a few nitpicks. I’m not wild about the exclusive use of photo-etch in some areas, especially the upper and lower exhaust shrouds and the radiator flaps. The pilot’s seat is chunky and the propeller blades appear to be too wide. Some may find the riveting excessive too.
I would place Wingsy’s Emil is in the same ballpark as the Airfix and Eduard kits with pros and minor cons that apply to each. Which of the three is best will depend on your personal priorities and preferences.
What a time we live in. Modellers are now blessed with the choice of three excellent 1/:48 scale Bf 109 E-3 kits.
Vive la difference!
Thanks to Wingsy Kits for the samples
Review Text and
Images Copyright © 2021 by Brett Green
Page Created 13 September, 2021
14 September, 2021
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