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Found 175 results

  1. Messerschmitt Bf109E-4/E-1 1:48 Airfix There has been much written and published in print and in the web concerning the Bf109 which I will not repeat here. The E-4/E-1 model here was used in the high-speed fighter bomber role operating from France against targets in England. It was also operated in the Med, North Africa, and the Eastern Front. This is Airfix's new tool of the Bf109. I have built the club kit version of this in the markings for a captured Aircraft and found it a very easy kit to build. The kit comes in two sprues of what seems to be Airfix's choice of light grey plastic. The parts are well laid out, feature nicely engraved panel lines and restrained fabric effects were needed. The only two areas of criticism are that some of the sprue gates are a bit large, and the pilot figure is a bit generic. Parts are provided for the flaps and leading edge slats to be deployed or or which is a nice touch. Construction begins traditionally enough with the cockpit. The seat associated parts are assembled and added to the one part cockpit base along with the rudder pedals and control column. The instrument panel and gun-sight are then added. The modeller can chose to use the supplied pilot or paint the raised detail seat harness. Following on from this the propeller assembly is put together. A few parts are then added to the cockpit sides (which feature moulded on details as well). Once this is done the propeller assembly & cockpit are added tot he fuselage and this is closed up. Engine bearers can then be added to the moulded in engine if the modeller is going to want to display the engine cowling off the model. Finally for this stage the muzzles for the cowling mounted machine guns are added. The next stage involves construction of the wings. This is conventional in that the bottom wing is one part onto which the two top parts are added. The wing assembly is then mated to the fuselage. The engine radiator is then assembled and added along with the wing radiators. Tail planes and there struts are then added. The modeller then needs to decide if they want the flaps and slates down or up. The parts are moulded with the right tabs to mount these in the down position. If they are going to be closed up then the tabs need to be removed. Final touches are adding the moving tail surfaces and rudder which can be positioned how the modeller would like. The correct gun inserts need to be added then to the wings, and the appropriate engine intake added to the port side. The landing gear is then assembled and added. The tyre have a flat spot so this must be positioned in the correct place. A single bomb or a rack containing 4 smaller bombs can then be added as needed. lastly the correct canopy needs to be identified and fitted. The sprue gates on the clear parts are large and brittle. I know as I managed to break one canopy trying to remove it so care does need to be taken. Decals Decals are provided for two schemes. Oberleutnant Hannes Trautloft 2./JG77, Germany August 1939. Unteroffizer Ernst Poschenrieder, 7/JG53 Le Touquet-Etaples Sept 1940 . Conclusion This is an excellent kit of a popular model choice from Aifix. The model makes into a great looking kit and is excellent value for money for a new tool kit. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Messerschmitt Me109 G-10 Revell 1:32 The history of the Me-109 is written large all over the web and also included in the earlier review of the Revell Me109G-6 release, HERE, so I won’t go repeating it. As it is, its relevant to post the differences between the two aircraft as far as I can ascertain. In the Reich Luft Ministerium (RLM) vision, the G6 was designed to be the last version of the Gustav to be ever produced. Consequently, as early as 1943, Messerschmitt started working on an improved 109, the K. The K was essentially a refined G6 with emphasis on improving the aerodynamics, flight controls and cockpit ergonomics. There was no engine limitation and as with the G, a wide selection of versions powered with the DB605A & D families were forecast. Implementation differed from design, however, and in the spring 1944, the G6 was still the only 109 mass produced. It had evolved a bit from the first G6 produced, having seen the following changes: • Erla Haube • Glass head armour • DB605AS • DB605AM • Tall metal tail & Rudder • Tall wood tail & Rudder • Tall tail wheel • MW-50 Water-methanol over boost • MK108 axial canon Most of the above became standard as production continued. Because of these delays and other new high performance fighters entering mass production (Ta152, Fw190D, Me262), the conversion of all existing factory lines to the K production was meaningless. Having developed the type for some time, Messerschmitt was however allowed to switch from the G6 to the K4 as soon as possible. Sometime during June 44, a new interim version of the G was planned. It was supposed to incorporate the latest equipments found on the G6 and K4 (Erla Haube, tall tail, tall tail wheel, Fug 16ZY & MW-50) and to be powered by the same DB605D. The version number was the first available for unpressurized planes: G10. The aim of this new version was to provide a K4-level fighter without retooling existing production lines and to use up the massive stock of G6 components. The plan was to have the 2 licensed factories (Erla and WNF) switch to the G10. However, the lack of DB605D prevented the G10 and the K4 from becoming a reality for months to come. Externally, the G10 airframe was identical to the G6-MW50. It had the Erla canopy, the tall tail wheel, the extra hatch on the right side to refill the MW50, the Morane antenna and the “battery box” behind the head armour. As with many aircraft there is a lot of misidentification through the series due to different manufacturers adding their ideas. Erla manufactured G10s are one of these, and have been often referred as G10/AS in the past. A properly integrated flat panel replaced the previous faired panel on the port side, sometimes known as the “moon” fairing. The engine cowls were also different, in that they covered the nose without the requirement for chin bulges along with a different oil cooler which was slimmer yet larger than that used on the K4, and was probably designed for the H version. The Erla solution for covering the DB605D was much more elegant and streamlined. They were the only manufacturer to use this possibly due to the fact that the tooling had been pre deigned and built in preparation for building the H model. Since Erla started the G10 production quite early, the first a/c still used G6 wings with “small” wheels and the Erla canopy with antenna mast. Later, Erla used the same new wing with larger wheels as the other manufacturers. The Model Obviously based on the earlier release it comes with all the new parts to produce a G-10 such as the tall tail wheel, upper cowlings, aerial mast, taller fin and rudder. Instead of using the G6 fuselage and changing the side panels, they appear to have moulded a completely new one with the panel moulded integrally. The moulding of the fourteen sprues is, as you would expect of a modern release, really very nice. No sign of flash or moulding imperfections on any part and just a few moulding pips to remove and clean up. Details such as the engraved panel lines and rivets are very refined. The styrene appears quite soft and yet eminently workable so the modeller shouldn’t need to break a sweat when cleaning up the joins. Construction starts with the cockpit floor, onto which the rudder pedals and foot rests are fitted. Unlike the G6 there is only one choice of breech cover, and that is for the Mk108 30mm cannon with the two halves joined and fitted to the front of the cockpit floor, onto which the joystick is also attached. The cockpit is further built up with the attachment of the pilot’s seat to the rear bulkhead. The pilots harness is pre-moulded onto the seat pan and the bulkhead, with the bulkhead ones being slightly too short and will need to be lengthened or replaced completely with aftermarket items. Rather than having parts moulded onto the insides of the fuselage halves Revell have gone for separate panels for the cockpit sides onto which further parts are added. On the starboard side the clear part that represents the fuel feed pipe is to be masked off before painting so that the inspection tube is left clear, beneath the fuel pipe the fuel pump is fitted. On the port side there is a pair of trim wheels and control runs attached. The instruments dials for the panel are in decal form but with some softener/setting solutions they should settle down ok onto the individual bezels. The gunsight is then attached to the top of the instrument panel. The cockpits side panels and instrument panel are then attached together with the cockpit floor and rear bulkhead creating a sturdy and rather good looking tub. Underneath the tub the wing spar is attached, whilst on top the rear upper bulkhead is fitted, along with the battery box. With the cockpit complete several other assemblies need to be built up before the fuselage can be closed up. The long tail wheel strut is fitted into position along with the propeller shaft and oil cooler panel. The engine exhaust stacks also need to be fitted from the inside pre painted and masked of before full painting commences. The exhausts are a little bit disappointing in that they are solid and will need some very careful opening up due to their shape. There’s bound to be some aftermarket items released soon to replace these. Once the cockpit tub, propeller shaft, tailwheel and under nose radiator mount are fitted the fuselage can be closed up. The new upper nose panel is fitted with the machine gun barrels and affixed into position, followed by the two piece carburettor intake to the port side. Under the nose the two radiator grilles are fitted onto their mounting points before the radiator cover is fitted. The wing radiator grilles are attached to the upper inner wing panels which are then attached to the wing spar. Each main undercarriage bay is has the roof part moulded into the inner panels whilst the bay walls are made up of three separate parts. The one piece lower wing panel is then fitted to the upper inner wing panels and spar. While the model is upside down the two wing radiators have the forward intake lips added and two panels are fitted to the centre fuselage. With the model the right side up the upper outer wing panels are attached and the vertical tail unit is fitted along with the rudder. The rudder trim actuator is then attached to the starboard side of the fin and the horizontal tail assemblies are, with the optionally posed separate elevators, fitted. The model comes with the option of having the flaps posed up or down with each section being made up of upper and lower halves as do the ailerons. The inner and outer flaps of each wing are attached as per the modellers’ wishes after which the ailerons can be fitted. The leading edge slats are also fitted at this point and can also be posed open or closed, but being spring loaded they would normally be deployed on the ground. The main undercarriage legs are each made up of an inner and outer oleo parts onto which the axle unit is attached along with the scissor links and a small link near the top of the inner oleo. The main door is then attached to the oleo. Each tyre is in two halves into which the inner and outer hubs are fitted. The details are quite nice, but these may get a little lost with having to sand the seam around the tyre unless fitted well. With the wheels assembled they can be fitted to the axles. The two part tail wheel is then fitted to its yoke. Next in the build sequence is the assembly of the drop tank. Whilst he details on the tank are quite good it’s still a little pointy in the nose area and should be blunter. This may be rectified with a little surgery or sanding but most people will be able to live with it. The completed drop tank is then fitted to the adaptor plate and the four stays are fitted. The whole assembly is then fitted to the fuselage centreline. Unlike the previous release there is only one option of canopy, but Revell still provide two of them in case one gets damaged. The windscreen comes with separate armoured screen which would be best “glued” with a drop of Klear or similar. With the aerial masts fitted to the rear of the canopy the armoured plate can be fitted internally along with the locking handle. If the canopy is to be positioned open there are two blocks on the starboard cockpit side panel to provide a good strong joint. The propeller is now assembled out of the backplate, three individual blades, internal blade clamp and the boss. Unfortunately the join between the backplate and boss isn’t at a natural panel line on the real aircraft so will need to be carefully filled and sanded. The propeller assembly is then fitted onto the propeller shaft. With the addition of the pitot probe and underwing aerial for the late version, all that needs to be done is paint and adding a stretched sprue aerial wire for the model to be complete. Decals The decal sheet is printed in Italy for Revell, so presumably by Cartograph, although they don’t look up to the usual standard. They are well printed though, in good register and nicely opaque with very little carrier film except in each of the outline crosses. The decals are quite matt in appearance but should settle down well with the appropriate solutions. There two marking options provided:- Bf-109G-10 Erla W.Nr. 491446, flown by Major E Hartmann April 1945 Bf-109G-10 W.Nr. 152016 JG-300, Praha-Kbely AB, May 1945 Conclusion Revell should be very proud of themselves with these latest releases. They are beautifully moulded, appear quite easy to put together and have enough detail out of the box to satisfy most modellers. There is enough different in this release to be noticeable should the modeller have both versions, which of course you could since they are so reasonably priced. With the amount of aftermarket items released for the G-6 I can see the same happening for the G-10, so those modellers who want to gild the lily they shouldn’t have to wait long. Very highly recommended Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
  3. We've just had a delivery of kits n bits today including the latest from Airfix and AZ Models. From Airfix we have the new series 1 Hurricane kit (£5.20), which as the fabric wing version, with 3 bladed prop, in Battle of France markings. We also have the latest Airfix Lancaster (£21.50) which has options for a 'Tiger Force' Lanc with 50 cal machine guns, which tempts me greatly! From AZ Models we have the latest batch of Bf109G's. They are all Ltd Ed kits and each box has markings specific to one unit, JG3 Udet, JG5 Eismeer, JG300 Wilde Sau and non Luftwaffe (Romania, Yugoslavia, Slovakia), all priced at a mere £8.50 each!!! http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/airfix-105-c.asp http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/admiral-and-az-models-252-c.asp thanks Mike
  4. As well as the revised prices for the Hobby Boss 1/48 Ta152's and Fw190's, we've revised the prices of our remaining Me262 kits. The prices are as follows Me262 A-1a/U5 and U2 (V056) £9.25 each Me262 A-1a/U3 and A-1b £13.00 each. Please note that the UK RRP for these kits is £17! Our supplier of the really cheap Me262 kits has now run out of the Me262 A-1a/U5 kits (we bought the last ones!), so when we run out of them, that's it no more and we've only got a few left! Again like the other Hobby Boss kits, once we run out, we won't restock on any of them, unless any asks us for one or they are available extra cheap! We've got one A-1a/U3 and 2 A-1b's left and then they're gone too! http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/1hobbyboss-148--kits-117-c.asp thanks Mike
  5. This airframe is Me 163B-1a, Werknummer 191659 and RAF Air Ministry serial number AM215, "Yellow 15", was captured at Husum in 1945. Now at The National Museum of Flight, East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian, Scotland Pics thanks to Nigel Heath.
  6. When not building airliners, I do build other subjects... Like this one. An overall nice kit and my first attempt to paint mottle using the airbrush.
  7. We've just got in a few new kits from Special Hobby and AZ Models. Remember, they are all at discounted prices! First of all in 1/48, there's 2 new Special Hobby Firefly Mk I's, the first is the Royal Navy one, with 4 marking options from HMS Triumph, as used in the early part of the Korean War. The other has markings for foreign users - Netherlands, Ethiopia, Thailand and Canada. Also from Special Hobby in 1/72, we have the Royal Navy version of the Vought Vindicator - the Chesapeake, we also have a Post War PV-2D Harpoon and a captured Junkers W 34, used by the RAF as a hack aircraft. We've also now got the AZ Models 1/72 Messerschmitt Bf109G's in stock now. We've got the G-5, G6/R6, G-8 and G-14 in stock now. http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/ thanks Mike
  8. Hello, I´ve just finished my new kits. It´s 1/48 Eduard´s Bf 109 E-1. Pants: Gunze, Tamiya, Vallejo, Humbrol Lacquers: Gunze, Future. Happy new year to all :-)))))
  9. I'm thinking of getting some of these for myself, especially the G-5 and G-8, since I don't recall anyone else ever doing them. Would anybody else be interested if we stocked them? I would estimate the selling price for us to be about £11.50 each. If anyone wants any, please speak up and say which ones you would like and how many. Choices are as follows - G-5, G-6 (non Luftwaffe), G-6R/6, G-8 and G-14. They are supposed to be the new tech type kits similar to the Spitfire IX kits they did. thanks Mike
  10. Me.262 Wheels (648106 for Tamiya) 1:48 Eduard Brassin These wheels can be used for any boxing of Tamiya's 1:48 Me.262, and having used a set of Tamiya wheels on a Dragon 262, you can also use them on those, and that is a blessing, as the Dragon tyres are horrible. They have poor fitting hubs, and flexible "rubber" tyres that split and disintegrate in a surprisingly short time By the time I'd finished building my recent Dragon 262A-1/U4, the nose wheel tyre had fallen apart along the tread lines. I also have a few Hobby Boss 262s, and having just checked, they will also fit these kits, which is a good job, as I have four sets including the review sample! The HB tyres have a rather overdone radial banding on the sidewalls, and these replacements blow them out of the water. Arriving in a standard bubble-pack, inside are three highly detailed resin tyres, and three casting blocks containing six hub parts, two for each tyre. The tyres are superbly cast, with fine diamond tread blocks on the contact patch, and tyre data in relief on the sidewall. The hubs are similarly well detailed, with tiny spokes between the rim and hub body, axle holes, locking pins and brake hoses (on the main wheels) all moulded in. The hubs and tyres are both keyed, so that they fit together correctly, and if using the Tamiya kit, the keyed hole in the hubs will ensure correct positioning of the hub detail against the ground. There are no painting masks included in the kit, but they shouldn't be needed due to the separate hubs. Conclusion Lovely detail, simple construction and a vast improvement on the kit parts for all 1:48 262 kits really. You might need to do a little trimming or bulking out of the axles if you use them for other manufacturer's kits, but the effort will surely be worth it. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Bf.110C-6 Zerstorer 1:48 Eduard The Bf.110 was twin engine heavy fighter of mid-30s design that was almost outdated by the start of WWII, but with successive upgrades was forced to continue right to the end of the war, although hopelessly outclassed by that time, and easy prey to later war designs. The C variant was the first production variant made in significant quantities, and ran with more powerful Daimler Benz 601 engines with the familiar upwards sweeping exhaust stacks. Seven sub-variants were built, the sixth having an experimental installation of a 30mm Mk./101 cannon in a blister under the nose, firing along a trough cut in the nose to give clearance for the short barrel and exiting shells. The standard lower nose armament was deleted, although the MG17s in the upper nose were retained, as was the MG15 in the rear of the cockpit glazing. Only a dozen airframes were converted to this specification, and saw limited service beginning in summer of 1940. They were quickly superseded, but flew on as second line aircraft in Russia and North Africa. The Kit Arriving in an standard Eduard box with an attractive painting of the subject, this is a standard 110C with resin and Photo-Etch (PE) additions to make the necessary alterations to portray this sub-type. Firstly, let's deal with my personal bias. Add a cannon under the nose to anything and I'll like it, even if this one is only 30mm! Now that's out of the way, the box contains seven sprues of blue/grey styrene, two of clear parts, a bag of resin parts, a sheet of PE, a sheet of yellow kabuki tape masks, two decal sheets, and of course the combined instruction booklet and painting guide. All-in-all a pretty comprehensive package, as we've come to expect from Eduard's limited editions. Construction follows along the same lines at the F model reviewed here, with a choice of two sets of fuselage halves, one having a longer tail fairing than the other. Both have the front section under the nose removed before any further work is done, in order to accommodate the resin parts. The cockpit is well detailed with a mix of styrene and PE parts, with a choice of PE or plastic instrument panels and side consoles, plus a set of PE seatbelts, all of which are pre-painted. The radio gear that the rear of the cockpit is assembled with PE faces replacing the moulded in detail of all the boxes, which must be sanded off before proceeding. The cockpit sidewalls are given a similar treatment, and it is all brought together to form a box that encloses the radio operator and rear-gunner's stations, to which the pilot's separate section is attached at the front. The pilot's sidewalls are detailed with more parts, and the fuselage is closed up with a mini-instrument panel added to the bracing between pilot on radio operator's stations. The gun-pack in the upper nose is built up and installed, and the lower bulkhead is adjusted with a C-shaped section cut out. The lower nose cowling is similarly butchered, with a large strip cut away, ending just short of the tip. Happily, this follows the line of a panel on the part (B10), so shouldn't be too difficult for even a relative newcomer to modelling. The upper cowling with two strengthening arches within is then added over the upper guns, and joined with the fuselage. A choice of rear guns and their fairings is included, as well as a gunsight for the pilot's use. The wings are standard, although a hole is drilled near the tip of part A1 for later use. The engine nacelles are made up from two halves with a pair of bulkheads trapped within, and the roof is moulded into the wing lowers, with some structure added before the nacelles are mated. Two sidewall parts add extra detail, and a choice of intakes in the underside is given by using different inserts. The wing mounted radiators are attached under the wings, just outboard of the engine nacelles, and have PE radiator faces added to the styrene parts, with a central brace, again made from PE. The wings and tails are added to slots on the side of the fuselage, and the ailerons are separate parts to be posed any way you like, while the elevators and H-tails have all their flying surfaces moulded in. A choice of tail wheel is included, with separate yoke to hold the single piece wheel in place. The main gear is nicely detailed and made up from eight parts plus a two-part wheel with radial tread. Scrap diagrams show the correct positioning of the wheels and the retraction mechanism for the landing gear, to assist with construction. Bay doors are added to each nacelle, pole, towel-rail and circular antennae are added to the underside of the fuselage, mass-balances to the ailerons, plus intakes and landing lights to the leading edges of the wings before the exhaust stacks are added to the nacelle sides. Made up from separate stacks of varying sizes and orientations, six assemble on four back-plates to be installed in the slots on the sides of the nacelles. The exhausts are not hollow lipped, and some small sink marks are present on the inner sides of the stacks, but this shouldn't show too much on the finished items. The props are single parts with a front and back part to the spinner, attaching to the nacelles with a short peg. Glazing on Old Ironsides is extensive, but Eduard have included a full set of masks for this and the wheels, so breathe a sigh of relief at this point. It is a complex arrangement, cherry-picking parts form two sprues, and adding some detail parts inside, which I'd suggest you use either PVA or GS-Hypo cement for. Separate parts are included to allow you to pose the canopy open or closed and the gun deployed with its glazing tipped back, so choose your parts carefully here. There are some options in antennae and armoured windscreen choices too, as well as a choice of the hinged panel around the gunner's position. Now for the fun stuff. At this point, although I'd seriously consider doing it before the wings are even on, you should have a nice trough running down the centre of the nose of your 110, into which the resin cut-out part should fit. The gun's suspension mount is included as a two-part assembly, which fits to the top of the combined breech and barrel part. The large circular magazine sits atop the breech, and could be changed by the crew if they were carrying spares. The gun is inserted into the fuselage with the barrel resting on a cradle, and a large PE part is laid around the opening in the lower fuselage, onto which the "boat" fairing is added. Two more PE strips interlock with the PE "gasket" to make up a hinge-like section. markings Only 12 airframes were made to this standard, and two of them are depicted in the decal options here. From the box you can build one of the following: Erpr.Gr.210 flown by E Beudel/H Diemer, Calais-Marck Air Bas, France, Summer 1940 – RLM70/71 splinter over RLM65 with blue/white ringed spinners. NJG1 Venlo Air Base, the Netherlands, February 1942 – all over black. All the decals are printed in the Czech Republic, with one sheet concentrating on the stencils, while the other larger sheet contains the national and unit markings. Broken Swastikas are included on the sheet, but in one corner are a complete pair, with dotted lines ready to be cut off depending on which territory they are heading into to comply with local laws. Decal quality is good, with good register, colour density and sharpness, although a couple of smaller red decals on the stencil sheet have some tiny smears on them, which could be cut off and would hardly then notice other than a slight blurring of the dotted lines. As mentioned earlier, a full set of masks are included for the canopy glazing, and for the wheels, which causes some consternation amongst our number. With these the task of getting a nice clear demarcation is greatly simplified. Conclusion Another great 110 kit, and a special edition with a big cannon to boot. The Eduard 110 is widely recognised as the best in this scale, and the quality of their resin is unquestioned, so this makes for a nice package. Don't hang about though, because it's a limited edition and won't be around forever! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. We've just received the latest batch of Hobby Boss new releases in 1/48 and 1/72 and I think the 1/48 releases in particular are quite interesting! 1/48 First off we have the F-80 (P-80) Shooting Star. Looks very nice indeed in the box and comes with etch seatbelts. Next the Me262A-1a, finally Hobby Boss have released the standard fighter version of their excellent Me262 kit. Anyone who has any interest in the Me262 should get at least one of the Hobby Boss 262s! Lastly and I think the most interesting is the Fw190D-10. Fw190 uber experts may correct me but I think the D-10 existed only as a prototype with a different model of Jumo engine and the Ta152 tail. I'm also pretty sure that no one else (well mainstream anyway) does a kit of the D-10. It's a high quality kit, similar to their Ta152 series of kits and also comes with etch seat belts. http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/hobbyboss-148--kits-117-c.asp There is another 1/48 kit just out but I didn't think there would be much demand for it in the Uk and that is the YF-23 prototype. We haven't got that in stock but it can be ordered if anyone wants it. 1/72 In 1/72 all 3 releases are from the easy build range. Now I know a lot of people will stick their noses up at the easy build range but if you want a quick easy kit to practice painting on, then they are ideal. Some of them are reasonable models in their own right. I would also recommend them highly to anyone who wants to teach modelling to their kids (far better than ancient Airfix kits!) or anyone who is still new to the hobby and wants more practice before moving on to more complex (and expensive) kits. The trio of new releases are Peltyakov Pe-2, Ju87G-1 Stuka and Ju88C. http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/hobbyboss-172--kits-137-c.asp thanks Mike
  13. Hello fellaz, I have been away from the forum for quite some time cause of busy work schedule etc but I kept building models on and off so in the last few months I completed 4 and about to complete the 5th... Here is one of them: Regards
  14. BF110D & Bf110G-2 Weekend Editions 1:72 Eduard The menacing looking BF110 first took to the air in 1936 and despite performance shortcomings as opposing aircraft developed, it continued in production until near the end of the war. With delays of the DB600 series engines, it wasn’t until the C series that the performance was considered suitable in its intended role. The D model introduced the capability for much improved endurance in 1939 and initially the Bf110 notched up considerable success as heavy fighter and bomber escort over Poland, Norway and France,. When faced with the RAF in 1940 who were operating defensively over their own territory, tides were turned when it got mauled by the nimble single seat fighters during the Battle of Britain. The Bf110 was progressively improved by adding several refinements and significantly more power with the G model when the DB605 powerplant was introduced. Despite the improvements it was outclassed in Europe by day and relegated to night operations for the remainder of the war in this theatre where it found its niche attacking allied bomber streams. With the advent of airborne radar and the 110 being a stable heavy gun platform, it demonstrated significant success in this role. Following on from the Profipack sets, Eduard have released the D and G-2 versions of their superb Bf110 kits in 1:72 scale. The Weekend kits are simply the plastic included in the Profipack boxings but without the etch, masks and a stripped down decal sheet. There’s a great deal of extra and common parts included in both kits, so to save duplication, I’ll review the common parts first then review the unique elements of each kit following on. Both kits come in top opening boxes, although the G-2 kit is packaged in a much larger box for some reason. Instructions are provided in A5 booklet format with good clear diagrams to aid assembly. The sprues are bagged in pairs whist the clear sprue is individually bagged. Sprues common to both kits First impressions of these kits are excellent. The quality of moulding on the medium grey sprues is as good as it currently gets in injection plastic with a combination of fine recessed panel lines, rivets and raised detail where appropriate. There is virtually no flash and a pleasant lack of sink marks throughout. Ejector marks are restrained to areas that won’t be on show. There are several quite fine parts that will need some delicacy removing them from the sprues, however the attachment points are equally fine. Construction starts with the cockpit as you’d probably expect. The D & G versions have different cockpit arrangements, so each kit has unique cockpit floors and interior details. The cockpit assembly sits between the two fuselage halves which are again different for the two versions. The fuselage sprue for the G model however is also included in the D kit as it holds some common parts (as well as being the fuselage for the C Model on the C/D Profipack). With the fuselage assembled, the tailplane bolts straight to the rear with the two tails mating either end. The wing has a slight matt finish to the surfaces with beautifully recessed panel and restrained rivet detail. Separate ailerons are included if you choose to have these slightly offset. Whilst the cockpit framework differs on both aircraft, all the parts are located on a common sprue. The parts are thin with very flat panels giving minimum distortion when looking through them. The biggest drawback with the Weekend version in my opinion is the lack of paint masks. This is a rather complicated canopy arrangement and pre-cut masks would be a real contribution to retaining your sanity! Both treaded and untreaded wheels are included on the common sprues as is a selection of drop tanks and bombs, however given that both kits reviewed here are configured as heavy fighters, the bombs are surplus to requirements. BF110D Only The D version has a different fuselage due to having an extended tail to accommodate a life raft which I’m guessing was a welcome addition when operating over water for the crews. There is a cable visible down the port side of the fuselage to deploy the life raft. Another feature used on the D in some cases was a huge 1050 litre belly tank which was given the name Dackelbauch (Dachshunds belly!). The example modelled in this kit did indeed use it. As if this additional fuel wasn’t enough, the D could also carry a further two 900 litre wing drop tanks with fins which are also included on D model sprues. Whilst the instructions don’t show these being used, it does give the capability to show a rather well hung 110 should you so wish. The nacelles are contained on their own sprue. Separate intake inserts are included to mate to the nacelles. Panel lines are finely recessed to match the wings. The decals represent one aircraft, W.Nr.3148 of 2./ZG76 based in Norway in spring 1940. The content of the sheet are quite limited cared to the Profipack boxing, but I guess are to help keep the costs down. That said, there is no loss of print quality, register being spot on and print very sharp. BF110G-2 Only Whilst this utilises the common fuselage included in both kits, it does introduce a great variety in gun armament configurations. Unfortunately, due to the single decal option, only one set up is catered for. No less than 3 forward firing options are included on the sprues: 2 x MG 151s in a belly pack 4 x 21cm under-wing mortars 1 x 3.7 cm BK cannon a belly pack The version included in the decal option utilises the belly MG 151’s and rocket mortars. Given the greater power of the DB605B powerplant on the G series, wider chord props are provided in contrast with the rather skinny ones in the D boxing. Decals are included for an aircraft of 5./JG 1 based at Wells in Austria during 1943-44. Again, the decal sheet is rather reserved in quantity, but quality is superb. Conclusions The Eduard range of 1/72 BF110’s are quite superb. There are some small parts in the boxes, so probably not the best kit for beginners or young modellers, but Eduard have set out to produce the best kit in scale for modellers with some experience and succeeded. It’s good that they provide a low cost option in the Weekend guise as an alternative to the Profipack boxings, however as mentioned earlier, given the rather busy canopy framework, the lack of paint masks and reduced decal options may require you choose carefully as to which route to take. Review sample courtesy of
  15. Hi All, The first of my 3 (yes 3 ) builds will be the Heller 1/72 Messerschmitt BF109E.... First impressions of this kit don't seem too bad (for a kit older than I am - and not like the other two kits I'm building) the kit comes on 4 sprues and has the obligatory raised detail... The type of styrene used reminds me of recent new tool airfix kits - rather soft.... Seems to have minimal flash and a few nice details.... The kit will be built entirely out of the box (except maybe some nice new decals) Please find all sprue shots etc below - and please keep your expectations low....... Very very low......... The Box: Sprue 1 Sprue 2 Sprue 3 Sprue 4 The canopy (looking very thick) and decals (looking very yellow - the photo compliments them.....)........ Not forgetting the one sheet covers all instructions.............. Any help and advice from those who have already built this kit would be appreciated.... However accuracy isn't one of my priorities - finishing this to a decent standard (hopefully......) is............... Thanks Tuco
  16. Meng Model: http://www.meng-mode...x2ss.php?id=168 New 1/48th Messerschmitt Me.410B-2/U4 Hornisse by Meng (ref. LS-001) - on sale in October December 2012! Advertisement published in the German magazine Modellfan http://www.modellfan.de/ Source: http://www.master194...php?f=3&t=71577 And one day at LM and HE http://www.luckymode...em_no=MG-LS-001 http://www.hobbyeasy...jdiudpjiyu.html V.P.
  17. It's almost time to get our order in for Eduard's May releases and I need to know if anyone is interested so I can order enough in. The kits due for release are the 1/48 Bf109E-7/Trop and the 1/72 Bf110D weekend. Same as usual, we'll be aiming for 15% off UK RRP, it's not a guarantee but we usually are there or thereabouts! thanks Mike
  18. After making my first model in 15 years, I have caught the bug again! (see my related post for my first Spitfire build)... I always wanted to do an Me109, so I bought the new tool kit: I wanted to improve on my Spitfire, and try new tips from various model forums. This time, I brush-painted with Humbrol Enamel paint. I also used the new Humbrol Clear varnish, applied after painting to help with decals, which were also applied using Humbrol DecalFix. To finish off, I sprayed a light coat of Humbrol Acrylic Matt varnish from a spray-can, to take it back to a matt finish; I painted according to the given instructions, in the colours of Franz von Werra's machine from the Battle of Britain. A few of the small parts were damaged trying to remove them from the sprue. One of the elevator supports snapped when trying to remove it from the sprue, so I had to do a fix, which worked fine. The aerial pole over the canopy also snapped, and is a bit crooked; and I didn't even attempt to fit the tiny fixings under the wings - these just disintigrated trying to get them off the sprue! I also left off some of the small stencil decals. As it is only 1/72 scale, I didn't want to make the finish too 'crowded'. Anyway, my second model after gap of 15 years...here are the pics: And here it is together with my first build, the Spitfire Mk1a...once enemies in the Battle of Britain
  19. As well as the new Eduard 1/72 Bf110G-4 and 1/48 F-15A/C 'Fighting Eagles' we have the latest Eduard Brassin in 1/48 and 1/72. This includes the 1/48 GBU-24 Paveway III's and Russian Alamo-C missiles, also in 1/72 the Ju88 Wheels. We also have the latest 1/48 and 1/72 Masks and Zoom etch sets, including both for the Trumpeter MiG-21F-13 kit. There's also a couple of new kits in - the Trumpeter 1/48 MiG-23MF Flogger B and in 1/72 the Hobby Boss Sukhoi PAK-FA T-50 stealth fighter. All at discounted prices! http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/ thanks Mike
  20. Messerschmitt Bf 110G2 Profipack 1:72 Eduard Designed to fulfil a German Air Ministry requirement for a long-range, twin-engined combat aircraft, the Bf 110 was Messerschmitts interpretation of the zerstörer or heavy fighter concept. Following the prototypes first flight in 1936, it saw off competing designs from Arado, Focke-Wulf and Henschel and was in service by the outbreak of war in 1939. Fitted with the same engines as the Bf 109E, the Bf 110 was a powerful aircraft and was very well armed in comparison with its counterparts. Despite early successes in Poland, the inadequacy of the Bf 110 as a fighter was exposed by the RAF during the Battle of Britain, resulting in heavy losses. The aircrafts Achilles heel was its lack of manoeuvrability. This aspect of the design was not improved to any degree in later versions, and for this reason the Bf 110 found itself utilised in other roles such as fighter bomber and night fighter. The aircraft was particularly successful in this last role, mainly due to its stability and heavy armament. The Bf 110G-2 was one of the last variants and was equipped with powerful DB605B engines. Although useful as a fighter bomber, the G-2 was capable of carrying a fearsome 37mm cannon under the fuselage, which turned it into an effective bomber destroyer. Such is the quality of their output these days, that each new kit from Eduard seems to find its way straight to the top of the pile. This was the case with their 1:72 Hellcat series, released in 2010, as well as their family of Bf 110s, of which this is the latest iteration. Put simply, Eduard kits have become a byword for exquisite detail and superb engineering. Their latest kit arrives packed into a surprisingly large top-opening box adorned with an attractive image of a 37mm armed G2 flying through a formation of B-17s. Inside the sturdy box are six sprues moulded in slate grey/blue coloured plastic. This makes a nice change to Eduards usual (but if Im honest, rather unattractive) light olive coloured plastic. There is also a single circular sprue moulded in clear plastic. As this is a profipack edition, the plastic parts are accompanied by a small fret of pre-painted photo etched parts and a set of die-cut paint masks. The instruction book is a glossy, stapled A5 affair and it includes full-colour painting diagrams. All together, the overall impression is of a superb quality package. There is plenty of spare room in the box though, so if you are planning on buying some of Eduards Brassin accessories for the kit, youll have plenty of space for them! The quality of the plastic parts is second to none. The mouldings are clean and crisp and there is no trace of flash and no sink marks. Eduard have packed in plenty of detail and parts such as the cockpit sidewalls and radio sets are comparable to resin items. The surface detail on the outside of the airframe is just as good. It is comprised of recessed panel lines and delicately engraved rivet and fastener detail, and it looks absolutely cracking. The cockpit is made up of what seems like dozens of plastic and photo etched parts. The cockpit floor serves as the platform for construction, and to this are added the seats, radio set, instrument panel, rudder pedals, control column and throttles. As this is a profipack edition, photo etch parts are provided to help things along, and as well as seat harnesses, there are replacement details for the instrument panel, rudders, radio and throttles. To save you filing the raised detail off of the plastic instrument panel, a blank version is provided for use with the photo etched parts. A nicely moulded twin-barrelled MG 81Z is provided, complete with a photo etched ring and bead gun sight. The wings are moulded with a single lower span and separate port and starboard upper spans. The ailerons are provided as separate parts, although the landing flaps are not. The engine cowlings are each moulded in two vertical halves with additional parts for the chin intakes. Once the wings have been assembled, the fuselage should just drop into place. The nose, which houses four machine guns, is moulded separately. The tail planes are nicely moulded but, unlike the wings, the control surfaces are moulded in place. Once the basic airframe is together, its time to fit the canopy. This is a complex jobbie, moulded in no fewer than eight parts. It can be posed in either open or closed positions, and quite frankly it would have been a travesty if this hadnt been the case, given all the detail in the cockpit. Care will need to be taken adding the armoured windscreen though, as any smears of glue will be obvious. As mentioned above, this is a profipack edition, so a full set of canopy masks has been included. Turning the model over, the underwing radiators are each made up of three parts and, as with the rest of the kit, they are beautifully detailed. The main undercarriage legs are each made up of no fewer than five parts, with optional photo etched scissor links thrown in for good measure. The main gear wheels are moulded in vertical halves. The airscrews and hubs look very good too, as do the engine exhausts. There are a number of small parts included to cover the final details, including the aileron balance weights and various aerials and antennae. An optional photo etched part is provided for the DF loop A good amount of ordnance is included. There are bombs and bomb racks for under the fuselage and wings, as well as auxiliary fuel tanks. There are also single and twin 21cm rocket tubes, the aforementioned 37mm cannon pack and a twin 20mm cannon pack. Eduard are usually pretty generous with the decal options in their profipacks, and this is no exception. Choices are provided for the following four aircraft: Bf110G-2 of 4./ZG 76, Prague, Czechoslovakia, Spring 1944; Bf110G-2 of 5./ZG1, Monte Covino, Italy, Summer 1943; Bf110G-2 of 10./ZG 26 (III.JG 5), Gossen, Norway, Spring 1945; and Bf110G-2 of 5./ZG 1, Wells, Austria, Winter 1943-44. Each option is illustrated with a four-view profile as well as a detailed illustration of the nose artwork. The decals look crisp, thin and glossy and the colours used are nice and bold. Conclusion Eduards Messerschmitt Bf110 series is now the definitive family of kits of the type by quite some distance. The level of detail Eduard have packed in is superb and the engineering is excellent. Add the photo etch parts and masks into the mix, and you have the complete package. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. We've managed to get our hands on 4 of the long discontinued Eduard Me410A-1/B-1 Schnellbomber Profipacks. The boxes are a bit worn but are intact and all the kits look to be complete and unstarted (still in sealed plastic bags). The kits are the excellent Fine Molds Me410 kits with a load of aftermarket thrown in. You get 2 additional Vac Form canopies (you still get the kit canopy too), a sheet of (non-colour) etch, loads of resin parts and what looks like 3 sets of canopy mask (hard to see but I think there is 3 masks!). They are ex shop stock from one of our suppliers and we got all they had left so once they are gone, we'll get no more! Price is £26.00, which isn't bad considering the Fine Molds kit sold for around £20! It's also less than they were being sold for by our supplier! http://www.mjwmodels.co.uk/02eduard-172--kits---profipack-132-c.asp thanks Mike
  22. Well this is my second WIP thread, and will be my fourth model of the year. Many will not count my Revells Micro Wings as they are small simple kits, but as a returnee to modelling, they have helped me get back in the swing of things, and also my Tornado GR1 1/144. So in a bigger scale (and more than likely the scale I will stay with due to space/finance etc) this is my 1/72 Messerschmit BF 109E 4, from Airfix. I hope I am not biting off more than I can chew, as I have read about wing dihedralm issues, problems removing some of the smaller parts from the sprues etc, and also the fact that the Airfix painting instructions are incorrect apparently for the aircraft designation the kit portrays. For these reasons, I am going to be very careful removing any parts (something I thought would make sense all the time anyway), and it is also going to painted in a scheme I decide upon, using the kit decals, so will in effect be fictitious. So, as I am likely to start this tomorrow, for now, there is only the obligatory Box and sprue shot. More to follow tomorrow hopefully.
  23. Bf.109E Cockpit & Radio Compartment 1:48 Eduard Brassin The new Eduard 109 is (for me) the definitive 109 in 1:48, so I won't witter on about how good it is too much. It raises the level of detail to new levels for an injection moulded kit, but as always you can improve on the detail with some carefully moulded resin parts. The set arrives in Eduard's standard box for the larger Brassin sets, and once you've pulled out all the foam blocks and that usual bright-blue pan scourer (why?), you're presented with four bags of parts. Three of them contain finely crafted resin parts in two shades of grey, while the final bag contains two small (5cm x 3.6cm) Photo-Etch (PE) frets, one of which is pre-painted. The instruction booklet is a little more involved than the usual sets, due to the number of parts and relatively complex build process of this one. As usual with Eduard's resin, the casting blocks are sensibly placed and minimalistic, with the exception of the main cockpit tub, radio boxes and the front bulkhead. You will need a razor saw to liberate these chunks from their parts. Construction starts with the pre-painted seatbelts being built up and added to the superbly fine pilot's seat. This is then installed in the cockpit tub, and a pair of braces added in PE to each side. The control column is resin, while the perforated rudder pedals are supplied as PE parts with foot straps to fold into place. The cockpit sidewalls are thin resin sheets, curved to the shape of the fuselage, with ribbing and instrument detail moulded in. The O2 bottle, shroud and regulator are cast in one piece, but don't think that this means less detail. The part is very fine, and looks superb as it is, with only a short curved length of hose added to finish it off. The front bulkhead slots into the front of the cockpit floor, enclosing the area nicely, and the bottom section of the instrument panel is made up from two laminated PE parts, extra levers & switches, attached to a resin backing piece. The radio bay is next, and this is mostly complete, in a C-shaped 3cm section of the fuselage, complete with ribbing and wiring detail. To this is added the radio gear, on the floor of the fuselage, as well as suspended by a pair of mounts in the top and bottom of the fuselage. You will of course need to remove the radio bay access panel from the fuselage, and Eduard have sensibly provided a replacement made from two PE parts - the outer skin, and strengthening framework. The two sections are then installed in the kit fuselage, after the moulded in cockpit sidewalls have been scraped away to accommodate the resin replacements. Two different upper instrument panel sections are supplied for an open or closed nose, with the open nosed option having the choice of exposed instrument backs, or a cover protecting them from the rigors of being so close to the nose armament. The closed nose part is simply a flat backing piece, and all options receive the two-part laminated panel, and the kit gun-sight to finish them off. PE details are also included for the canopy, to replace the head-armour, adding some fine support brackets and resin head cushion, finishing off with a cockpit opening lever on the port side. Colour call-outs are given throughout in Gunze codes in acrylic or enamel, which are in turn converted to simple colour names and RLM numbers where appropriate. Conclusion This set is perfect for the super-detailer or the diorama builder, as it takes the cockpit to the highest level of detail, and adds detail in the fuselage that would normally be unseen in most models. The small door in the side of the fuselage to access the radio gear will lead to a rarely glimpsed area of the 109, and I only hope it lets in enough light to do it justice. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Messerschmitt Bf110C/D ProfiPACK 1:72 Eduard Also see Paul's review of the Eduard Bf110e ProfiPACK HERE Not as famous as it's more agile stable mate, the Bf109, the Bf110 has a mixed history of success. First flying in 1936 as a proposed 'zerstorer' (meaning destroyer), tests with proposed DB600 engines demonstrated that it was faster than the 109B as well as its rivals, however development issues on these engines delayed their availability resulting in the A/B versions being powered by the less capable Jumo 210 engines which significantly restricted performance. Interestingly, work was underway before the outbreak of war to replace the 110 with the 210, however development issues with this aircraft meant that the 110 soldiered on and remained in service throughout the war. The C version was the first major production series and made use of the DB601 engines when they became available giving an impressive top speed in excess of 330mph. Early experience was soon to prove the capability of the 'zerstorer' when unchallenged. Success in Poland, Norway and France in the bomber escort and heavy fighter role was achieved due to the class of aircraft it was up against. The tide was turned however when it was put to the same use over Britain. Escorting the bombers during the Battle of Britain, it suffered badly at the guns of the Spitfires and Hurricanes to the extent that as well as escorting the bombers, it became escorted itself by 109's. Its weakness against modern fighters resulted in it being withdrawn from offensive operations over Europe and moved to the night fighter role intercepting British Bombers in which it was well suited. Its airframe enabled the carriage of radar equipment and it was a stable gun platform to perform this role to which it did until the end of the war. The kit If you've come across any of Eduard's Profipacks then you'll probably be expecting this kit to be a little gem. Guess what ? You'd be right ! The kit comes in a sturdy top opening box with great artwork and side profiles of the variants included along one edge. Inside the box, you'll find no less than 7 olive coloured sprues and a rather impressive clear sprue. The instructions are provided on an A5 glossy coloured booklet which is another indication of the quality standards that you have here. Being the Profipack version, you also get a photo-etch sheet and paint masks for the rather complicated canopy. If you have used these before, you'll wonder how you ever managed without them ! Eduard has really set the benchmark here. The quality of the moulding is excellent. Where necessary, the fine parts are extremely thin so this probably isn't the kit to choose for beginners, so it does differentiate itself somewhat when compared to the more 'chunky' new Airfix kit. There are over 160 parts included to put some perspective on things. Building the kit starts in the traditional way with the cockpit. This really is one of the most comprehensive 1/72 cockpits I've ever seen. The impressive side walls are formed into the fuselage halves. You have the choice of using the etch parts or building without and the sub assembly is built up on the floor part to include three seats, bulkheads, radio gear and ammunition. Etch parts are available to replace the pilots panel, radio gear face panels, rudder pedals, seatbelts, throttles and even the sights for the rear facing machine gun. The cockpit subassembly locates between the fuselage halves along with yet more detail including inserts to fill the wing root and side control panels for the pilot. At this stage, you need to ensure that you've decided on the version you want to build. There are two different fuselages, the D version differing from the C version by having a longer tail fairing that housed a life raft. The exterior detailing on the fuselage continues with the same vein of quality. Very fine recessed panel lines and incredibly restrained rivets are visible. Whilst you could argue that any panel lines on 1/72 scale aren't realistic, I'm very impressed with what Eduard have achieved here, certainly something other manufacturers can learn from. The wings are mated together next. Unfortunately, there's no option to have the flaps lowered, but the ailerons are separate parts so can be fitted slightly offset if you choose. Engine nacelles are provided in two halves with the lower intakes being added after joining the halves up. The interior detail in the wheel wells is pleasing, however it will probably be easier to paint prior to assembly, so make a note to check at this stage what you intend to do. The radiators have both front and rear grills that sit in the recesses on the underside of the wings with the radiator housing fitting over the top on each wing. The nose gun pack is another sub assembly which is then fitted to the front of the assembled fuselage. If you want this open and the guns on display, it's not possible from the kit but there is a resin replacement to do this available from Eduard as part of their aftermarket range. The main undercarriage is quite a complicated affair. Each main gear strut has 4 parts to it, with the option of an etch oleo scissor. These are designed to be able to slot in after nacelle assembly which is useful. The high standard of detail continues with the additional parts. The wheels, props, gear doors and exhausts are all finely reproduced. A variety of external fuel/armament loads are supplied in the kit. A huge 'Dackelbauch' belly tank that was carried by some D versions as well as two large wing tanks and two bombs housed under the belly. Some additional wing tanks and smaller bombs are included too, I suspect generically for other versions sharing the same sprues. The prominent loop aerial is supplied in two guises, injection moulded as standard or you can use the etch replacement. On to the clear parts. With so much detail crammed into the cockpit, you wouldn't want to hide it all behind a closed canopy, so Eduard have provided the options to have both front and rear canopies open. The parts are superbly clear and distortion free and remember you have a set of masks to make painting a much more pleasurable experience ! Incidentally, paint masks are also provided to assist painting the wheels. The decals One of the great things about eduard's Profipacks is the decals they provide. No less than 5 schemes are available in this pack provided on two sheets. The quality of print is....as you guessed, superb, with some very fine details including a huge collection of stencils. One of the schemes has green squadron codes, these aren't quite as vivid as the other coloured codes for some reason when inspected under a daylight lamp close up. Decals are also included for the instrument panels as another option if you don't like etch parts and these are quite superb with very intricate detail and coloured where necessary. The instruction sheet provides a separate instruction for the location of the stencil decals such is the number that are included. The following options are included: Bf110d, W.Nr. 3406, 9./ZG 26 based at Trapani, Sicily in 1941 - carrying large wing tanks and bombs under the fuselage Bf110d, W.Nr. 3148, 2.ZG 76, Based in Norway 1940 carrying the huge Dackelbauch belly tank BF110c, "n+AP, 9./ZG 76 Bf110c, 1./NJG3, North Africa 1941 Bf110c, W.Nr.3602, Stab II./ZG 76, flown by Maj. Erich Groth Conclusion This is a very comprehensive kit and quite stunning in every respect. Being the Profipack, you get everything you need to make a stunning representation straight out of the box. The quality of the moulding, the clarity of the instructions and the additional contents really make this kit stand out. As mentioned earlier, this probably isn't a kit for beginners due to the many delicate parts included, but if you're not put off by etch and small parts, it would be rude not to have one in your collection ! You can see that Eduard have put a lot of thought into the kit and stamped their quality standards all over it. My only dilemma now is deciding whether to build this or the 1/48 one I have in the stash too ! Review sample courtesy of
  25. Messerschmitt BF 109E-4 Eduard 1:48 Profipack Edition The BF 109 has inherited quite a legendary status and when you look into its service career, it's certainly obvious why. Viewing the design in retrospect, it looks just like a typical fighter of the WWII era, but it was more than that, it was the very platform that the single seat fighter format was born from. Powerful engine, monocoque airframe, all metal construction, enclosed cockpit and retractable gear this was unheard of before hand, it was radical, not typical in the 1930's. Its birth wasn't perfect however, to achieve its performance, some sacrifices were made, particularly in the landing gear arrangement and high wing loading having a negative effect on landing speeds compared to the competition at the time. This inherent design issue was never fully cured and it's estimated that at least 10% of all 109's were lost in take off accidents. Early models (A-D) were powered by the Junkers jumo engine with outputs of around 700hp. The aircraft was first used in combat during the Spanish Civil War where many lessons were learned and these would be later put to good use in battles over France and Britain. The E or Emil model broke the mould in 109 development by changing to the more powerful Daimler Benz DB 601 engine of around 1080hp, a significant step in performance and also in armament due to the introduction of 20mm cannon. By 1939, all earlier variants had been replaced in frontline service. As the variants progressed, so did the level of armour protection for the pilot. Another critical element to improve survivability was the use of twin radiators with cut off valves meaning that if one radiator was damaged, the other could be used to keep it airborne. The Emil was the primary Luftwaffe fighter until 1941 when the F model became widely available with more powerful engine although a few managed to see combat in the Battle of Britain. For an aircraft that broke the mould with fighter technology and performance in the mid 30's, it's evolution meant that whilst it's design had exhausted improvement capability towards the end of the war, it stayed in operational use until 1965 in Europe in the guise of the Spanish licence built HA 1112 using the Merlin powerplant. During its 30 year career, more than 33,000 were built, a record that will probably never be beaten. The kit If you've come across the E-1 or E-3 kits from Eduard, then you will be familiar with the format here. You'll also know how damn good the kit is ! Packaged in the usual format, the top opening box is packed with goodies in the Profipack version. Two bags of brown plastic sprues (4 sprues in total) are complemented by a fret of clear parts separately wrapped, two photo etch frets and a sheet of canopy paint masks which if you've tried, you probably don't want to build a model again without them ! Even the instructions are beautifully produced in glossy paper using multi-colours. Let's look at the big bits first. The fuselage and wing panel detailing are some of the best available. Panel lines are carefully recessed, there's no over engineering here, pure precision. Not content with panel lines, Eduard have taken the detailing further by adding even finer rivets to the surfaces where appropriate so you won't be needing your rivet tool. You have the option of either having the engine on display or the cowlings closed which we'll come to later. All the control surfaces are moulded separately, so you get the freedom to fix them how you like so you won't be needing your razor saw either ! The fabric control surfaces are beautifully moulded with the taught fabric effect and detailed ribbing. After a good look for flash and sink marks, I couldn't find any worth noting. Construction starts with the cockpit interior and chin radiator. The instructions here are very clear and show using red colouring where plastic parts need to be sanded or removed to make way for etch parts if you choose. The detail in the tub is exquisite, no chunky plastic here, even the injection moulded trim wheels look to scale thickness. Panels, seatbelts and rudder pedals are brought to life with coloured etch additions. Moving onto the engine and nose gun pack, here you'll find the same attention to detail as in the office. The engine is fully replicated with precise plastic parts. Decals are even supplied to provide serial numbers for the engines. The rear bulkhead assembly that includes the nose guns is fitted to the completed engine and the whole lot fitted between the fuselage halves along with the cockpit tub. The exhaust stubs are individually moulded, again the quality goes as far as having the welded seams and cleverly manufactured openings. Be aware that these are intentional seams and not mould flash ! I had to read the instruction a few times to get my head around the options for either having the engine installed or not. Instructions to build the engine are on page 4, however if you choose to have the covers closed, you still need part of the engine building to secure the covers to. Instructions for this option are on page 10, so some flicking through the booklet is required to plan your build. With the fuselage assembled, attention moves to the wings. The radiators are blessed with etched mesh both front and rear. The wheel bay interiors are provided by means of separate parts that fit to the lower wing. With the wings sealed up, the flaps, ailerons and slats can be fitted unless you prefer to leave them off until after painting. Various external detailing delights include etch trim levers, aerials and balance tabs. The wheels are some of the best I've seen in a kit, separate tyres and two part hubs mean they will look pretty special when painted. There's some fine detailing even on the exterior of the aircraft, so care is needed if you want to have them all attached and not lost in the carpet. The clear parts are as good as the rest of the kit. Two windscreen options are provided, one with a hole for a gunsight to fit through. If you choose this option, even more care will be necessary as there are 3 etch parts as well as the sight that fit into the windscreen assuming you want to fit them. Gluing and painting them may produce a few words that the dictionary doesn't include ! More etch and rear armour give the hinged canopy a realistic look, again lots of care needed here, but well worth the patience. When it comes to painting, the instructions have good clear guides for applying the canopy masks. The Decals In keeping with the detail and quality provided on the sprues, the decals are stunning. Printed by Cartograf, the colours are sharp and in perfect register. The squadron emblems are some of the best produced decals I've come across for sharpness and richness of colour. No less than 5 schemes are catered for and a separate sheet of stencils is included. The markings sheet provides a number of different cross styles to cover the range of aircraft and Swastika's are supplied. The options are: 1. W.Nr. 5587, Ofw. Fritz Beeck, 6/JG 51, Wissant France, August 1940 2. W.Nr 5344, Maj Helmut Wick, JG 2, Beaumont France, November 1940 3. Lt. Josef Eberle, 9/JG 54, Netherlands, August 1940 4. W.Nr. 1480, Oblt. Franz von Werra, JG 3, Wierre-au-Bois, France, September 1940 5. W.Nr. 5819, Obstlt. Adolf Galland, JG 26, Audembert France, December 1940 Conclusion This really is a fine kit. The detail is second to none and what you get in the kit is excellent value. Bearing in mind that you get additional etch parts and paint masks as well as 5 decal options to choose from, it would be rude not to have one ! Eduard have produced an icon here, some of the best detail available in a kit yet still reasonably priced around the £20 mark. Some of the detail may challenge novice builders such as the etch and delicate fine parts, but the great thing is that you could omit some of this if you chose and it would still look great. Review sample courtesy of
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