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Mike

Bf.109G-10 Erla ProfiPACK (82164) & Upgrade Set (481006) 1:48

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Bf.109G-10 Erla  ProfiPACK (82164) & Upgrade Set (48006)

1:48 Eduard

 

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There must have been billions of words written on the Bf.109 over the years, which was the mainstay of the Luftwaffe's fighter arm, despite having been supposedly superseded by the Fw.190 and others during its service life. It kept coming back to prominence due partly to it being a trusted design, the manufacturer's sway with the RLM, and the type's ability to be adapted as technology advanced.

 

The G or Gustav as it was known was one of the later variants, and is widely regarded as one of the more successful variants, with improved armament that give some variants a distinctive pair of blisters in front of the windscreen, plus mounting points for the 210mm rocket tubes used to disrupt the bomber streams in long range attacks using timed detonation. The other minor changes were targeted at defensive means, removing the mounting points and hardware for long-range tanks etc.  The G-10 was fitted with the new DB605D-2 engine that was later seen on the K, and became the de facto standard Gustav once introduced, often using unfinished G-14s as the starting point, which has confused some researchers in the past.  It was fitted with the sleek Erla-Haube canopy and a deeper oil cooler under the nose that sets it apart from previous issues along with some small blisters just forward and below the exhaust stacks.  It also had a swept-forward installation of the radio antenna under the wing leading edge, all of which you can see on the box art.

 

The Kit

This boxing depicts airframes that were manufactured at the Erla factory, and as you can imagine, it shares some sprues with earlier variants from Eduard, most notably the G-14 that came before and overlapped its tenure.  With this being a ProfiPACK issue, it arrives in the orange banded box, with four sprues of grey styrene, a clear sprue, a sheet  of Photo-Etch (PE), a sheet of yellow kabuki-style masking medium (not pictured), two decal sheets for markings and stencils, and of course the instruction booklet.  The build process will of course be familiar to anyone that has either built a 109 before, and/or owns one of Eduard's other Gustav offerings.  Where it differs is in the new fuselage halves, which have all the requisite lumps and bumps mentioned above, plus a new lower wing sprue (half) that has a small hole for the isolating clear panel at the base of the antenna.

 

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The build of course begins in the cockpit, with PE and styrene parts aplenty, plus a nice clear fuel feeder pipe, which is clear so that you can mask the vision port and paint the rest.  This was a lo-fi way for the pilot to quickly check whether his engine was sucking vapours, or had gone pop for some other reason.  PE seatbelts are included, and a choice of PE or styrene rudder pedals, depending on how dexterous you are feeling.  The instrument panel is laminated from layers of pre-painted PE, with the new glossy, slightly domed dials already present on the frets, which Eduard have slyly introduced recently with little in the way of fanfare.  The sidewalls too are decorated with more painted PE parts, after which you can close up the fuselage unless you're treating yourself to a resin engine or other goodies. Don't forget to trap the tail wheel between the halves, or you'll regret it later.  The backplate for the spinner and exhaust stubs are installed, and the top cowling with gun inserts is glued into place along with the intake for the engine's turbocharger, a PE hinge section on the top of the cowling, and PE flash-hiders for the exhausts, which vary between markings options.  The G-10 had an extended fin, which is separate from the fuselage on this boxing, breaking at a convenient panel line to ease the way.  The elevator fins are each two parts and fit using pins, with separate elevators and a choice of two rudder types. 

 

The wings are only slightly different from the norm, with the usual (but new) full-width lower, main gear sidewalls and split upper wings, and a gaggle of separate parts for the leading-edge slats (gravity deployed when stopped), ailerons, and the two-layer flaps that butt up to the back of the radiator bays, which have PE skins front and back, as does the extended chin-scoop that was ear-marks it as a G-10.  A scrap diagram shows the correct positioning of the flaps when they are deployed.  The main gear is the same narrow-track stuff from earlier models, with separate tyres and hubs, plus captive bay doors, socketing into the bay using nice strong parts, and with hub masks for easy painting of the wheels.  A tiny square clear part is supplied for the aerial isolator and a mask is on the sheet, with a choice of styrene or PE aerial.  There is a set of resin FuG16 antennae that we reviewed recently here if you are going for ultimate fidelity.  Horn-balances are fitted to the ailerons, a small raised panel under the wing trailing edge is added from PE, and a circular panel on the flank of the fuselage needs to be filled for authenticity's sake.

 

As the build draws to a conclusion, the gunsight is added from a partially painted (by you) clear part, and if you add a little translucent green/blue to the edge to simulate the thickness of the glass, it will improve the look of the finished part.  The windscreen has a couple of small PE parts added to it before you can glue it to the front of the squared-off cockpit opening, and the uber-sleek Erla-Haube canopy has a windowed head armour part that will need masking from the enclosed sheet and painting before it is fitted.  If you have treated yourself to a set of Tface masks that allow painting of both interior and exterior surfaces of the canopy, the additional small parts added will gel nicely with this improvement.  A stubby aerial fits to the top rear of the canopy, and you have a choice of PE or styrene DF loop antenna for the spine a little way back.  The canopy can be posed open by using the thin PE restraint that's included on the fret, which allows you to set the correct angle when open.  The prop is a single part, which has the two-piece spinner fitted around it, after which you can either glue it in place, or leave it loose for travel and impromptu spinning if you like.  A trim actuator for the rudder and a tiny aerial under the fuselage are the last parts on the PE fret, which ends the construction phase unless you have decided to fit one of the two-part drop-tanks on a four prong mount under the centre of the fuselage.

 

Markings

As is usually the case with ProfiPACK editions, there are five marking options included in the box, with a nice broad range of colour options, some of which have interesting and fairly unusual quirks to them.  The main sheet contains all the national, unit, and theatre markings, while the smaller sheet is full of stencils, which are detailed on a separate page to avoid cluttering each full page set of profiles.  You get spinner decals where appropriate, so you're not left wondering how on earth you're going to do them, so all you have to worry about (if you do) is the various mottle and scribble patterns that are seen on all but one of the aircraft.  From the box you can build one of the following:

 

  • W. Nr. 491353, flown by Cap. Ugo Drago, CO of 4a Squadriglia, 2o Gruppo Caccia, Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, Aviano, Italy, February 1945
  • Flown by Hptm. Erich Hartmann, CO of I./JG 52, Görlitz, Germany, April 1945
  • flown by Lt. Friedrich-Wilhelm Schenk, CO of 2./JG 300, Borkheide, Germany, February 1945
  • flown by Oblt. Alfred Seidl, CO of I./JG 3, Paderborn, Germany, late December 1944
  • W. Nr. 490655, flown by Lt. Antonius Wöffen, CO of 6./JG 27, Rheine-Hopsten, Germany, early March 1945

 

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All the decals are printed in the Czech Republic with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.

 

Conclusion

Another great 109G kit from Eduard that has plenty of detail out of the box, and can be upgraded even further in the detail department if you're minded to add the extra resin and PE sets that are patterned for the kit and available separately.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Bf.109G-10 Erla Upgrade Set (481006)

In order to upgrade the detail still further, this additional PE set is useful to add a removable radio bay cover with internal detail; in-scale wheel bay tunnels for the struts (one each side); chin radiator cooling-flap; external fuel tank strap; a highly detailed replacement for the flaps behind the radiator baths with lots of additional detail of the mechanism added; replacement wheel bay doors for the main gear, plus PE brake hoses, tie-downs and oleo-scissors.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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Really nice review and excellent photos Mike - thank you.

Gary

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Nice review. Thank you for posting the profiles for the different marking options.

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I made a boo-boo with the first sprue picture where I didn't notice the slight differences between two sprues (from different boxings), which has now been rectified :blush:

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3 hours ago, Mike said:

I made a boo-boo with the first sprue picture where I didn't notice the slight differences between two sprues (from different boxings), which has now been rectified :blush:

Good stuff, you know how seriously us Bf109 nuts count those rivets!

 

Duncan B

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2 minutes ago, Duncan B said:

you know how seriously us Bf109 nuts count those rivets!

Bunch'a'weirdos! :tease:  I think I must have been half-asleep when I studied the pic against the sprue in my hand, as I didn't notice the extra little bit on the sprue.  I'd have been more forgiving of myself for not noticing that slight bulge/panel line, but it was the extra chunk of sprue that would have really given the game away if I'd noticed it :shrug: Thinking about it, it was probably that part that was under my hand :doh:

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7 minutes ago, Duncan B said:

Good stuff, you know how seriously us Bf109 nuts count those rivets!

 

Duncan B

I told Mike that!

 

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That italian scheme gives me another box to buy lol.

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12 hours ago, Beazer said:

That italian scheme gives me another box to buy lol.

It does look good doesn't it

 

Duncan B

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That's the thing with Italians lol.

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