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Eduard 1/4 Bf 109E Instrument Panel

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For a complete change of pace, I decided to tackle Eduard’s BF 109E instrument panel in ¼ scale. I’m a big fan of Eduard and their precision is certainly Tier One in my book. My goal for this build was to work on my neatness and not rely on ageing to hide my clumsiness. 




This kit was no different – everything went together really well and the fact that it is ¼ scale meant that I spent much less time squinting through my magnifying headgear than normal! 


If I have to be critical in a constructive manner, I would suggest to Eduard that the details for attaching the PE handle arms to the plastic handles are poor and a re-think is needed. Eduard’s two PE handle arms have a minute (perhaps a millimeter long) nib that protrudes from the end of the PE. The seemingly solid plastic balls which are the handles have a correspondingly minute hole to receive this nib. You can see these circled joints on the instructions below which I found to be poorly engineered and very weak – no amount of finesse and skill on my part was going to make these joints work, so I needed to come up with another solution.




My solution was to cut a trench halfway through the plastic balls, wedge the ends of the PE into the trenches and then “backfill” with CA. This gave the strong joint I needed. Getting the pretty sizable (and thus not insignificant in terms of mass) PE handles to adhere to the slot in the instrument panel was a big ask, given the tiny contact surface. My workaround was to temporarily glue a piece of clothes peg into the slot and next to it to give the handle something to rest against while the CA dried. If that had not worked, I was going to have to either cut through the bottom of the slot through to the back of the instrument panel piece and attach the end of the PE handle from the back with a bigger and stronger joint. As a last resort, I considered re-making the PE handles from styrene sheet, but fortunately didn’t need to. Eduard: something to think about, please.




Paints were Tamiya’s XF-63 German Grey and Gunze H12 Flat Black, with other Gunze colours as accents. It was my first time using Mr Color Dark Iron (MC214) and it is amazing stuff when you give it a little polish after the paint dries – incredibly realistic. I made some mistakes and took a few liberties here and there, including omitting colour to some of the instrument bezels – I found lots of reference photos of real instrument panels with plenty of variety in term of colour on some bezels. Some panels looked a little like Christmas trees with bright yellow, blue and red, and others were very stark and monochromatic. I went for the latter. I needed some way to display this, so spent a couple of hours with a sheet of Evergreen 2mm thick styrene sheet and came up with a custom stand, sprayed black from a rattle can.




As a final touch and to try and give this one a little personality, I found a period-correct family portrait and re-printed it as a 4" x 5" in ¼ scale, left it in my sweaty pocket for a few hours on a golf course (summer has arrived in the Middle East) and then tacked it to the instrument panel. These aircraft were flown by men from families so I thought it would be believable that one of those men might keep a picture of his family on his “desk” while at work...



This is/was a limited run kit, so isn’t that easy to find. If you do come across one, I highly recommend it. Hope you enjoy the photos.







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Excellent build and I like the way your resolved the kit's problem. I have to wonder why we don't see more instrument panels in this scale, and not just WWII aircraft. 

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17 hours ago, Modelling Padre said:

Very different and the photo in an odd way brings it alive.

And reminds us that the pilots of these aircraft, even if adversaries serving an ignoble cause, were human, with wives and families.

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