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Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 Emil (05-07) 1:48 Wingsy Kits


Julien
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Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 Emil (05-07)

1:48 Wingsy Kits

 

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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 the 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 power plant. During its 30 year career, more than 33,000 were built, a record that will probably never be beaten.

 

 

The Kit

This is a brand new tool form Wingsy. It is a shorter run kit in that the production run is not as large as other companies and the sprues themselves are smaller, and there are not as many tiny parts as some kits. The qality of the moulding is first rate though, better in fact than some other 109s in my stash. 

 

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Construction starts with the cockpit. The rudder pedals are built up and added to the cockpit floor, followed by the seat complete with PE belts. The trim wheels, control column and oxygen regulator are then fitted. The front bulkhead complete with oil tank is fitted. To both side panels detail parts are added. The instrument panel has the gunsight fitted. All instruments are provided as decals. The complete cockpit can now be assembled, Next up a few subassemblies of the propeller, prop boss and main landing gear are built up.  The fuselage can then be closed up with the cockpit going between the two sides, the rear deck for the cockpit then going on, the rudder and tail wheel part fitting at the rear, and at the front an engine block, and the front top deck with the two machine guns behind it. At the front the boss for the prop is fitted.  The last item to be added here is the engine air intake.

 

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We now move onto the wing. There is a single part lower wing, with  left/right uppers. Before closing the wings up the wheel wells need to be built up. Once assembled the wing tips can be glued on. The wings can the be fitted along with the front under engine cowling and its oil cooler. The tailplanes are fitted at the rear, and the radiators are fitted to the wings. At the front the engine exhaust stubs are fitted to either side. All of the flying control surfaces are now added with the flaps, slats, ailerons and tail control surfaces being separate parts that the modeller can fit as they want.  To finish off the wheels are put on their axles, along with the canopies (the pilots head armour being added from PE and plastic parts), aerials, pitot tubes and balance horns go on, they lastly at the front, the propeller. 

 

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Markings

The glossy decal sheet is printed by Decograf and looks sharp and in register.  There are four decal options available from the decal sheet;

 

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  1. Stab I./JG51 - Josef "Pips" Priller. Speyer, Germany 1939
  2. WNr. 3356, I./JG51 Heinz "Pritzl" Priller Bar, Early Battle of France, 1939.
  3. II./JG26 Staffelkaptin Fritz Losigkeit Werl, Germany 1940.
  4. WNr 3413, 5./JG26 Lt Hans Krug, Marquise, France 1940.

 

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Conclusion

It is good to see a new tool of this most famous aircraft, which should do well for Wingsy.  I'm not a 109 experten, but it looks to be a well detailed and engineered kit.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Review samples courtesy of

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