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Over All of Spain The Sky is Clear (DS7202) 1:72 Tupolev SB-2M-100 Bomber & 2 x Bf.109E-4


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Over All of Spain The Sky is Clear (DS7202)

Tupolev SB-2M-100 Bomber & 2 x Bf.109E-4

1:72 ICM via Hannants Ltd




The Spanish Civil War was an ideal proving ground for the nascent Luftwaffe, and a large number of German aircraft and crew were involved under the name Condor Legion, as “volunteers”, flying early Bf.109s and similar era aircraft from the German arsenal on the side of the Nationalists.  Communist Soviet Union was supplying the other side with inventory from its arsenal as well as crews during the early stages in a pseudo proxy war of sorts, but the Fascists won with a lot of help from Germany.  Although Spain remained neutral in name, they never forgot the help they received from the Nazi, and often assisted them in a clandestine manner.


The conflict gave the Luftwaffe sufficient experience that they could run rings around the relatively inexperienced foes they faced, sometimes in outdated machines, in the run up to and in the early days of WWII, allowing their pilots to rack up seriously large numbers of kills that possibly gave them a false sense of superiority when they came up against the RAF.


The Set

This is a new boxing that contains two Bf.109E-3s from the Condor Legion, and a Tupolev SB-2-100 from the Spanish Republic Air Force.


Messerschmitt Bf.109E-3 (72131)

The Messerschmitt BF 109 was certainly the most numerous, and probably the best known of all the aircraft used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Almost 34,000 examples were produced between 1937 and 1945, and the type saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Powered initially by the relatively low powered Junkers Jumo engine and later by various iterations of the more powerful Daimler Benz DB600 series of inverted V-12 engines, the later variants of the BF 109 could achieve speeds of up to 400mph. In comparison with the early A, B, C and D variants, the E, or ‘Emil’, was a significant redesign. It featured the more powerful Daimler Benz engine and better armament consisting of two wing-mounted MG/FF/M 20mm cannon and two MG17 7.9mm machine guns mounted in the cowling above the nose. The E-4 also featured improved armour for the pilot, and improved cockpit canopy which afforded the pilot a better view and was also easier to produce.


Whilst the E-1 and E-3 were blooded during the later phases of the Spanish Civil War, it was the E-4 that formed the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force during the Battle of Britain. During this phase of the war, the E-4 was found to be a close match, in terms of overall performance, to the Supermarine Spitfire, although each type had different strengths and weaknesses in comparison to the other.


The Kit

There are two identical Bf.109E-4 kits in the box, and they originate from a 2004 tooling, but don’t let that put you off.  There’s a good amount of detail on the single grey sprue, and a choice of separate or closed up canopies on the clear sprue.  The instructions are simplicity itself, and consist of two half pages plus a sprue diagram and internal painting chart.




Construction begins with the cockpit, which has a respectable seven parts, including a clear gunsight.  The fuselage closes up around the assembly and has a boxy lump representing the outline of the Daimler Benz engine moulded-in, with a single part cowling that covers the block and a supercharger intake on the left side.   The wing lowers are full-width with separate topsides, and all the flying surfaces are moulded-in, as are those in the elevators, while the rudder is separate, as are the support struts under the elevators.  The landing gear have separate struts and doors, plus a single-part wheel, one per side.  With the model inverted the gears, the chin-mounted oil cooler, pitot, aileron horn-balancers and the tail wheel are fitted, then flipped-over a choice of three-piece canopy for opening, or two-part for closed canopies are installed along with the aerial mast, two wing-mounted machine guns, plus three-part prop and spinner that are held in place with a two-part collar finish the build.  Aren’t 1:72 kits quick to build?


There are of course two of those, so you get to do that twice.



Tupolev SB 2M-100 Katiushka (72161)

Tupolev’s first variant of the SB series of light bomber were supplied to the Republic forces in 1936, 31 delivered by freighter, of which a number were later captured by the Nationalists, who were the ones that used the name Katiushka in common parlance.  Initially, they were too fast to be caught by the enemy, but once the Bf.109s came into theatre, the losses mounted and they were withdrawn from front-line service.  Some of them survived into the 50s in the hands of the victors.



The Kit

This is a reboxing of the 2005 kit of this funny-looking aircraft.  It’s a two-engined type and is a more complex build than the 109s, with six sprues in grey styrene, one of clear parts, and an instruction booklet that spans several pages.








Construction begins with the bomb-load, which are in three sizes and come in two halves with separate fins, with a choice of which to use later in the build.  With those out of the way, the centre section of the airframe is made up, which includes the inner panel of the wing up to the engine nacelles, which have their fronts missing at this stage.  Two full-width spars stiffen the assembly, and bomb carriers as well as some of the internal structure of the engine nacelles and gear bays are added along the way.  The cockpit is a simple one and fits to the front of the forward spar, with the instrument panel attached to the inside, and the pilot’s controls attached to the upcoming nose section.  The nose of the aircraft is separate, as is the tail, and both these areas are detailed with seats, weapons and glazing before they are closed up, with the fuselage trapping the rudder in place.  The three sections are joined after making up the two nacelles for the Klimov M-100 12-cylinder engines, which were little more than license-built Hispano-Suiza units.  The nacelles are made from four parts each, with the louvers moulded on top and shutters on the forward face, each of them having a two-blade prop fixed in place with a washer before they are glued in place.  As the nacelles are fitted, an additional panel is inserted into the top space with a U-shaped exhaust insert partially hidden beneath. 


The outer wings are each made from top and bottom halves plus a separate aileron per side, and the elevators are each a single fin and separate flying surface, which almost completes the airframe.  Once the glue is dry, the clear parts for the pilot and rear gunner are fitted, with choices for each of them, and the peculiar nose canopy is fixed along with a choice of twin machine guns.  The rear gunner has a U-shaped mount for this gun, which you also have two choices for.  A pitot probe slides into the leading edge of the port wing, and a few small parts are dotted around the clear nose.


The last steps involve fixing the single-part main wheels between the yoke of the main gear legs, which are backed up by two extra parts per side, and unless you plan on posing it in flight, you cut the bay doors in two and glue them in place, two per bay.  The tail wheel slots into the rear, and there’s an option to add a piece of wire as actuator for the rudder.  The bomb bay is similarly moulded as a single part that can be glued in as-is, or split down the middle to show off the bomb load that you made up initially.  The smallest bombs attach vertically to a small palette in the front of the bay, while two medium or one large bomb can replace them, with two more small bombs in the aft of the bay.




The set has its own set of painting instructions in colour, as the 109 instructions don’t have their own.  The SB-2 has its own markings choices in the back of the instructions, but those are superfluous and there are no decals for them, so try to ignore them.  From the box you can build all three models with no alternative options.  This is why you bought this boxing though, so build away:


  • Bf.109E-3 2.J/88, coded 6.107 Legion Condor, Spain, spring 1939
  • Bf.109E-3 2.J/88, coded 6.91 Legion Condor, Spain, spring 1939
  • SB 2M-100, 24th Bomb Group, Republican Air Force, Spain, spring 1939






Decals are by ICM’s usual partners, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.




This boxed set includes three models of recent vintage, and while there’s a small amount of flash here and there, detail is pretty good, and once the flash is gone there’s good models to be made.


Highly recommended.


Available in the UK from importers H G Hannants Ltd.



Review sample courtesy of


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