- Published on Sunday, 03 February 2013 21:16 Thomas Mayer
"The legendary low-wing fighter of Professor Willy Messerschmitt survived the state that developed it."
This is the final sentence ending the intro in the assembly manual of Eduard´s kit on the Bf 109E-3. It is the end to a text introducing the reader and modeller to this iconic aircraft in an admirable way. I liked reading this intro for it summarized the history of the Bf 109 this good. Get this kit and read yourself!
This kit comprises five (5) sprues of injection-moulded plastic. Upon opening this sturdy top-opening box (Revell, do you listen?) I was surprised to see three sprues being moulded in grey, one in brown-olive and, of course, the clear parts in clear plastic.
We also get two (2) frets of photo etched parts with one of those frets being colour-printed. Two (2) sheets of decals are given, one with the markings for five (5) colour schemes and one for stencils. Last but not least there are the full-colour assembly manual and the familiar yellow Kabuki type pre-cut masks.
I personally prefer Eduard´s ProfiPACK kits. Sure, their Weekend kits are an absolute bargain. But I want to have the masks and PE sets when building a kit, so I would have to spend additional money only to get what is already given in a ProfiPACK edition of a kit with even more colour schemes than the one provided in a Weekend edition kit. Well, in this ProfiPACK box everything is already there to start a new project!
Nearly half of the parts given on this sprue aren´t needed for this kit here. A welcome addition to the spare parts box anyway!
This first sprue comprises the two full length fuselage halves as well as the upper engine cowling. The inside fuselage detail is absolutely sufficient in my opinion, being beefed up even more by some plastic and PE parts. There is no pilot figure given so most of this detail could be seen later with the canopy open.
All parts show an abundance of fine recessed panel lines and rivets. Eduard also moulded not only the gun orifices on the upper engine cowling open, the two engine ventilation slots on the front of the cowling are open, too. Looking at these from the front the wall thickness of those openings is realistically thin.
There is no sprue B, so C is next. There are only three (3) parts on this one: the one-piece lower wing and the two upper wing halves.
Again all exterior surfaces show beautiful delicate recessed panel lines and rivets. The upper wing´s trailing edges are bevelled and look sharp. With the flaps of this kit designed to be shown lowered the thin trailing edges will look great.
There also are recesses for the separate slats. It´s on the modeller to decide if he wants them applied in the extended or retracted position.
Also bevelled to appear scale-like thin are the surroundings of the landing gear openings. No clunky walls here!
Again some of the plastic parts given on this sprue are not used on this version. But there still are enough parts remaining to promise a well detailed aircraft model build!
Among other parts this sprue comprises the individual slats mentioned above. And again the trailing edges on those are amazingly thin and sharp! Very good! These will look great in the extended position.
Some of the larger parts here are the flaps and rudders. They all feature some nice and delicate detail. The metal frames and stringers on the fabric covered rudders stand proud with the fabric parts being recessed. In my opinion no manufacturer so far was successful to convincingly reproduce fabric covered rudders with the exception of Wingnut Wings. But looking at the mouldings here Eduard is really close. On the finished kit I guess these fabric covered areas will look absolutely fine to the eye.
I was happy to see that Eduard used slide moulds to reproduce the wing and engine-mounted guns with open muzzles! We still speak 1/48 scale here, so this is a very welcome feature to everybody who ever tried to drill out those muzzles using a fine drill bit himself!
I am also pleased to see the tyres and wheel rims being separate parts. This way it is much easier to paint them in their respective colours without the need of masks. Detail on the spoke rim is very nice, as is to see the manufacturer´s name and the tyre size on the tyre!
Eduard also did not chicken out and moulded the tail wheel separate from the tail wheel yoke. We all have seen other manufacturer´s more expensive kits, even in larger scales, where the tail wheel was moulded as one part together with the yoke. Not here!
The second of the two larger sprues, together with sprue D. Most of the parts here are to build the DB 601 engine, with some parts dedicated for the cockpit, among others.
As with their larger Bf 109 kits in 1/32 scale Eduard provides the option here in their 1/48 scale kits to have the Daimler-Benz engine displayed. The engine is replicated with individual and finely moulded engine bearers. The crank shaft cover is a part of its own, too. I love those ultra-tiny bolts Eduard moulded on top of that cover!
Some of the auxiliary engine parts are moulded separate and with good definition. Spark plug wires are integrally cast with the main engine parts and will need a very steady hand to be painted, but will greatly add to the overall appearance of the engine displayed on the finished kit.
The exhausts stubs are individually moulded, too! Eduard gave them a shallow indentation, simulating the open end of the stubs. I would try to carefully flow a diluted black wash into this indentation after painting the stubs, doing so to mimic the open ends of the real exhausts.
There are two different propeller spinners given with this kit, one with a pointed end cap and an open one. For this is the E-3 version only the one with the open tip is to be used here. The Bf 109E-3 was not equipped with an engine mounted cannon but the open propeller spinner was used in this version.
Eduard gave the spinner some fine recessed rivets, too, that will look great with a wash applied after painting. The propeller is moulded as one part, so no need to align three individual propeller blades here. Please be very careful when cutting the propeller from the sprue: the attachment points of the three blades are as fine and delicate as the sprue attachment stubs!
The propeller blade mountings to the hub are nicely detailed, as is the tip of the hub itself. After having painted the propeller blades in RLM 70 Schwarzgrün I would spray the blade mounts and the hub in a silver colour, giving it a wash afterwards to accentuate the detail here.
To no surprise Eduard´s clear parts are just perfect, absolutely clear and with good detail definition. Anyhow I will get them a treatment in Klear or Future just because I am used to do so. Doing this kit I would cut the clear part of the sight off and replace it by much thinner clear plastic stock as found in some packaging or the clear plastic stock Eduard gives us in some of their PE sets.
The clear canopy parts will be further enhanced by adding photo etched hand grips to the wind shield, the rear armour to be glued into the moving main canopy part and even a PE representation of the wire and coil spring in case you are going to display your canopy open!
A small piece of yellow Kabuki type pre-cut masks 43 x 46 millimetres in size is provided in this ProfiPACK kit. Fifteen (15) sometimes tiny pieces of masks are there to protect the clear areas of the canopy when painting your model.
As mentioned above two (2) decals sheets are provided to choose from five (5) different colour and marking schemes. All of those are very well selected from Eduard by being really different from each other and absolutely beautiful, each on its own! These are the schemes from which to select the one to do:
- Unteroffizier Karl Wolff, 3./JG 52, Pihen / Calais, France, August 1940
- Oberleutnant Josef Priller, Staffelkapitän 6./JG 51, France, Autumn 1940
- Oberstleutnant Hans-Hugo Witt, Geschwaderkommodore JG 26, Dortmund, Germany, April 1940
- 1./JG 2, Bassenheim, Germany, May 1940
- 3./JG 51, Mannheim-Sandhofen, Winter 1939-1940
First decal sheet is a substantial one being 198 x 130 millimetres in size. Printed by Eduard colour saturation and printing quality are superb. The decals are thin and in register.
Each of the schemes given here are this attractive, one should build them all! There are two decals to depict the instrument panel with the instruments being printed onto a dark grey background colour. For the cockpit colour in this kit is given in early war RLM 02 Grau the two IP decals are a good fit here.
There is no distortion on decals no. 1 & 2. These large Balkenkreuze are intended to partially be placed onto the lower wing cannon bulges, so Eduard had to modify their shape to have them look correct when applied.
Swastikas are given "politically correct" in halves or as one piece decals on the lower right corner of the sheet.
The second decal sheet is smaller than the first one. It´s a generic sheet full of stencils and walkways in mostly black or red colour.
The spelling of the German stencils is flawless. I could only find one single stencil being incomplete, but I had to use a magnifier to see the error, so I wouldn´t really bother at all!
I like the inclusion of tiny VDM propeller manufacturer logos! This is a painful omission in so many kits of other manufacturers, so Eduard is to be applauded to have them included!
As usual in Eduard´s ProfiPack kits there is at least one colour printed photo etch fret included in the box. This is a most welcome feature for me, for I cannot imagine painting such fine details myself, well, no longer...
Another rendition of the two-part instrument panel of the Bf 109 is included, as well as really good looking seatbelts.
The IP looks much brighter and more blue in my macro shots than it looks on reality, so no need to worry here.
The second PE fret comprises parts to depict the mesh on the lower wing and engine mounted coolers. We also find parts to depict the control cables for the yaw rudder and some tiny chains that go into the cockpit, among others.
The assembly manual is printed in full colour on high quality semi-matte art paper. Not few other manufacturers could cut a slice of Eduard´s example here!
The instructions are given in English and Czech language, with clear colour call-outs given to the parts where needed. Colours are given for GSI Creos (Gunze) colours.
The five painting and marking schemes are shown from four sides each. The very last page shows where to add the stencils, but misses to show a complete view of the lower side of the aircraft. Only partial views of the lower wing coolers are given to show the stencil placement.
So what do we think?
To make it short: this ProfiPACK kit again is an all-round carefree package! There is all you need in the box! Moulding quality is first class with no flash so far at all. The wing and fuselage surfaces are covered in beautiful fine recessed panel lines and rivets, a treat for the eye.
The colour and marking schemes are some of the most interesting I have seen so far in a single box. I like to have the option to display the engine buttoned up or open, as well as having the wheels and rims on the main landing gear being separate pieces to ease painting. Do I like this kit? You bet!
Very highly recommended
My very best thanks to Eduard for the review sample! To purchase directly, click THIS link.
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