Eduard 1/32 Bf-109E-3
Patience will net you a
very fine replica
109 needs no lengthy introduction on my part.
Regarded as one of the finest fighter aircraft of the early and middle
years of the Second World War this aircraft, in all of its’ versions, has a
devout following of admirers worldwide.
The E, or ‘Emil’ version, is arguably the most well-known version of this
fighter. From it’s early exploits
to Operation Barbarosa and the early defense of The Third Reich the Bf 109E
matched all challengers and made a good if not historic account of itself.
opening the sturdy box you are greeted by six grey/green sprues with the parts (including
an engine and open cowling gun hatch) that have fine recessed panel lines,
very nice fidelity of detail and no flash.
There is also a drop tank and mount that are not applicable to the E-3
version (save this to dress up the old
Hasegawa kit!). However there
are the ever-prominent mold lines that seem to be in every Eduard kit.
So, a bit of clean up here will be necessary.
There are also a clear sprue with the 3-piece separate canopy, gun sight
and front windscreen armor plating (which is not used on this version), a canopy
mask set and a pair of small pre-colored PE frets along with a 17 page color
instruction booklet and two decal sheets (one
of stencils and the other being the national and airframe-specific markings).
There is quite a bit of plastic here and the potential certainly looks
I jumped ahead and started with the assembly of the wings.
Make sure to take care in lining up the main gear supports (parts
E15 and E20). Placement of
these two parts is crucial in making sure that the main gear is at the proper
angle once the aircraft is completed.
Also of note is the precarious way that the cannon barrels lay trapped
between the upper and lower wing halves.
So, some careful eyeballing and patience will be required here.
I used Plastruct liquid glue and attached them to the lower wing so that
I could finagle the barrels into the proper angle.
I have found that Eduard’s plastic is able to withstand bending so if you
have the angle off a bit of persuasion can work.
The PE radiator screens are very delicate and
can bend easily so care is recommended when handling the.
I used Loc-Tite super glue to keep them in place and then painted the
inside of the radiator covers Model Master RLM 02.
PE parts 37 are a nightmare
inside of the covers and after multiple runs at it I gave up.
Minor cleanup around the leading edge seams was done and then the wings
were set aside. The tail planes
were also assembled and set aside at this time as well as the separate flaps and
slats with the underside of the slats being painted MM RLM 02.
At this time I moved along to the
cockpit assembly and painted the applicable parts with MM RLM 02.
The mounting tab for PE parts 40 and 34 is too short so I drilled a hole
where the tab would be and glued a small piece of wire to act as a tab for these
parts. I did deviate a bit and
decided to keep the molded detail on the control box on part F1 instead of using
the PE piece. The switches are only
replicated as paint marks on the PE piece and I preferred the look of the molded
switches on the plastic part. One
could see about drilling small holes and using wire to replicate these on the PE
part. However, since the PE part is
pre-painted I fear that the paint would flake off.
Anyhow, upon assembly I dry brushed the cockpit with Testors Silver and
Steel and then used Citadel Armor Black for a wash on the sidewalls and floor.
The seatbelts do assemble just as the instructions show but make sure to
take your time…you only get one shot with super glue!
Eduard gives you the choice of PE or molded plastic instrument panels.
Sadly they do not include decals to use for instruments
choose to forgo the PE parts. I
went with the PE parts and used Crystal Clear for the gauge faces.
The assembly for the chin scoop
gives you a choice of screens and the whole affair goes together quickly and
easily. I painted this MM RLM 02
and set it aside. Eduard does
recommend that you add part E18 at the end of build but that really will not
work…ask me how I know.
I would add it at this time while it’s easier to glue it into place.
-“To show or not to show…that is
Moving along to the included engine
assembly I was both thrilled and disappointed at the detail.
The surface detail of the engine block is very good.
The smaller details leave a lot to be desired IMHO.
The supercharger looks squared off and is very incomplete.
The lower section of the motor has the heads molded as part of the block
and is highly inaccurate. Basically
what you get is a glorified engine plug that you can look at but cannot display
outside of the aircraft. Please see
the comparison pictures to the Matchbox, Verlinden and Eduard offerings (left
to right) and form your own opinion.
I decided to display my “Emil” all opened up and painted the engine and
accessories the appropriate colors.
Assembly here was straight-forward with no surprises.
But I found the method of trapping the completed assembly between the
fuselage halves a bit of a hassle for a few reasons.
First, the fit of the lower intake scoop assembly would
compromised, making fitment a real chore.
Second, the fuselage, once assembled, tapers ever so slightly to an angle
thus throwing off the proper placement of the exhaust stubs in their respective
covers. This is very noticeable at
the backside of the exhaust section and looks wrong.
And if you try to favor the motor to one side or the other then it
becomes even worse. So, after all
of that work, I decided to close everything up and will use the engine in my
forthcoming Matchbox ‘109E build. I
did break off the exhaust stubs and mounted them onto the supplied strip and put
them into place in the exhaust ports.
These were painted MM Flat Black then dry brushed with MM Rust, Testors
Steel and MM Metalizer Burnt Iron. I
glued the firewall and gun cowling area into place, painted them MM RLM 02 and
the glued the fuselage halves together.
Fit here was alright, by and large.
There is some filling and sanding needed on the lower section of the
nose. I also deduced that my port
fuselage half was slightly warped.
This would become a hassle later on.
At this point I mated the wing
assembly to the completed fuselage.
The wing root had no gap whatsoever!
There was a sizeable gap though where the lower fuselage area meets the
lower wing. I used Squadron white
putty to blend and fill this area.
the warped port fuselage half?
Well, it created a small step at front of the wing root that I sanded down.
I then added the cowling and side panels at this time with the warp in
the fuselage throwing off the fit of the cowling.
Argh! And do you
recall the slight taper of the fuselage that I mentioned earlier in this build?
Well, this all conspires to make closing the front end up a real chore.
Should you choose to go this route take your time and sand/trim in small
increments. I had to sand the front
nose) of the cowling to get a flush
fit with the spinner. Before gluing
the cowling in place I glued the pair of cannon muzzle covers into their
respective ports. I then added the
gun barrel insert, painting it MM Metalizer Burnt Iron and the dry-brushing it
with Testors Silver. Also due to
the slight taper a spreader bar was mad from sprue and glued in place to widen
the backside of the cowling for a better fit.
Note that the port side panel will need to be trimmed along with the
lower portion of the fuselage where it mates to the panel.
The fit here is iffy and once you glue the supercharger intake in place
you will need to sand and trim to get a flush fit here.
I used Plastruct liquid cement to get everything to stay together and
still be able to manipulate it as need be.
Plus you’ll need it to fill the gaps between the panels.
After wrapping this up I went to glue the gun cowling into place and
promptly discovered that the gun tray would need to be completely torn out to do
Are you kidding me?
The instructions clearly show that you mount the engine firewall and gun
tray into place. So, this snafu
I’ll kindly leave at Eduard’s feet.
Furthermore fit of the gun cover is very bad with the fuselage being just a hair
wider than the cover. So, some
trimming and super
glue go this into place. Eduard may
give you the option of buttoning things up but it’s just not a simple thing to
So, to wrap up the building I added
the upper instrument panel and gun sight.
The prop and spinner were painted Floquil RLM 70, assembled and set
aside. The landing gear were
cleaned up, assembled and painted MM RLM 02 and also set aside along with the
main wheels. The rims are a
two-piece affair and are vastly improved over the earlier E-1 and E-4 versions.
The tires and rims were painted Testors Flat Black with the rims being
given a coat of Testors Gloss Coat.
A light dry-brushing with MM RLM 66 was given to the rims.
The canopy was masked using the supplied masks and then tacked into place
with 5-minute epoxy…except it was not going to be that easy.
The rear canopy section rode just a bit higher than the rest of the
canopy and was short-shot just slightly at the lower point where it meets with
the canopy railing. So, I left it
as it was and decided to fight with it after the paint was laid down.
I painted the canopy framing MM RLM 02 at this time.
I decided to go with decal option C
which is White ‘7’ flown in the spring of 1940 with
Staffel JG 2 under the command of Legion Condor veteran Oblt. Otto Bertram.
I really like the earlier style national markings on a BoB era Emil.
Plus the Staffel marking of “Bonzo” on the nose is pretty neat looking.
Even my wife thought it looked cool!
I prepped the model with a wipe down of rubbing alcohol and then used
Floquil RLM 65 for the underside and fuselage sides.
Once this was dry I then masked off the model (with
3M Blue masking tape) and used Floquil RLM 02 for the topside.
Final masking was then done for the RLM 71 color…except my bottle of MM
RLM 71 had dried up!
miles away from my LHS I reverted to mixing up a batch to match the MM color.
I used an approximate 65/25/10 mix of MM RLM 78, MM RLM 80, and MM German
Uniform Feldgrau. Suitably pleased
with this I sprayed it on and let the paint dry overnight.
The following day I used Testors Gloss Coat to get a smooth surface for
the decals. Eduard’s decals are
thin with excellent registry and opacity.
They also can withstand a decent amount of movement and abuse for those
of us that are a bit ham-fisted. I
used Solveset to snuggle them down with no adverse affects.
The wing walk stripes are a real hassle to line up though and my port
side decal suffered from my frustration.
It’s as lined up as I could get it!
Anyhow, once the decals had dried I painted the gear bays Floquil RLM 02
and the trim tabs with Testors Flat Red.
To wrap up this section I used Testors Flat Coat to seal the decals and
give a proper finish.
At this time I
snapped the tail planes into place (no
glue needed), added the tail plane supports glued on along with the flaps,
rudder PE rudder actuators. The
tail wheel/landing gear was glued into place but the fit on the main gear is a
bit loose. It’s best to use a
liquid cement to make sure that they are set at the proper angle and I would let
the aircraft sit overnight (as I did)
to make sure you have a strong bond.
The main wheels were weathered with pastels and glued to the main gear.
The prop/spinner was tacked into place with a small amount of Blu-Tac.
flaps and slats were glued into place as were the main gear covers.
The middle and rear canopies were removed and I trimmed the corners of
the middle canopy so that the rear section would settle down where it should be.
The PE canopy wire was attached and the center canopy piece tacked into
place with liquid cement.
Weathering was kept to a minimum as
Bertram was stationed in Bassenheim and not at the front.
Pastels were used for the exhaust and cannon/gun stains.
A light dry brushing with Testors Silver was done around the cockpit
opening and canopy edges. The wing
lights were painted using Tamiya Clear Red and X-5 Green.
three figures were modified Tamiya and Matchbox pieces.
The feldwebel and the commander figures were modified with different arms
and hands. The commander’s cane was
constructed from wire and a small piece of polished hollow aluminum tubing.
The pilot figure is from the Matchbox kit.
I cut off and repositioned his legs, added different arms and a new head
from the Tamiya figures. A
cigarette was added to his right hand by drilling a small hole and gluing a wire
in place. This was painted white
and the very tip painted black.
Flight goggles were made using a Tamiya goggle with copper wire for the strap.
These are hanging from the gun sight on the aircraft.
Paints used were a combination of Testors, MM, Polly S and Floquil.
This kit is, without a doubt, the finest Bf 109
‘Emil’ to date. The older Hasegawa
and Matchbox ‘Emil’s are certainly capable of being built very nicely…with
much aftermarket help. The
Eduard kit, while lacking detail in the engine assembly, is a complete model
that requires no additional parts to be “brought up to snuff”.
The five decal choices and PE sets just add to the value.
However, it does suffer from a few issues.
Where the kit does fall short is in both the fit and a lack of complete
fidelity/accuracy in the engine assembly.
The instructions are not entirely correct with regards to building the
cowling and gun areas closed. A
select few of the PE pieces are either hard to properly place or are really not
even needed. And the fit of the
canopy is not very good in either the open or closed position.
These issues can be remedied though by the competent and patient modeler.
In doing so a good model may become an outstanding model.
I highly recommend this model for both a moderate and experienced
the Messerschmitt Bf 109B/C/D/E;
Green, Brett, Osprey Publishing, 2006.
ISBN: 1-84176-940-1, pp 4-6, 10-19, 43-47.
Warplanes of the Third Reich;
Green, William, Doubleday, 1970. Catalog card number 88-29673, pp 540-547.
German Aircraft Cockpits 1911-1970,
Cohausz, Peter W., Schiffer Publishing, 2003. ISBN: 0-7643-1873-X, pp 236-241.
World War 2 Luftwaffe Fighter Modeling,
Coughlin, Geoff, Osprey Publishing, 2000. ISBN: 1-84176-060-9
The Great Book of World War II Airplanes,
Grinsell, Robert, Zokeisha Publications, 1984. ISBN: 0-517-459930, pp 444,
kit courtesy of Eduard via Tom Cleaver
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