KIT:

Starfix 1/48 Bf-109E

KIT #

?

PRICE:

You kidding?

DECALS:

How about stickers instead?

REVIEWER:

Mark Fordham

NOTES:

A truly dreadful model. Not to be confused with Penny Dreadfuls...

HISTORY

If you haven’t heard of the Bf 109 series of aircraft by now then I would suggest  that you mosey over to the review section here at MM and have a read of any of the other Bf 109 reviews there, I’m told that there has been one of two of them done over the years.

THE KIT

Starfix (ing) across the universe, boldly going where no man wants to go, that sort of sums up Starfix kits, traditionally  used as non biodegradable landfill, as place holders on Ebay (I ask you who would pay $6-9 US for one of these gems on Ebay?)  or as BB gun targets the world over,  the fantastic line of Starfix kits has titillated the modelling senses and expanded the quality of models for the past few years.  On receiving the Starfix kit from me mate Bruno I shook out the contents of the kit onto the desk top, then promptly peered into the box looking for the Kit rather than the blobs of plastic I had mistaken for wings.

 As you can see from the sprue shots “it’s a Bf 109 Jim,  but not as we know it”. Toted as a 1/48th scale Bf109E on the box top I challenge everything about that statement. First off if there ever was a real plane that looked like this it would scale out to be around 1/54th scale and secondly the shape of the wings and fuselage doesn’t bare any resemblance to a Bf109 E,F,G or T.  The rounded tips make it sorta closer to the G series rather than the E. 

 The instruction sheet is adequate for the small amount of parts and Tattoo style generic markings are supplied on the decal sheet that look like they have been hand drawn with crayola’s. 

The wings and fuselage are festooned with what I thought was some form of disease but the doc said that it was just rivets and it should clear right up as long as I didn’t keep picking at them. 

CONSTRUCTION

Were to start? As you can see the profile of the fuselage and nose is just wrong in so many ways that it would be impossible to fix, so I concentrated on hiding  the major issues with putty. The only version of the BF109 that this POS bore any resemblance to was the G series, so I decided to model a G-6 with it’s sexy curves around the nose. First thing was to remove the 1.1 scales rivets infesting the fuselage and wings and glue the fuselage together. Once dry a smear of filler was applied forward of the cockpit to “flesh out” nose. The kit exhausts were useless and were binned with new ones being scratch-built out of plastic card and beer cans. The Interior consists of a floor, seat and a 1/32nd scale pilot that was severely anorexic, as this wasn’t going to ever be a contest winner I binned the pilot and added a few details to the seat, cut out a generic instrument panel from my laser printed sheet and painted the whole lot RLM grey. 

What made this project so much more difficult was the fact that the Starfix 109 is such an oddball scale, nothing in my spares box was of any use as the 1/72nd scale stuff was too small and the odd bit of 1/48th stuff I had was way to big. Everything then had to be scratch-built or improved from the kit parts and with the wheels and prop of this beast looking more like toy parts than a real model I knew I was fighting a losing battle.

 One thing I will say about Starfix  models is that the fit of the parts isn’t too bad, about on par with Airfix with simular sort of hard silver plastic found in the really early Revell models.

As anyone who has had a fleeting interest in the 109 can see the rear fuselage is way to narrow and pinched  giving the plane an anorexic look, not much can be done about that so I stuck the wings and tailplanes on and called it quits for the major assemblies. The panel lines were re scribed and rivets(!) added using a ponch wheel and as the rudder was just well, wrong, so a new one was carved out of the remnants of some long forgotten donor kit out of the spares box. The air filter which is supplied as a sperate piece that bore a remarkable resemblance to a dog turd was replaced with a 1/72nd scale Airfix 190D-9 one that “almost” looks big enough.

 Moving onto the spinner and prop saw a whole heap of new problems, if you assembled the prop as supplied with Starfix the tip of the prop would hit on the ground as the blades are way to long, I ended up cutting off about 10mm from the tip of the blades and re shaping the tips to give it an scale look  with the rest of the s@$tbox, the shape of the blades still don’t look anything like any Bf109 I’ve ever seen and the spinner was replaced with one off a 1/72nd scale Airfix Bf 110 with a cannon added from brass tubing.

The Undercarriage was a joke and needed about 3 mm cut out of the length to get the plane to “sit” correctly some small details were added to the legs using thin strips of tape and the less said about the generic buttons, oops.. wheels the better, unfortunately I had nothing that came close to 1/54th scale 109 Wheels so had to use some “generic” home cast wheels of my own, but with slightly better detail.

COLORS & MARKINGS

Crappy Kit, not wasting my precious hard to get supplies of Aeromaster RLM paint on this baby, Tamiya generic colours all they way for this POS! First was the 3 heavy coats of grey primer to cover up the sanding marks and scratches, then Tamiya sky was gunned on the underside and left to harden for a few days. The light green was mixed from various left over paint to match my Aeromaster RLM light green and gunned on next, the Dark Gray was then added and left to dry for a few days. The nose, tail band and rudder was then masked off and a few coats of Tamiya yellow was added to finish off the painting. Now when it comes to the decals the Starfix decals just aren’t even worth the hassle of digging them out of the box, and I had one set of “real” 109 markings that I’m saving for that Tamiya 109E I have in the Stash so the markings like everything else on this dog is pure fantasy and exists only to bug the rivet counters.

Final painting and assembly of the gun pods meant that I could remove this masterpiece off my desk and place it is far back as I could on the model selves, hopefully no one with notice that it’s there.

As a matter of interest I've included a picture of the Starfix 109 next to a Monogram 1/48th scale Mk IX Spitfire (the only 1/48th scale aircraft I own), I don’t have a 1/48th Bf 109 but the Spitfire will give you some idea of how “out” Starfix’s 1/48th scale is.

CONCLUSIONS

Do a search on the Web and see how many Starfix models you can find built up? One? Yup! And I’m the idiot that did that one as well, universally voted as a complete waste of resources the range of Starfix kits should be avoided by most modellers unless you are wanting a heap of cheap BB gun or cracker  targets. Saying that I possibly would build more Starfix kits if I ever come across them, namely the A4 and the Jolly green giant which apparently is a copy of the old Aurora one. If nothing else, future modellers will have some warning about these dreadful models if they did a “Google” on Starfix. Don’t waste your time building these kits unless you are slightly nuts or are in need of some gun targets. So anyone got any really outstanding Ideas on how I should destroy this POS?? Post your most inventive answer on the discussion forum and if it is feasible I might just do it! With photos of course!  

My thanks to Bruno for the review sample …. Oh and has that 44 gallon drum of concrete arrived C.O.D yet?

May 2004

REFERENCES

1/72nd scale Italeri Bf109G-6

Note: Your editor is curious as to whether Starfix is still a going concern. Truly horrid kit making like this really deserves to have gone under ages ago! :o)

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