Replicast 1/48 Bf-109v1






See Review


Allan Wanta


Resin with metal bits and vac canopy


In September of 1935, the first prototype of a new German aircraft took to the air. The first of a long line of thoroughbreds was making its debut under the control of Flugkapitain Knotzsch. In irony this particular aircraft was powered by a British Kestrel engine, Jumo and Daimler Benz powerplants as we know would power later models. The v1 (v for versuchs or experimental ) model was typically unarmed and had a wooden two bladed propeller.

This was the first of over 30,000 + Bf109s. The Bf-109 in all its variations accounted for 60% of all the single seat fighters produced by Germany during World War II Interestingly, it relied on a British engine for its initial flights as the German engines were not yet ready. This prototype first flew in September of 1935 and was soon followed by several others. Though not really superior to the He-112 against which it competed, the 109 was able to be built for less money than the 112. It only goes to show you that the best is not always what is bought when it comes to armaments!

The prototype has, other than its engine, several items on it that were done away with in following prototypes. The most noticeable is the large wing bulges for the wheels. These would disappear until the late war Bf-109G-10 brought them back into widespread use. Also done away with until the 109K versions were the full wheel well doors, though these only lasted a flight or two on the prototype before the smaller doors were removed. The third items were the panels next to the windscreen. These were a single piece. On the next aircraft, they were subdivided into two bits with the lower one being a triangular shape. The newer shape offered better rigidity and was cheaper to make!


This Replicast kit is labeled as 48001 and understandably so after taking inventory of the tan colored resin pieces. Most are quite well cast as with most Czech firms' products, but some differences appeared once test fitting started. All major components are cast resin, the one-piece wing, two piece hollow cast fuselages has interior details softly cast in, and all other bits are in a resin wafer pool. White metal gear legs, tail wheel and control stick are direct knock-off of Hasagawa parts. As I was to find out the wing and the fuselage, from the front of the canopy back, was a copy of the Hobbycraft Me-109B kit, as were the tailplanes. For some reason the rudder unit was cast separately, which was the major problem. The rudder was a victim of mold shift and was twice as wide as originally planned. It couldn't be fixed without loosing all the detail. What to do?


The answer lay in grafting the rear portion of the Hobbycraft kit onto the front engine area of the original kit, sounds crazy, huh? It solved a number of problems; another being the interior was not up to standards, not even to the Hobbycraft kit. So we have a better interior, better tailplanes and a correct rudder all in one fell swoop. The nose of the resin kit fit very well and required a bit of Bondo, but wasn't a major operation as thought it would be.

The one-piece wing fit almost perfectly, it seems to be a re-work of the Hobbycraft kit with the wheel wells being reshaped. The wing was actually well cast and had a sharp trailing edge, some air bubbles appeared on the leading edge as sanding was done.

Well, with the plane being a bashed Hobbycraft, it was not looking too bad. As you might expect, the landing gear was also robbed from the Hobbycraft kit as it had sharper definition and the correct early style wheels.


The decals are a high point, they went on well, and did not react to any solvent setting solutions, so make sure the paint is very glossy. Speaking of which, Xtra-color RLM 63 was used overall, the propeller being RLM 24 Blue. Once the decals had settled, numerous coats of Future were applied to hide the decal edges, Xtra-color flat was then sprayed overall.

The canopy was, you guessed it, the Hobbycraft one, it was masked with those marvelous time savers Black Magic masks! Whew, what a handful. If you want the complete stable of Me-109's, and I see a lot of them on the Ethernet hobby magazines, this is the one to make. Unfortunately you may find making an accurate V-1 a bit difficult with this kit. Kit 48001 meant it was their first kit, and it shows. Replicast should be commended for making this version available, with a bit of work, or re-work; it would make a great kit for the intermediate to experienced modeler.

Allan Wanta

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to Main Page

Back to Reviews Page