Hasegawa 1/48 Bf-109E


 09172 (JT 112)




See review


Scott Van Aken


'Luftwaffe Experten'




The major workhorse of the Luftwaffe fighter arm during the first part of WW2 was the Bf-109E. An improvement over earlier models with its Daimler-Benz DB601 engine in place of the older Junkers Jumo, the 109E was the aircraft most often met by the RAF during the battle of Britain. The versions most widely produced of the E were the E-3 and the E-4/7. The E-4/7 has protruding wing cannon barrels and a more square canopy than the E-3 version. The E-7 can a cap over the nose cannon producing a more streamlined prop spinner. The E-7 was also fitted with a centerline rack for a drop tank or bomb.

The E-4/7 was flown by a number of the early aces or 'experten' of the Luftwaffe including Galland, Molders, Priller and others. The E version soldiered on after being replaced by the more uptodate F model in training schools and by being sold off to other Axis allies.


Hasegawa has always gotten excellent mileage out of it's kits. Often by doing nothing more than supplying new box art and a new decal sheet. The Bf-109E series probably has made more use of this than any other Hasegawa kit. I know of at least ten different boxings of this kit, all with the same plastic inside. This one is for two Luftwaffe 'experten'. One is an E-7 from JG 5 flown by Gunter Scholz and is depicted on the boxtop. The other is an E-3/4 from JG 77 flown by Ludwig Froba. Unfortunately for me, the decal sheet managed to stick to the bottom of the box so tore when removing it. Not a real problem as I had planned on using aftermarket decals for this aircraft anyway. The kit decals look a bit transparent as I could easily see the blue backing under the white parts.

This kit is the modified 109E. The very earliest E models had some shape problems in the nose and rear fuselage. Those were marketed with the 'J' series boxes while the revised ones are all in 'JT' boxes. Typical of Hasegawa, the parts are very well molded in grey plastic with superb detail and engraved panel lines. There is a small fret of etched parts for the radiators and the canopy armor. I have never had any real success with the canopy armor, always managing to mess it up in some way or other.

In addition to the usal bits and pieces, one gets both the rounded and more square canopies, so you can do an E-3, E-4 or E-7 with this kit. If you like 109's like I do, buy a bunch of them when you see them on sale. Like the Tamiya or Hobbycraft 109E, this one comes with droppable flaps. It also has separate slats. The cockpit detail is good right from the box, but like most models, can be improved with an aftermarket cockpit set, same with the wheels, which are not flattened.

Overall, a really fine kit of the early 109. While maybe not as easy to build as the Tamiya kit, and not as inexpensive as the Hobbycraft kit, it is, in my mind, the best one on the market today.

Review copy courtesy of me and my wallet!! If any of you manufacturers or shop owners want to send products for review and building, please contact me.