Revell AG 1/144 Bf-109E






One option (no swastika)


Scott Van Aken




I could take the lame way out and tell you to read one of the dozens of 109 reviews to get a good background on the type, but there are probably people reading this that don't realize that the 109 was the most built German plane of WWII. The E model was the type that the Luftwaffe used to enter WWII, though there were still some Bf-109D units that participated in the Polish campaign.

The E model was first introduced in late 1939 and the biggest change was that it was now powered by a DB 601 instead of the Junkers Jumo. This not only gave it a smoother forward cowling, but provided a nice increase in power. The radiators were moved to under the wing and the oil cooler to under the nose, otherwise, the rest of the airframe was pretty much the same as what had been provided from the beginning.

There were four major subtypes of E airframe. The E-1 and E-3 were built simultaneously with the big difference being that the E-1 had machine guns in the wings while the E-3 had cannon. The E-4 Variant stuck with the cannon and had a heavier-framed canopy and increased armor protection. The E-7 added the capability of carrying a drop tank and was plumbed for this item. All of the E versions were capable of being fitted with a bomb rack so that they could operate in the fighter bomber role. Each of the new variants usually came with a small increase in engine horsepower. The types were very active in 1940 and into early 1941 until replaced by the superior Bf-109F, which started entering squadron service in late 1940.


Not too many 1/144 Bf-109s out there as this kit, one from a Japanese company (whose name escapes me at the moment) and Eduard. The Eduard kit is of a later version and boxed as both an F and G though the plastic is identical. This kit is simple to the max having only about a dozen pieces if one includes the display stand. Somewhere along the way the canopy from my copy has disappeared, but it should be easy enough to make out of a lump of clear plastic.

As is typical of small 1/144 kits, this one has a few shape problems. The biggest is that the wings and tailplanes are not squared off enough, a simple enough thing to correct. The rudder also seems to be a bit too rounded at the back when compared to the real aircraft and the spinner a bit too rounded. There are no tailplane braces, so those will also have to be made by the builder. The kit also has a bit of flash that will have to be removed.

Instructions are basically just an exploded view, which is more than sufficient for this scale. The decal sheet is just basic insignia without the swastika, and a fuselage winkel. Though the colors are not provided in RLM standards, it seems to be in an RLM 70/71/65 scheme with the very low fuselage demarcation line. The kit also comes with a tube of glue that looks to be sufficient to do several of these kits!


If you are looking for a very small scale 109E, then this is probably as good as you'll get. It seems from what I have seen over the years, that doing a quality 1/144 model of a small aircraft is really quite difficult. Most of them seem to have some sort of shape problems. I can see it being difficult to put any detail into a model of this size, but it seems to me that one should be able to get at least the basics down properly.

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