Hasegawa 1/32 Bf-109E-3/4




@$6.00 in the early 1970s


Three aircraft


Scott Van Aken


Kit boxing circa 1972


I'm going to skip this portion and recommend that you read any one of the dozens of 109 reviews in Scott's 109 Page for that information.


A new kit this is not. It was done during Hasegawa's initial leap into the modeling marketplace. However, it is fully up to the specs of the day if not a bit more. Detailing is excellent, albeit of the raised panel line variety. There are also the required rivets, but these are very petite and to scale.  As one expects from a cutting edge kit, there is tons of detail. There is a full interior complete with sidewall details. A complete DB.601 engine is also included as well as the ability to display it. A seated pilot figure is also supplied. There are no gimmicks like moveable control surfaces or retracting landing gear.

Plastic in this case is a very dark olive color and is quite hard, as was the norm for Hasegawa back then. It is probably also a bit brittle. Not just from age, but that was a trait of old Hasegawa kits, so care needs to be taken with small and skinny parts.

There are several options available. One is that the kit can be built as either an E-3 or E-4, thanks to offering the different windscreen/canopy combinations. Of course, a number of E-3s were retrofitted with E-4 clear bits. The instructions imply that an E-1 can be  built. It cannot. The E-1 had machine guns in the wings and not cannon like the other versions. This means that the E-1 has no underwing bulges for the MG/FF cannon. The kit has these bulges. Conversely, you could probably do an E-7 should you wish as that aircraft was nearly indistinguishable from an late E-4.

Getting back to the options, the canopy can be displayed either open or closed as you desire. A drop tank and bomb rack are also provided. This means that you can do an E-7 as plumbing for the drop tank and rack was part of the sub-variant. The E-3 did not carry the drop tank, though several E-3s and E-4s were modified to carry the bomb rack and were designated E-3/B and E-4/B. Early E-4s were not plumbed for the drop tank so check your references before adding these features. A final option is for the tropical filter, though none of the decal offerings support this item.

Instructions are large photo-copied sheets in English as this was the Minicraft boxing of the kit. Imported kits all had revised box art, Minicraft kit numbers, and redone instructions in English. The instructions are very good and list colors with FS numbers wherever that information is required. The decal sheet covers three aircraft. One is an aircraft from II./JG 3 in RLM 70/71 uppers in a splinter pattern (which cannot be deciphered from the rather contrasty copy of the instructions) over RLM 65. It has a high demarcation line and no mottling. Next is Yellow 2 from 9./JG 2 with lots of fuselage mottling and a yellow nose. Airframe colors for this and the next plane are the same as the first. Finally, an aircraft from Geschwader Stab./JG 2 with a very high fuselage demarcation line, no mottling and a large kill score on the rudder. Decals are typical Hasegawa in that they are thick. My set has seen some unwanted moisture in the past and are probably not very usable. In fact, I'd totally ignore all of the decal/color marking information given with the kit and use aftermarket decals. The information is bound to be much more accurate.



I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that several folks have concluded that this kit has some outline problems. I'm not really sure just what they are, but most will recommend the Matchbox kit for the most accurate 1/32 109E. However, the Hasegawa kit is the most detailed; the Matchbox version being easy to build, but a bit more 'gross' in its features and fit. Since it is unlikely that we'll see a new mold Emil in the near future, you have your choice, and most will pick this one.

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