Heller 1/72 Bf-109F




$Whatever it retails for is too much.$


One aircraft


Scott Van Aken




Amongst all of the surviving Luftwaffe experten, if you ask them which was the best of the Messerschmitt 109s, they will undoubtedly agree that it was the F model. Though not the most heavily armed, it was the least loaded down with 'stuff'. It was the second major modification of the basic 109 airframe. This time it was more extensive than that from D to E in that the engine cowling was much more aerodynamic and the wings were slightly extended with rounded tips. Gone was the tail plane bracing of the earlier versions, and the under wing radiators were made shallower and wider, even further reducing drag.

Though rather quickly supplanted by the G model which increased the armament and added more weight and a more powerful DB.605 engine, it was the lithe F model that was the most fun to fly.


Heller has produced one of every major variant of the 109. No other main stream kit company can say that. Unfortunately, the quality of the kits varies from type to type. In my opinion, the early Jumo 109s are the best and this one is the worst of the lot. Not that it won't produce a model that looks like a 109, it is just that this kit is the crudest of the bunch.

Since it is pretty obvious that I'm going to dump somewhat on the kit, let's get right to the problems. First of all, you can't do most F models with this kit as the circular wheel wells are not there. This is a bit odd as when I first built this kit 20 years ago, they were circular, but obviously something has changed. Next, the canopy is for a G model as the small triangular  windows on the very forward section are missing. In the real plane, these were covered over in sheet metal in early G models. The final big glitch is the landing gear. These are just sticks on which the wheels are attached.

How about some good stuff. OK, it has the proper wheels, a tropical supercharger filter, a  full interior with seat, stick and instrument panel (a bogus panel at that), however, no sidewall detail,  and it will look like a Bf-109 when you get it finished. The 109 it will look like is an early  Bf-109G, not the F that is on the box art. Detailing is raised panel lines and rivets, which goes to show that this is a pretty old kit. There are sink marks on the fuselage side where there is thick plastic on the inside.

The instruction sheet is typical for Heller kits of this age and is an exploded view or two showing parts placement. There really are not that many parts. The small decal sheet is for a single JG 27 plane in desert colors and looks useable.



It is unfortunate that there are few 1/72 Bf-109F kits on the market. Other than this one, I can only think of the Italeri  kit. Both are not that great a kit, but I'd have to give the Italeri kit the edge. If you are looking for a state of the art Bf-109F, you'll have to keep waiting and hope that Hasegawa will eventually release one. This one is for the beginner and the kiddies to practice on.

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection

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