Hasegawa 1/72 Bf-109E-3






Two aircraft


Scott Van Aken


'Spanish Air Force'


We all know by now how much the Luftwaffe relied on the Bf-109 (sorry, but I refuse to use Me-109, despite what some current books on the subject have to say about it. They can call it an Me-109 all they want, but when they publish a period photo of a 109 with a cover on it and the cover is clearly stenciled 'Bf-109', I think there is nothing else to say on the subject!).

Anyway, the Jumo engined 109 did get a baptism of fire in the Spanish Civil War. In the last months of the conflict in early 1939, some later 109Es were sent. They didn't see as much action as the earlier B/C/D versions, but accounted for some kills. Those 109E-1 and E-3 aircraft were handed over to the Spanish once the Luftwaffe left the area and were used until the late 1940s as fighter trainers once their useful front-line life was over.



This may sound a bit odd, but I don't think I have built the newer mold 109E kit from Hasegawa. True, it doesn't look that much different from the older kit, but at least the too skinny rear fuselage has been taken care of. It is engraved as one would expect and there is no detail on the instrument panel, a decal being used for that purpose, again pretty standard Hasegawa 1/72 fare.

There are two canopies (both single-piece) so that you could do an E-4/7 from this kit if you didn't want to do an E-3. As you can see from the sprues, someone forgot to include a seat for the interior, so one is provided in metal. There is also a touch of flash on some of the sprue parts, but none of this translates over to the kit parts.

There really are very few options to the kit. Basically you have a choice between a pointed and 'regular' spinner (the pointed one is not for this boxing), and you have two underf uselage options. One is for a drop tank and one for a bomb. Neither option is appropriate for this boxing, but for the E-4/7 variant. Same for the head armor as it was not available until after WWII had been underway for a while.

The instructions are quite good as you'd expect from Hasegawa giving Gunze paint references. Those RLM numbers needed are also given. The decals are for two very similar Condor Legion aircraft. Painting instructions would have you use RLM 02 over RLM 65 for the colors. While the RLM 65 is correct for the underside, RLM 63 would be more appropriate for the upper color. If you don't have any RLM 63, then some slightly lightened RLM 02 would be an appropriate substitute as the colors are very close. Both have the area that would be dirty from the exhaust painted in black so some masking skill will be needed for this one. Wing tips and rudder are to be painted white.



Overall, it is a very nice kit of this aircraft. There are bound to be comparisons between this and the much newer Tamiya kit, but frankly, it would be unfair to do so as the Hasegawa kit is older by at least 15 years. Still, one that shouldn't be too difficult for even a newer modeler to tackle successfully

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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