Amodel 1/72 Bf-109Z
|PRICE:||$15.95 at www.scale-model-kits.com|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Low pressure mold|
The Bf-109Z was an experimental aircraft in which essentially two Bf 109F airframes (together with outer wing panels) joined together by means of a new wing, and new tail section, in a manner paralleled by the F-82 Twin Mustang. In the preproduction model, the right fuselage cockpit was faired over and the pilot flew the aircraft from the left side fuselage. Four variants of this aircraft were proposed, one an interceptor armed with five 30 mm (1.18 in) cannons, and up to a 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) bomb load, the second a fighter bomber version, armed with two MK 108 cannons and up to two 2,200 lb. bombs. Both airframes were to be powered by the DB605 engine. A third and fourth were designed on paper and would be similar to the first two airframes but powered by Jumo 213 engines. Only one Bf 109Z was built, and it was never flown, having been damaged in an Allied bombing raid while in hangar and the project was permanently abandoned in 1944.
It is great to see Amodel release this one. It joins with their Bf-109X in a growing list of one-off prototypes. The kit is in Amodel's usual low pressure injection molding so finding a bit of flash here and there is not unexpected. Neither are a few sink areas on some of the thicker bits, though there are few of these in the kit.
There is a sprue that appears to be from their Bf-109F series, but that is not really the case as there is only a horizontal stab opening on one side. All sprues very much appear to be brand new to this kit. That includes the one piece lower wing and the one piece double main gear. This last item will surely be a huge help to keep everything square. Trying to line up four different main gear legs would be a nightmare.
The crewed fuselage has a considerable amount of detail on the sidewalls along with a nicely done cockpit construct. I should mention that there is a one-piece canopy for this side and it is a bit on the thick side. This means that much of what is done to the cockpit won't easily be seen so some fudging can go on in this area. This kit also does not have a separate upper and lower cowling and there are no gun troughs on the upper cowling, just like on the real 109Z. The kit includes some lower wing Mk 108 gun gondolas, but I'm not sure the prototype every carried those. There is also a gun barrel jutting out of the upper center wing section.
Instructions are well done with Humbrol paint references. The drawings are easy to follow and in all, this does not appear to be a complex kit. The lone color scheme is given as RLM 74/71/76, but I think that replacing the RLM 71 with RLM 75 would be more accurate. The decal sheet provides standard markings and stencils.
Amodel also does the fighter bomber version, but aside from that, I think this is the first injected plastic kit of this aircraft. I know there have been many conversions and probably a resin kit or two over the years. Heck, I even did one with two Heller 109Fs (a truly horrid kit, by the way) and plasticard many, many years ago. I've never seen a photo of the real plane and don't know if one exists. However, we now have a nice mainstream sort of kit to build and I'm sure the whiffer crowd will be pleased.
Thanks to www.scale-model-kits.com for the preview kit. Get yours at the link and at a discount.
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