Amodel 1/72 Bf-109v31

KIT #: 72219
PRICE: $21.55 from www.greatmodels.com
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Low pressure injection molding

HISTORY

The Bf-109F was what some would call the third generation of the 109 family. Though powered by the same DB 601 engine of the earlier 109E variant, the airframe had undergone a lot of aerodynamic improvement, which resulted in greater speed. Though soon replaced by the heavier and more powerful G model, the F continued on in training units and as test aircraft for various Messerschmitt projects.

Soon after the F reached squadron service, it was seen that a replacement would be needed. This was to be the Me-309 with many novel features, such as tricycle landing gear (with a nose gear strut that twisted through 90 during retraction, to a "flat" orientation under the engine), a retractable coolant radiator, and a pressurized cockpit, which would have given it more comfortable and effective high-altitude performance. Each of the new features was first tested on a number of Bf 109F airframes, the V23 having a ventral radiator, the V31 with radiator and tricycle landing gear, and the V30 having a pressurized cockpit. This particular kit is the v31 prototype.

THE KIT

Amodel is like every other model company and wants to make the most of what it has in terms of molds. So it is with this variant of the Bf-109. The kit is in the usual low pressure molded grey plastic. There are four sprues with one in clear plastic for the three piece canopy and armored glass.

Two of the other three sprues are from other 109F kits, though one sprue has some of the radiator parts included that are not there on other boxings. The sprue for the v31 is all new and includes wings, tailplanes and rudder. The older sprues show some wear from having been used a lot while the newer sprue is cleaner. There are sink areas on some of the thick parts and some flash on the older sprues. Overall detailing is good, though somewhat soft compared to the products of more established companies like Hasegawa and Italeri.

Like the earlier 109F that I built, this one is somewhat over engineered with a full engine and separate cowling halves, making construction with the cowling closed somewhat difficult. The lone option is to have the canopy open or closed. The real attraction for this kit is the reworked underside nose and lower wing with the inward retracting landing gear.

Instructions are well drawn and leave no doubt as to what goes where. Colors are provided in both Humbrol and RLM references. This one is in your standard RLM 74/75/76 with no mottling and a very wavy upper/lower camo demarcation line. Apparently this airframe was destined for the Mediterranean as the underside of the wing tips are white. Decals are well printed and though matte, should function well. A very complete stencil suite is provided. Not sure how much of this would have actually been used, but one never really knows. I'd also think that this one would be unarmed and Amodel agrees with me on this.

CONCLUSIONS

Of course, no true 109 freak will want to be without this one. Easy to build it will not be, but the end result will be a most interesting prototype to stick on the shelves.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_309

February 2011 

I got this one at GreatModels where you can find this and many other fine kits and accessories.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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