Avis 1/72 Bf-109D-1

KIT #: 72010
PRICE: $14.95 from http://www.scale-model-kits.com
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


Developed from the V10 and V13 prototypes, the "Dora" was the standard version of the Bf 109 in service with the Luftwaffe during the period just before World War II. Despite this, the type saw only limited service during the war, as all of the 235 Doras still in service at the beginning of the Polish campaign were rapidly taken out of service and replaced by the Bf 109E, except in some night fighter units, where some examples were used into early 1940. Variants included D-0 and D-1 Models, both with a Junkers Jumo 210D engine and armed with two wing-mounted and two nose-mounted 7.92 mm MG 17s.The D-2 was an experimental version with an engine mounted machine gun but this installation failed again. The D-3 was similar to the C-3 with two 20 mm MG FFs in the wings.

A total of 647 Bf 109D of all versions were built by Focke-Wulf, Erla, Fieseler, Arado and AGO. Messerschmitt is listed as having only four Bf 109D produced, probably the D-0 preproduction series with the serial production transferred to license manufacturers. Several Bf 109D were sold to Hungary and Switzerland. From the standpoint of visual identification when comparing it to the 109C, there is pretty much nothing to make one or the other stand apart. The D model simply had the same equipment as the C version, except the D model had a carburetor instead of the C model's fuel injection.


This appears in all respects to be a new mold kit. The instructions state that this is a limited edition kit, which to most of us means short run and it very much appears to be just that. The somewhat soft light grey plastic is molded on three somewhat thick sprues. One clear sprue carried two somewhat thick single piece canopies.

The cockpit seems well appointed for this scale and there is good detail on the inside of the fuselage halves. The lower cowling/radiator section is well molded and made up of many parts, so I can foresee this being a bit of a fiddly construct in this area. A number of parts are quite small, such as aileron mass balances, oil cooler and some others, so care will be needed in construction. The kit features a separate rudder and the upper wings also include the ailerons and flaps, ensuring a relatively sharp trailing edge. Personally, I prefer things to be like this. The parts themselves are all a bit on the rough side when it comes to the edges, so all will need at least a good sanding. Sprue gates are commendably small for a short run kit. Many of these gates run onto the part itself so will need to be carefully cut free and sanded. This is, after all, a low pressure short run kit so one expects these things. I did find but one sink area, that being on the fuselage opposite some cockpit interior detail. Easy enough to fill and sand.

Instructions are well done and provide the usual illustrated drawings for construction steps. Each step lists the parts used. Color information is generic with RLM references provided as appropriate. They correctly call out RLM 02 for the interior color. Markings are for two planes. One is the box art aircraft from JGr102  as flown by Hannes Gentzen during late 1939 in the standard splinter camo of RLM 70/71/65. The other is a Condor Legion aircraft. It is shown as RLM 71 over RLM 65, but I'm inclined to think it was probably RLM 63 as photos of Condor Legion 109Ds are always a rather light shade when compared to those later done in a splinter scheme. This aircraft would have had a white spinner, rudder and wing tips. The decals are well printed and quite matte. Only use will determine how well they work.

Prior to the release of this kit, there was only really one early 109 in 1/72 scale, that of the still nice, but old Heller kit. This one provides more detail that is offered with the Heller kit, and appears to be quite accurate in shape. 109 fans will be pleased to know that there is now a series of these early planes for them to build as other Jumo-engine variants have been produced. This one is currently underway so it shouldn't be too long before you have a full build review of it.



May 2009

Thanks to http://www.scale-model-kits.com for the review kit. Get yours at the link.

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