Avis 1/72 Bf-109C-3

KIT #: 72011
PRICE: $14.95 from http://www.scale-model-kits.com
DECALS: One Option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken


The second full production version of the Bf-109 was developed from two prototypes. The Bf 109 V8 was constructed to test the fitting of two more machine guns in the wings. Results showed that the wing needed strengthening. In the following V9 prototype both wing guns were replaced by 20 mm MG FF cannons.

The short-lived Bf 109C ("Caesar") was powered by a 700 PS Jumo 210G engine with direct fuel injection. Another important change was a strengthened wing, now carrying two more machine guns giving four 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17s in total. The C-0 were pre-production aircraft, the C-1 was the production version, the C-2 an experimental version with an engine-mounted machine gun. The C-3 had 20 mm MG FF cannons replacing the two MG 17s in the wings but its not known how many C-3 were built or converted. The C-4 was planned to have an engine-mounted MG FF, but the variant was not produced.

A total of 58 Bf 109C of all versions were built by Messerschmitt. 


Looking at the sprues for this kit, you'd think that it was the same as the previously reviewed 109D-1. Almost. 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. The difference between this and the D-1 kit is the lower wing, which has the bulges for the cannon molded in place.

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 one aircraft. No unit is given and despite what is shown on the box art, the painting guide shows it as RLM 71 over RLM 65.  The decals are well printed and quite matte. Only use will determine how well they work.

OK, so another interesting early 109. It may be a speculative scheme, but then it may be one that was used operationally; there is no definitive record one way or the other. I'm hesitant to agree with the single solid upper surface color as that was not the norm, but I've also learned that saying 'never' will only get on into trouble when it comes to Luftwaffe camo!



June 2009

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

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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