Hasegawa 1/48 Bf-109E-4/7 "Jabo"

KIT #

09261

PRICE:

2200 yen

DECALS:

Two versions

REVIEW &
PHOTOS :

Scott Van Aken

NOTES:

1998 boxing

HISTORY

The Bf-109E-7 was the last major version of the E to be produced, entering service and seeing combat at the end of August 1940. One of the limitations of the earlier Bf 109E was their short range of 660 km (410 mi) and limited endurance, as the design was originally conceived as a short-range interceptor. The E-7 rectified this problem as it was the first subtype to be able to carry a drop tank, usually a 300 L (80 US gal) capacity unit mounted on a rack under the fuselage, which increased their range to 1,325 km (820 mi). Alternatively, a bomb could be fitted and the E-7 could be used as a Jabo fighter-bomber. Previous Emil subtypes were progressively retrofitted with the necessary fittings for carrying a drop tank from October 1940. Early E-7s were fitted with the 1,100 PS DB 601A or 1,175 PS DB 601Aa engine, while late-production ones received 1,175 PS DB 601N engines with improved altitude performance the latter was designated as E-7/N. A total of 438 E-7s of all variants were built.

THE KIT

  This one of several dozen boxings of the Bf-109E that Hasegawa has produced over the years. From what I've seen, other than the occasional resin bit or two in some boxings, pretty much all of them have the same sprues. Just ro recap a bit, the kit has separate flaps and slats, a canopy that can be displayed open or closed, a fairly nice cockpit and a nice metal etched fret. This fret includes radiator grilles and a two piece head armor. Also included, and germane to this boxing, is a bomb rack and a bomb. One could also install the drop tank and rack if not doing a fighter-bomber version. There is also a sand filter if you decide you need one.

The initial boxing of this kit, in the J series (as opposed to the Jt series and later) had some glitches. Apparently the rear fuselage was a bit too thin and the forward part of the upper cowling was not exactly right. If I recall, Tamiya glitched the upper cowling as well. It seems that these problems were ones that could be fixed by shaving material from the mold so Hasegawa went back and corrected the flaws after boxing about a half dozen versions of this kit. In other words, don't buy the initial J series of kits if you are concerned about this.

In line with other limited edition boxings, this kit includes the standard instruction sheet and provides an addendum sheet to take care of the bits not covered in the other sheet (usually markings). In this case, there are two options. One is the wasp-nosed version from III./SKG 210 in RLM 74/75/76 with a green spinner and rather heavy fuselage mottling. The lower cowling is painted yellow and there is a yellow fuselage band and wing tips. The other aircraft is in the same scheme with a yellow nose and yellow rudder with a white fuselage band. The mottling on this one is not as heavy. This aircraft was with III./JG 27. The spinner has fine yellow bands that are provided as decals. These are the 'old school' decals so are a bit thick and with white that is off white. I'd recommend painting the fuselage bands.

CONCLUSIONS

Despite the newer kits that have been produced of the 109E in this scale, this kit is still a popular favorite among builders. There is a lot of aftermarket available for it so those who want the additional detail can have it. Out of the box it is still a very nice model and holds up well despite its 25 year old molding technology.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Bf_109_variants

September 2014

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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