Hasegawa 1/48 Bf-109E 'Night Fighter'
|KIT:||Hasegawa 1/48 Bf-109E 'Night Fighter'|
|PRICE:||$24.15 at GreatModels|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Same kit with new decals.|
Though most of you probably already know a ton about the 109, I'll just say that the E model was the last of the 'square wing' versions and about as far as the airframe could be modded in its current configuration. It was the first of the production Daimler-Benz engine aircraft, using the DB 601 as was offered in the later F model. It produced about a thousand horsepower, which was a huge improvement over the lower powered Junkers engines used in earlier variants.
Though pretty well gone from front line units by late 1941, it was still active up until that time, participating in combat on the Russian front and against Yugoslavia and Greece. Many were also sold to nations in the Axis like Hungary and Romania and Bulgaria where they were used for air defense and in the fight against the Russians. Many also saw long service in fighter pilot schools and a few were used in early night fighter units, where they were not very successful when you think of the time expended in training and operating the aircraft. That particular role is the main subject for this boxing.
I don't think it would be too far from incorrect to state that Hasegawa may well have more boxings of the 1/48 109E than perhaps any other kit in this scale, though it has probably been eclipsed by the 1/72 Tomcat and all the 1/72 Phantom variants.
The kit provides a clear resin antenna pod for the lower fuselage (part of the homing system, I think) as well as canopies for both the E-1/3 version and E-4/7 variant. Depending on which of the two markings options you do, you'll have a full spare canopy to use on another kit that really needs one (like a Hobbycraft 1/48 109E).
By now, you have read many other previews of various 109 kits and realize that while the Hasegawa kit will build into an excellent model, it has been slightly upstaged in detail for some areas (like the cockpit and wheels) by the Hobbycraft kit, and, of course, there is the very nice Tamiya 109E, which a lot of people like for the fit, though many seem to think that the detailing is a bit overdone. Besides, Tamiya doesn't do reboxes and so leaves it up to the others to take care of that.
Aside from the two sets of canopies, there is a small clear resin antenna pod that fits to the lower fuselage behind the wing. I missed it when looking through the parts frist time. The other difference is, of course, the decal sheet. This is a standard looking Hasegawa offering with markings for two planes. First is the box art plane that uses the later canopy and the pointed spinner from III./NJG 1 in October 1941. This plane was probably painted in overall black, but the instructions wisely suggest RLM 66 as it won't be quite so stark. The other offering is a 109E-3 version, also with a pointed spinner (a bit unusual) of Herbert Ihlefeld in April of 1941 during the Greek campaign. This RLM 71/02/65 plane has heavy fuselage mottling and yellow bits everywhere. The rudder, elevator, nose, wing tips and even the trailing edge of the wing is in these colors. The decal sheet offers all these as decals, but a wise builder will paint these as getting the decals to fit will be quite a challenge.
So there you have it. Another interesting 109 boxing from our friends at Hasegawa. I have built a lot of 109 kits and the Hasegawa kit is a good one. You can check out my most recent build for more info if you so wish.
You can find this and many other fine kits at www.greatmodels.com. Tell them Modeling Madness sent you.
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