Cutting Edge 48-190: Bf-109E-1/3




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Scott Van Aken


Emils, part 3


This sheet consists of a number of early war 109Es. Most are in the RLM 71/02/65 scheme and most do not have any fuselage mottling. Most of these planes were apparently  operating before the requirement for large areas of yellow that were painted under the cowling or on the rudder. You might also notice that most of them have the larger, heavier canopy for the E-4/7 installed. It was not uncommon for the E-1 and E-3 to be retrofitted with these larger canopies and the armor plating that came with them. For those wondering why an E-1 would be so fitted, I need to remind the reader that the E-1 and E-3 were produced side by side on the assembly line in a 45/55 ratio. This means that there were a LOT of E-1s around during the early war period. I'd be willing to bet that many photos you see that are listed as being E-4s are actually E-1/3 versions with the larger canopy. Many E-1s were converted to E-1/B fighter bombers with the installation of a bomb rack in mid/late 1940.

Now onto the aircraft as shown in the images to the left.

First is Yellow 8 anE-3 from 12./JG 1. It has a lot of overspray and mottling done is 71/02. This aircraft has a more pointed spinner than usual.

Next is an E-3 from 9./JG 2. Yellow 5 is a pretty clean and standard aircraft.

From III./JG 51 comes this E-3. Again, a clean and standard aircraft. This one is in RLM 70/71 with a rather high fuselage demarcation line for this particular scheme.

Black 4 is another E-3 with a more pointed spinner. This 11./JG 1 aircraft is rather heavily mottled on the fuselage sides. The sheet states that it is from the 1942 era. Frankly, I think that it is a typo and they mean 1940. By 1942, the E was no longer used as a front-line fighter in the Luftwaffe.

Finally, the lone E-1 with the heavier canopy. This aircraft is from III./jg 26 and sports a yellow rudder.

A nice touch is that several of these schemes have been repeated in 1/72 scale. The modeler will have to rob most of the insignia from another source.

Review copy courtesy of

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