Superscale 48-868: Bf-109E-1

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

It is not often that one finds a sheet dedicated to the first of the 109E's, the all machine gun armed E-1 variant, but Superscale has done just that. For those that are unaware, the E-1 had machine guns in the wings while the E-3 had 20mm cannon. These planes were built side by side at a ratio of 55% E-3s and 45% E-1s. Both types were later retrofitted with E-4 canopies and some were given bomb racks to make them Jabos. However, these are early types before any of that happened. I should mention that the drawings show all of these planes with the later E-4 canopy and I'd double check that with the references to verify that data. I'd not believe profiles, but insist on photos as profiles are notorious for being less than 100% accurate.

Anyway, the first plane is that flown by 'Pips' Priller when with I./JG 51 in 1939. It carries the old RLM 70/71/65 splinter camo with a white/dark green/black spinner. This plane would definitely have the original, older style canopy with no canopy armor. Regarding this aircraft, reader Bengt Norman comments: If you check in Alders/Held JG 51 Photographic History, you'll see some photos of this very plane on one of the first pages (page 9 I think, don't have it here right now). The crosses painted on this machines
wings are those ridiculously big ones that where ordered after the losses to friendly fire during the Polish campaign. Furthermore the spinner is not RLM 70/71. It's much lighter, probably a light green to signify Stab.

Next is yellow 13 from 6./TrGr 185 in 1940. This one is a pristine RLM 74/75/76 and frankly as an E-1, it was probably painted RLM 71/02/65 as the greys scheme wasn't introduced on the production line until late 1940 after the E-1s and E-3s were replaced by the E-4/7 versions.

Also in a pristine scheme is Red 16 of 2./JG 26. This one has a red/black spinner. My comments about the camo and canopy are the same as for the previous aircraft.

No recommended kit, but the only one that can be built with no modification is the Hobbycraft version. Hasegawa released a special boxing E-1, but one has to cut out the lower wing cannon bulges and replace it with a solid resin piece. I also believe that when the cannon were installed that the gun ports changed position on the wings so new ones would have to be drilled out as the barrels did not protrude from the wings on the E-1.

Despite the seeming glitches in the drawings and camo, it is nice to have a dedicated E-1 sheet. Enough insignia for all and data/swastikas for two.

Review copy courtesy of . Thanks for your support.

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