Kit: Bf-109E-3

Scale: 1/72

Kit Number: 1107

Manufacturer: Minicraft/Hasegawa

Price: $3.00

Media: Injected Plastic

Decals: One version, but I forget what unit

Reviewer: Scott Van Aken

Date of Review: 8 August 1997

Rather than go into a history of the 109, I will only say that this kit was built to represent one of the post-war 109Es that were left from the 1939 shipment from Germany.  They served into the early 1950s as trainers until parts were not longer available for the Daimler-Benz engines at which time they were scrapped.

The Hasegawa kit (boxed for a time by Minicraft) of the 109E was for a long time the best 1/72 E around.  Having built the newer version, I can say that they both look pretty much the same when finished.  The newer version suffers from twice as many parts, a more detailed interior, and quadruple the price of the earlier version.  Molded in a dark green plastic, this kit suffered as others have, from warped wings.  A short time in warm water took care of that problem.  Assembly was remarkably trouble-free, as one expects from Hasegawa today.

Rather than a step-by-step, here are the problems I had. First off were the warped wings, fixable but a hassle. The struts to the tailplane were not level with each other; one sides fuselage attachment was lower than the other.  The struts themselves had huge attachment points that needed trimmed. Finally, I had to trim the gear doors to get them to fit. Not a long list of problems and one that any modeler can fix. The rest of the parts fit quite well and a bit of drilling of guns and stuff really added to the kit.

On to the color scheme.  I believe that I used Ventura Decals for this, but cannot be sure as I built the kit in 1987. I can hear you say "What! trust the memory of a guy who built the kit over 10 years ago!!". Sure.  As I write this (and all) reviews, I have the model right in front of me.  It is amazing what one remembers of the kits that one builds over the years when the finished product is at hand. I have built well over 1,000 kits and can remember details of almost all of them including the Comet B-47 that I built in 1958.  Paid 29 cents for it and had it done in about an hour.  But I digress.

This 109 was painted in light grey uppers and light blue lowers.  I would almost bet on these colors being the equivalent of RLM 63/65 as the Spanish had stocks of Luftwaffe paint.  The first thing to be painted was the white for the rudder.  Once dry it was masked and the rest of the airframe painted.  The final thing to paint was  the black around the exhaust.  This was a bit tricky to mask, but turned out just fine. The decals went on beautifully and are really rather colorful.  It contrasts well to a Spanish Civil War 109 (also Hasegawa) that is on the shelf.

This is really a fine kit of the 109E.  I have heard that some part of the shape is not perfect, but for my money (and yours) it makes into a nice replica and it is recommended for all skill levels.

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