Eduard 1/48 Bf-109E-1

KIT #: 84158
PRICE: $20.00 on sale
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Spiros Pendedekas
NOTES: Weekend editon


The German invasion of The Netherlands was part of “Fall Gelb”, the Nazi German invasion of the Low Countries and France during World War II. The invasion of the Netherlands saw some of the earliest mass paratroop drops to occupy tactical points and assist the advance of ground troops. The Luftwaffe used paratroopers in the capture of several airfields in the vicinity of Rotterdam and Den Haag, helping to quickly overrun the country and immobilize enemy forces.

After the devastating bombing of Rotterdam by the Luftwaffe on 14 May, the Germans threatened to bomb other Dutch cities if the Dutch forces refused to surrender. The General Staff knew it could not stop the bombers and ordered the Royal Netherlands Army to cease hostilities.

The main battle lasted from 10 to 14 May 1940, with the surrender of the main Dutch forces, but Dutch troops in the province of Zeeland continued to resist the Wehrmacht until 17 May, when Germany completed its occupation of the whole country. The last occupied parts of the Netherlands were liberated in 1945.

Lt. Wolfgang Ludewig was one of the III./JG26 pilots whose mission during the first day of the invasion of The Netherlands was to provide a clear sky for the Ju 52 paratrooping operations. After his Bf 109 was hit by ground fire, he performed an emergency landing near Den Haag and was taken POW, to be released after the armistice. During WWI he was credited with one aerial victory, surviving the war with the rank of Hauptmann commanding 2./JG 1, equipped with He 162s.


 This is the 2021 E-1 Weekend Edition of the very nice Emil family series of kits that Eduard has been treating us from 2012. By all means excellent kits, they are offered in various editions (styrene only or with extras)  promising to satisfy a wide variety of modelers. The specific kit was an Easter gift from my good Dutch friend John vd Biggelaar and for a look at its contents you may read its preview found at the ever growing MM archives.


Not changing the habits of a lifetime, I deviated from the instructions and, skipping the cockpit assembly, started by first joining the fuselage halves, then continued by assembling the oil cooler inner ducting and attaching it at the fuselage innards. Since the fuselage was already assembled, I felt more comfortable when aligning the ducting than by having it attached at one side and then joining the fuselage halves. Whereas the lack of the Profipack front oil cooler face is practically not noticeable through the splitter flap, its bland exit is, so I added a fine piece of mesh, to simulate the exit radiator grills. All innards were painted Hu31 (for the RLM02), with the rear mesh painted “steel”.

Next step was to assemble the cockpit and carefully insert it in place, securing it with water thin glue. This way I also obtained nice alignment and good fit, especially at the area where the aft inclined rear plate attaches to the fuselage innards. Basic cockpit color was Hu31 with the stick grip and gaiter painted black. Though instructions stated RLM02 for the oxygen regulator cover, I could not resist and painted it “steel” with blue hose and black grip. I decided to use the very nice instrument decals for the instrument panel and side consoles and I also used the equally nice seat belt decals, since their two-dimensional effect will practically pass unnoticeable through my go-to closed canopy. The seat and stick were left off, to be attached at end stages.

The main wing was next, where I chose to first attach the one piece lower half to the fuselage and then, after gluing the very nice sidewall bays to the upper halves, I attached them onto the lower half, gluing the roots first (thus obtaining a good fit there), then letting the upper halves “rest” onto the lower half and securing them in place with water thin glue. All good. The ailerons were attached “neutral”, the slats “retracted” and the two piece flaps were left off, to be attached fully deployed, as this was a relatively common sight of those birds at the field.

The wing mounted radiators also had bland faces (missing the Profi Pack PEs), so I attached suitable pieces of fine mesh, to represent their grid looks, then attached their fairings. I decided to detach the elevators by carefully running the back side of my hobby knife onto the stabilizers’ hinge lines, in order to pose them “drooped” for more dynamic looks. The separate rudder was attached neutral, while the tailplane support struts were not attached , to facilitate painting.

Moving to the front, I opted for a closed cowling and decided to totally skip the nice engine (maybe keeping it for a future mini engine project) and try to figure out a way to attach the prop and exhausts at end stages. Prior to attaching all top cowling covers and filets, I glued two sprue pieces at each of the fuselage exhaust openings, so the individually provided exhausts would have something to grab onto, since the engine would not be there. This and, consequently, the skipping of the engine,  proved to be a bad decision, as the exhaust tubes had to be cut-off, in order to fit, let alone the fact that the prop’s affixation was seriously compromised, meaning that the engine is better to be assembled and attached even if it is not going to be displayed.

Attaching the cowlings and filets concluded basic assembly, with overall fit being nice and positive, only needing minor amounts of filling and sanding here and there.

I was about ready to take the bird to the paint shop, when (typically for Yours Truly) something came to my attention not being too right: to my dismay, I had managed to attach the extra supercharger intake that Eduard provides for other versions to the starboard side of the fuselage, facing backwards (...). Luckily the offending part could be removed without too much drama and the correct cover was attached in position, filled and sanded smooth. Doing the radical act of reading the instructions would have helped. Nevertheless, after this mini adventure, the Emil found its way to the paint shop!


This early Emil featured the typical for the era RLM02/RLM71 splinter topsides over RLM65 undersides, with the RLM65 extending to the fuselage sides and fin, practically to all vertical surfaces. To render this camo, I first gave all undersides, fuselage sides and fin a coat of Humbrol HT-2 “Underside Blue” (discontinued, but very close to Hu65, slightly darker and more “grayish”). The gear doors were painted at this time, as well. After masking it off, I gave the topsides a coat of Hu117 green (for the RLM71), masked the splinter pattern and applied to the remaining areas the RLM02, for which I used Hu31. The above shades by no means claim color accuracy, it is just my “close enough” interpretation, heavily influenced from what shades I had already in stock. Upon removing the masks, a coat of Future prepared the bird for decaling

I used the kit decals, in order to represent Ludewig’s machine, as it stood in Essen-Mühlheim in May 1940, during the Battle of The Netherlands. The decals behaved beautifully, easily detaching from the backing paper and nicely reacting to decal softening solution, with no silvering noticed. Being pretty thin, they are prone to folding over themselves if (mis)handled too much, so better get them right first time and reposition them as little as you can. Being lazy, I decided to apply only the basic stenciling (for example, I left the fuselage section numbering off), hoping that the smaller stencils would have been quickly overpainted in the field.

After sealing the decals with a coat of Future, I was ready to declare the painting/decaling session done, when I noticed (again) that something was not right; this time (and a pattern starts to be formulated here) I had managed to set the front demarcation line higher than it should, so another masking and painting round took place, from which the port located Devil’s Dog (Höllenhund - the staffel’s emblem) decal donated its feet and part of its wings to the masking tape, with the inevitable and not particularly successful retouch taking place soon after…


The landing gear was assembled and attached in position, with the bird proudly standing on its feet (the head-on and side views provided by Eduard were really helpful, in order to obtain the distinctive angles the legs and wheels stand at). The rear wheel that had not been installed before closing the fuselage halves had its inner attachment lugs cut off (in order to be able to slide into the housing) and secured" with glue at the front housing opening at the correct height.

Basic landing gear, wheel wells and door innards color was RLM02 with "chrome" oleos (done with a fine tip silver pen). The main wheels were filed to look weighted (they were filed at an angle, since they do not sit perpendicular to the ground). All wheels had black rims and tires (I resisted the temptation to give the tires a gray "synthetic rubber" shade, as I figured "normal" rubber was still used by the Luftwaffe at those relatively early war stages.

Time to attach the exhausts, where my aforementioned decision to skip the engine installation and instead glue styrene chunks at the fuselage innards (in order for the individual tubes to grab onto)  proved a “miss”, as the tubes were sitting far outward and needed to be shortened, something that compromised their looks. Nevertheless, I twisted and twerked them in position to at least provide a somewhat passable result. They were painted Testors Burned Metal.  

The flaps were next attached "extended" and the elevators "drooped". The tail plane support struts were then attached and painted underside blue, followed by the seat and stick, the latter pushed forward, to compensate for the elevators' positioning).

Assuming that this early bird had nonetheless been intensively used before being shot down, I decided to apply some amount of weathering. I started with a black wash, which not only accentuated all engraved detail, but also gave all landing gear areas, hinges and radiator grilles a used and at places oily look, followed by application of dark brown and black dry pastels, to simulate dirt, grime, gun smokes and even engine staining at all probable places. A final satin coat sealed everything.

The transparencies had their well defined frames hand painted and, after attaching the gunsight on the dashboard, were placed in position, with fit being really good. The antenna mast was attached, with thin stretched sprue run from it towards the fin, to represent the aerial wire. The sensitive aileron mass balances and pitot were attached, followed by the nose gun barrels, which were essentially cut-off from the very nice kit provided guns and placed in position according to reference pics. Mass balances and pitot body were painted per the surrounding colors, whereas guns and the pitot tube were painted Testors Burned metal.Tiny blobs of red and green clear paint depicted the wingtip lights before calling this early Emil done!


This is definitely an excellent kit for the iconic Emil: overall shape looks spot on (I will leave the rivet counting to the Experten), panel lines are finely recessed, molding is great, detail at all places is more than sufficient for most of us, fit is near perfect, transparencies are nice and clear, instructions shine and decals, with the two offered schemes, are really nice and work unproblematically. Out of the box a very nice representation of an early Emil can emerge, with the ease of construction deeming the kit suitable even for less experienced modelers.

True, the kit does not contain the extras that are included in the higher priced ProfiPack editions (PE, masks, more schemes, among, possibly, others), but what you get here is really outstanding for the price, let alone the fact that PE is not to everyone’s taste (one note, though, the bombs included in the kit cannot be used because they need parts from the PE fret). So, the modeler has clear and solid choices here.

If you fancy building an accurate early Emil and opt for a pleasant, uncomplicated build, by all means this kit is for you.

Happy Modeling!  

Spiros Pendedekas


6 November 2013

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