Hasegawa 1/48 Bf-109E-3

KIT #: Jt 123
PRICE: $Gift
DECALS: Two options
NOTES: Detail set $5 at show


A very good friend of mine sent me this kit at the end of 2007.  He was never going to build it and he felt bad that I did not have much to build since my wife and I had moved to Alaska.  So, one day, this kit showed up in the mail.  I was thrilled as the Hasegawa Bf 109E series are terrific and quick builds.  It also gave me the opportunity to use the Teknics cockpit set for the Hasegawa kit.  So, follow along as I make a good kit even better.

-Initial Assessment- 

So, what can I say about this kit that has not already been said?  This is the revised E molding (Jt series) that was released in the early 1990’s.  The prior J series has a few shape issues, primarily with the nose, and some folks recommend that it be avoided altogether.  Based off the Jt11 release, you have a choice of three canopy types with this particular boxing (E-3, E-4 and Adolf Galland’s personal mount) along with a drop tank and a bomb.  The cockpit, though good when initially released, has been surpassed and is the only part of the kit that needs any help in my opinion.  The instructions are clear and complete.  However, this is the “Galland” release and therefore if you decide to use any of the optional parts you are on your own as they are not mentioned.  In the mid to late 1990s Hasegawa teamed up with Aeromaster to produce limited-run kits with Aeromaster markings hence the inclusion of Aeromaster decals.  They appear to be typical Aeromaster quality with concise instructions for color and placement.   Finally there is a small PE fret that includes the radiator screens, chin screen and rear armor plate. 

Sadly, the Teknics cockpit detail set has been out of production for many years now.  I was fortunate to score mine years ago at the annual IPMS show in Columbus, Ohio.  Consisting of brass and resin it is still one of the finest cockpit sets for this kit that I have ever seen.  The instructions are clear but do have a few areas where you need to pay close attention to how a few pieces are bent to shape and where it may be placed.  There are a few extras too that can be used on another kit. 


I started things off by painting and assembling the Teknics cockpit.  There are a few kit parts that you will use with the set.  Everything fit together very well and soon I was ready to button this up.  The main parts were painted Model Master RLM 02 with the smaller details picked out with RLM 66, flat black, red, yellow and white.  A simple dry brush with Testors Silver was done and some light weathering with pastels finished this off.  I do have to admit here that I know the instrument panel should be RLM 66.  I honestly forgot that and just painted it RLM 02.  Still, I was really pleased with how my work on the instruments turned out so I just left it as is. 

Next I moved to the fuselage.  I glued the Teknics cockpit in place and added the PE chin scoop screen.  Then both halves were glued together and set aside to dry.  Next up I glued the upper and lower wing sections together making sure to place the PE radiator screens in place.  This is straightforward and the fit is good.  However you will have a bit of a step where the slats are located and this will need to be sanded down.  Upon cleaning up this area the rest of the build really was academic.  I mated the fuselage to the wing section with nary a gap topside.  On the bottom there is an small gap midsection that joins to the fuselage.  I just used a few passes with Plastistruct liquid glue to fill the area in.  It’s not perfect but with some putty and sanding you can make this area flush if you so choose.  The flaps and slats are separate for the kit and you simply attach them to their respective spots.  The slats have will actually fit snug into place so that come painting time they are in place.  The flaps I used a bit of DAP yellow tac to keep them in place.  The upper cowling is molded as one piece and it takes a bit of lining up to get a clean fit to it.  Just take your time and triple-check it before you whip out the glue!

The rear stabs, braces and landing gear all fit perfect.  Matter of fact the landing gear has a tight fit and near foolproof molding to ensure that the gear legs are indeed at the proper angle.   To my untrained eye it appears that the legs may be a bit too splayed out but I’ll leave that to the experts.  As mentioned earlier this kit comes with three different three-piece canopy options.  I chose to build my kit as an E-4 and glued the appropriate canopy in place using Bare Metal Foil to mask it off and attaching it with 5-minute epoxy.  I did add the bomb rack for my kit to do something a bit different as the Romanian Air Force apparently used these war weary ex-Luftwaffe Emils for some bombing sorties. (Note: later information has shown this not to be the case). The bomb is a two-piece affair that goes together as expected and looks the part with crisp details.  I assembled it, sanded the seams and set it aside for paint.


I chose to use the kit supplied Aeromaster decals for a Bf 109 of the Romanian Air Force in 1942.  The decals were printed by Aeromaster and are typical good quality from this company.  There is an addendum sheet added along with the kit decal sheet showing proper placement and colors.  Sadly the Hasegawa decals do not come with the kit so you will have to scrounge up stencils to add.  I started by painting MM Flat White on the lower wing tips and rear fuselage for the ID band and tips.  I then used Floquil RLM 04 and painted over the white areas and then masked the same areas for the remainder of the painting. For other shades, I used Floquil German Lt. Blue (65) F303245, Floquil Blk. Green (70) F303241, and Model Master Dunkelgrun RLM 71 2081   The exhausts were painted MM flat black the dry brushed with MM rust, MM bronze metalizer and then Testors steel.

Weathering consisted of using Formula P3 Armor Wash for an oily wash on the main gear and cowling.  For panel lines, exhaust, gear bays, wheels and gun residue I used my trusty set of chalk pastels and a .07 Pentel mechanical pencil.  The landing lights were painted using Tamiya clear red and green.


What is there that has not been said about the Hasegawa E series?  The fit is very good, the details are sharp and it comes together quickly and effortlessly.  Couple this with the extra parts, canopies and unique selection of decals provided by Aeromaster and you have a bona-fide winner on your hands.  Having that said, it would have been nice if Hasegawa had included the kit decal sheet so that the modeler would not have to scrounge up stencils.  The Teknics cockpit set is top-notch with outstanding details and ease of assembly although the instructions could have been clearer in a few spots.  It’s a shame that this line is no longer around as it really offers excellent value and detail for the dollar.

Two thumbs up for both the kit and the cockpit set.  The E series by Hasegawa is a real joy to build, goes together quickly and convincingly looks the part.  The Teknics cockpit set really stands out and elevates this kit to another level.  Highly recommended for both the novice and expert modeler! 


 Warplanes of the Third Reich; Green, William, Doubleday, 1970.  Catalog card number 88-29673. 

German Aircraft Cockpits 1911-1970, Cohausz, Peter W., Schiffer Publishing, 2003. ISBN: 0-7643-1873-X.

The Great Book of World War II Airplanes, Grinsell, Robert, Zokeisha Publications, 1984.  ISBN: 0-517-459930.

Osprey Masterclass: World War 2 Luftwaffe Fighter Modeling, Coughlin, Geoff, Osprey Publishing, 2000.  ISBN: 1-84176-060-9

Romanian Aces of World War 2 (Aircraft of the Aces 54). Bernád, Dénes. Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2003. ISBN: 1-84176-535-X.

Lee Fogel

December 2010

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