Eduard 1/48 Bf-109E-1
KIT #: 84164
PRICE: $24.99 SRP
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Weekend Edition


The first version of the new Daimler-Benz 601 powered 109 was the 109E-1/3. The E-1 variant differed from its near twin E-3 version by having machine guns in the wings instead of cannon. The aircraft were built at the same time with 55% getting the cannon and 45% getting the machine guns. Makes it a bit confusing to those who try to keep track of such things, but the Bf-109 E-3 is not a 'newer' aircraft than the Bf-109E-1.

It wasn't until the Bf-109E-4 went into production that Messerschmitt settled on cannon armament for the wings. At that time, combat experience had shown that a more robust canopy and armor plating might not be a bad idea and so was made standard. Some of that was retrofitted to the earlier E-1 and E-3 airframes. Several E-1s were also modified for fighter-bomber roles and outfitted with a bomb rack. These early 109Es were NOT plumbed for a drop tank. By the time the F models entered service, most of the early E-1/3 planes had either been sold overseas, sent to training squadrons, or used in areas where there wasn't much Allied air activity.

Though only used for a few months prior to the end of hostilities, there were some Bf-109E-1s that were sent to fight with the Condor Legion in Spain. However, by the time they arrived, there was little in the way of air to air activity.


For those of you not familiar with Eduard's Weekend Edition kits, these are the standard plastic bits from their Profipack kits, but without the photo etch, any resin, any masks and limited to but a single, often rather basic, decal option. This causes some omissions that many other kits would have included and I will touch on those in a bit.

Eduard's kits have earned a reputation for being well engineered and quite detailed. No longer are they high volume short run kits, but are right up there with the big boys and have been for several years. Often accused of over-engineering their kits, this one shows signs of some of that, but at least one does not have to build it with everything opened up as was the curse of their very nice FW-190A kit.

This kit has a nicely detailed cockpit with sidewall detail, rudder pedals, a nice seat and well detailed instrument panels. By having no photo etch, you get a rather bland seat, but there are resin replacements that include belt detail. The kit also comes with a complete engine. Some will think this is a great addition and others are more luke-warm to the idea. Fortunately, those who want to model their 109 with all the covers in place, this has been taken into consideration and the instructions have sections on building things closed up, though the construct will be more fiddly than simply sticking an upper cowling over the engine. You still need the basic engine block to provide a prop shaft and a place to install the exhaust. The exhaust is six separate pipes on each side of the engine. I would have liked to have seen a single mold option.

Since there is no photo etch, there is no detail on the oil cooler and on the radiator faces. As these can be visible, you may well want to look for something that can be used to add some detail here. The kit includes separate flaps so these can be modeled in the lowered position. It would have been nice if the elevators were separate as well, but these should be pretty easy to cut and reglue lowered if you wish. Landing gear is nicely done and the wheels are three parts with separate inner and outer wheels as well as a separate tire. The clear bits are crisply done with separate windscreen, canopy and backlight. The instructions show an armor plate being installed in the canopy while the box art shows the aircraft without one. It was not until the Battle of Britain that most 109s added head armor so the choice is yours.


Nice to have a proper E-1 that doesn't have to be cobbled together from some other version. It looks like Eduard got the wing gun placement correct on this one as I have not heard the usual howls of despair from the Luftwaffe crowd about it. The kit looks to be very accurate and equally worth the asking price. There are quite a few bits not used on this kit and if there was a bomb and bomb rack, you could possibly do an E-1/B.  If you are a 109 fan, then you should seriously consider this one.

December 2012

Thanks to me for the preview kit. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page