Hasegawa 1/48 Bf-109E-3 'Condor Legion'
|KIT #:||09269 (Jt169)|
|PRICE:||2200 yen SRP when new|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Though most of you probably already know a ton about the 109, I'll just say that the E model was the last of the 'square wing' versions and about as far as the airframe could be modded in its current configuration. It was the first of the production Daimler-Benz engine aircraft, using the DB 601 as was offered in the later F model. It produced about a thousand horsepower, which was a huge improvement over the lower powered Junkers engines used in earlier variants. The Bf-109E-3 was built side by side with the Bf-109E-1 at a 6 to 4 ratio. The difference was that the E-3 had two wing cannon while the E-1 had machine guns in there. Neither were produced with head armor, though that was later added. Several were retrofit with E-4 windscreen and canopy with some others getting plumbed for either a drop tank or a bomb.
Though pretty well gone from front line units on the Western Front by late 1941, it was still active up until that time, participating in combat on the Russian front and against Yugoslavia and Greece. Many were also sold to nations in the Axis like Hungary and Romania and Bulgaria where they were used for air defense and in the fight against the Russians. Many also saw long service in fighter pilot schools and a few were used in early night fighter units, where they were not very successful when you think of the time expended in training and operating the aircraft. That particular role is the main subject for this boxing.
I don't think it would be too far from incorrect to state that Hasegawa may well have more boxings of the 1/48 109E than perhaps any other manufacturer in this scale, though it has probably been eclipsed by the Tamiya and Eduard kits in terms of detailing. In terms of ease of construction it is still well regarded.
When Hasegawa (and Tamiya) initially produced the E model 109, both had incorrectly shaped nose sections. Those early kits can be identified by a J kit number. The Jt boxings are those that have been corrected. It has a respectable interior with belts molded onto the seat. A small photo etch fret incorporates head armor and radiator grilles. As a note, the two options in this kit would not have had the head armor as that was not really something that was used until 1940 or so.
The kit offers lowered flaps as well as separate slats. There is a separate windscreen and canopy so you can pose it open if you so wish. Though a bomb and rack are provided on the sprues, those are not used in this boxing.
Instructions are well done with the usual Gunze paint references. This particular kit is for two planes of the Condor Legion. These later model aircraft did not reach Spain until the war was almost over, with most of the 109s that saw combat being the earlier Jumo powered planes. The Germans did not bring any of their 109s home at the end of the war and turned over what was in country to the Spaniards. Both of these options are in RLM 02 over RLM 65. The decals are nicely printed and while they are a bit thick, should work just fine with hot water.
These kits are not difficult to put together and with a bit of care, make into a very nice model for the display shelf. There is a ton of aftermarket for it if you want to add to it. Though it has been a while since Hasegawa released this kit, there are plenty available on the market.
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