Trumpeter 1/32 Bf-109E-7
Scott Van Aken
Includes photo etch parts
In late 1938, the Bf 109E
entered production. To improve on the performance afforded by the rather
small 441–515 kW (600–700 PS) Jumo 210, the larger Daimler-Benz DB 601A
engine was used, yielding an extra 223 kW (300 PS) at the cost of an
additional 181 kg (400 lb). To test the new 1,100 PS (1,085 hp, 809 kW)
DB601A engine, two more prototypes (V14
were built, each differing in their armament. While the V14 was armed
with two 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17s above the engine and one 20 mm MG FF
in each wing, the V15 was fitted with the two MG 17s mounted above the
engine only. After test fights the V14 was considered more promising and
a pre-production batch of 10
E-0 was ordered.
Batches of both E-1 and E-3 variants were shipped to Spain for
evaluation, and received their baptism of fire in the final phases of
the Spanish Civil War.
was the final production variant of the E series, entering service and
seeing combat at the end of August 1940. One of the limitations of the
earlier Bf 109E was their short range of 660 km (410 mi) and limited
endurance, as the design was originally conceived as a short-range
interceptor. The E-7 rectified this problem as it was the first subtype
to be able to carry a drop tank, usually a 300 L (80 US gal) capacity
unit mounted on a rack under the fuselage, which increased their range
to 1,325 km (820 mi). Alternatively, a bomb could be fitted and the E-7
could be used as a Jabo
fighter-bomber. Previous Emil subtypes were progressively retrofitted
with the necessary fittings for carrying a drop tank from October 1940.
Early E-7s were fitted with the 1,100 PS DB 601A or 1,175 PS DB 601Aa
engine, while late-production ones received 1,175 PS DB 601N engines
with improved altitude performance – the latter was designated as E-7/N.
A total of 438 E-7s of all variants were built.
be honest, were this kit not available for about 30% of its selling price, I
would have passed it up. Trumpeter has an unenviable reputation of an
inability to produce a completely accurate aircraft model and while I am
sure this one has an error or two somewhere along the line, I'll leave that
up to those who live for finding glitches.
comes with a nicely done photo etch fret that is used for the seat harness,
head armor, rudder pedals, oil and coolant radiator grilles, wheel wells,
tank strap and a few other areas in the kit. Several of these p.e. options
are duplicated in plastic so if one wants to stick with styrene, one can.
As one expects from Chinese kits, there is a lot of detail. This kit has a
full nose and wing gun bay and while the builder may not want these areas
exposed, the parts still have to be pretty much installed. This is
especially true of the full engine that is provided. If you do not install
the engine, you have no way to attach the exhaust and prop. Now it does not
mean that the complete assembly has to be done, but at least the major
portions do. This is particularly true of the engine as you can see it
through various openings in the cowling.
You would expect a high level of detail in a modern 1/32 kit and you get it
as you have seen from the above paragraph. The cockpit comes fully equipped
with fully detailed side panels. An interesting option is a full radio suite
to fit inside the fuselage. The radio access door is a separate item so
those with a flashlight can see the work you have done in there. Inside the
fuselage halves is all the framework you would expect as well.
Both the nose gun compartment and wing cannon are nicely detailed with
removeable access panels. A first for me an any scale 109 is that the
fuselage fuel tank that sits under the pilot's seat is included. The kit
comes with separate flaps, slats and ailerons, but it seems these are to be
posed closed or the neutral position. There are no slat tracks. For
things under the fuselage you have a choice of either a drop tank or a bomb.
Since the decal options are for fighter-bombers, the bomb would be the most
Landing gear are well detailed and include photo etch for the brake lines.
Tires and wheels are separate with the tires being molded in rubber/vinyl.
This is true of the tail wheel assembly as well. The rudder is also a
separate item, but thanks to the rudder actuating rods, can only be posed in
the neutral position. The canopy is the later, more heavily framed version
as appropriate to the E-4 and E-7 versions. The kit comes with three prop
hubs. There is the very pointy closed hub, the one that is a bit more
rounded, and the version not used on the E-7 with an opening in the middle.
However, inclusion of this hub means you can build this as an E-4 if you
wish. Just be sure to leave off the bomb rack or drop tank rack if you wish
to do a Battle of Britian E-4 as these earlier planes were pretty much not
modified until after this period of time.
are well done and include any pertinent painting information. RLM02 was
standard at this time for the interior and the wheel wells as the RLM 66
requirement was not mandated until November 1941. Markings are for two
planes. One is the box art aircraft from 8./ZG. 1 in Russia during mid-late
1942. It is in RLM 71/02 over RLM 65 with the usual Russian Front yellow
bits. The other is from Schlachtgeschwader 1 at Kharkov in 1943. This one is
in RLM 74/75/76 with the entire cowling in yellow and no lower wing yellow
bits. The decals are quite well done and the full color color and markings
guide has a variety of paint options. I found it odd that there was no
listing under Model Master for most of the RLM number paints as they are
clearly found in the Testors paint line.
One thing of which we have no lack is 1/32 Bf-109E
kits. Recently (as in the last few years), we have had this and the
Cyber-hobby/Dragon, as well as the Eduard kit released. It is probably this
abundance that made it possible for me to grab this one on special. If you are
looking for a 1/32 109E, this may be a kit for you.
My thanks to me for my sharp
purchasing skills at getting this one on sale.
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