48 Reichsverteidigung Profipack Dual Combo
Eduard’s new dual combo Reichsverteidigung (Defense of the Reich) profipack combo set is the newest way for Eduard to show off their new tool Fw-190A and Bf-109G kits. This dual combo is a perfect way to experience the new tooling and as a bonus you get an Eduard print of an fw190 racing away from a pursuing p-51.
As with most kits construction starts in the cockpit and construction is very straight forward. Eduard gives you three choices for the cockpit panels: photo etch, decal or molded plastic. Since this is a Profipack kit most people will be using the photoetch. One word of warning is that the photoetch is tiny even for 1/48 scale but in typical Eduard fashion it’s top notch and looks great when used. You get a full instrument panel, side wall equipment, rudder pedals, and seat belts. Eduard has made it so that the photoetch has its own blank plastic to adhere to, so no scraping was needed, unlike past kits. I do recommend painting all plastic parts for the cockpit before attaching the photoetch though. The cockpit overall was painted in XF-63 German Gray which is almost a direct match for RLM 66. Setting it aside to dry, next up was the fuselage.
In the original tooling for Eduard’s Fw-190 you’ll remember there tended to be a problem with the fuselage guns vs gun cover. You could only do the cover closed with no internal parts, or full gun bay with open cover. Well that has been fixed. The other big difference in this kit is that the super-detailed engine and exhaust are no more. The new tool has an engine face plate and exhaust stubs which make assembly super quick. If you still want the detailed engine you can get one from Eduard’s Brassin line.
Fuselage assembly is a breeze. First add the exhaust stubs to each sidewall and then sandwich the cockpit, firewall, and engine face between the two fuselage halves. Just make sure you’ve painted the side walls and added the photoetch detail to each side beforehand otherwise it will be very difficult to get them in after. Finally add the upper control panel with gunsight so that it sits vertically and the fuselage is complete.
Next up is the wings. The original tooling had some fit issues with the spar if I remember correctly, and again this has been fixed in the new tooling. First step is to drill out holes in the top of the wing panels for gun covers and to paint the top of the wheel wells. The color is RLM 76 and I used the mix of Tamiya XF-23 light blue and XF-2 flat white at a 6 to 4 ratio. Next is to add the main wing spar, lower engine exhaust stub, and center brace, also painted RLM 76. Third is to add the visible ribs and landing gear parts that can be seen in the wing, after they dry everything gets another spray of RLM 76. Last step in building the wing is to add the top wings to the single piece bottom and add the wing cannons. Now you might worry about doing this before attaching the fuselage but with the way Eduard has engineered this kit there is no need to worry. Attaching the wing to the fuselage is quite simple, they practically snap together! When I did it I had no gaps that needed filling and the connection was very solid even without glue. Some Tamiya extra thin cement was added at the connection points just for added stiffness and it was as solid as a rock. I then attached the upper gun covers and glare shield.
The last assembly steps before I started painting was to add the forward cowl, ailerons, and rudder and then build the horizontals and elevators. The horizontals are two pieces and a one piece elevator so make sure you mark the left from the right. Once everything was solid and squared up it was on to paint.
Painting and Decaling
Overall in this combo pack you get 13 marking choices, 6 of which are for the FW-190. I chose to go with option E which is the Fw-190 on the front of the box as it has one of the more colorful fuselage bands, “nose art”, and a red spinner which is based off of some new found information. Previously it had been thought that the nose art was red and spinner was black. The wings and top of the fuselage are done in a camouflage scheme of RLM 74 and 75 while the bottom, sides and rudder are in RLM 76 with a mottle of RLM 75 splotches throughout the fuselage sides and rudder. I started first by pre shading the panel lines with flat black and once dry giving the fuselage and lower wings a coat of RLM 76. When dry I masked off the demarcation line for the top of the fuselage panels, horizontals, and wing join and gave the unmasked areas a coat of RLM 75 which is made up of XF-24 and XF-50 at a 5-1 ratio. When dry I masked the wing and fuselage camouflage pattern and the center of the fuselage crosses and gave the plane a coat of RLM 74 made up of XF24 and XF-27 at a 3-2 ratio. Next up was the black exhaust squares on the sides of the fuselage near the engine cowl. Those were masked and painted and finally the mottling was done. Now it was onto detail painting, final assembly, decaling, and weathering,
The major theme of this combo is that the aircraft all have Reich Defense bands on the fuselage. In choosing this aircraft I had chosen the solid red band and red spinner. With red being such a hard color to paint I first masked off the band and took the spinner off the sprue. I painted each flat white and let dry. Then I lightly sanded the band and spinner with 600 grit to smooth down the white paint. Next came a couple of coats of XF-9 flat red over the white “primer coat”. This turned out very well and really makes the scheme worth it. Then I painted the prop XF-69 NATO black, wheels XF-85 rubber black, wheel hubs XF-1 flat black, and landing gear parts RLM 02 grey which is XF-22, XF-49 and XF-2 mixed at a 1-1-2 ratio. All these were set aside to dry and final assembly.
Final assembly began with attaching the landing gear legs to the gear doors and then attaching those to the airframe. The 190 has a distinct “stance” when sitting on its gear and Eduard makes the stance easy to achieve by having the mounting points for the gear legs angled to get the correct bend. I then attached the wheel hubs to the wheels and attached them to the landing gear legs making sure the wheels were vertical against the angle of the legs. Next is to add the photo etch antenna to the bottom of the aircraft along with the wing guns and pitot tube. The last step I did before decaling was to build the prop and spinner subassembly and attach it to the aircraft. Now it was on to gloss coating and decaling.
Before decaling the entire plane got a coat of Tamiya AS-13 gloss coat. Once dry I started with the stencils (of which there are quite a few even for a small aircraft such as the 190), then the national markings, including swastikas that were included in the kit, and squadron codes. All went on well with a little help from MicroSet and MicroSol, settling down nicely in all the panel lines. The decals are top notch thin and in register but have some give so as to not be fragile. After 48 hours of drying a second coat of gloss was added to do some minor weathering.
I did some simple weathering with this kit using Tamiya X-19 smoke. I added some gun staining around the gun ports, added exhaust stains along both sides and bottom of the aircraft and added some stains around the gun ejector chutes. This really helped to bring the kit to life. One final over all AS-80 dull coat and all that was left was to do the canopy.
The canopy can be either opened or closed and there are separate parts for each. Also this is the only spot for the 190 that you need to pick a paint scheme as a couple schemes had extra armored glass panels. I chose one without the extra armor, so I used a coating of “Future” on the canopy and forward glass. I gave them 24 hours to dry then masked them using the supplied Eduard masks and gave them a coat of RLM 74. A dull coat was sprayed and the masks removed. The canopy was glued to the aircraft and the antenna wire was added. This completed the build
Construction begins in the cockpit, but unlike the Fw-190 you must make a choice as to what marking option you are going to go with immediately. This is because marking choices K, L, and M, need to have holes drilled in the rear cockpit deck. Almost all the parts of the cockpit are in RLM 66 so pre-painting them will save a lot of time. Especially when you start adding in the photoetch, of which there is a fair amount even for such as small cockpit.
The first few steps of the build add the previously mentioned photoetch to the cockpit floor along with the seatback, seat, and control stick. Eduard also provides a clear piece for the fuel line to recreate the clear center part of the line that runs through the cockpit. The line itself is yellow with black connectors while keeping the middle section clear. It is really a great way to add this unique piece that the Bf-109 is known for. After this comes the rudder pedals, firewall, and various other items that busy up an already small workspace. Finally seat belts are added and the cockpit is finished.
Next up for the fuselage is the side walls which also have a lot of photoetch that needs to go on if you desire. Then the instrument panel gets made (like the Fw-190 there are three options, plastic, decal, and photo etch) and attached when ready. Next you chose your exhausts, plastic, or plastic with photo etch, (I chose plastic with photo etch) a blanking plate for behind the spinner, and the cockpit gets attached to one half of the fuselage and is then sandwiched between the other half. As the glue is drying make sure everything is squared up so as to not have any gaps. Next you attach the gun bay covers to the front half of the fuselage, pay careful attention to which variant you are doing because there are different covers for each. Also, the rear cockpit decking is attached and the large side air intake is built and attached. The last step for the forward fuselage is to attach the gun muzzles, gun port hinge, and if you chose, the photoetch covers for the exhaust. (I kept the gun muzzles off until final assembly to properly paint them and the area under them). The last step in the fuselage build is to add the proper vertical stabilizer for your variant, then build the and attach the horizontals. Eduard attaches attach the elevators, rudder, and tail wheel in this step as well, but I kept them off until final assembly for ease of painting those areas. Now it was on to the wings
Construction for the wings starts with the wheel wells, building the three part wheel well and landing gear strut covers. I pre-painted the wheel well parts as part of it is in rubber black and the rest is RLM 02 gray. The parts are keyed to which way they go to get the proper angle for the well. Also, you’ll need to drill out holes in the single part lower wing, both for the center line fuel tank, and if your variant has the gun pods. Next up you attach the upper wing parts to the lower wing. Eduard as usual has done a great job of making sure the fuselage to wing root join gap is minimal, mine just snapped into place and needed no glue what so ever. Like on the Fw-190 I added some Tamiya extra thin glue at the wing root just for extra strength. The final step before flipping the aircraft over was to add the ailerons and forward slats to the wing (I added the ailerons but kept the slats off for later painting) and to use the photo etch template that Eduard gives you to etch some panels into the aircraft in front of the cockpit.
Flipping the plane over, it was time to work on the underwing radiators and engine air intakes. These are made up of both plastic and photoetch parts and are a bit complex, but with some study of the directions end up being easy to build. I highly recommend painting all the internal parts of the radiators because once installed you won’t have much room. After those were installed it was time to add the radiator flaps and wing flaps to the rear of the wing. Again, when installing them study the directions to get the right amount of deflection on them (there is a diagram showing exactly how they should be positioned which eases the process) the airplane was then set aside for the glue to dry and then it was on to general paint.
With this half of the dual pack you get seven choices to choose from. I chose marking option J which is a Bf-109g-6/R6 of JG 54. It has a solid yellow spinner and rudder along with a dark blue Reich Defense band. The colors for this aircraft outside of the yellow and blue are the same as on the Fw-190, RLM 76 undersides and sides with a camouflage scheme of RLM 74 and RLM 75 with mottles of 75 on the fuselage sides. Before painting I filled in with putty a couple of hatches on the fuselage that the directions told me to for my variant, along with some minor seam work on the forward portion of the engine area and in front of the engine air intake. One great thing about this version of the aircraft is that the rear fuselage seam can stay as the real aircraft had one! The entire aircraft was primed with Tamiya gray and then the areas of yellow were painted a flat white as a base for the yellow areas, Pre-shading with flat black was then done on the entire aircraft. The white areas were masked off and RLM 76 was airbrushed on the undersides, fuselage sides, and vertical stabilizer. When the sides were masked off and the upper wings and fuselage were sprayed with RLM75. The camouflage pattern was masked off and a coat of RLM 74 was applied.
For this aircraft the Defense band is a dark blue. Like on the FW190 I masked off the area on either side and painted a base of XF-66 light gray as a base and then Tamiya XF-8 blue for the band. Once this was done, I painted the prop hub and rudder XF-3 flat yellow, then I masked off the areas around the white base and painted those areas flat yellow, wheels in rubber black, wheel hubs with flat black, and landing gear parts RLM 02 grey. All these were set aside to dry and for final assembly.
Final assembly for this kit involves attaching the main landing gear and gear doors, aileron control horns, photo etch antenna, gun pods (if your variant calls for it), and underside fuel tank. Due to the fact that the “carpet monster” ate my fuel tank mount I chose to leave it off. On the top of the fuselage I added the photoetch and antenna as well. Then the entire aircraft got a coat of gloss for decaling.
Once the gloss coat was dry, decaling began. I put on the national markings and squadron codes first. Then came the large number of stencils. After 48 hours of drying a second coat of gloss was added so as to do some minor weathering.
I did some simple weathering with this kit as well using Tamiya smoke. Much like the Fw-190 I added exhaust staining to the fuselage sides and areas around the gun ports and shell ejection chutes. A dull coat was then added and all that was left to add was the canopy.
Depending on which variant you are doing there are two different types of canopy: the later style “Erla” and the earlier multi-panel version. Either can be in the opened or closed position and there are separate parts for each. I gave them 24 hours to dry after dipping them in “Future” and then masked them using the supplied Eduard masks before spraying an undercoat of RIM 66 and then an over coat of RLM 74. A dull coat was sprayed, and the masks removed. I then added the photoetch parts (canopy grab handles, locking mechanisms and hold open bar) using pva glue. The canopy was glued to the aircraft and the canopy antenna and antenna wire was added. This completed the build
These two kits are outstanding additions to the Eduard 1/48 FW190 and BF109 lineups, especially with the new tooling. I highly recommend them to everyone and if you’re a 190 or 109 fan these are a must! My thanks to both Eduard and IPMS for allowing me to review the Reichsverteidigung Profipack combo set.