Bf-109 V-13 Dübendorf Conversion

Published on
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/32
MSRP
$40.00
Product / Stock #
32-V13
Base Kit
Eduard 1/32 Bf-109E-1/E-3
Company: Werners Wings - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Werners Wings - Website: Visit Site
Detail Packaging

This conversion is designed to be used with the excellent Eduard Bf-109E-1/E-3 kit. I chose to use the Weekend Edition E-1 kit. The conversion set comes securely packed in an attractive box. The twenty resin parts are in one small zip-lock bag, while the three small decal sheets are in another zip-lock bag. The instructions are printed on two sides of an 8.5” x 11” sheet. There is one picture of the actual aircraft on the front, and a three view drawing on the back showing decal placement, along with painting instructions. There is a brief history of the type, along with some basic instructions on dealing with the resin pieces. The instructions are strictly of the narrative type, but are well written and fairly easy to follow.

I did manage to find a decent picture of the V-13 in my trusty copy of William Green’s Warplanes of the Third Reich. The picture was helpful in a few areas, namely the canopy, propeller, and exhaust areas. The canopy does not have the armored headrest attached. The instructions do not mention this and it is hard to determine from looking at the one picture included in the instructions. However, the picture in Green’s book clearly shows the absence of the headrest. The propeller blades appear to be natural metal. I wasn’t sure about the back side of the prop blades, so I decided to paint the back of the blades the standard RLM 70 Schwarzgrün.

The resin parts are very nicely cast, and I observed no air bubbles on any of the parts. Parts preparation was minimal, as there were only a couple of parts that were attached to casting blocks. There was flash present on several of the resin parts, but nothing out of the ordinary for resin castings and it was very easily dealt with and presented no problems. There was a very small chunk missing from the air scoop on the side of the cowling, but it was easily filled with super glue. Be careful removing the resin landing gear covers from their casting blocks. The V-13 gear covers were extended to cover most of the wheel well opening, and the resin pieces are molded to represent these accurately. I started removing the gear covers from their casting blocks before I checked my references, but fortunately I did not get too far before I noticed the different shape of the gear covers in the picture.

The Eduard kit is pretty decent with very nicely done surface detail. The only thing that disappointed me about the kit was the lack of interior detail. I realize that the Weekend series of kits gives the economically-challenged modelers like me the opportunity to build a nice kit with a minimum investment, but in 1/32 scale, the instrument panel should have something more than just round flat shapes with no dial faces. Because of the lack of detail, I decided to model my V-13 with the canopy closed. The Werner Wings conversion gives you a different control column with a spade grip, but mentions in the instructions that nobody really knows what type of stick was used. I decided to use the resin spade grip just because it looks different.

The V-13 instructions would have you build the kit without the engine. That definitely makes fitting of the new resin cowl easier, but it also leaves a large void visible through the rather prominent vents on the top of the cowling. I decided to slap together the engine and see if I could somehow get it in there. By sanding down the engine mounting brackets and leaving off a few of the engine parts I was able to make the resin cowling fit over the engine. I painted the front top portion of the engine with Testors Acryl Interior Black.

The instructions tell you to omit the kit exhausts. However, they don’t make any mention of removing the area around the exhaust in order to fit the new resin exhaust. Those of you who are familiar with the early 109s will be able to figure out what has to be done. I removed the protruding area that is around the exhaust opening on the kit. When it was sanded down flush with the rest of the nose, I was left with an opening that was rounded at one end and squared off at the other. I then glued the resin exhaust into place. The resin exhaust piece is slightly shorter than the opening, so I had to fill the resulting gaps. I hope the pictures help to describe the work involved in this area. After going to all that trouble, I discovered that the Eduard kit comes with exhaust pieces for the early 109s that probably would have fit much better and made things a lot easier.

A new resin ammo cover is provided for the port side of the nose, and the kit ammo cover is used on the starboard side. I had a little trouble fitting both of them, so I’m guessing it was because of something I did wrong. The resin ammo cover actually fit better than the kit ammo cover. The rear portion of the resin cowling did not quite conform to the shape of the airframe, but with a slight amount of pressure I was able to bow it out just enough to get the right shape and then I hit it with thin super glue. There was still a slight misalignment there, but it was easily dealt with by a couple of minutes with a Flex-I-File.

There was a slight mold seam on the leading edge of both of the underwing radiators which were easily sanded off. The splitter plates for the underwing radiators were just a little wide, but with a couple of swipes of the sanding stick they fit perfectly. Better to have them too wide than not wide enough! It is not mentioned in the instructions, but you need to sand down the square portion of the kit wing radiators that protrude from the bottom of the wing in order to get the shallower resin radiators to fit over them. Once you have sanded them down sufficiently the new resin items fit fairly well. There was a slight gap on both sides that I filled with superglue.

The oil cooler radiator under the nose must be removed from the Eduard fuselage parts in order to fit the new resin oil cooler. This was one of the areas where I felt that a drawing or photo in the instructions would have been helpful. The fit of the new oil cooler radiator below the nose is not too bad. I might have been able to achieve a little better fit if I had sanded down a little more of the kit parts, but I was afraid I would sand off too much.

Overall, I was satisfied with the fit of the Eduard kit. A lot of the parts fit perfectly the first time and others required only a few swipes with a sanding stick to get an optimum fit. The wing to fuselage joint was pretty good. There was a gap on the upper starboard joint which I filled with a strip of sheet styrene. In retrospect, I probably could have used a piece of sprue as a spacer inside the fuselage to fill that gap. The starboard tail plane was nice and level, but I had to fiddle with the port one to get it looking good. The fit of the tail plane braces is a little sloppy, so I’m not sure if that is what caused my difficulty, or if it was just operator error.

The model was finally ready to be primed. I used Mr. Surfacer 1000 in the rattle can. As usual, I found several areas where I had to do a little filling and sanding. When I finally got everything looking decent, it was time to break out the airbrush and the Testors RLM 63. The instructions suggest filling the rivet detail, since it is quite possible that this was done on the real thing. Laziness got the better of me and I decided to leave the rivet detail in place. The resin conversion parts have fine rivet detail that matches the kit parts, so the model has uniform surface detail.

The paint went on somewhat glossy, so I skipped the usual Future treatment and dug right in to the process of putting on the decals. The decals snuggled into the surface detail very nicely with the use of Micro Set and Sol. The only exception was the red band that goes on the vertical tail surfaces. The edge of the decal where it wraps around the curve of the leading edge of the tail was stubborn, and after a few applications of Micro Sol it began to crack. I finally got it to go around the curve, and then touched up the cracked areas with Humbrol Scarlet when the decal was dry.

For the final coat, I used Acryl semi-gloss clear, and after attaching the fiddly bits the model was done. For the most part I am happy with the results, although I feel that I did not do justice to Mr. Werner’s product. The resin pieces are beautifully cast, and for the most part they fit very well. I know I could have done a better job in some places. I think I got a little frustrated when I was working on the exhausts, and my enthusiasm for the project waned a little bit. The only nit that I can pick with this conversion is the lack of drawings or diagrams in the instructions to clarify some of the more difficult steps. That being said, I would definitely recommend this set to any modeler who is interested in the subject, but don’t wait too long – production is limited to 200 sets. Werner’s Wings also has available a conversion for the V-14, which is painted overall red and would probably really turn some heads at model contests.

I’d like to thank Werner’s Wings and IPMS-USA for providing this conversion kit for review.

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