The main German fighter at the outbreak of WW2 was, of course, the Bf109E. Playing a vital role in the early Nazi campaigns, the Bf109E was an important instrumental weapon used by the Luftwaffe, easily piercing through well defended countries like Poland and France. Dominating most of the European skies in less than a year, it was the apex leading Hitler’s Blitzkrieg.
Inside the familiar Eduard box, we find the standard has been raised again with beautiful, all new tooling, I was impressed with the excellent level of detail, superb fit, and the full-color painting guide. Plus, a color PE detail set and a canopy mask sheet are also included in the Profipack boxing. The instruction sheet is well thought out and presented in a booklet form. The decals are very nice and printed by Cartograf, and also include complete stencils.
Kit contains four marking options.
- Ofw. Kurt Ubben, 6.(J)/Tragergruppe 186, Wangerooge, Germany, March 1940
- Hptm. Hannes Trautloft, 2./JG 77, Juliusburg, Germany, September 1939
- 6./JG 52, Husum, Germany, 1940
- Fw. Artur Beese, 9./JG 26, Caffiers, France, August 1940
Starting the build in the cockpit area, I began by removing the unwanted details from the fuselage sidewalls and replacing them with the photo-etch upgrades. Next step leads to the cockpit floor and all the fiddly bits and photo-etch replacements that go with it. I then assembled the oil-cooler component located in the ‘chin’ of the fuselage, completing instruction page 3, (pages 1 & 2 are not directly build related). Moving along, I decided to display the gun bay and engine in an open configuration, something I rarely do when presented as a kit option. The engine is a work of plastic art and is comparable to some of the resin aftermarket ones I’ve seen and the gun platform and ammo boxes are outstanding as well. I encountered no problems in construction or fit; easily completing these build steps by following the instructions on page 4. On page 5, the three piece tail gear assembly is covered. Happy with all test fitting and readied for mating the fuselage halves together, at this point everything should have been painted. All of my build components fit well and the halves mated perfectly. I finished up page 5 by adding the rudder and horizontal tail with struts. Here I deviated from the instruction sheet and cut loose the elevators and repositioned them. Also, the rudder horns receive an awesome photo etch upgrade that include the pull cables.
Wings, gearbay enclosures, flaps and photo-etch radiators come together on page 6, which are then flawlessly mated to the fuselage on page 7. Also, the guns are added to the gun-bay. Pages 8, 9 & 10 finish up with the landing gear and other bottom side do-dads plus a few on the topside. The prop and canopy were added last. The decals were great. I had no problems with them at all. I finished my Bf109 in the markings of Ofw. Kurt Ubben, 6.(J)/Tragergruppe 186, Wangerooge, Germany, March, 1940. Also, I noticed in these photos that I forgot to add the long wire antenna. This aircraft type should have one.
The Bottom Line
Awesome, hands down the best 1/48 Bf109E on the planet as I write this.
A big thanks to the great folks at Eduard for providing IPMS/USA this review kit and a big thanks to the folks of IPMS/USA for letting me review it.