Finland was one of the most well known of the German allies that used the Bf-109. They used Gustavs from the G-2 to the G-6. Finland continued to fly the 109 all the way into the 1950s. They were used against the Russians to good effect.
The Eduard kits are an impressive representation of the Bf-109G. This kit contains two kits. One is the G-2 and the other is a G-6. The G-2 comes with two sets of wings and the G-6 contains the normal bulged wings. This boxing comes with impressive artwork. It has the beautiful air racer version of markings on the front, the markings I’ve always wanted to build. This is why I decided to build this kit. Inside the large box is light grey plastic that allows you to build two aircraft with three choices of wings. My example did not have any flash. Each sprue is individually packaged to protect them. There are two of each of Sprue H and Sprue I which are the ‘common’ sprues for the Eduard kits. The only difference is the wings and fuselages.
Also included are two sprues of clear plastic. There are plenty of extra canopies for the spare parts box. There are three decal sheets, one large one and two with just stencils. The large sheet is impressive and also includes the Finnish stencils required. In the US, the swastikas are included, outside there are two-part swastikas to layer. The other smaller sheets contain the Luftwaffe stencil decals. The kit also contains masks for both types of canopies.
Because it is Eduard there are also photo etch parts. As is the norm, this PE is pre-painted. Like it or not is up to you. I love it. Each type of aircraft is represented. There is one G-2 and one G-6 photoetch fret. They provide the instrument panel, seatbelts, and various cockpit components.
So is it all good? Yes and no. Yes in that there are two great kits, but you have to choose your subjects carefully. You can’t do two G-2s or two G-6s, but that didn’t matter to me. You can do one of each. There are plenty of subjects to choose from though. So that really is not a problem.
The instructions are printed in full color on high-quality paper. The instructions are broken down into sub-types. The first half shows you the G-2 and the second half is the G-6. Of course, there are markings and plenty of them. There are paint schemes for nine aircraft, including the air racer. Each subject is given a letter designator and it is very important that you choose your subject and stick with it. There are things that need to be opened up or filled, but they aren’t on all the aircraft. I highlight my subject aircraft letter throughout the instructions so I don’t forget anything.
So now that we know what is in the box let’s see how it builds.
So the first thing to do is to decide which subjects I want to build. Obviously, the air racer is the subject of the G-6. I elected to build the G-2 at another time.
As is usual, the construction starts in the cockpit. There are options in the cockpit. The G-6 has the Erla Haube canopy and the traditional canopy. The rudder pedals can be either plastic or photo-etch. I like the plastic ones but the photo-etch ones are really nice. One thing that I do, especially when I use the photo etch, is to attach the plastic backing piece for the instrument panel to the fuselage half very early in the build, before building up the panel. This allows the instrument panel to be aligned properly later on. The interior is painted in Tamiya Dark Grey or German Grey depending on how dark you want it. I went with German Grey for my RLM 66. Then the cockpit is given a wash of Lamp Black artist oils thinned with turpenoid followed up by dry-brushing with RLM 02 and silver. This puts wear and tear on the components. Finally, I added the photo-etch instrument panel and various other colored PE parts, such as the seatbelts and shoulder harnesses. The whole cockpit, including the instrument panel, is given a coat of Alclad Flat. After that has dried, I use Micro Krystal Kleer in the instruments to represent the instrument glass.
A hint when removing the fuselage halves, and the wings for that matter, from the sprues is to use a razor saw against the fuselage until you are about half way through the pour gate. Then use your nippers, I prefer my Zoukei Mura ones, to cut the remaining gate from the backside. This gives you the cleanest finish with minimal detail lost in clean up.
And just like that, it is time to close up the fuselage. Since I was building the air racing version I needed the longer tail wheel strut. There is no getting around it. You have to add it now, just like the exhausts. This is where going through the instructions and highlighting the version I wanted, helped out during the build. That way you don’t miss anything. The fuselage fits very well and only required a little bit of clean up. The fit is near perfect. I did sand away some detail on the nose and the spine that I put back on with a Rosie the Riveter tool. They are very handy with these Eduard kits.
Then it was off to the wings. One thing that I like to do before assembling the wings is to add the upper flaps to the upper wing. I do this by clamping them in position with some locking tweezers. This ensures that they are the proper angle. It is so much easier to do it now than later. They are very secure now.
The other thing that I like to do is to deepen the fasteners on the fuselage and the wing bottom. They get pretty shallow in the molding process and vanish during sanding without doing this step. You will have to fill the attachment point anyhow since Eduard made a strange choice to do the join in a V and not on a panel line.
Building the wings themselves is very simple and easy. Just follow the instructions for the wheel wells. I tack the back portion, then the front portion in next. Finally, I bring the outer portion to mate them together then apply some Tamiya cement to hold them in place and to squeeze a little bit of plastic to the join to fill that seam. Simple and easy. The rest of the wing fit is flawless.
Once the wings are joined to the fuselage you will need to do some seam work. Not much and it is only a little filling on the V. Pay attention to the panel lines. There is a panel line on the wing piece that should go all the way to the first fuselage panel. Eduard didn’t put this panel on the fuselage portion. You will need to scribe it. It is a straight line and it is slightly offset from the fuselage panel. There is one panel on the fuselage bottom that doesn’t have a seam. It is the one just aft of the wing fasteners that I deepened. All the rest of the fuselage has a seam the entire length of the bottom and aft of the cockpit.
Once that is taken care of the horizontal tail surfaces can be added, as well as, the top of the tail and the rudder. About this time I start working on the upper engine cowling. Again for some reason Eduard has the upper insert for the guns as a separate piece and instead of using the natural panel line they put it lower and you will have to fill this line. Again it isn’t much but it is a little annoying. I had to re-scribe the vertical panel line and restore some detail with the riveting tool. It was all easy.
While working on the nose area, I drilled a small hole on the underside of the forward cowling which is there on the real thing. I also drilled a hole in the nose radiator and wing radiator housings to insert a rod. Eduard provides these as PE parts but they are rounded on the real thing and it is easier to add them this way for me. A small drop of extra thin super glue and accelerator and a quick sanding and they are secure in place.
I add my landing gear struts at this time. I had previously painted them Mr. Paint RLM 02 and used a Molotov Chrome .1mm pen to add the chrome to the strut. I like to do it this way.
I added the front canopy after adding the gunsight. I did replace the optical glass with some clear acetate. It just looks nicer and there is no seam down the center. The acetate was added with watch glass adhesive.
The provided masks were used to prep them for paint. The cockpit opening was masked off with Tamiya tape. Once done the canopy parts were painted with the same RLM 66 I used earlier. Then the whole model was wiped down with Testor’s Plastic Prep. My model had more than normal mold release agent on it so it was imperative to do this step. I also masked up the landing gear struts. While I had the model upside down wiping it I also added the aileron mass weights. This can be a touchy part but I wanted to get it on the model before it was painted so I wouldn’t mar the finish adding them later.
The entire model was given a coat of Alclad Grey Primer, my primer of choice. Areas that needed attention were addressed and another primer coat was added. Then a swirling and random coat of pre-shading with Tamiya NATO Black added to panel lines and around the model.
I’ve been in love with the Mr. Paint (MRP) series of paints since first trying them and that is what I used throughout my build. First up was the RLM 76 on the belly and fuselage sides. The paint allows some of the pre-shading to come through, but not too much. Then RLM 75 was added to the upper wing surfaces and the fuselage spine. I added some mottling to the fuselage sides but this was kept to the instructions and not my normal style. I added some white to the color cup and faded the upper surfaces a bit, especially the fabric flight controls.
Using Eduard masks and some old Cutting Edge masks, the camouflage pattern was masked on the horizontal surfaces and RLM 74 was added as needed. I used some white to lighten that paint as well. A coat of MRP Super Clear Gloss did not give me the glossy coat I was hoping for. I then resorted to a tried and true, Tamiya Clear thinned with Gunze Leveling Thinner. Trust me it works for Tamiya paints perfectly. That was allowed to dry for a few days.
The Eduard decals are perfect. They performed flawlessly. I wanted to make sure that the checkered board pattern decals fit first just in case I screwed them up and needed to switch aircraft. I started on the tail and worked my way forward. Check the Eduard instructions. Some decals have to touch, but this is shown. One place that I didn’t like so much was the one wing roundel. The ‘graffiti’ was straight and when I added the roundel you could see the area where they overlapped. I couldn’t live with that. I removed the roundel and cut a straight line the proper size so that it sat flush with the other decal. If I had to do it again I think I would have used a circle template and cut the graffiti. Thankfully they performed fit perfectly and were flawless. That is not to say that I didn’t have to go back in and using a new #11 blade slice slightly and reapply some additional Solvaset to get them to conform to some of the bigger protrusions, such as the wing bulges. Some touch up of the white was done with Tamiya white, but a lot less than I expected. I was quite ecstatic with the resulting model. Also, the stencils are all on the big sheet as they are different for most of the Finnish airplanes. So check the instruction drawings very carefully and add the appropriate stencils where they are called for.
While they were drying, I sprayed the entire spinner and backplate with Alclad White, my preferred white. Once dried, I used the Eduard spiral masks that I had in my stash to add the proper spiral. The spinner was then sprayed Tamiya black. Once the masks were removed, near perfect spirals, just like the real thing. The prop blades were painted Tamiya Black Green and the center portion was sprayed in Model Master Magnesium. The tips were masked off on the front side only and given a quick squirt of grey primer. Then some MRP RLM 04 yellow was added to the tips. Remember it is only on the front side according to my references.
The entire model was given a coat of Alclad Flat and left to dry. From there it was time to start the weathering.
I start my weathering by adding a wash to the panel lines. I use Burnt Umber artist oils thinned with Turpenoid. Since it is applied to a flat coat, the oils leach into the surrounding panels. The imparts a dirty look to the finish. I use a slightly less thinned wash around the exhausts. This makes that area really dirty like the real thing. After the wash is allowed to dry, a dot filter of Titanium Buff and white artist oils were applied on the airframe. Now since the blue and white checkers were newly applied I didn’t add too many dots on them. This fades the camouflage nicely and varies the finish as well.
Then it was time to add the chips to the wing root and leading edge. I use a #2 pencil and a silver Prismacolor pencil for precise application and a sponge using a silver stamp pad to add random scratches. I have a very worn brush that I used to dab the back of the prop blades which adds the wear there. The picture I have of the subject shows that the back of the blades were very worn.
I then used a heavily thinned dusting coat of Tamiya Buff and added streaks from front to back on the wings and top to bottom on the fuselage sides. Again the checkers were avoided. Then as a final touch, I airbrushed overall the top surface of the model. This fades the paint slightly like the sun would.
The exhaust streaks were built up with Mig pigments. I start with Russian Earth and then add Smoke Black to the center of the exhaust pattern. And finally, an orange pastel is added to the area immediately aft of the exhausts.
Oil streaks were added to the belly by adding dots of black, burnt sienna and burnt umber artist oils. These dots were then streaked aft with turpenoid in the direction of airflow. The oil cooler had some streaks added vertically as well.
The final step in the weathering was adding some mud to the wheels, landing gear covers, wing roots, and on the bottom of the airplane where the mud would have been slung. I did have to touch up the silver chipping on the wing root but this added one last layer of weathering.
The canopy masks were removed and they performed flawlessly. The rest of the small parts were added along with the canopy. Red and green was added over pre-painted silver position lights. I do wish Eduard had provided these as clear covers. Adding the antenna mast under the wing and an EZ line antenna brought the model to a conclusion.
I finally have one of the most unique Bf-109s in my collection. The checkered decals worked great and looked even better. I thoroughly enjoy building these Eduard 109s. They are all pretty much the same but that isn’t a bad thing. These kits aren’t perfect, but they are pretty dang close. The addition of the variety of markings and two aircraft in these kits makes them a bargain. The two variants (G-2 and G-6) plus the inclusion of the pre-painted instrument panel photo etch and masks, as well as, the variety of markings (9) makes this set in particular very desirable. You know I’ll be building more of these jewels. They are fun, the fit is very good, and I love the results. Another great release from Eduard.
Thanks to Eduard and IPMS/USA for the review copy. You can obtain your copy by contacting Eduard at www.eduard.com or your local hobby shop or online retailer.