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KIT REVIEW


Eduard Barbarossa - Limited Edition Dual Combo Kit Set
1:48 Scale



Operation BARBAROSSA was the code name for the German invasion of the Soviet Union that launched in the summer of 1941.  It involved the largest invasion force in the history of warfare and featured a major air component with the Luftwaffe’s fighters, bombers, and support aircraft.  The Bf 109 was integrally involved in the ultimately doomed effort to conquer the Soviet Union.  In this recently released Limited Edition Dual Combo Kit Set by Eduard entitled Barbarossa, scale modelers get two complete kits (a Bf 109E and a Bf 109F-2), photoetched metal and cast resin detail parts for both of them, a masking set, and markings for 11 aircraft.  Let’s see what we’ve got. 

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By mid-1941, the Nazi scourge has spread throughout Western Europe.  The doctrine of blitzkrieg had Europe reeling.  The Germans thought of themselves as unstoppable and the invasion of the Soviet Union was to commence.  Invading Russia was partly driven by Nazi racial ideology as they had planned the extermination of Eastern European populations so as to replace them with so-called ethnic Germans.  The Nazis also had the practical goals to acquire all of the natural and productive resources of the vast Soviet Union including its agricultural potential, oil reserves, and industrial capacity.

Operation BARBAROSSA (Italian for “Red Beard”) was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union.  It launched on Sunday, 22 June 1941.  It was the largest invasion in the history of warfare occurring along 1,800 mile-long front and involved some three million German personnel.  The Germans initially won major victories and quickly occupied key Soviet territories.  Their offensive stalled in the Battle of Moscow in late 1941.  Then, the Soviet counteroffensive started to push the Germans back, eventually culminating in the fall of Berlin in May 1945.  The fighting on the Eastern Front also produced some of the most horrific losses of life in the history of warfare, with millions of combatants and civilians dead alongside a litany of war crimes including systematic acts of genocide and the mass killings of prisoners of war.

The Luftwaffe played a key role in the initial military success of BARBAROSSA.  Over the first three days, a stunning 4,000 Soviet aircraft were destroyed in the air and on the ground at a cost of about 80 German airplanes.  With their world-class Bf 109Es and Bf 109Fs, the Luftwaffe achieved air superiority over the Eastern Front in less than a week.  Most problems for the Soviets stemmed from comparatively poorly trained and organized air force.  The LaGG-3 and MiG-3 were slower and less maneuverable than the Bf 109s.  The Yak 1’s performance was however equivalent to the Bf 109E, while the Polikarpov I-153 and I-15 could turn inside a 109.  However, the more advanced Bf 109F held significant performance advantages over all Soviet fighters of this era.  Three weeks into the campaign, German fighter pilot Werner Mölders scored his 100th aerial victory.  With the Red Air Force hobbled to the point of near collapse, the Luftwaffe devoted most of its focus to close air support and wreaked havoc upon Soviet armor.  Yet, by the end of 1941, the Luftwaffe on the eastern front was reduced to about 35% of its original strength at the beginning of BARBAROSSA.  German air power was stretched thin and crippled by the severe winter – just as the Soviets began to replace their losses with more capable aircraft flown by increasingly better pilots.

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Eduard’s Barbarossa Limited Edition Dual Combo kit set contains parts for two complete Bf 109s.  The Bf 109E comes on four sprues with 149 parts (about 20 are not used) along with 15 clear parts on two clear sprues, five cast resin detail parts, and 68 photoetched metal parts (some pre-painted) on three frets.  The BF 109F-2 comes on five sprues containing 187 parts (with about 96 unused), six clear parts on one sprue, six cast resin parts, and 65 photoetched metal parts (some pre-painted) on two frets.  Between the two kits, there is also a pre-cut masking set for the windscreen, canopy, and wheel hubs for both aircraft, along with and three decal sheets.  The main decal sheet covers the following 11 aircraft airframes that participated in BARBAROSSA: 

Strengths:  The members of the Eduard Bf 109 family are all superlative kits by any standards.  We’ve reviewed many of them over the last few years at detailandscale.com.  Here, the dual kit combo, detail parts, and markings options represent a really impressive combination.

Each kit has a similar range of construction options, including the positionable canopy, leading edge slats, flaps, ailerons, elevator, rudder, and radiator flaps.  The Bf 109E contains a very nice injection molded DB 601 powerplant and set of nose guns.  Surface details, including and especially the recessed panel lines, rivets, and fasteners, are all simply sublime.  For all those who have gazed upon this kit, the surface details are rather hypnotizing…see photos below. 

I also test fit the fuselage and wings, and the fit appeared flawless.  Importantly, the multiple variant and sub-specific details of the Bf 109E-4, E-7, and F-2 are fastidiously and faithfully adhered to.  Some of these are subtle, and some of them extend to include two alternate sets of wings for the F-2 – which one you use depends on which markings option you are building.  The same goes for the multiple different styles of canopies and other small details between the -E and -F kits in here. 

The ProfiPACK elements really enhance the cockpit in some pretty meaningful ways and overall elevate the game a good deal.  These include the pre-painted instrument panel details with Eduard’s “raised glass” effect over the dial faces, pre-painted shoulder harnesses and lap belts, the canopy strut, lots of radiator grill faces, and multiple airframe details.  The cast resin parts are also excellent and include a perfectly cast set of main wheels and tail wheels for both kits, inner wheel hub details, and a new pilot’s seat for the Bf 109F-2.  The pre-cut masks for the windscreen, canopy, and wheel hubs are real time-savers and will help the builder achieve some really precise masking.

The decals were printed by Eduard and look technically excellent with great color, resolution, and thin restrained carrier film.  The markings options are excellent – a little overwhelming when it comes to which ones to choose.  It’s a really wide range of 109 paint schemes from BARBAROSSA, and as detailed in the markings guides, there are many compelling and historic moments surrounding many of them.  The second and third smaller decals sheets were printed by Eduard and contain a complete set of maintenance stencils for a single Bf 109E and a single Bf 109F.   

Weaknesses:  I cannot offer any substantive critiques of this kit set.  Of course, 109 experts and those more knowledgeable about Operation BARBAROSSA might catch something I have not.

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Once again, Eduard provides another consistently great and thematically-driven limited edition dual combo kit set in their 1:48 Barbarossa.  The addition of the detail parts round out what could be considered a full-scale modeling experience in a box.  A very wide range of scale modelers will really enjoy the great engineering, accuracy, level of detail, and historically significant subject matter behind it all.     

Sincere thanks are owed to everyone at Eduard for the review sample.  You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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