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KIT REVIEW


Eduard #11114
Mersu - Bf 109G in Finland Dual Combo Limited Edition Kit Set -- 1:48 Scale

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was fully one-half of the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter corps during the Second World War.   It was also exported to a handful of Axis nations, including Romania, Italy, Hungry, Bulgaria, and even Japan (in very small numbers and only for flight testing).  Finland was a notable operator of the 109 as well, having received 159 of these airplanes during the war and continued to operate them well after the fighting ceased.  In this Dual Combo Limited Edition kit set, Eduard provides a pair of Bf 109G kits (a G-2 and a G-6) along with detail parts and a ton of markings options for the Finnish “Mersu.”      

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The Bf 109G-series were among the most refined and numerous of this legendary aircraft.  The Finnish Air Force received its first Bf 109s in March, 1943.  A total of 159 aircraft were received:  48 Bf 109G-2s, 109 Bf 109G-6s, and two Bf 109G-8s.  The Finns referred to their 109s as the Mersu, which extended the nickname used for Mercedes-Benz/ Daimler-Benz.  All Finnish Bf 109s were also distinguished from their German counterparts as they carried an alphanumeric designation “MT” followed by a three-digit identification number.

The Finnish Air Force put their Bf 109s to work against their Soviet foes, and they equipped four fighter squadrons with the airplane.  They scored 667 confirmed kills with the type, with 34 combat losses and 16 lost in accidents.  It was an excellent kill-to-loss ratio.  More than 100 Mersus survived the war and continued flying until March 1954, capping off an 11-year career as the Finnish Air Force entered the jet age.

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Eduard’s 1:48 Mersu Dual Combo set kit contains two kits:  one Bf 109G-2 and one Bf 109G-6.  The kit set contains eight blue-gray injection molded polystyrene sprues for both airplanes, and between them you get 371 parts in the box.  Approximately 54 of these parts go unused on the -109G-2/6.  Panel lines, rivets, and fasteners are all delicately represented by engraved, recessed details.  Two sets of clear parts add another 28 parts, but only 14 are used here.  One hundred photoetched metal parts are included on two frets, split almost evenly and between the G-2 and G-6 detail sets.  Some of these parts are indeed pre-painted (e.g., instrument panel, seatbelts).  There’s also a pre-cut self-adhesive masking set used for the windscreens and canopy, and enough are provided for both airplanes.  The full-color instruction booklet organizes the build over 18 pages, first for the G-2, and then the G-6.  The decals come on two sheets:  one primary sheet with all the markings, and a second smaller sheet provides airframe stencils.  Decals and the markings guide cover no fewer than ten Finnish Mersus: 

Strengths: All the good things I said about Eduard’s retooled G-6 and G-14 kits (see reviews HERE and HERE) apply in this dual kit set as well.  Each of the kits share a range of construction options, including the positionable canopy, separate leading edge slats, flaps, ailerons, elevator, rudder, and radiator flaps.  The cockpit, especially with the photoetched metal instrument panel, belts, and clear-cast fuel pipe, is a real highlight.  In other words, the plastic parts for the kit cockpit are very good on their own, but the photoetched metal parts in the ProfiPACK set elevate it to a whole new level. 

Exterior surface details including the recessed panel lines, rivets, and fasteners are all simply sublime.  You can position the flaps as desired.  While the instructions show the separate elevators going straight-in, you can easily modify them if you want them dropped.  There’s an even larger mounting pin for the rudder, so to deflect the rudder (if that’s the look you’re going for) just a tiny bit of work hacking off that mounting pin will get the job done.

Other details include three styles of the Erla canopies (of course, you only need one here with a few of the G-6 options), long and short tail wheel, optional 20mm underwing cannon pods, alternative propellers, different main wheel hubs, and choices of oil cooler housings, masts, bomb racks, and an optional centerline 300 liter drop tank.  These options are extensive and thorough, though again, not all are used on or are appropriate for this version of the kit.  The photoetched parts are also just perfectly made, including the great pre-painted instrument panel details and pilot restraints.  However, if PE metal parts aren’t your thing, instrument panel decals is provided.  The masking set also comes in handy – it’s pre-cut, self-adhesive, and will save quite a bit of time and effort masking the clear parts. 

Beside the fact that you get TWO Bf 109s in this kit set, the markings options really make this offering from Eduard unique and valuable. Of course, some scale modelers have the reaction, “Not another -109!” when they see any new -109 kit.  Sure, I understand that reaction, but do consider, however, the ways in which the Cartograf-printed markings set this offering apart.  These are not your typical -109s.  The 10 schemes are each quite notable, but the 1950 air racer scheme with the blue and white checkerboard on the left fuselage and tail is particularly unusual and unique.  Cartograf’s decals, as usual, look great, with excellent color, resolution, and thin, restrained carrier film. 

Weaknesses: I can offer no substantive critiques of this kit.    

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Overall, this is a superlative model kit set in general to provide really unique Bf 109s for the scale modeler.  The addition of the Profipack components round out an already impressive offering.  Even someone like me (primarily a jet modeler for many years) can’t help getting very enthusiastic about this dual combo kit set and admiring its great engineering, accuracy, and level of detail.  Enjoy this one!     

Sincere thanks are owed to Eduard for the review sample.  You 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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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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