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KIT REVIEW


Eduard Bf 109G-4 Weekend Edition -- 1:48 Scale



The Messerschmitt Bf 109 is both one of the most iconic warplanes of WWII and one of Eduard’s best 1:48 scale kits.  It almost did not start out that way for Eduard – their initial release of a 1:48 scale Bf 109 in 2014 had shape and detail errors, and so they took the kit back to the drawing board from which their second generation 1:48 scale Bf 109 family of kits emerged.  Here, we take a look at their no-frills Weekend Edition of the Bf 109G-4. 

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The Bf 109 needs little introduction as one of the two premier single-seat German fighters of the Second World War.  The prototype flew in 1935 and marked the start of a production run of 33,984 airframes spanning dozens of variants and subtypes.  In the mid-1930s, it was one of the most advanced fighters of its era, featuring an all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, and retractable landing gear.  As a testament to the versatility and capability of the design, Bf 109s were still deadly opponents ten years later.  While many of their contemporaries came and went, the Bf 109 was still in the fight as the war came to a close and jet fighters came onto the scene.

The Bf 109G, also known as the Gustav, was an evolutionary development of the Bf 109F-series.  Externally, 109Gs were initially quite similar to their predecessor.  Internally, the wings were reinforced, the windscreen was bulletproofed, and the fuel tanks surrounded by light armor.  Other changes included outer wheel bay shape changes and the addition of air inlet scoops on both sides of the forward engine cowling that held the new Daimler-Benz DB 605A engine.  Its initial variants (G-1 through G-4) differed only in minor ways from the Bf 109F, most notably in the more powerful DB 605 engine.  The Bf 109G-1 and G-3 variants were built as specialized high-altitude fighters with a pressurized cockpit and engine power booster.  The even-numbered G-2 and G-4 were not pressurized and served as air superiority fighters and fighter-bombers.  They could attain a maximum speed of 330+ miles per hour and a service ceiling of 23,000 feet.

In September 1942, the G-4 made its debut.  It was identical to the G-2 except for being fitted with the FuG 16 VHF radio set that provided much clearer radio transmissions and three times the range of the earlier HF sets.  Externally this could be recognized by the position of the fuselage antenna connections that moved further aft.  Some 1,246 G-4s were produced.  The G-4s were all eventually replaced as the Bf 109G-6 came onto the scene.

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Eduard’s Bf 109G-4 Weekend Edition kit consists of 180 injection molded parts on five blue-grey sprues (though some 84 of those parts go unused in this version of the kit), and 14 clear parts on one clear sprue (seven of which also unused in this G-4).  The decal sheet provides markings for two aircraft:

Strengths:  All the good things I mentioned about other issues in other reviews of the Eduard 1:48 scale Bf 109s apply here just as well.  But to recap:

This is a superlative injection-molded kit.  As is the case with their 1:48 scale Spitfires, and Fw 190s, the retooled Eduard Bf 109 is an awesome kit.  It is beautifully detailed and engineered with precision fits in mind.  Its recessed exterior panel lines, rivets, and fasteners are sublime and beautiful.  The kit has a range of construction options, including the positionable canopy, leading edge slats, flaps, ailerons, elevator, rudder, and radiator flaps.  Markings option #2 (the Trop G-4) will have you use the optional parts for the under wing cannon pods.

The decals were printed-in house by Eduard and look gorgeous, with great color, resolution, and thin restrained carrier film.  The kit comes with not only two great schemes to choose from with, but the second, smaller decal sheet contains complete maintenance stencils for one airplane. 

Weaknesses:  I cannot offer any substantive critiques of this kit beyond the fact that as a Weekend Edition, the kit cockpit is a little basic by itself.  There are at least decal instrument faces and decal seatbelts.  Still, when I look at this, I do get the sense that Eduard did not put in their maximum effort in the injection molded cockpit plastic parts since I think they had in mind the idea for most builders to use their aftermarket cockpit detail parts.  At least for my tastes, the range of photoetched metal and Brassin cockpits are more to my personal liking.  

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At the end of the day (or the weekend, as it may be for some builders), this straightforward offering of the Eduard 1:48 scale Bf 109G-4 does represent the opportunity for a pretty quick build, indeed.  Also, at this price point, it’s hard to beat the value of the plastic parts and decals in the box – considering its great engineering, accuracy, and inherent level of detail.

Sincere thanks are owed to 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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** Click on the thumbnails below to view a larger image.**


   

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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 of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
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Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
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