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KIT REVIEW


Eduard #8262
Bf 109E-3 ProfiPACK Edition -- 1:48 Scale

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 is one of the most legendary of all the warplanes of the 20th century and one of the most popular scale model kits of all time.  It has been the subject of several hundred injection-molded and limited run resin and vacuform kits in all scales.  While the market may seem flooded, there seems to always be room for new 109s.  In this review, let’s take a look at Eduard’s recent re-release of the ProfiPACK edition of their 1:48 scale Bf 109E-3. 

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The Bf 109 was one of the two premier single-seat German fighters of the Second World War.  The prototype flew in 1935, beating out the predecessor of the Fw 190.  The entire 109 production run churned out 33,984 airframes spanning dozens of variants and subtypes.  In the mid-1930s, it was perhaps the most advanced fighter 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 basic design, Bf 109s were still deadly opponents ten years later when the war came to a close as jet fighters came onto the scene.  Indeed, Bf 109s flew on for years to come with the IAF, the Swiss and Czech air forces; Spain flew them the longest – until 1967.

The E-model Bf 109 was a developmental progression on the ideas and designs fielded in the C- and D- models.  The E-, nicknamed the “Emil,” featured the first major redesign of the original 109 to that point.  Many of the changes related to the new powerplant.  The larger, longer, and more powerful Daimler-Benz DB 601A increased the 109’s top speed by 60 miles per hour and its service ceiling by nearly 5000 feet.  The DB 601 engine used direct fuel injection that provided excellent performance in negative-G flight.  This engine required bigger radiators, and the best (least drag-inducing) place to put them was under the wings.  This required significant interior redesigning, from structural wing elements to the inclusion of radiator ducting under the skin.  The Bf 109E-3 sported these features but it was also fitted with heavier armament than its predecessors with two MG 17s above the engine, one MG FF cannon shooting through the propeller hub, and one MG FF cannon in each wing.  The more lightly armed E-1 and heavier armed E-3 were produced in parallel beginning in 1939, with 1,276 of the latter being produced.  The E-3 first saw combat in the Spanish Civil war and later over the Low Countries and France during the Blitzkrieg, and in the battles of Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain.  Some of their final engagements took place during Operation BARBAROSA, but in 1941, the new Bf 109F made the Emil obsolete and it was withdrawn from front line units.  

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Eduard’s Bf 109E in 1:48 is a reissue of their original 2012 release which was based on that year’s new-tool Bf 109E-1.  This ProfiPACK edition features 150 parts on four blue-gray sprues, five clear parts on one clear sprue, 49 photoetched metal parts on two frets (30 are pre-painted), and one pre-cut self-adhesive masking set.  About 25 parts in the kit are not used in the construction of the E-3.  The instructions guide the build over some 47 steps.
 The markings come on two Cartograf-printed decal sheets for the following airplanes:   

Strengths:  Much as is the case with all their 1:48 scale Bf 109s including the retooled Eduard Bf 109 that came on the scene in 2016, this kit is a superlative 109 by any and all standards.  The kit has a range of construction options, including the positionable canopy, leading edge slats, flaps, ailerons, elevator, rudder, and radiator flaps.  It contains a very nice injection molded DB 601 powerplant and nose guns.  The cockpit, especially with the photoetched metal instrument panel, belts, and great plastic detail, is a real highlight.  Surface details including 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…they are that nice!  See the photos below.  I also test fit the fuselage and wings, and the fit appeared flawless.  Flaps, leading edges, ailerons, and rudder are separate parts and can be positioned as desired.

The ProfiPACK elements here really enhance the cockpit in some pretty meaningful ways, from the awesome instrument panel details, shoulder harnesses and lap belts, to the canopy strut, and radiator grill faces.  The pre-cut masks for the windscreen and canopy are real time-savers and will help the builder achieve some really precise masking. 

The decals are printed by Eduard and look technically excellent, with great color, resolution, and thin restrained carrier film.  The second, smaller sheet contains a complete set of maintenance stencils for a single 109. 

Weaknesses:  The one shortcoming I can identify is that the upper engine cover and nose gun compartment cover are not really positionable.  They are either on or they are off. The hinging mechanisms are not represented.  

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Overall, this is a superlative model kit in general and a great Bf 109 specifically.  The addition of the Profipack components round out this excellent and detail-rich offering.  Eduard also offers a number of other PE and Brassin sets for the E-3, and there’s plenty more the detail-oriented scale modeler can add if they wish.  However you choose to proceed, either out-of-the-box or stacked to the gills with detail parts, this kit represents the best E-3 that you can get, thanks to its great combination of fit, detail, and markings that each are hard to top.     

We extend our sincere thanks 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
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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
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