Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4
Eduard, 1/48 scale
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||Eduard Kit No. 84153 - Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4 Weekend Edition
|Contents and Media:
||151 parts in grey coloured plastic; five parts in clear; markings for two aircraft plus full stencil data.
USD$29.95 plus shipping available online now from Eduard
£18.99 EU price (£15.83 Export Price) plus shipping available from Hannants
and hobby retailers worldwide
||High level of detail including engine; restrained and impressive surface features; separate control surfaces including flaps and leading edge slats; high quality decals with colourful options
||In my opinion, still the best Messerschmitt Bf 109 E in 1/48 scale.
Eduard's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-1 will be available online from Squadron.com
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 A, B, C and D were powered by the Junkers Jumo engine. The Spanish Civil War presented the opportunity to test these revolutionary fighters in action, and they proved their worth in combat with Legion Condor over the skies of Spain.
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 E series was the first of the family to be fitted with the Daimler Benz DB601A engine, resulting in a significant improvement in performance.
Two variants were manufactured in parallel - the lightweight Bf 109 E-1, which retained the wing-mounted 7.9 mm machine guns of the earlier Bf 109 B, C and D; and the Bf 109 E-3, which was fitted with one 20 mm MG FF cannon in each wing. Both variants featured two additional 7.92 mm machine guns in the cowl.
The Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4 was differentto the E-3 in some small details, most notably by using the modified 20 mm MG-FF/M wing cannon and having improved head armour for the pilot. With the MG FF/M, it was possible to fire a new and improved type of explosive shell that was made using drawn steel (the same way brass cartridges are made) instead of being cast as was the usual practice. This resulted in a shell with a thin but strong wall, which had a larger cavity in which to pack a much larger explosive charge than was otherwise possible. The new shell required modifications to the MG FF's mechanism due to the different recoil characteristics, hence the MG FF/M designation.
The cockpit canopy was also revised to an easier-to-produce, "squared-off" design, which also helped improve the pilot's field of view. This canopy, which was also retrofitted to many E-1s and E-3s, was largely unchanged until the introduction of a welded, heavy-framed canopy on the G series in the autumn of 1942.
The E-4 would be the basis for all further Bf 109 E developments. Some E-4 and later models received a further improved 1,175 PS (1,159 hp, 864 kW) DB601N high-altitude engine; known as the E-4/N; owing to priority being given to equipping Bf 110s with this engine, one fighter gruppe was converted to this version, starting in July 1940.
The E-4 was also available as a fighter-bomber with equipment very similar to the previous E-1/B. It was known as E-4/B (DB 601Aa engine) and E-4/BN (DB 601N engine).
A total of 561 of all E-4 versions were built, including 496 E-4s built as such: 250 E-4, 211 E-4/B, 15 E-4/N and 20 E-4/BN.
Eduard released the first in their 1/48 scale Bf 109 E series in 2012 with their Bf 109 E-1, followed soon after by the E-3 and E-4.
These are still great kits, and it is nice to see the Bf 109 E-4 receving the budget Weekend Edition treatment again..
Inside the sturdy box, Eduard's Weekend Edition Bf 109 E-4 comprises 151 parts in grey coloured plastic, five parts in clear and markings for two aircraft plus a separate decal sheet with full stencil data.
Eduard's surface textures set new standards at the time of this kit's original release, and the crispness, subtlety and variety of the recessed rivets and panel lines still stand up to close scrutiny today. They are fine and consistent over the whole airframe.
Control surfaces feature raised fabric strips and stitching.
Even without the photo-etched parts, detail is still very good. The plastic cockpit parts deliver an authentic front office. Harness straps are included on the decal sheet. If you are planning to use these, I recommend that you cut them out of the decal sheet and glue them to the seat complete with the backing paper.
Instrument dial decals are included too.
A full engine is supplied, but displaying it on the finished kit is optional. Note that the basic engine parts need to be fitted even if the cowling will be glued shut. The engine block mounts the exhausts and propeller, but the cowling will fit over the top if you follow the instructions properly. This is a good piece of design as the engine block will be visible through the front cooling slots of the closed engine cowl.
The engine and cowl guns look good. Individual exhaust stubs are provided. These are hollow at the end and have raised weld seams down the middle - don't sand these off!
The cowl itself is supplied in four pieces - the main upper cowl, two rear side cowl panels and the gun deck.
All control surfaces are separate - the flaps, leading edge slats, ailerons, elevators and rudder. Flaps are moulded with tabs that will pose them dropped without modification, but it will be very easy to slice off the tabs and reposition if desired.
Wheel wells are boxed in thanks to a single part in each side that incorporates the gear leg and main wheel bay linings.
The main wheels look good, each featuring a two-piece hub and separate tyres.
The later style canopy with the squared off framing is provided as three separate parts. Alternative parts are supplied for both the windscreen (includig an opening for a telescopic sight) and the opening canopy section. External armoured glass for the windscreen is also included. The final clear part is the gun sight.
All the transparent parts are thin and free from distortion.
Two marking options are included:
Bf 109 E-4 W.Nr. 1559, Hauptmann Wilhelm Balthauser, 7./JG 27, Carquebut, France, July 1940. This aircraft is finished in a fairly plain scheme of RLM 02 Grey and RLM 71 in a splinter pattern on the upper surfaces with high demarcation on the fuselage sides and no mottling. Lower surfaces are RLM 65 Light Blue.
Bf 109 E-4, W.Nr. 5901, Oblt. Walter Fiel, CO of 8./JG 53. Le Touquet-Etaples, France, September 1940. This aircraft also features the RLM 02 / 71 / 65 scheme but with mottled fuselage sides and large overpainted patches ahead and aft of the fuselage crosses. To add even more intereest, the rudder and cowl are painted in RLM 04 Yellow and the cowling has a red band - a substitute for JG 53s famous "Pik As" (Ace of Spades) unit badge that had been withdrawn by Goring as punishment.
Decals have been printed by Eduard. Register is perfect and visible carrier film is pretty much non-existent.
A separate smaller decal sheet is supplied with full stencil data.
Eduard's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4 is still a great kit and also represents good value at this lower Weekend Edition price.
Thanks to Eduard for the sample.
Review Text & Images Copyright © 2019 by Brett Green
Page Created 15 July, 2019
16 July, 2019
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