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Der Stern Von Afrika: Hans-Joachim Marseille
Messerschmitt
Bf 109 F-4/Trop


Fine Molds, 1/144 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Sweet Kit No. 14114, Messerchmitt Bf 109 F-4/Trop "Der Stern Von Afrika"

Scale:

1/144

Contents & Media

52 tan coloured plastic parts on 2 sprue for two complete models, 4 clear one-piece canopies, 2 with armoured glass and 2 without, decals for 7 aircraft plus a 4 page, bi-lingual, fold-out instruction sheet with 5 build diagrams on the outside, colour and marking guide with-in.

Price:

 

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Very detailed for the scale, refined surface engraving, excellent clear parts and decals including bonus decals in 3 scales (1/144, 1/72 and 1/48) for “Otto”, Marseille's Kubelwagen.

Disadvantages:

No head armour to go inside the canopy ( scratch-build?) and some discrepancies in the colour recommendations.

Conclusions:

I have never been impressed by 1/144 scale kits that I have seen from anyone in the past, mainly due to a lack of detail and shape problems, but then I was shown some Sweet kits that would put some 1/72 scale manufacturers to shame. This is a perfect example.

 

Reviewed by Glen Porter


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Background

 

Sweet Aviation Model Division is a Japanese manufacturer that has been around for a couple of years now and specialize in 1/144 scale aircraft which, along with some others, have given the scale a new lease on life. Their products are well thought-out with very good moulding, detail and decals and even a “fun” element in their marketing.
The Model.

 As a dedicated small scale modeller, I could always understand how the 1/48 scale fraternity felt about 1/72 scale because that's how I felt about 1/144 scale.

When one of the clubs I belong too decided to have a “Braille Scale” theme for one of their comps, I decided, to be fare, I should also model in a smaller scale. So I got onto HLJ on the net, and ordered some 1/144 scale kits. Although I've seen other Sweet kits, I still wasn't prepared for what I received.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Bloody Hell! Apart from the lack of cockpit detail, a one-piece wing and a few other concessions to the scale, this could be a scaled down version of the Fine Molds kit. The fuselage shape looks accurate, there are separate under-wing radiators and oil bathe for under the nose, standard or trop intake, two-piece spinner, separate undercarriage doors, legs and wheels and separate mount and two-piece drop tank. There's no head armour for the canopy but that shouldn't be hard to scratch and the separate engine cover only goes half way down the fuselage side so there may be a seam to fill. There is a seat to go in the cockpit but once the canopy is fitted you won't be able to see much.

 

  • Sweet 1/144 scale Bf 109 F-4/Trop Review by Glen Porter: Image
  • Sweet 1/144 scale Bf 109 F-4/Trop Review by Glen Porter: Image
  • Sweet 1/144 scale Bf 109 F-4/Trop Review by Glen Porter: Image
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The Instructions are a 4 page A5 sized fold-out sheet with 5 build diagrams on the outside and paint/decal instructions with-in. There is no history or parts plan and the text in both Japanese and English. The text suggests that the wheel wells, gear door inners and undercarriage legs should be in RLM 78. The Kitchens/Beaman book on Marseille's aircraft shows RLM 02 in the artwork for all of his aircraft.

 

 

Paint/decal instructions cover all four of Marseille's F-4/Trops and follow the above mentioned book very closely with the exception of some stencils. They are then followed by three more F-4/Trops for Lt. Helmuth Fenzi, white 7 of 9/JG27, Oct, 1942. Next is yellow 13 of 4/JG27 with no pilot or time given and yellow 1 flown by Lt. Franz Gotz of 9/JG53, 1942.

 

 

The decals themselves are printed by Cartograf in Italy and are as good as any I've seen and enough to model at least three or more aircraft plus a bonus, in three scales (1/144, 1/72 and 1/48), of markings for Marseille's Kubelwagen, “Otto”.

 

 

Last but not leased, there are four very clear canopies on one sprue, two without frontal armour for Marseille's aircraft and two with the extra armour for the others. I'm not sure how I will go about painting the frames, but I'll worry about that when I get to it.

 

 

Conclusion

 

So, you think I'm impressed? Well yes, who wouldn't be? I am not sure that I would put the effort into these that I would a 1/72 scale kit, especially in the weathering department, but I'll give it a good go.


Text Copyright 2010 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright © 2010 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 17 February, 2010
Last updated 17 February, 2010

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