Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Eduard 1/48-scale Messerschmitt Bf.109E-4 Weekend Edition (Kit 84166)

While at the hobby shop a few days ago I picked up this Eduard 1/48-scale Messerschmitt Bf.109E-4 Weekend Edition kit. As this is my first Eduard kit I went into it with great anticipation and have not been disappointed. Even the packaging sets this kit apart from the majority, with a sturdy box holding beautifully molded parts protected by resealable plastic bags. The clear part are in their own ziploc baggie. The decals are superb as are the instructions.

Eduard's Weekend Edition kits are the same plastic parts as their Profi-Pak kits, but only the plastic parts. They don't include the photo-etch or canopy masks, and rather than the multiple choices in marking include decals for only a single aircraft. In the case of the Bf.109E-4 those are for W.Nr. 5819, Obstlt. Adolf Galland, Geschwaderkommodore JG 26, Audembert, France – December 1940, a find choice for this iconic aircraft.

Inspection of the parts shows the magnificent recessed panel line and rivet detail:

This detail is consistent across every part of the aircraft's surface. Such a change from the raised panel lines and rivets I was so used to in the kits of the 70's and 80's!

Interior detail is a bit less prevalent as this model is intended to use Eduard's photo-etch details. It is still excellent in quality and will build into a great looking cockpit. Here are the cockpit walls for reference:

The kit includes a fully detailed DB-601 and gun bay for displaying the kit with the cowlings removed. I decided to forgo this option as I just don't have a safe enough spot to display what would be a very delicate model.

Building starts with the interior parts. The cockpit, firewall, oil cooler, and tail wheel all need to be built and inserted into one fuselage half before the fuselage can be closed up.

Oil cooler:

Interior parts were painted with a base coat of Tamiya XF-22 RLM Gray. Details were picked out with flat black, flat white, and flat yellow.

There are two options for the instrument panel included in the kit. One is flat panels to be used with supplied decals, the other is raised detail panels for painting. I chose a third option and applied the decals to the raised panel using several applications of Micro-Sol. The result was well worth the effort.

The panels were given a light misting of Testors Dullcote to knock down the gloss of the decals. After installation you can't tell they weren't hand painted. Once they and the other interior parts were glued in place I closed up the fuselage. I also built the wings at the same time.

The fuselage goes together with nearly invisible seams except in the area of the oil cooler under the chin. There I had to used a dab of Squadron White Putty to smooth things out.

Once the glue had set up properly (and a small accident had been cleaned up after knocking my Testors Liquid Cement bottle over) the wings were joined to the fuselage. Once again the seams were nearly invisible and required no filling. Even the wing root/fuselage join, an area where many models have issues, was miniscule. The cowling and access panels for the engine and gun bay were also installed.

More photos to come!

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