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Bf 109E-7/Trop

DML 1/32 Bf 109E-7/Trop Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2013 Manufacturer DML
Subject Bf 109E-7/Trop Scale 1/32
Kit Number 3223 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Nicely detailed kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $48.95

First Look

Bf 109E-7/Trop
Bf 109E-7/Trop
Bf 109E-7/Trop
Bf 109E-7/Trop
Bf 109E-7/Trop

The initial prototype of the Bf 109 first flew in 1935, and incorporated many of the transformational innovations being applied elsewhere in the world, along with a few innovations of their own. Powered by the Rolls Royce Kestrel V12 engine, the aircraft used a liquid-cooled engine to reduce the frontal area of the nose and improve the pilot's forward visibility. The wing was a low-wing monoplane design that housed a narrow-track retractable landing gear and used spring-loaded leading edge slats and manually activated trailing edge flaps for lift augmentation at low airspeeds. In other words, the wing design allowed for fast airspeeds while retaining relatively low airspeeds for take-off and landing. The pilot sat in a fully enclosed cockpit. Only the horizontal stabilizer retained external bracing of the biplane era and would do so through most of its production versions.

The Bf 109E was the first model to be powered by the Daimler Benz DB601A rated at just under 1,100 horsepower. The E-1 was armed with two 7.92mm MG17s in the nose and two MG17s in the wings. The E-3 followed with two MG17s in the nose and two 20mm MG FF cannons in the wings. Some E-3s were powered with the DB601Aa rated at just under 1,160 horsepower. The E-4 incorporated a number of improvements with many E-3s upgraded to the E-4 configuration. The E-4 was armed with two MG17s in the nose and two MG FF/M cannons in the wings.

The Bf 109E-7 was the next iteration that incorporated changes learned from combat experience during the Battle of Britain. The most notable change was the addiion of a centerline suspension system that was plumbed to use an external fuel tank to enhance the Bf 109's short legs or to alternatively carry a bomb on the centerline. The tropicalized version is recognizable with the long filter box located on the port-side cowling to keep sand and dust out of the engine's carburetor.

DML has released another Emil in their 1/32 Bf 109 series, this time representing the tropical variant of the Bf 109E-7. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on eight parts trees plus one tree of clear parts, two frets of photo-etched parts, and a pair of tan vinyl main wheel well boots. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Choice of two armored headrest types
  • Detailed nose gun tray
  • Detailed MG DD cannons in the wing with positionable access panels
  • Positionable canopy
  • Main spar frame to provide a strong wing/fuselage joint
  • Detailed DB 601 engine
  • Choice of propeller spinners
  • Cowling panels can be left off to display engine(s)
  • Positionable elevators
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable rudder
  • Positionable landing flaps
  • Positionable leading edge slats
  • Positionable radiator flaps
  • Centerline drop tank

Markings are provided for two examples:

  • Bf 109E-7/Trop, White 10, I./JG 27, Libya, 1941
  • Bf 109E-7/Trop, Black 2, II./JG 27, Libya, 1941

The decal sheet provides a nice set of airframe stencils in addition to the national markings and distinctive unit markings.

Overall, this is a nicely done kit and provides DML with a solid com

My sincere thanks to Dragon Models USA for this review sample!