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Bf 109K-4 Kit

Academy 1/48 Bf 109K-4 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2010 Manufacturer Academy
Subject Bf 109K-4 Scale 1/48
Kit Number 12228 Primary Media Styrene, Turned Brass
Pros Simple build Cons See text
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $33.00

First Look

Bf 109K-4 Kit
Bf 109K-4 Kit
Bf 109K-4 Kit
Bf 109K-4 Kit
Bf 109K-4 Kit

The Bf 109 was the workhorse of the Luftwaffe fighter force, scoring more kills than any other Luftwaffe type. From its early days gaining combat experience in Legion Kondor to the closing days of World War II, the Bf 109 was continuously improved to bring more horsepower and firepower into the petite airframe. The final version to enter production before war's end was the Bf 109K.

The Bf 109K or Kurfurst was powered by the DB605D engine and while similar in capability to the Bf 109G, the Kurfurst incorporated numerous design changes internally to improve upon the deficiencies found in the Gustav. Likewise, performance improvements were also incorporated which kept the Bf 109 competitive with the latest allied fighters.

The Kurfurst's pressurized cabin and supercharged larger engine provided the aircraft with superior high altitude performance while retaining an edge at lower altitudes as well. Messerschmitt kept weight out of the aircraft to retain its agility in a dogfight.

While the Bf 109K did get produced in quantity (estimates of around 700), attrition of experienced pilots as well as simple fuel and ammunition logistics prevented the aircraft from becoming any more of a threat than it might have been.

Academy has released the Bf 109K-4 kit in 1/48 scale and if this kit looks familiar, you've seen it before in Hobbycraft boxes years ago, most notably in the S-199 Mule release. The most visible differences between these two releases is the inclusion of a second main wheel option and the absence of the underwing guns.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on three parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts. The parts all feature finely scribed surface detailing and no sign of flash. A small bag is included with the decals that contains three turned brass details.

As with many kits in this series, the cockpit is Spartan and would benefit from an aftermarket set or at least some photo-etched seatbelt/shoulder harness.

Assembly of this kit is very straightforward and makes for a quick project. The canopy can be posed open or closed, and you have your choice of turned brass or styrene details in two spots, but otherwise this kit is very simple.

The turned brass parts include a pair of nicely detailed gun barrels for the cowl guns and one pitot tube. You can use the styrene parts that are also included in the kit if you wish.

Markings are provided for one example:

  • Bf 109K-4, Black 4, Stab/JG 52, Deutschbrod, May 1945

The sheet is beautifully printed by Cartograf and also includes a complete set of airframe stencils.

This will be a nice project for the novice modeler looking for an easy build as well as for the AMS modeler wanting a simple starting point for some super-detailing.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!