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Reichsverteidigung

Eduard 1/48 Reichsverteidigung Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2018 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject Reichsverteidigung Scale 1/48
Kit Number 11119 Primary Media Styrene, photo-etch
Pros Limited edition version of kit reissues Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $89.95

First Look

Reichsverteidigung
Reichsverteidigung
Reichsverteidigung
Reichsverteidigung
Reichsverteidigung
Reichsverteidigung

During World War 2, the Luftwaffe fighter corps was divided into two distinct missions/roles - offensive operations and air defense of the Reich (Reichsverteidigung). The air defense forces were responsible for halting allied bombing operations against Germany and selected occupied regions, sometimes having to battle through allied fighters to reach their targets. The German air defense aircraft were distinctive with their color bands around the fuselage of each fighter, just ahead of the vertical stabilizer. The colors or color patterns were unique to each fighter group to help identify friendly aircraft during an intercept and air combat.

It seems like over the last year or so, Eduard has been using a page out of Hasegawa's play book and reissuing their kits with different decals each time. While their limited edition series has previously been used to host plastic from other manufacturers together with their own photo-etch, resin, and/or decals, this latest one contains two previously released Eduard kits, the Bf 109G-6/14 and Fw 190A-8/R2.

Overall, this combo kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on nine parts trees, plus two trees of clear parts, two sets of color-printed photo-etch 'zoom', and one set of yellow-tape masks. While the instruction book has some nice cover art (matching the box art), there is no introduction to explain what or why this kit is entitled Reichsverteidigung. The assembly instructions provide the usual excellent diagrams and color call-outs, but my copy was evidently hastily produced as half of the Fw 190 instructions were printed upside-down. As my snake-eater colleagues would say - "improvise, adapt, overcome".

Among the Bf 109G kit's features and options:

  • Specific parts provided to build choice of Bf 109G-6, Bf 109G-6/R6 or Bf 109G-14
  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Color photo-etch instrument panel
  • Color photo-etch pilot restraints
  • Fuel line w/sight glass molded in clear
  • Positionable canopy
  • Positionable rudder
  • Positionable elevators
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable leading edge slats
  • Positionable flaps
  • Positionable radiator flaps

External stores included for this version:

  • Optional 20mm gun pods under the wings
  • Optional centerline drop tank

This kit provides markings for seven examples:

  • Bf 109G-6/R6, W.Nr. 20272, 7./JG 1, White 1, Leeuwarden AB, Netherlands, 1943
  • Bf 109G-6/R6, unknown, III./JG 11, CO, Oldenburg AB, 1944
  • Bf 109G-6/R6, unknown, 2./JG 27, Black 1, Trencin AB, Slovakia, 1944
  • Bf 109G-6/R6, unknown, 9./JG 54, Yellow 9, Ludwigslust, 1944
  • Bf 109G-6, unknown, 9./JG 300, Yellow 13, Jueterbog AB, 1944
  • Bf 109G-14, W.Nr. 512429, I./JG 77, Yellow 10, Euskirchen, 1945
  • Bf 109G-14, unknown, 13./JG 53, Black 30, Bad Woerishofen, 1945

Among the Fw 190A-8's features and options:

  • This is Eduard's later Fw 190 tooling featuring simplified details and engine face
  • Beautifully detailed cockpit
  • Color photo-etch instrument panel
  • Color photo-etch pilot restraints
  • Positionable canopy
  • Optional armored glass overlays for canopy
  • Detailed main wheel wells
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable rudder

This kit provides markings for six examples:

  • Fw 190A-8/R2, W.Nr. 680747, 10./JG 3, White 1, Memmingen AB, 1944
  • Fw 190A-8/R2, W.Nr. 681420, 8./JG 4, Black 16, Welzow AB, 1944
  • Fw 190A-8/R2, W.Nr. 682953, 6./JG 300, Yellow 12, Loebnitz AB, 1944
  • Fw 190A-8/R2, unknown, 5./JG 4, White 12, Babenhausen AB, 1944
  • Fw 190A-8/R2, W.Nr. 682204, 5./JG 300, Red 1, Loebnitz AB, 1944
  • Fw 190A-8/R2, W.Nr. 682181, 6./JG 300, Yellow 2, Loebnitz AB, 1945

As usual, both kits are nicely done and indeed, the selection of decal subjects provide additional subjects not found in Eduard's previous releases of these kits. If you're looking to expand your scale Jagdgeschwader, this latest limited edition reissue of the Bf 109 and Fw 190 kits will certainly meet that need.

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