Eduard 1/48 Bf 109E Royal Class Kit First Look
by Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||May 2012||Manufacturer||Eduard|
|Subject||Bf 109E Royal Class||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||R0007||Primary Media||Styrene, Resin, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Kits and aftermarket details all in the box||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$149.95|
Eduard has released their seventh 'Royal Class' kit and in keeping with past releases, this one is very special. Inside the box is a commemorative pewter mug with the Eduard logo and the Bf 109 artwork on one side and a Messerchmitt AG data plate etched onto the other side. In my cup's case, it is Werk Nr 0432. The cup is a good size for a coffee or tea break and of course it is versatile and will also take care of cold drinks like Pilsner Urquell or the true Budweiser: Budvar. Here a few photos of this cup at work:
Now you might think that a cup like this is expensive with an MSRP of $150.00 USD, but consider that this is a special edition mug that will never be produced again. If that isn't enough for you, Eduard was also good enough to include three kits in this box along with the special mug.
The first kit in this box is a 1/4 scale Bf 109E instrument panel which is a nice follow-on to the 1/4 scale Bf 110 instrument panel included in the Eduard Bf 110 Royal Class (number 5). This kit is molded in black styrene and presented on two parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts. The kit also has decal instrument faces and color-printed photo-etched placards to complete the model. In addition to the nicely detailed instrument panel, the kit also includes a Revi gunsight.
The other kits in the box are two 1/48 Bf 109Es with sufficient parts options included to render the Bf 109E-1, E-3, E-4, or E-7. Only one set of un-bulged wings are included in the kit so only one of your two builds can be a Bf 109E-1.
These kits are molded in RLM 02 colored styrene and presented on nine parts trees plus four trees of clear parts, five frets of photo-etched parts, and eight Brassin (resin) parts. Two sheets of decals and die-cut yellow masks round out these kits.
First of all, with all of the nice details you see here, you can also see that the kit wasn't over-engineered so assembly should be very straightforward. The instruction book (not booklet) is well-illustrated and shows you which options you'll need to execute to render your selected subjects. The AMS modeler will note that even in the very first step, you're removing Eduard's molded-in cockpit interior details off the fuselage halves to replace them with more intricate photo-etched parts.
Among the features and options with the two Bf 109E kits:
- Super-detailed cockpit interiors with color-printed photo-etched parts
- Different instrument panel layouts are provided for the four variants
- Positionable canopy
- Photo-etched grilles on the radiators
- Detailed DB 601 engine with serial numbers provided for each of the subjects covered
- Detailed MG17s on gun deck above engine
- Positionable leading edge slats
- Positionable ailerons
- Positionable rudder
- Positionable flaps
- Positionable radiator flaps
- Elevators are not positionable (without surgery)
- Cowling panels can be left removable with nice interior detailing
- Photo-etched wheel chocks provided
- Two different types of windscreen/canopies provided for each kit
- Two different types of propeller spinner provided for each kit
- Two different types of bomb racks with bombs provided for the E-7
- 300 liter drop tank provided for the E-7
- Tropical air filter provided for the Trop subjects
As with previous Eduard releases, these Bf 109E kits are nicely detailed and the excellent engineering is lifted from their earlier 1/32 versions of this subject.
This kit provides markings for 12 very colorful examples:
- Bf 109E-1, 6./JG 26, Yellow 12, summer 1939
- Bf 109E-3, W.Nr.5057, CO 6./JG 51, Yellow 1, as flown by Oblt Josef Priller, France, 1940
- Bf 109E-3, Stab I./JG 53, as flown by Hptm Dr. Eric Mix, Weisbaden, Nov 1939
- Bf 109E-3, W.Nr.2486, 57 Sqn/7 Group/Romanian AF, Yellow 9, as flown by Lt Ioan Di Cesare, Stalingrad Airfield, Nov 1942
- Bf 109E-3, CO III./JG.53, Black 1, as flown by Hptm Werner Moelders, May 1940
- Bf 109E-4, W.Nr.1480, CO I./JG 53, as flown by Oblt Franz von Werra, France, Sep 1940
- Bf 109E-4, W.Nr.5819, CO JG.26, as flown by Oblt Adolf Galland, France, Dec 1940
- Bf 109E-4B, W.Nr 3605, 8./JG 77, Red 5, as flown by Ofw Reinhold Schmetzer, Soviet Union, Jul 1941
- Bf 109E-7, S9+FS, III./ZG.1, Belgorod, Soviet Union, 1942
- Bf 109E-7, III./JG 77, Black 10, Semlin airfield, Yugoslavia, May 1941
- Bf 109E-7/Trop, 2./JG 27, Black 8, Ain-el-Gazala airfield, Libya, 1941
- Bf 109E-7/Trop, 2./JG 27, Black 3, Ain-el-Gazala airfield, Libya, 1941
This kit provides two complete sets of airframe stenciling for the two kits.
This is another nice release from Eduard and this Royal Class edition is definitely a limited edition. Aside from not having positionable elevators (the one detail that does droop when the control locks are not engaged), this kit is an outstanding value with the two Bf109Es, one instrument panel kit, and the nice mug all rolled into one package.
My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!