The iconic German fighter must be one of the most popular choices for the modeller and as such there is a plethora of kits in all available scales, so the question is…Do we really need another 109 kit?
Well maybe in this particular instance I would say yes, as early variants aren’t so well covered, and this is the E1, which saw service prior to the war and during the Polish campaign so it would make a good addition to anyone who collects and builds sets of one particular aircraft, so, how does it stack up against the opposition?
Eduard have really begun to build a name for themselves when it comes to kits, previously they have enjoyed success with their now huge aftermarket ranges of photoech, resin, cockpit canopy masks and all sorts of other goodies to make your beloved model even more realistic, and their range of 1\48 scale aircraft are varied, nicely executed, and have drawn many good reviews, this one however is in 1\32 and at first glance looks to be a nice, well detailed kit although being a weekend edition, there is only provision for one particular 109, which was piloted by Hannes Trautloft, the kit is also devoid of photoetch or any other detail enhancing parts.
Doesn’t make it a bargain basement kit though, there’s plenty of plastic and it’s all very crisply detailed and is none the worse for the lack of the goodies, I particularly like the detailed Daimler benz engine and busy cockpit area, it may pay however to invest in some photoetch for the pilots harness and maybe Eduards own canopy mask, other than that this will be a very good OOB kit.
It has always been a problem for manufacturers when it comes to giving you a detailed engine to marvel at and fall down when it comes to putting the engine cowls on as well, often the cowl is over scale on thickness and wont fit, this happened to me when I built Airfixes own 109E in 1\24 scale, and i had to butcher the motor to get the cowl on so ended up with the cowl solidly attached and days of work on the engine lost, so it comes as no surprise that the Eduard offering has the same issue, but in their favour they have pointed this out and have provided alternative parts if you want your E1 buttoned up, or the cowl stays off and the engine is displayed the choice is yours.
The sprues have a number of unused parts indicating that there are other variants of the 109E, and I believe they cover all of them up to the last one before the F, the E7 in tropical guise which in itself looks like an interesting subject.
so the kit itself being new tooling is flash and sink mark free and the pin ejector points are sited where you wont see them, the canopy and clear parts are exceptional and distortion free.
Fit is good after a few trial dry runs and the detail as mentioned before is crisp and the rivetting in particular is really nice, the only thing is the single option, I know it’s a weekend edition but another option to give a little choice would make a big difference.
Overall then, the answer to my earlier question……of course we need another 109 kit, and I would hope we get some even earlier variants too!
I don’t do ship models often but when I do, it’s normally something off the beaten track, military vessels aren’t really my thing and I just happened to be watching a documentary on the Liberty ships of WW2 and it kind of piqued my interest, the concept of quickly built jack of all trade ships designed to carry enormous loads in the face of U boat packs and foul weather and do their duty well without fanfare unlike their bigger military brothers their story is every bit as interesting.
But did anyone make a liberty ship kit? Well yes as it happens and a rather nice one it is too, Trumpeter have done a really nice job on the 1\350 scale SS John. W. Brown and they actually do two ships although they are identical and all that is different are the names.
The nice thing about this kit is that you have a choice of how to display it, you can do a full hull model on a stand or a waterline model as the hull is split horizontally rather than vertically as you would normally find in ship kits, and the fit of the hull parts themselves are almost seamless.
Close scrutiny of the sprues show no flash or sink marks with pin ejector marks only where they won’t be seen, the hull superstructure is sparce as befits a utility vessel like this but what there is of is nicely represented and there are small AA guns though in use I suspect they were more use keeping up morale than actually fighting off a determined enemy.
Being more of a cargo vessel,than a fighting ship, the John brown is equipped with five large holds and to fill them the cranes have to be pretty big and so it is in the kit, they are big and dominate the ship and are well moulded as are the electric winches and deck detailing, though there are not a vast amount of parts to build this one but it will be an enjoyable build and I suspect it would be a great deal of fun to go to town with the weathering aspect!
This one is presently waiting it’s turn in my stash but I think it won’t be long before I make a start, marks out of ten? about 8.5 I think. If you are looking for something a bit different which will stand out amongst your collection, this is definitely worth a try!
It has to be said I am not terribly keen on jets, they kind of bore me a bit and seem to lack the character of piston engined propeller driven aircraft, but of course we as modellers are all thankfully different, and have our favourite subjects and it’s great to see nicely built jet aircraft, however there are a couple of exceptions I am fascinated by, the Messerschmitt 262 and the little MIG 15, and that is the subject of my little diatribe..
Trumpeter have a good name in the modelling world and one of their first offerings was the MIG 15 in 1\32nd scale so it’s a nice size and there is some nice detail including a rather nice jet engine which can be displayed with the rear of the fuselage removed and also included is a frame to put the motor in if you feel inclined so plenty of display options there.
the cockpit is a bit of a let down and lacks any decent detail however Eduard do a very nicely detailed PE set which has also been pre coloured and a decent set of seat belts, so it’s not all bad news but the elephant in the room is the cockpit canopy, totally the wrong shape and doesn’t fit the fuselage well either, the canopy shape really sets off the MIG as it is the planes main characteristic so it is really let down here, however once again you can get an after market acrylic canopy which needs a little trimming but at least looks the part!
Everywhere else the model is very good, no flash or sink marks and just a few ejector pin marks where you can see them but it’s not that bad, it’s also cheap to buy so despite the problems it’s well worth getting.
One other small point, or possibly not so small are your marking options, all Chinese airforce, so if you want a Soviet era one or possibly an east European type, like polish or Czech, you will have to go looking for appropriate decals, I am looking at a Soviet type in Aluminium panelling, so I have plenty of Alclad of differing shades at the ready, it’ll be the first time i have used the stuff so will keep you updated on that!
To sum up, for the money, you won’t go far wrong, as far as I know there aren’t many examples of early MIG aircraft in 1\32 scale and a few after market goodies to go with it will give you a really nice kit you can display in several ways, just make sure you get a decent canopy!
Pictures to follow..