by: Tim Hatton [ ]
The E series was the first major redesign of the Bf 109. The forward fuselage was strengthened to accommodate the improved Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine. The wings were redesigned to accommodate the two radiators for cooling the engine. The radiator in the nose was used to cool the oil. Internal fuel capacity was increased as well as a wet point under the fuselage for a 300-litre drop tank. Bombs could also be fitted on a specially designed rack. Armament was increased with two MG 17s above the engine and one MG FF cannon in each wing. The E-4 would have the 20mm MG-FF/M cannon fitted into the wing. This release looks at the Bf 109 1/3/4 in its role as the primary single engine escort for the Luftwaffe during the push through France, the Low Countries and finally the Battle of Britain
Being a recent convert to WWII Luftwaffe subjects I have not possessed Eduard’s quarter scale Emil so this is my first look. The tooling for this release is not new, Eduard released its first Editions of this particularly tooling for the Emil ten years ago . The recessed and raised detail still looks fresh and the attention to detail and the quality is stunning. Contents of this duo combo include:
●10 x plastic sprues
●2 x Clear plastic sprues
●2 x Pre-coloured photo etched frets
●2 x Photo etched frets
●11 x Resin parts including a seated figure of Adolf Galland
●1 x Sheet of paint masks
●1 x Large sheet of decals [Insignia and markings]
●2 x Smaller sheets of decals [Stencilling and wing walkways]
●1 x A4 Standard book format Instruction manual
The resin parts include:
●4 x main wheels
●4 x detailed hubs for the main wheels
●2 x one-piece tail undercarriage
●1 x seated figure of Adolf Galland, with spare cigars.
Detail in the cockpit can be achieved using the plastic parts, the pre-coloured photo etched parts or decals. If you prefer using the plastic parts there are raised detail representing the instrument on the instrument panel [IP] and sidewall detail. There are instruments on the decal sheet if you prefer. If you choose to use the PE parts there is no need to scrape of the moulded detail on the plastic as Eduard supply blank parts. There are few PE levers and handles to add to the IP. You can add PE rudder pedals including straps to the plastic parts. There are some raised areas on the inside walls adding more detail to the cockpit. The distinctive flap and trim wheel to the pilots left is built using plastic parts and there are PE representing the chain drive. In total I count around twenty-two PE and sixteen plastic parts just for the cockpit, so it will be pretty well detailed. Obviously if you are placing the resin seated figure of Galland inside the office then you could dispense with the pre-coloured photo etched harnesses. I must admit I find the facial features of the resin figure very odd looking. Included on the casting block are a couple of cigars to place in his mouth. The seat harnesses are moulded onto the figure so there’s no need to use the PE parts.
The clear parts are crystal clear. You have the option of displaying the canopy open or closed. There are a few plastic and PE parts to add, which is always a bit tricky with clear parts. I like the inclusion of the PE mirror, canopy release handle, and cable limiter for the canopy if you are displaying it open.
The fuselage is created in left and right halves. The oil radiator faces under the nose can be detailed using plastic or PE parts. A representation of the Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine can be built using around sixteen parts and it does look good. Of course, there is always room for extra detail, but Eduard give you a good head start. I don’t normally expose internal detail in my builds, but I am seriously tempted to build one of the aircraft with covers off. Eduard do a resin version  if you want create a feature of the engine bay with minimum work. There are three panels that are left off if your exposing the engine bay and another cover for the nose mounted MG’s. The MG’s look pretty good, but again Eduard make resin replacements . There is additional detail in the engine and machine gun bay such as boxes, cables, pipes, etc, so a great kit to consider if you like creating dioramas. The engine supercharger intake is separate and attaches to the engine. Exhaust pipes are made individually, so you need to place them one by one or as Eduard state ‘one by one, from back to front’. The prop is one piece and the spinner is two part. All the options for this Edition feature the spinner with the cannon barrel. Towards the rear the rudder is one piece and it could be persuaded to be positionable if you reduce the size of the two tabs.
There are two different styles of lower wing, one set has the cannon bulges underneath for the Bf 109 E-4, the other doesn’t. The lower wing is one piece and is almost full span, the complete wing tips are part of the upper wing. There is some detail forming the roof of the upper wheel well. Each under carriage bay has a one-piece part that forms the walls of the bay. The slats in the upper wing are separate as are the ailerons and flaps, the detailing on all the control surface: ailerons, flaps, elevators and rudder is superb. The angle of the flaps is pre-set in the down position by the attachment tabs. The two elevators are each one piece. The radiator housing under the wings is one piece and there are PE parts representing the radiator faces, but as far as I can see no detail on the plastic.
Undercarriage features resin wheels and tail wheel unit. I’m not a fan of one-piece tail wheels, but this one looks rather good and is cast in white resin. The spokes of the main wheels are separate and will need great care in removing them from their casting blocks. Do the resin wheels look better than the plastic ones? Well yes, but the plastic versions still look superb. There are masks to go with the wheels, including the tail.
None of the marking options feature a fuel tank, although one is supplied. Option ‘M’ features what look like four 50kg bombs. The bodies of the bombs are plastic and the fins are PE. There is a PE jig included to help with the alignment of the fins. A purpose-built carrier for the bombs is included to fit under the fuselage.
The small pre-coloured photo etched frets have items mostly to detail the cockpit. While the plain PE fret focuses on radiator faces, linkages for the cockpit, rudder pedals and bomb fins.
Eduard has included a useful set of paint mask for the clear parts for the exterior of the windscreen and canopy as well as masks for the wheels. There’s even a mask for the one-piece resin tail wheel.
There are three sheets of decals two of which are stencils. The larger sheet features insignia and squadron and aircraft markings. There are no whole swastikas, but Eduard has printed the next best thing: two-part ones, which are easy enough to put together.
There are thirteen marking option in all including:
●3 x Bf 109 E-1
●3 x Bf 109 E-3
●7 x Bf 109 E-4
A. Bf 109E-3, WNr. 5102, flown by Lt. Herbert Kunze, Stab I./JG 77, Döberitz, Germany, June 1940
B. Bf 109E-4, WNr. 5274, flown by Lt. Werner Machold, 1./JG 2, Marigny, France, June 1940
C. Bf 109E-1, WNr. 3413, flown by Lt. Hans Krug, 5./JG 26, Marquise, France, July 1940
D. Bf 109E-4, WNr. 3709, flown by Oblt. Josef Fözö, CO of 4./JG 51, Desvres, France, July 1940
E. Bf 109E-3, flown by Maj. Adolf Galland, CO of III./JG 26, Caffiers, France, August 1940
F. Bf 109E-3, flown by Maj. Adolf Galland, CO of III./JG 26, Caffiers, France, late August 1940
GBf 109E-1, WNr. 3771, flown by Fw. Ernst Arnold, 3./JG 27, Peuplingues, France, August 1940
H. Bf 109E-1, WNr. 3417, flown by Gefr. Erich Mummert, 4./JG 52, Peuplingues, France, September 1940 I. Bf 109E-4, WNr. 5375, flown by Hptm. Wilhelm Meyerweissflog, Stab JG 53, Etaples, France, September 1940
J. Bf 109E-4, WNr. 3709, flown by Oblt. Josef Fözö, CO of 4./JG 51, Desvres, France,
second half of September 1940
Und die Geschichte geht langsam zu ende
K. Bf 109E-4, WNr. 5153, flown by Oblt. Egon Troha, CO of 9./JG 3, Desvres, France, October 1940
L. Bf 109E-4, WNr. 4869, flown by Lt. Bernhard Malischewski, Stab II./JG 54, Campagne-les-Guines, France, October 1940
M. Bf 109E-4/B, WNr. 3726, flown by Fw. Erhardt Pankratz, 6.(S)/LG 2, Calais-Marck, France,
Eduard has found some interesting marking variation for this Edition, you shouldn’t find too much difficulty selecting a couple. There seems to be six plain camouflaged aircraft and half a dozen yellow noses. The one with the red band around the nose is interesting and there’s a fascinating if incredulous story behind the aircraft and its pilot:
”Wilhelm Meyerweissflog was acting as an administrative officer of Geschwaderstab. His machine was also photographed during refuelling at captured British airbase La Villiaze, Guernsey, Channel Islands. He was captured on September 5th, 1940. During interrogation he said: "saw the boys going off and thought he would like a flip too. He jumped into his aircraft, flew vaguely in the direction of England and was neatly shot through the petrol tank by a British fighter", probably by F/Lt. P.C. Hughes with Spitfire of No. 234 Sq. Hptm. Meyerweissflog made a forced landing at Monkton farm near St. Nicholas-at-Wade at 15.45 hrs, “from which more by luck than good judgement he came out safely and, when apprehended, had not the slightest idea where he was”. To further quote the interrogation report, his start and mission were described as a ´Very freelance patrol´, and his morale as ´Good under trying circumstances´.”
The instructions are printed in a A4 Standard Book format with twenty-eight pages. There are a couple of pages at the front that tell the story of Operation Adlerangriff. Half the manual is taken up with marking options and stencil placement guides. Painting guide is in colour and the suggested paint brands include Gunze and Mission models. There are short explanations of each aircraft and the pilot with each marking option.
It’s great to see Eduards Bf 109 E come around again, particularly for people like me that had missed the chance of obtaining it. At the risk of becoming boring the parts that make up the kit are beautifully detailed. Some of the parts are so well detailed you would be forgiven for mistaking them for resin parts. There’s a good choice of markings options too with this Special Edition. Not sure of the resin figure, I would be tempted to remodel the face a bit. As Eduards quarter scale Bf 109 E has been around for a decade, there are plenty of examples of built ones out there on the interweb. Most folk seem to have had a positive experience. Highly recommended.