First Look Review
Messerschmitt Emils Part 1
Messerschmitt Emils Part 1
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Ray Horwell at Fantasy Printshop has recently released part one in what promises to be a very varied selection of markings for 1:32 Bf 109E kits as part of his Euro Decals range.

Messerschmitt Emils Pt.1 features no less than 8 striking aircraft in Luftwaffe and foreign markings:

1. Bf 109E-7/B, S9 RS, 8./ZG 1, Russia, Summer 1942
2. Bf 109E-3, 6-99, Gruppo 25, Spansh Air Force, 1939
3. Bf 109E-3/B, DG200, No. 1426 Flight, RAF, 1942
4. Bf 109E-3, J-377, Fl. Kp. 21, Swiss Air Force
5. Bf 109E-4, Black 13, 8./JG 1, 1941
6. Bf 109E-4, White 1, Royal Bulgarian Air Force, 1944-45
7. Bf 109E-4, White 10, W.Nr. 5244, 13 Squadron, Slovak Air Force, April 1943
8. Bf 109E-3, White 3, W. Nr. 0820, 4./JG77, Norway, October 1940

It's great to see a selection of less frequently modelled aircraft from foreign air forces along with the more usual Luftwaffe options. If you plan to tackle the Swiss aircraft, be aware that Emils in Swiss service differed from standard German machines in a number of ways, notably their armament and some of the cockpit fittings, resulting in a number of distinctive changes. Squadron/Signal Walkaround No. 34 includes a very useful section on Swiss Bf 109Es, illustrating the necessary modifications clearly. The work involved requires a bit of surgery, so it's best to have a bit of experience before hacking at your prize kit, but the resulting Emil will stand out in any line-up.

The decals arrive spread across two packed A4 sheets. The split makes the most logical use of inks, allowing one sheet to be printed in black and white, while the other is multi-coloured. As to be expected with Fantasy Printshop, the printing is superb and the registration is pin-sharp on the sample set. The thin, glossy items have virtually no visible excess carrier film except where it's needed to group elements together - and where it is present, it's crystal clear. The RAF roundels are printed in a correctly dull red to contrast with the brighter colour on some of the other insignia, and a neat touch is that the centres of the roundels for the RAF and Spanish machines are separate overlays to allow precise positioning by eye.

Sufficient national insignia are included to allow you to finish all three of the Luftwaffe schemes, and the swastikas are printed in two layers, again to allow perfect line-up.

The decals are accompanied by a neatly produced set of instructions, with full colour side and plan views of each of the featured aircraft. Detailed notes are provided on the colours used for each scheme, along with other points of interest about the airframe.

This is a really impressive set of markings that will be ideal for anyone planning a collection of Emils, or perhaps shared as a club project at a very reasonable 4.00 per colour scheme. The sheer variety of schemes instantly gets the creative juices flowing, and I couldn't resist checking that I've got a 1:32 Emil ready for a build in due course! I hope to see the set reproduced in smaller scales and, of course, this is only Part 1... I'm really looking forward to seeing what Ray Horwell has up his sleeve for the sequel!

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE
Highs: Beautifully produced decals for a really varied selection of Bf 109Es.
Lows: None noted, beyond the caution that you'll need to do some extra work to reproduce the Swiss machine.
Verdict: This is a great set to inspire anyone with even half an interest in the Bf 109E. There are enough options here to keep you out of mischief for years!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: ED32-109
  Suggested Retail: 31.95
  PUBLISHED: Dec 03, 2020

Our Thanks to Fantasy Printshop!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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