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Replicast 1/48 Resin Messerschmitt Bf109 V1

 

By Kelly Jamison

 

Price: 65.00dm =$35.70

 

As a C-130 crewmember flying for the U.S. Air Force, I find myself in different places all the time. This winter was no exception. In November, December and January, I found myself delivering supplies to our troops in Bosnia.

We were flying out of Ramstein Air Base in Germany. One weekend I ventured into the village of Ramstein when I came across a hobby shop by the name of "Der Rote Baron." As I entered the store, the shop owner greeted me. He had a big smile on his face and immediately grabbed my hand and introduced himself. "Hello, My name is Deitmar Letterman, welcome to my store." (His English is better than most of my friends in Texas.) His enthusiasm was very contagious. I could tell he loved the hobby and was very proud of his store.

I told him that I specialize in Luftwaffe aircraft in 1/48 scale. His eyes lit up! He raised a finger slowly and started to point to a far shelf. His legs followed the direction of his outstretched arm. "Then this is what you are looking for." He pointed to the brand new Replicast 1/48 scale mixed media Messerschmitt Bf-109V-1 Kit No. 48 001. My eyes glazed over and my legs started to tremble!

The brainchild of Willy Messerschmitt almost did not come about because of Erhard Milch, Head of the Reich Commission for Aviation, who disliked Messerschmitt from his early days with Lufthansa. Messerschmitt decided to build an all new aircraft using the most powerful engine available in Germany at the time, the Junkers Jumo 210, with the intent of using the new Daimler Benz DB 600 series engines under development. When deadline for trials arrived and the Jumo 210 was not ready, the RLM told Messerschmitt to use the Rolls-Royce Kestrel V-12 engine in its place. It is truly ironic that the Messerschmitt Bf109 used an English engine to start its life and an English engine to finish the line in the form of the Hispano HA-1112-M1L. The "Buchon" was fitted with the Rolls-Royce Merlin.

The box is small in sizeó7" X 5 " X 2" to be exact. The kit is not shrink-wrapped. Instead, the outside of the box is wrapped in a yellow band of paper with the graphics glued to the top. It gives it a real prototype or home business look. I opened the kit slowly, cutting the tape from one end. The kit comes in six individually wrapped plastic bags and is very nicely done.

The instructions are a one-page sheet that shows the front profile of the Bf109, a brief history, parts list and very simple assembly instructions. The back of the instructions has cockpit, landing gear and pitot tube placement instructions (the pitot is on the right side of the cockpit, not on the underwing area as on most aircraft). The four-view profile shows decal placement and color FS equivalent for RLM colors.

The wings are a one-piece affair and have very detailed recessed panel lines, and the fabric coverings on all control surfaces are done to perfection. The wheel wells are a little sparse but can easily be built up with some sheet plastic.

The fuselage halves come with a separate vertical fin section. The cockpit interior is molded directly to the fuselage sides and is very well done. The castings seem a little thick at first but this has given the fuselage strength and no noticeable warping of the halves. The radiator intake is a separate piece that fits into a gap under the engine nacelle, and you may need a little mesh screen to fill up that large intake.

The horizontal stabilizer, two-bladed propeller, wheels, seat and cockpit floor come in the next bag. They are well rendered and need very little cleanup. The tail plane shows the same high quality in its fabric covering as was shown in the wing flap and aileron fabric covering. Another small bag carried all the little detail pieces such as the foot pedals, trim wheel, pitot tube, and external braces for the horizontal stabilizer. Small amounts of flash are on these parts and a little cleanup is in order here.

The canopy is a vacuum-formed piece and two sets are on the same sheet. Thank you very much Replicast! Anybody who has dealt with one of these kits, only to ruin the canopy at the last step of building it, can appreciate what I mean. They are clear but could use a coat of Future floor polish and a True Details canopy frame set to make them showroom perfect. They are thin and easily crushed, so be careful when handling them.

The decals look right on with minimal carrier film. There is only one version to choose from, since this is a model of the first prototype.

The dimensions seem right on according to Messerschmitt Bf109 In Action by Squadron Publications. This is a very good start from the Slovakian company. It looks like a very simple kit at first but you can tell that it will build into a fine example of the famous Messerschmitt fighter line. Their other kits are the Blohm und Voss BV 40 Fighter Glider and the XP-77 U.S. Lightweight Fighter.



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Air Intelligence
1999 Modelers'
Reference Guides

1/32 Scale Guide $18.00
1/48 Scale Guide $25.00
1/72 Scale Guide $25.00
HH-43 Huskie Color
Reference Guide $15.00

Please add $3.20 Postage in the US.

TacAir Publications

PO Box 90933
Albuquerque NM
87199-0933
USA

E-Mail Us!

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