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Eduard's 1/144
Bf109F & G and
Fw190A & F

 

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

 

History

The Bf109 and Fw190 were the main fighters of the Luftwaffe during the Second World War and information about these two planes can be found just about anywhere. The Bf109 started life back in the mid-1930s and captured several records before it went off to service in the Spanish Civil War. From that small beginning, the Bf109 grew, changing engines, armament and basic shape until over 33,000 planes were completed.

The Fw190, while not as prolific as the Bf109, was no less of a performer. In fact, in many areas the Fw190 was superior to the Bf109. The Fw190 was the preferred air-to-ground platform, as it was very durable and could withstand the punishment from ground fire. The powerful and spread out armament made it an excellent bomber interceptor as well.

Between these two planes, the Allied forces had a powerful technological match to their aircraft, and it was only through the better training of the Allied pilots that so many German planes were shot down.

The Kits

Eduard has released four 1/144 kits: two Bf109s and two Fw190s. The Bf109s are labeled as a Bf109F and a Bf109G, but they both have the same plastic inside. While there are many differences between the Bf109F and Bf109G, in this scale it would be hard to notice many of them. The kit is molded in a medium gray plastic, with clear injection molded canopies (two are provided). The kit has recessed panel lines, but while they are nicely done, in this scale they are massively overscale. It would probably be best to fill them all in and draw them in after painting with a gray pencil. There is no cockpit detail. In fact, there is no cockpit period. But for those who are gluttons for punishment, it would be a simple matter to cut away the plastic over the opening and add a simple seat and instrument panel.

The wing is one piece, and the fit overall is pretty good. With some careful filing and sanding, this could easily go together with no filler needed. There are two cowl scoops provided: a standard one and one with a trop filter in place. The Bf109G-6 cowling bulges are provided as a separate piece, as are the underwing cannon gondolas. The landing gear doors and landing gear are molded as one, but the wheels are separate. One thing that is missing from the Bf109G that should be there is the bumps on the upper wing. These are for the wheels of the Bf109G, which were slightly bigger than the Bf109F. They shouldn't be too hard to add from a drop of superglue, though.

The decals are really nice, considering how small this kit is. For the Bf109F you get two choices. The first is the famous "Yellow 14" seen on the boxtop, flown by Hans-Joachim Marseille. The paint scheme is typical African Luftwaffe of sand over blue gray, with white wingtips, fuselage band and nose. The second choice is for a JG 53 Bf109F-4 flown out of Sicily in 1942, with the standard 74/75/76 camouflage scheme.

The Bf109G comes with decals for Erich Hartmann's Bf109G-6 "Yellow 1", with the 74/75/76 scheme. The second one is for Ofwbl. Herbert Rollwage of JG 53, finished in the same standard camouflage scheme, but sporting a white rudder and a tight spiral on the spinner. The decals for both planes are very thin and include all the stenciling and data that would be visible.

The Fw190s receive much of the same treatment as the Bf109s do, with the plastic being identical in both kits. The two variants provided are an Fw190A-5 and an Fw190F-8. The main differences between these two marks are the bulges on the cowling and the fact that one carries a bomb and the other a drop tank. There are two cowling pieces provided, allowing you to make either the A-5 or F-8 variants, although the bulges are somewhat indistinct. Perhaps under paint they'll show up more.

The wings are one piece and include all the wing armament. For the Fw190F-8 the outer wing guns are not present, and the instructions tell you to cut them off. Like the Bf109, the fit is pretty good and with some careful test fitting this kit could easily go together without any filler needed.

The decal choices are quite good, like the Bf109, and each kit gives you two choices. For the Fw190A-5 the first choice is the colorful bird flown by Hermann Graf, with yellow and red tulip petals on the cowling and rudder. A red and yellow lightning bolt runs down the fuselage side and Graf's scoreboard is on the rudder. The second choice is a colorful JG 54 bird, "Black 5", finished in a non-standard camouflage of green and brown, in addition to the 74/75/76 scheme. A yellow fuselage band along with yellow wingtips and cowling underside finishes off this scheme.

For the Fw190F-8 two choices are again provided. The first is "Chevron E" from Stab. II/SG in Russia. This one is finished in the standard 74/75/76 scheme and features a large "E" on the cowling, as well as with the chevron in front of the fuselage cross. The second choice is the one from the boxtop, being "White 3" from II/SG 4. Also finished in 74/75/76, this one as the name "Erni" on the nose.

Conclusion

While these kits are small, they are very well done and I wouldn't hesitate to pick one or two up. In fact, if you want to put out a bunch of Bf109s or Fw190s, these kits are ideal, as you could easily fit a half dozen in the space one 1/48 kit takes up. If nothing else, they will be a pleasant break from things and at the price they're going for, you can't beat it.

Thanks to Lubos Vinar of Vamp Mail Order for these review samples.



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