Eduard 1/48 Operation Bodenplatte Dual Combo
This is Eduard's "Operation Bodenplatte" Special Edition Dual Kit. You get 2 complete kits, a Focke-Wulf FW 190D-9 and a Messerschmitt Bf109G-14. The latter kit includes optional fuselage halves to make a G-14/AS.
It consists of 447 parts. 178 total parts are for the D-9, including 147 plastic parts and 31 photo-etch pieces on a single fret. The G-14 comprises 267 parts. 221 of these are injection molded and there are 46 PE parts on 2 frets. Plus 2 sets of rice paper masks, one for each plane.
The surface detail on the wings and fuselage consists of recessed panel lines and rivets where appropriate and this detail is superb. The G-14 includes 2 different upper cowlings, one with the small press (gun openings) and one with the straight punch (no press) at the rear of the gun troughs.
Eduard also includes the appropriate starboard Beule (bulge) with the small generator cooling scoop and bulge for the larger oil pump.
The optional G-14/AS fuselage halves have the refined wide cowlings and include an enlarged propeller and supercharger intake.
The wings are highly detailed. The wheel wells are multi-piece moldings that are convincing in their complexity. The leading edge slats are well done separate pieces. The ailerons, underwing radiator flaps and horizontal stabilizers are also individual pieces. The fabric effect on the ailerons, rudder and horizontal stabilizers is good. The landing gear are well executed. I like the 3 piece main wheels. The parts breakdown will make them easy to paint.
The cockpit is very nice. It uses photo-etch parts in conjunction with the plastic pieces to accurately depict the Gustav cockpit, down to the clear sight glass in the cockpit fuel line on the starboard fuselage sidewall. You have your choice of using a decal on the injection molded instrument panel or you can use the excellent photo-etch panel instead.
Optional parts include a number of Rustsatze (field conversion sets): R-1 (ETC 900/IXb rack with SC 250 bomb), R-2 (ETC 50/VIId rack with 4 SC 50 bombs), R-3 (300 liter drop tank), R-6 (MG 151/20MM underwing cannon) and R-7 (Direction Finding (DF) loop). These parts are nice to have and very useful to boot.
The clear parts are similarly comprehensive. They include 2 gun sights, 3 different windscreens, the fuel line, "Galland Panzer" canopy armor, and 3 different Erla Haube canopies.
The surface detail consists of rivets and both raised and recessed panel lines where appropriate.
You have your choice of open or closed cowling rings, main wheels with or without tread, and a one-piece tail wheel or one with a separate, 2 piece fork and tail wheel. Some modelers might find the one-piece tail wheel easier to paint.
The rudder and ailerons are molded separately and the fabric effect is well depicted. The wheel wells are a detailed, complex, multi piece assembly. The visible lower part of the Jumo engine is well depicted.
This engine "plug" consists of 11 pieces plus firewall. With the addition of plumbing lines and an oil wash this area will look very impressive.
The firewall/engine plug assembly also incorporates the mount for the upper cowling mounted MG 151 machine guns. The spent cartridge chutes are also included and with the addition of the various wires and hoses you have the makings of a convincing maintenance diorama.
The D-9 cockpit was painted RLM 66, a very dark Grey. The cockpit is busy and it will look pretty cool with an oil wash and dry brushing. Much of the PE fret is devoted to the cockpit and it includes rudder pedals, seat harness, a new instrument panel, canopy opening wheel, and sidewall consoles. The upper wing gun bays can be depicted open or closed. For the lower wing pylon you have your choice of a 500 KG bomb or drop tank.
There are 3 different decal sheets in this lavish kit. One sheet includes the national insignia, optional instrument panel decals and the individual aircraft markings. The other 2 sheets are air frame stencils. There are 8 different marking options, 4 D-9s and 4 G-14s:
"Black 12", FW190D-9, W. Nr. 2110079, Lt. Theo Nibel, 10./JG 54, Varrelbusch, Germany, January 1st, 1945. This aircraft had the standard canopy and was painted in RLM 75 Grey and 83 Dark Green over RLM 76 Light Blue. The wing upper surfaces were 82/83 Greens, the lower cowl was RLM 04 Yellow and the spinner was black with a white spiral; the spiral ended at the spinner mid point. There was a loose mottle of RLM 81 Brown Violet over the mid fuselage, fin and rudder.
"Black Chevron/Double Bar", FW190D-9, W. Nr. 210194, Fw. Werner Hohenberg, Stab I./JG 2, Merzhausen, Germany, January 1st, 1945. This D-9 had the standard canopy and it was painted in RLM 75 Grey and 83 Dark Green over RLM 76 Light Blue. It had a yellow/white/yellow Reich Defense fuselage band and the spinner was black with a white spiral. There was a loose mottle of RLM 75 Grey on the fin and rudder.
"Yellow 13", FW190D-9, W. Nr. 500093, Ogefr. Dieter Kragelöh, Stab I./JG 2, Merzhausen, Germany, January 1st, 1945. This D-9 had the "blown" canopy and was painted in RLM 82/83 Greens over RLM 76 Light Blue. The aft fuselage was the "Yellow Green" variant of RLM 76. The spinner was black with a white spiral. There was a loose mottle of RLM 75 Grey on the fin and rudder. The leading edge of the wings and landing gear doors were RLM 83, the center section was natural metal and the flaps and ailerons were RLM 76 Light Blue. The rudder was standard 76 and a dense 83 mottle covered both the fin and rudder.
"Blue 2", FW190D-9, W. Nr. 600161, Gefr. Hans-Karl Götz, 7./JG 26, Plantlünne, Germany, January 1st, 1945. This D-9 had the standard canopy, black/white Reich Defense band and was painted in RLM 82/83 Greens over RLM 76 Light Blue. There was a mottle of large RLM 75 Grey blotches on the upper cowl. The leading and trailing edges of the wings and landing gear doors were RLM 76 and the center section was natural metal. The fuselage, fin and rudder had a loose RLM 82/83 mottle. The spinner was black with a white spiral and the fuselage crosses had an RLM 83 "fill".
"Black 5", Bf109G-14,/U4, W. Nr. 512335, Othmar Heberling, 2./JG 77, Dortmund, Germany, January 1st, 1945. This G-14 had the standard fin and rudder. It was painted RLM 74/75 over 76 with a black spinner with a thin white spiral. The fuselage sides had a loose 74/75 mottle. The rudder was white and both it and the rudder had moderately dense 75 mottles. The fuselage crosses had an RLM 75 fill.
"Blue 3", Bf109G-14, W. Nr. 781183, Uffz. Werner Zetzschke, 4./JG 4, Darmstadt-Griesheim, Germany, January 1st, 1945. This G-14 had the tall fin and rudder. It was painted RLM 74/75/76 with a black spinner with a white spiral. The fuselage sides had a dense 74/75 mottle and a black/white/black Reich Defense band. The RLM 76 wraps over the wing leading edge in a wavy pattern. The fin and rudder are RLM 75 with large, hard-edged blotches of 74 and 76. The fuselage crosses have an RLM 75 fill.
"Yellow 19", Bf109G-14/AS, W. NR 784986, Ofw. Paul Schwerdtfeger, 11./JG 6, Bissel, Germany, January 1st, 1945. This G-14/AS was painted RLM 74/75/76 with a black spinner with a white spiral and a red/white/red Reich Defense band. The fin and rudder are RLM 75 with large, hard-edged blotches of 74 and 76. The fuselage crosses have an RLM 75 fill.
"White 13", Bf109G-14/AS, W. NR 784993, Uffz. Herbert Maxxis, 13./JG 53, Stuttgart-Echterdingen, Germany, January 1st, 1945. This G-14/AS was painted RLM 74/75/76 with a black spinner and Reich Defense band. The fin and rudder are RLM 75 with large, hard-edged blotches of 74 and 76. The previous aircraft markings were over painted and the fuselage crosses had an RLM 75 fill.
The instructions are up to Eduard's usual standards. The instructions include a parts map, a well illustrated and logical build sequence, full color profiles of all 5 decal options, and a stencil application guide. The color call outs are for GSI Creos (Gunze) and Mission Models paints.
This is a great kit. It combines late War versions of 2 of my favorite Luftwaffe fighter planes. Both kits are accurate and highly detailed and the decal options are great. You can choose from Eduard's numerous Brassin resin and photo-etched sets to up the detail level if you're so inclined. I recommend the Operation Bodenplatte kit and I would like to thank Eduard for the review sample.
Focke-Wulf FW 190, Volume IV, by Krysztof Janowicz, Kagero Publications, 2004
Bf 109 Late versions, Camouflage & markings, by Kryzsztof W. Wołowski, MMP Books, 2010