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In-Box Review
132
Messerschmitt Bf 108
Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Background
I was very excited a year or two ago when Striped Fighter announced an injection moulded 1:32 kit of the Messerschmitt Bf 108. With its design clearly rooted in Eduard’s fine 1:48 model, it promised to be a great kit of this important aircraft.

Then everything seemed to go quiet. I don’t know if it saw a limited release, but I certainly never spotted it for sale in the UK. Thankfully, it’s now widely available under the Eduard banner - and its first boxing comes complete with photo-etched and resin accessories.

The Kit
The kit arrives in a very attractive Eduard ProfiPACK-style box, so it's quite a surprise to open it and find the main parts presented in a decidedly non-Eduard way. Instead of the crystal-clear resealable bags we've grown accustomed to, the runners are packed in thin, open polythene bags (and rather crumpled ones at that). Nothing was any the worse the wear for that (and, in fact, I rather like the "low-tech" bags), and the kit arrived perfectly intact.

However, the Eduard-produced accessories are in resealable bags, and the difference in presentation is quite striking, giving a slight "split personality" overall feel to the kit.

The Bf 108 comprises:

126 x dark grey styrene parts (plus 3 not needed)
6 x clear styrene parts
2 x grey resin parts
xx x photoetched parts (some pre-coloured)
A sheet of washi-tape painting masks
Decals for 5 x colour schemes

The parts are cleanly moulded, with no signs of flash or other problems. The exterior surface finish is quite textured (for want of a better description, a "heavy satin" finish). I'll polish it smooth to make painting and applying the decals easier.

The actual surface detail comprises neat engraved panel lines and a few embossed fasteners and rivets. Fabric surfaces are very subtly depicted and lack rib tapes - which is probably no bad thing, because they are usually far too heavily done in kits. If you add them with decal strips, it will give a nice scale effect.

Test Fit
Overall, the kit seems very much like it's been scaled-up from Eduard's 1:48 Taifun, and the breakdown of the parts and sub-assemblies is almost identical for the most part. The fuselage and wings go together without any fuss at all, and all the panel lines line-up precisely. Dry-fitted, I found a slight gap at the wing roots, but bear in mind this is without the interior parts which may spread the cockpit sides a little. Even if they don’t, I’m confident the gap will close up neatly when glued.

Tailplanes are often a sloppy fit in kits. Not so here - in fact they are excessively tight in the sample, so you may need to ease the joints a bit.

The big change compared with the smaller Eduard Bf 108 is that this 1:32 kit features separate ailerons, flaps and elevators. That's a welcome touch, so it's a little disappointing that the designers didn't take the opportunity to add separate leading-edge slats too.

A Few Details
Construction begins with the cockpit featuring, just like the Eduard 1:48 kit, the extra fuel tanks for the Sonderkommando Blaich colour scheme. The cockpit is nicely fitted-out, comprising over 50 styrene and photo-etched parts. The original styrene parts include quite a decent moulded instrument panel, but Eduard offer two alternatives - a decal overlay or a two-part pre-painted photo-etched panel. There’s really no competition as far as I’m concerned - the etched version is gorgeous - but the decal should snuggle down nicely over the plastic panel, because the raised details are quite shallow. There are pre-painted multi-part seat harnesses, plus throttle levers and trim wheels etc., so the completed office should look very good straight from the box.

The same is true for the engine - some 30 parts in total. To be honest, this will be almost entirely hidden once the model’s finished so, while you could obviously add a lot more in terms of plumbing and ignition cables, the kit engine is more than adequate unless you open up the cowl panels.

The undercarriage is adequate, but the treads on the unweighted tyres are a bit soft. This obviously stood out as a weak point for Eduard, because they’ve released a pair of Brassin upgrade sets (to be reviewed separately) which are a huge improvement.

The kit includes a choice of propellers; a styrene metal-bladed prop and a Brassin wooden fixed-pitch prop. Not surprisingly, the Brassin propeller is beautifully produced.

The kit offers parts for open and closed canopies. The parts are wonderfully thin and crystal clear, and they really do have that “Wow!” factor. Even with the canopy closed, you’ll be able to showcase all the care you’ve put into the cockpit. And that’s a real plus, because it isn’t at all clear how you’re meant to attach the folded panels for the open canopy without scratch-building some hinges. I almost always like to build my kits with canopy open, but I think I’ll model the Bf 108 closed-up to show off its clean lines, confident that the “office” will be fully visible.

Eduard provide a set of die-cut washi tape painting masks for the wheels and canopy. Another case for keeping the canopy closed is that you’d really need masks for the insides if you open it.

Instructions & Decals
Eduard provide a high quality 16-page A5 colour-printed set of instructions. The construction sequence all looks logical, and I can’t foresee any potential pitfalls (except, as noted above, the vague way the canopy is shown in its open position).

As usual, Eduard give colour matches for Gunze Sangyo paints.

The five featured decal choices provide a very interesting mix of colour schemes, with everything from standard splinter camouflage, desert and winter schemes, overall RLM 02, and even an unusual “day-fighter” style paint job:

A Bf 108, GK EM, Sonderkommando Blaich, Tripoli, Libya, January 1942
B Bf 108, BK ZS, Hungary, 1942 - 1944
C Bf 108, NF MS, Stab I./JG51, Soviet Union, Winter 1942 - 1943
D Bf 108, 4E RM, 4.(H)/Aufkl. Gr. 13, Romania, April 1940
E Bf 108, PJ NG, I./JG 54, France, June/ July 1940

The decals look to be excellent quality - thin and glossy with crystal clear carrier film and pin-sharp registration. Swastikas are included both complete and with separate centres. The complete versions are in one corner of the sheet so they can be snipped off for markets where there’s sensitivity over the symbol.

Conclusion
It’s great to see the Striped Fighter kit of the Bf 108 widely available, and I think Eduard are likely to have a real success on their hands with it. Priced at just over £30, it's great value for money and it promises to build into a very attractive model. I’m really looking forward to starting it as soon as I’ve finished Eduard’s superb new 1:48 Spitfire Mk. I.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE
SUMMARY
Highs: Good quality mouldings and excellent accessories and decals. Crystal clear canopy parts. Very good value for money.
Lows: The surface finish will benefit from polishing. The wheels are a bit basic. Displaying the canopy open looks likely to be much trickier than the instructions suggest.
Verdict: It's great to see a Bf 108 in 1:32. This looks to be a very straightforward build, boosted by excellent photo-etched and resin accessories.
Percentage Rating
90%
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: 3006
  Suggested Retail: £32.66
  PUBLISHED: Aug 25, 2020
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.34%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.57%

Our Thanks to Eduard!
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)
FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM

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 ©2020 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.



Comments

Great Review Rowan!!! I did have a bit of difficulty constructing the cockpit on their 1/48 Taifun. But it may be user error, I don't know "but bear in mind this is without the interior parts which may spread the cockpit sides a little" covers it. My problem was that the instructions looked a little vague to me, and once you start dealing with "spreading the cockpit sides", I ended up with a considerable gap in the fuselage on the engine cowling. So it just snowballed into taking a little off here, a little off there, putty, sand, repeat. It will still be a cool kit, and I can't fault Eduard for my own incompetence. But just my 2¢ Excellent work Rowan
SEP 06, 2020 - 11:45 AM
   

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