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In-Box Review
Bf 109E Etched Upgrade
  • Ed_32219_Etch

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Eduard have followed up their 1/32 scale Bf 109E-1 with the release of a set of accompanying photo-etched aftermarket details. Note, the set is for a generic "Bf 109E", so some of the items included will only be relevant to Eduard's forthcoming later-mark Emils.

The single steel fret contains 124 new parts with the scope of the set covering both the interior and exterior of the model. A sheet of black and white instructions is nicely drawn (a full-colour version is also available on-line) and makes it clear enough where kit parts must be modified. The areas tackled break down into the following main sections:

Cockpit interior - new sidewall details, engine controls, oxygen regulator container, seat adjustment mount, and additions to the rudder pedals and rear bulkhead

Nose guns - handles and retaining straps for the ammunition cannisters, plus details for the feeds

Engine - lifting points for the engine, added details for the carburettor intake, glycol tank and engine mount - plus, most importantly, a new crankcase cover with more prominent bolts. The latter is very welcome and should certainly improve on the kit item, but using it does involve some surgery so I hope Eduard include a revised styrene part at some stage.

Wing and nose radiators - cooling flaps and smaller items

Main undercarriage - canvass liners and other details for the wheel wells, and new oleo scissors and inner wheel hubs along with a brake-line attachment

Wings - Aileron actuators and tie downs

Cowling - perforated ribs, a new folded carburettor intake cover, inspection covers and catches

Drop Tank - a metal strap to replace the solid-moulded item

Canopy - a choice of rear-view mirrors, and an armoured headrest

You can see Eduard's own photos of test-shots of the etched parts fitted by following the link on Eduard's Homepage.

The etching is very precise and folds are clearly marked. While this certainly isn't a beginner's set (few etched upgrades are), it's not overly complex and the larger scale makes the details easier to handle. Be warned though - some quite delicate surgery will be need to modify some of the standard kit parts to accept the new metal details, so you risk damaging the kit if you mess things up... The best advice for anyone new to etched upgrades is not to fell obliged to use absolutely everything supplied - use the parts you feel comfortable with and leave well alone if you're unsure. As stated above, some of the parts are for later versions anyway, so any leftover items can join them in the spares box for a later date when you feel more confident.

Eduard's Bf 109E upgrade will add worthwhile enhancements to what is already a very fine kit. Sadly, arriving a month after the kit's release means that many people who ran out to buy the Emil as soon as it hit the shelves may already have progressed beyond the point where it's practical to fit all the new details, but it's a set with a guaranteed long shelf life to accompany future releases. Although I've already made a start on the 'E-1, I'll be incorporating as many of the details as I can into the online-build. Recommended for modellers with a degree of experience working with aftermarket sets.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Verdict: Precisely etched with plenty of worthwhile details to take the standard kit to a new level.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:32
  Mfg. ID: 32 219
  Suggested Retail: $ 24.95
  PUBLISHED: Mar 15, 2009

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)

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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