Bf 109E-7 & Fw 190A-5 Japanese Army (2 kits)
Series: Limited Edition
Imperial Japan's Army Air Force evaluated several Luftwaffe aircraft during WWII and they received Allied code-names. The Focke-Wulf 190 was 'Fred' and the Messerschmitt 109 was tagged ‘Mike.’
in the box
The conventional lid and tray box is decorated with profiles of a Bf 109E and an Fw 190A-5 in IJAAF markings. Inside are two plastic bags containing each aircraft. A total of 8 sprues hold 70 parts:
64 x light gray parts
5 x clear pieces
1 x metal seat
1 x decal sheet for two aircraft
2 x instruction sheets
Although these Hasegawa kits are a couple of decades old they were tooled during the ‘modern era.’ Parts are commendably molded with smooth exteriors on the airframes and no visible sink holes. While the Focke-Wulf does not have flash or other flaws, the Messerschmitt is showing its age: flash and plastic burrs; incompletely molded parts.
The airframes are detailed predominately with recessed panel lines. Each airframe is built with semi-conventional components: single bottom wing with left and right top parts; one-piece stabilizers; separate drop tank pylon; intakes, spinner and hub; fuselage halves. A separate cowling is molded for ‘Mike’ and a cowl ring is used for ‘Fred.’ Each fuselage half has the entire vertical stabilizer; Bf 109 wings have the bottom molded along the wingtips and control surfaces, which facilitates molding and allowed Hasegawa to make trailing edges more to-scale, avoiding seams.
Canopy parts consist of a windscreen, landing light, and hood for the Fw 190, and two types of one-piece canopies for ‘Mike.’ The parts are clear but the Bf 109 parts look slightly distorted.
Main gear wells: good detail for the ‘Fred,’ none for ‘Mike.’ Gear doors have no interior detail. The main gear and tail wheels have fair detail. They are molded to a fine size.
Little detail for the cockpits floors and cockpit tubs. There are no seatbelts, molded or decal, yet Hasegawa includes a metal seat for the Bf 109. The instrument panels are without raised or recessed detail so the decals are essential. Cockpit sides are not detailed.
‘Fred’ has separate propellers.
decals, instructions, painting
Both instructions open accordion-style. Black and white line art illustrate several steps and sub steps to build the models.
Each aircraft has decals for a single aircraft:
1. Bf109E-7: J.A.A.F. Experimental division Code: white-1 Kagamihara A.B. 1941
2. Fw190A-5: J.A.A.F. Experimental division Tokorozawa A.B. Dec., 1943
These are the highlights of the kits: smooth, precisely registered, opaque, sharp decals that are very impressive. Lots of data stenciling!
Only two paint brands are referenced, not surprisingly, Mr. Color and GSI Creos Aqueous Hobby Color. Paint suggestions are keyed to most parts at each stage.
A good article about the Bf 109 can be found via Click here for additional images for this review
I don’t know when these models were first tooled and released. They are good models although the Bf 109E is showing its age. If you want a better cockpit then you’ll need a resin aftermarket set. You may justly counter, 'But these are 1/72!' yet another 1/72 Fw 190 has an impressive cockpit. While the molding of the Focke-Wulf is good, I am disappointed with the Bf 109. I haven’t built any 1/72 Messerschmitts by Hasegawa’s rivals so I cannot directly compare them. I have built other 1/72 Fw 190A kits that are more detailed than this one. These models have bid farewell to their days as cutting edge.
The impressive decals are smooth, registered, opaque, and sharp and are the highlight of this Limited Edition. They are the purpose
of this kit! Thus, all things considered, I like this limited edition kit.