Airfix 1/48 Bf 109E-1
A bargain compared to the Tamiya and Eduard Emil kits, if only for the optional parts. You can do just about every major E subtype from the parts in the box.
There are a few minor let downs. The propeller blade shape us a tad dodgy, and the leading edge inserts for the machine guns or cannon option need some shimming and putty work. Otherwise, fit and detail are excellent.
Aside from rigging and a canopy latch handle, the kit was built stock.
The finish is Testors Model Master enamels.
In this particular issue, the decals seem more like those found in Airfix’s 1990s kits like the Spitfire 22/24 and Seafire 46/47 – well printed but poorly conforming to surface detail.
I chose the kit option for a Spanish Civil War E-1 from 3 Staffel Jagdgruppe 88. Although that option features a Mickey Mouse cartoon, it’s not Adolf Galland’s plane – he flew He 51s in the Condor Legion.
After applying Future/Kleer/Pledge floor finish for a gloss coat and several sessions with Micro Sol and an Xacto blade, I was able to get the decals to lie down in most panel lines. With the smaller stencils, I applied those to small puddles of Pledge to avoid silvering.
Panel lines were highlighted with a sharp HB pencil and India ink wash. A thin airbrushed wash of off white blended together the tones.
Airfix now puts Cartograf decals in its new releases, but I’m not sure about their 1/48 Emils. I’d recommend getting a good aftermarket sheet, but you can get two or three of these for the price of one Eduard or Tamiya kit.
An Ultracast propeller might resolve the propeller shape issue for the purist.
This kit is a solid value, and I’ve got plenty of spares for when I do my Falcon vacuform Emil!
12 additional images. Click to enlarge.