Early Emil: Airfix’s 1/48 Bf.109E-1
If you want an accurate ‘kerbside’ representation of a Bf.109E you really can’t go far wrong with Airfix’s 1/48 scale offering released some five or six years ago.
It’s not a bad kit, not as well finessed as the Eduard kit, but a lot easier to build by all accounts.
Rather than go for an out of box scheme, I picked up an old ‘Marauding Emils’ Aeromaster sheet, and opted to for an early E-1 version flown by Staffelkapitan Eduard Neuman of JG26 just before the outbreak of World War two.
(The decal sheet bit back however, with a number of the decals silvering, which I assumed was due to the age of the sheet & some of the adhesive becoming degraded…so no cigar for me…).
Kit-wise, I found the panel lines a bit too deep for my tastes, but this seems to be a recurring criticism of Airfix’s ‘renaissance’ releases, & a few coats of Mr Surfacer 1200 or 1500, if you can get it, helps to tone things down considerably.
The canopy moulding on my boxing also had rather soft framing detail, so I substituted it with the spare one from the Zvezda Bf.109F-2 which was far sharper & a surprisingly good shoe-in replacement.
The cockpit detail is adequate, and as I wanted to show my canopy closed the only aftermarket I added was Eduard’s generic Luftwaffe seat belts.
The only other replacement were the wheels, which unfortunately had one slightly short shot which I replaced with a spare set from Academy’s Avia S-199.
Paints were sourced from Mr Color’s range of acrylic lacquers, which I can highly recommend.
Any comments welcome, but in the meantime thanks for looking.