I Might Be in a Rut…
Yep; it’s me again with yet another 109! This time the object of my affection is the Tamiya kit, done as a Bf109E-7 from 9/JG 27 during the early days of Operation Barbarossa. Unlike the Airfix kit I posted last time around this one has almost nothing done to modify it—it comes from the days when Tamiya issued simple to build kits with relatively few parts that were acceptably accurate and this one is as close to a shake and bake model as there could ever be.
I did make a couple of minor changes to the basic kit, of course. One of those falls into the nice-to-have category: The seat is an UltraCast resin component with belts and harnesses cast in place. I’m a big fan of their products and use them whenever I can. The other changes are relatively essential, at least in my world. The prop and spinner were taken from a surplus Eduard Emil, and the wheels all came from Eduard’s Brassin’ line.
Of those items, the prop and spinner worked out pretty well since the Tamiya kit item is too skinny and it’s obvious there’s something wrong there, but I’m not a big fan of Eduard’s 109E wheels at all. The tailwheel is ok but I don’t like the Brassin’ mains, never have, probably never will. They’re an improvement on the kit wheels though, so they’ll stay for a while.
The paint is my usual Mr Color, while the decals are from two sources: The national insignia and stencils are from the kit (and work just fine as long as you use either Mr Mark or Tamiya’s own proprietary decal chemistry with them) while the unit markings and kill markings came from the decal sheet included in Eduard’s “Barbarossa” limited edition kit. (You don’t want to use Eduard’s crosses, should you be tempted to go that route, because the kit they were intended for is a bit overscale and their national insignia decals are too large for any other kit. A word to the wise…)
As a final note, there’s absolutely nothing so wrong with Tamiya’s now-elderly Emil that it can’t produce a good model, but with a caveat. Their first 109E kits have a somewhat mis-shapen nose. The company became aware of the issue and fixed things fairly early on; the boxing with the correction says “Made in Philippines” on the side panel and that’s the one to build if you choose the Tamiya route.
There’s one more Airfix Emil left in the closet, after which I’ll either have to buy another kit or two or build something else; something that doesn’t have an in-line engine and black crosses. I’m leaning towards the second option at the moment but I have to admit I like Herr Messerschmitt’s classic airplane—can you tell?
4 additional images. Click to enlarge.