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:
- new sidewall details, engine controls, oxygen regulator container, seat adjustment mount, and additions to the rudder pedals and rear bulkhead
- handles and retaining straps for the ammunition cannisters, plus details for the feeds
- 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
- canvass liners and other details for the wheel wells, and new oleo scissors and inner wheel hubs along with a brake-line attachment
- Aileron actuators and tie downs
- perforated ribs, a new folded carburettor intake cover, inspection covers and catches
- a metal strap to replace the solid-moulded item
- 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.
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