by: Tim Hatton [ ]
1./JG 2, Bassenheim, Germany, May 1940.
The aircraft featured in this kit, White “7” flew in the spring of 1940 with Staffel JG2 under the command of the Spanish Civil War veteran Oblt. Otto Bertram. The aircraft carries the standard period camouflage scheme consisting of RLM02/71 on the upper surfaces. The lower surface light blue RLM 65 extended quite high up the fuselage sides. An oddity on this aircraft is the application of the older national markings on this newer scheme, including the smaller fuselage crosses with very thin borders and the application of the swastika that covered both the rudder and the fin. The emblem of JG2 Richthofen appeared on both sides of the fuselage under the cockpit. Similarly, the Staffel marking of a leashed dog “Bonzo” appeared on both sided and was developed by Otto Bertram. The template for the dog was the character “Bonzo the Dog” by the British artist George Studdy, who's drawings paradoxically appeared on aircraft of both sides.
Comes in a top opening box with nicely illustrated Bf 109 E-3 printed on a white background. After reviewing quite a few 1/72 scale kits recently the size of this kit when I opened the box was a real pleasant surprise. There are three transparent bags containing the six olive green plastic sprues. The clear plastic parts are bagged separately. Also included with this release are two sheets of decals and a eight page construction, painting and decal guide.
Cockpit: is generously made up from approximately 27 plastic parts. There are two decals for the two part instrument panel if you don't fancy painting the rather nicely moulded low relief detail. Onto the upper control panel is glued the gun sight. The two side walls are separate with good level of detail, the starboard side has a map holder moulded onto it. The addition of parts to the side walls will really make them look pretty busy and will benefit from some careful painting and weathering to bring out that detail. Other features included in the cockpit are the oxygen regulator, radiator flap control, the flap and horizontal stabiliser wheels, control stick, rudder pedals and throttle. The pilots seat is very well done, but as this is a Weekend release there are no seat harnesses.
The canopy comes in three parts and can be displayed open or closed. There are plastic parts to glue to the clear parts including grab rails for the windscreen, and a back and headrest for the canopy. A separate armoured windscreen is supplied in the kit, but it is not used on White “7”.
Engine: One thing that appeals to me about this kit by Eduard is the inclusion of the power plant and bearers. The engine, the Diamler Benz DB 601, is made up from approximately 34 parts and the level of detail will more than satisfy most modelers. The exhaust pipes are all moulded separately, each one has a slight hollow in the end where the exhaust gases exit. Obviously there is scope for extra detailing in the way of cables and pipes, but the engine is very good as it stands. On top of the engine are the two synchronised machine guns and both have good level of detail. Of course if you want to speed up the build, you can button up the one piece engine cowling and the smaller hatch placed behind. If this is your intention then the individual exhaust pipes are attached to a blanking plates and these are attached to the cowling. The oil radiator under the nose has no representation of the radiator grills.
Fuselage: is split vertically and will need the cockpit, oil radiator and tail wheel gluing in place before the two halves can be joined. Surface detail is exemplary with very fine recessed panel lines, inspection hatches and rivets. I particularly like the representation of the blisters under the nose and on the upper wing roots. Another feature I like is the slight bump in the fuselage and tail wing where the support strut is located. The rudder is separate so can be posed at any angle. The fabric covering on the rudder as do the rest of the control surfaces, to me look a little overdone, but I am sure it will not look so noticeable under some paint.
The wings: come in three parts, the one piece lower with it's set dihedral and the two part upper wings. As with the fuselage the level of detail is superb with fine recessed panel lines, access panels and rivets. The flaps, ailerons and leading edge slats are all separate. There is some raised detail in the roof of the undercarriage bay where the wheels retract into the wing. The walls of the wheel well, which were made from leather or canvas on the real thing, are separate items. The main undercarriage has very good level of detail. The one piece tyres have recessed treads, and the hubs come in two parts and look excellent. The oleos for the main gear have torsional links moulded on them. There is a separate hydraulic line that is attached to each oleo on the main undercarriage. The tail wheel is one piece and this is attached to a two piece leg. Each under wing radiator is made up from three parts. I think this is the only area as well as oil radiator under the nose that really miss the addition of photo etched parts as there is no representation of the radiator grills in the plastic. The two flaps to the rear of the radiator are separate and can be set in what ever position you fancy. Each tail plane is made up from two pieces and has separate one piece elevators and similarly to the rest of the kit the level of detail is very good.
Propeller:. There are two spinners provided with this kit, one solid and the other with a hole where the cannon muzzle is situated. The latter is used with this version. The three blade prop is one piece, the blades are thin with sharp edges. The pitch change mechanism at the root of each blade is well done.
Fuel tank: is an optional item that fit into a cradle under the belly of the aircraft. The tank comes in two pieces split horizontally. The tank is attached to the fuselage by four point cradle. The cradle fits through a housing that fits under the belly.
Markings: As this is a Weekend Edition release there is only marking for one aircraft, that of white “7” flown by Oblt. Otto Bertram, while based at Bassenheim, Germany in May 1940. Not the most eye catching scheme ever seen, but any interesting choice for the student of Luftwaffe aircraft markings. The aircraft is painted pale blue [76 RLM] under surfaces and very high up the fuselage. Upper surface colours are grey [RLM 02] and dark green [RLM 71] applied as a splinter camouflage finish. The spinner is black green [RLM 70]. Paint references are for Mr Color, Hobby Color and Mr metal Color. Where needed Eduard provide the RLM colours if you cannot access these brands of paint.
Decals: are printed on two sheets. Part one has the main marking, the crosses and the swastikas. One set of swastikas are made from two parts, while the others are entire. You have to look closely at the illustration for the paint schemes to spot where the swastikas are placed on the tail. Curiously there are three versions of the emblem of JG2 Richthofen, Edward leave the choice of which you apply entirely up to you. The first emblem is a red “R” with a red surround and the background colour will be light blue [RLM 76]. The second has a red “R”, white background with a black surround. The third is a red “R” on a white background with a red surround. The rather excitable leashed dog “Bonzo” is also on this sheet as is the white “7” numbers. Part two has the two instrument panel decals and quite a few stencils. Quality of the decals looks very good, with good colour density, they are thin and the carrier film is none existent around each decal, except for the two “Bonzo” dog decals. There is a carrier film visible due to the nature of this particular illustration.
Instructions: come in the form of a 8 page A4 manual. The instruction are in the form of excellent line drawings and alongside the instruction keys and the paint references for parts that are visible should make for a straightforward build. There is a separate page for the application of the stencils and another page for the paint guide.
It's great that Eduard have developed the idea of these Weekend kits. Yes I can here you thinking, that this kit due to it's size will be a challenge to complete in a Weekend. What you do have here is the potential to build, paint and place on your shelf a model a lot quicker and more cheaply than the Eduard Profipacks. Also it gives you the great opportunity to practice your Luftwaffe paint schemes if you want some alternative finishes. I am looking forward to building this beauty. Oh and to answer my questions at the start, definitely yes, and perhaps some etched radiators and seat harnesses will be acquired. Incidentally if you are thinking of maybe trying something in a larger scale rather than 1/72 or 1/48, then this kit would be an excellent introduction. Nice one Eduard, very nice.