I tend to keep a few projects on the bench at any one time. This way, if it’s raining and I can’t paint, or if I need to wait for a paint coat or decals or whatnot to cure, I can move along to something else in the interim.
With the ruination of the Academy P-38F, I’ve found myself with an unexpected opening, and I’ve decided to fill it with my first 1/32 kit, Eduard’s Messerschmitt Bf-109E-7 Trop.
Well, maybe not my first 1/32 kit – I have recollections of tackling a 1/32 F-117 stealth fighter as a kid – but certainly my first in this second modeling life.
About the Bf-109E-7 Trop
The Bf-109 was the mainstay of the German Luftwaffe, serving from the outbreak of the war until its end in 1945. And, somewhat ironically, it found a second life of sorts as Israel’s front line fighter during that country’s earliest years.
The 109 is more-or-less synonymous with the Luftwaffe, much the way the Spitfire is with the RAF or the Zero with the Japanese Navy. And, thanks to its staggering number of variants and tendency toward very interesting camoflage schemes, is probably the most-kitted aircraft out there.
The E-7 was an evolution of the Bf-109s that fought in the Battle of Britain. That epic conflict revealed a nasty flaw in the 109 – it’s lack of range. The E-7 added the ability to carry a range-extending drop tank. ‘Trop’ is short for “tropical”, which basically means that this particular E-7 was fitted with a dust filter for service in North Africa.
The kit is one of Eduard’s Profi-Packs, which means it comes with photo-etch parts, canopy and wheel masks, and a host of marking options in the box. There’s really no reason to go reaching for aftermarket parts, though I decided to add a set of Master’s brass gun barrels to the mix since they’re a definite improvement on the kit parts.
At first glance, the detail is superb. The panel lines are crisp yet subtle. The photo-etch instrument panel is a sight to behold. There’s some flash on the plastic, particularly along the fuselage, but it’s minor and should be easily dealt with.
I’ve already spent a bit of time with the kit, building up small portions of the cockpit before priming them, and so far, so good. Everything fits, though there were a few instances where I’d have preferred a more positive fit, so maybe Eduard hasn’t come as far as I’d hoped from their Yak-3.
I’ll report back as I get this sucker built up…but so far, it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun!