Eduard

1/32 Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 Trop

Product # 03004 Eduard  from Hobby Link Japan

Product Article by Dave Johnson on June 29 2010

 

The Messerschmitt Bf109 E series was the first model to be fitted with the Daimler Benz DB601A engine. Which had a vast improvement in performance over the Bf 109 A, B, C and D models that were powered by the Junkers Jumo engines during the Spanish Civil War. The ongoing development of the Daimler Benz DB601A increased the maximum speed from 334 mph from the unsuccessful E-2 to 348 mph.  Installation provisions were made for engine mounted MG FF cannon, which were found to be unsatisfactory. Again vibration and jamming caused its rejection as it did in previous attempts.  During early production lines the wing mounted MG 17 machine guns were replaced with 20mm MG FF Cannons and 7.92mm machines guns in the front cowl as per the E-1 Series. The Bf 109 E-7 was upgraded from notes learnt from the Battle of Britain. Mainly the fighter's poor operational range during flights. The main upgrades to the E-7 were the ability to  install a 300 litre centreline drop tank plus the ability to carry bombs.  A tropicalised version was developed also for use in the Mediterranean and North Africa Theaters.

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Itís seems a while ago that Eduard released the Bf109 E-1, but it was only in February 2009 and then followed up with the E-4 and Bf109 E-3 in late 2009. Back when the E-1 was released it seemed like a lot  the modelling community was saying  " do we need another 1/32 Bf 109? "    The E series hadnít been represented well for many years. The only releases were from Hasagawa with raised panel lines and a questionable shape profile. The other option is from Matchbox, with its poorly shaped front and wide panel lines and thick detailed parts. Both kits are dating back to the 1970ís.

The kit is packed with tons of plastic and extras as 176 parts molded in olivey coloured plastic, 9 parts in clear, two Photo Etch frets one in Eduardís colour and canopy masks decals for 5 aircraft (s)  and stencilling for one aircraft. There are 5 aircraft markings schemes plus stencil data for one aircraft supplied with the kit.

http://www.hlj.com/product/EDU03004

The kit itself is molded very nicely up to Eduard standards. There are nice and crisp panel lines and rivet details on the exterior surfaces. On my last review sample of the E-3 there were a couple of small sink marks present on the upper wing root surfaces, which I was glad to see is not present in this sample. There is still a small amount of flash on some parts, but there are no injector pin marks on any of the detailed surfaces. The control surfaces feature (s a)  fabric sag look to them, to some it may look overdone, but it would be easy to fill them with some Mr Surfacer to get them to your liking.

 As previous releases, the option of a fully detailed DB601A engine is included with the kit. This can be fitted showing or left out with the cowling on. If the second option is taken there are extra parts included in the kit to mount machine guns into the cowl, stubs and propeller. Detail of the exhaust stubs are excellent with raised welding seems. The cowl is supplied in four separate parts also to show off all the engine bay or some of it.

All the control surfaces parts are molded separately, the rudder actuator is included in the Photo Etch fret. Flaps have been molded with tabs to position them in a dropped position. These could be removed easily to gain raised position on them.

Cockpit detail is excellent out of the box. Plastic and Photo Etch parts combine to complete the front office. Looking at some references the oxygen bottles seems to be sitting to high due to being too long.

The new components that feature in this kit is the Tropical Filter, which was partly present in the E-4 release and the centreline fuel tank, again these were included in the E-4 release as extra parts that werenít required. Also included is the newly tooled canopy parts to replace the narrow profile canopy that was originally tooled. Which got many modellers talking about in the past. To new photo etch frets are included for this boxing.

 Also in the past there has been some criticizing Eduard, on the wheels appearing to narrow and the wheel hubs ribs being to shallow. These were corrected on the E-3 release and appear again in this release.

Decals are printed by the world leaders in Decal Technology, Cartograf.  There are two sheets supplied, one containing the stencils and the other carrying National and unit markings.

As per the previous 109 releases from Eduard there are 5 schemes to choose from in this boxing of the Trop E-7ís which are based in Ain-el-Gazala, Libya. And four of the five schemes that are provided in this boxing are for JG 27. The schemes are the following -

3./JG 27, Ain-el-Gazala, Libya, 1941

Stab I./JG 27, Ain-el-Gazala, Libya, 1941

2./JG 27, Ain-el-Gazala, Libya, 1941

2./JG 27, Ain-el-Gazala, Libya, 1941

I./JG 27, Ain-el-Gazala airfield, Libya, Summer 1941

 

 

Again this new addition to Eduardís Emil range is superb straight from the box, offering lots of optional extra parts or display possibilities. Eduard E-7 release will be a nice addition to the other 3 previous releases of the Emil family. I am one of the many modellers that are looking forward and waiting to the first Eduard release of the Bf109 Friedrick family.

I would like to thank Hobby Link Japan (www.hlj.com) for supplying this review sample.

Dave Johnson

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Photos and text © by Dave Johnson