Eduard 1/32 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 "Profi Pack"
By Thierry Laurent
- TYPE: Messerschmitt Bf109E-1
- SCALE: 1/32
- COMPANY: Eduard
- KIT NUMBER: 3001 “Profi Pack” for the original release (3401 for the “Weekend” edition)
- MOLD CREATION DATE: 2009
KIT DATABASE ENTRY:
TWEAK LIST VERSION 1.0 (publication date: February 2014)
The following list is intended to help modelers in improving scale accuracy of an airplane model replica. In no way is it intended to support or be offensive towards a scale model company.
As such, it is only the result of a progressive process and is in no way intended to be absolute or even comprehensive. Hence, it is intended to focus on commonly admitted discrepancies and will probably not cover some errors. It is up to the modeler to decide whether correcting the listed issues is worth the time and money he will have to invest in the quest for accuracy process.
No aftermarket correction or detail set is mentioned in this document as the availability of such items may be very variable. Hence, refer to other LSP sections to find relevant information. Moreover, aftermarket sets do not necessarily correct all listed issues. Please refer accordingly to relevant documentation.
- The kit is essentially made of flat light yellow-brown and medium grey parts. The moulding is generally crisp with engraved panel lines, rivets and details. General kit dimensions are nearly perfect.
- Overall fit is generally good with some specific noticeable exceptions (e.g. nose cowling, belly and oil cooler areas). However, locating pins are too small to be fully efficient. So, to assemble the large fuselage and cowling parts, adding some tabs of plastic will ease assembly. Dry fit more than once and consider seriously the warnings given in the following section for the nose/engine area as the choice of assembly order (including the one recommended by Eduard for the nose parts) may result in a nightmare!
- All panel lines and prominent rivets are recessed (more particularly on the belly and lower wings) and there are lines of very fine rivets where they were flushed (on the upper wings, the stabilators and the fuselage). Engine area has correct but simplified cowling fasteners. Some details have been simplified or are incorrectly depicted but it is not very noticeable.
- Fabric surfaces are smooth with tape strips topped with delicate stitching detail but some may want to sand this possibly overdone detail.
- Clear parts are very thin and transparent. They include the windshield external armor glass (not for use for the chosen schemes of the kit). A sheet of die cut masks is also included in the Profipack boxing.
- All movable surfaces are separate (slats, flaps, ailerons, elevators, rudder and oil cooler flaps). Note that on the ground actual wing flaps were generally retracted.
- The kit has a full DB601A engine.
- The standard edition has a photo-etched fret including the following items: colored instrument panel, fuse panel, seat belts, rudder actuators, oil cooler face, radiator faces, trim wheel chains, pedals. Unfortunately, some important parts are missing and are only available on another photo-etched set sold separately (e.g. the wheels well canvas dust cover).
- A “weekend” edition of the kit was also released with a single decal scheme, no masks and no photo-etched parts.
NOTICEABLE ENGINE/OIL COOLER ISSUES
- Displayed Engine:
- If the displayed engine option is chosen, the engine exhausts do not fit easily through the nose slots when the horseshoe-shaped tank (G25) has been glued. Modifying the assembly to add the at least the rear exhausts or a full bank of aftermarket ones from the outside is probably the best way to solve this.
- Moreover, if the engine and MG parts are generally correctly shaped, Eduard only gives the basics. The area asks for far more details in this scale if the cowling parts are removed. Parts such as the MG ammo box handles, engine bearings, mounts, crankcase supercharger and belly cylinder heads or plug wiring look unrealistic because they are too simplified. Refining/replacing the parts and adding some more wiring is the minimum to get an acceptable result if one does not want to use aftermarket sets. Last, be also prepared to some extra work as there is no detail on the inside of the engine cover part.
- Hidden Engine:
- The kit may also be assembled without the engine as alternate support parts are included for the propeller, exhausts and guns. This eases position of the cowling but has a major drawback: the void engine bay is visible through the cooling vents. Indeed, the front of the engine is clearly visible through the cowling vents.
- The engine will not fit under the cowling if the G4, G7 & G31 parts are used. It is far easier to place the engine in the nose without the bearers and accessories and this is not a problem as the parts are not visible with the cowling parts.
- As there is a slight taper of the rear cowling section covering the MG17 ammo boxes, the cowling pinches in. So, it is recommended to widen a little bit the backside of the cowling in order to get a correct fit. Unfortunately, with the engine block, it is impossible adding a spreader bar. Accordingly, cut some small square strips and add such spacers on the fuselage edges (against the engine side) to force the edges of the cowling to match them.
- And this is not the end of the problems as the machine gun ammunition feeders/ejection chute channels moulded over part G9 are too high to mate correctly the A11 MG compartment cover with the fuselage parts. Indeed, the problem is a double one: the A11 part is a little bit too thick whereas the gun deck G9 is too large and sit too high (it needs to be level with the fuselage sides). Here is the easiest solution: trim the MG feeder details as well as the deck sides to close correctly the cover.
- Oil Cooler:
- The oil cooler fit is very bad. The oil cooler ceiling (A12) is too large. Its width must be trimmed before the final assembly is trapped between the fuselage halves. Moreover, the part recessed back lip should protrude slightly back into the bottom fuselage. If you do not modify the part and locate it correctly, this may also interfere with the edge of the belly section in front of the bottom wing. Do this cautiously, otherwise, it will be necessary to rely on plasticard or epoxy putty to fill all the seams in order to get a correct chin shape. Parts F11 locating tabs should also be trimmed a little bit to get a correct fit.
- Note as well that oil cooler correctly sized photo-etched screens are hidden between the cardboard sheets on a small errata fret. Indeed, the “standard” mesh parts are too tall.
- It is probably easier to do a dry assembly of the fuselage halves before adding the oil cooler parts (A12, E11, F7, F11 & PE 32/33) from above. First glue F7 to F11, then PE33, PE32 and E11. Then do a dry fit of this assembly with part A12 in the fuselage halves. When a correct location is found glue A12 to the other parts with some liquid glue. Oddly, according to the assembly order, the lug on part A12 may create a problem. If you detect this is indeed the case, remove it before gluing all the parts together. Check as well the correct location of flap part E18 before final assembly.
- Eduard also forgot that the sides on the intake ducting for the chin radiator should be smooth. To solve this, put the radiator assembly temporarily between the two fuselage parts mated with rubber bands and use smoothed epoxy putty into the gaps to get a correct look.
NOTICEABLE FUSELAGE ISSUES (from front to rear)
- The spinner is correctly shaped with an accurately tapered profile. Aligning it with the nose may ask for a little bit of time to get a correct result. Cut away part of the mounting pin (G16) will allow better alignment. It is recommended drilling the holes in the spinner back plate. Note that the propeller shaft/tube muzzle is located too far back in the spinner. So, cut the end from D1 with a razor saw and insert a small piece of plastic tube to extend the end.
- The VDM 9-11081 propeller blades are correct even if possibly a little bit too thin at their end.
- The location and shape of the small bulges on the lower engine cowl (covering engine head covers and oil piping) are inaccurate. However, correcting this is not really easy and this is not very noticeable.
- Parts E9 & E14 (spark plug access doors) are a little bit too short and do not fit correctly into the lower nose slots. Lengthen or replace the parts and carefully blend them into the nose cowling part. Add also the missing piano hinges.
- The exhaust ends are only partly opened. With a careful painting job, this is more or less acceptable but fully opened exhausts would be better. Hence, it is recommended to hollow-out fully the parts or replace them with aftermarket ones.
- The supercharger intake on the port side is too basic and at least its front face asks for improvement.
- On the starboard side, the vent located behind the starter hole should be reworked to get a more accurate part.
- The cowling MG17 gun muzzles are not opened. Drill their ends or ideally replace them with better aftermarket ones.
- Trim a little bit the gun cover around the gun vents to get the thinner and more realistic look of a pressed steel part. The gun openings in the cowling should be much more elliptical and extend further into the gun troughs. Note that if you use part F29, the assembly guide does not mention anymore parts G5 & G6 whereas such gun ports seals stay necessary. It is possibly easier to check the correct location of the gun muzzles, add the parts G5 & 6 inside the cowling and then the end of parts G28 from the external to get a correct look.
- Note that normally, the Emil had a slight gap between the top of the rear cowling and the front of the gun cover (parts A6 & A11). The easiest way to simulate this is to sand a little bit the edges of both parts. Last, the bulge edge on the cowling rear section (over the machine guns synchronization gear) should be more subtle as it is part of the pressed steel cowling part.
- Do not forget filling the seam located on each side of the fuselage on the panel covering the MG as this was a single U-cross section-shaped cowling part. This seam is located under the nose MG vent (over the rear section of the engine supercharger intake).
- The belly small air intake (located on the plane axis between the wing radiators) should be opened.
- Add a tiny metal/plastic tube under the fuselage to replicate the missing fuel dump pipe.
- The location of the fuel hatch on the spine behind the canopy is incorrect. It should not be close to the vertical panel line but more or less 1mm closer to the tail.
- Some modelers complained that a slight bulge behind the rear cockpit bulkhead (on fuselage panels 2 and 3) should be removed. It is really a matter of taste as this discrepancy is far from obvious unless possibly in the case of a high demarcation line camouflage scheme.
- Do not forget to leave a seam on the top and bottom and rear fuselage sections.
- Scratch-build the missing antenna white fairing on the top rear fuselage (port side). Do not forget adding the antenna wire.
- Drill the lifting bar holes in the rear fuselage.
NOTICEABLE WING/WEAPON ISSUES
- Many kits had some shallow sink marks on the wings upper surface near the front wing root. If this is the case on your kit, add some CA glue or Mr. Surfacer and sand the area to get a correct profile.
- Emil's had a riveted reinforcement strip on the wing root (starting from the wheel well edge on the lower wing to the flap edge on the upper wing). Add it with thin plastic strip and scribe rivets.
- A small oval-shaped blister is missing on each wing root between the wing spar bolt cover and the wing trailing edge.
- Add the missing protruding cooling flap position indicator pins on each wing near the root.
- There is a seam/step between the wing trailing edge and the bottom of the fuselage. Dry fit and if necessary add small tabs of plasticard to ease assembly and reinforce the seam before adding and sanding putty to get a clean area.
- Plans and pictures are somewhat conflicting regarding the location and accuracy of some access hatches on lower and upper wing surface of the various Emil marks. So, this needs further verifying.
- The panel covering the MG17 gun breech on the upper wing trailing edge is protruding from the surface whereas it should be flush. Sand at least a little bit the panel edges to hide the step.
- The wing slats are 2mm too deep. This big error is not very visible up to the painting process. Indeed, it is impossible to use correctly sized balkenkreuz markings. Hence, it is necessary to correct the error. Saw a strip of two millimeters at the end of the slat and glue it in the recess, fill the seam, sand it and add new rivet lines and panel line ends.
- Even if this is far less noticeable than on some kits, the model has a small step in the leading edges of the wing into which the slat retracts. On real airframe, the step is not thicker than the wing's aluminum covering. The problem is worsened if the slat depth is corrected. There are different solutions to fix this. Sanding the wing front edge and the rear section of the slats may improve the situation but will not solve totally the problem. Filling the step with putty or styrene sheet and then filing it to shape is another option. However, the best option asks for carefully cutting the slat well, add thin strips of styrene on its edges, glue it into the slat well (leaving a very small step and being careful to keep the new step height constant); and then filing down the leading edge of the filling piece where it disappears under the slat. Add one big bolt head (e.g. Grandt line) under the end of each arm of the opened leading edge slat.
- The MG17 gun holes are too small and located too low. Take care when adding the cannon barrels between the upper and lower wing halves as they may be positioned wrongly.
- The flaps tabs are designed to put the parts in a dropped stance. Remove them if you want to put them in a neutral position.
- The wheel wells Khaki/buff-colored canvas/leather dust covers are absent. Aftermarket or scratch-built ones should be added. Note that without the covers, the sidewalls of the wheel wells shall have some holes and be painted in RLM02.
- The side profile of the wing radiators E2/E3 is not really accurate. It has a too short chord whereas the front lower edge should be located closer to the front of the plane. Correcting this is time consuming. Moreover, the fit of the radiator photo-etched faces is not good and asks for some work. It is also recommended to sand a little bit the radiator inlets end (too thick). It is also very difficult to add the photo-etched parts 37 between the covers and the internal front edge.
NOTICEABLE COCKPIT ISSUES
- The cockpit tub is reasonably accurate and detailed. However, some details are missing or not accurate. For instance, the fuel lines are missing on the rear bulkhead.
- The plastic instrument panel is horrendous. If the shape is global correct, all the bezels are noticeably too small. Forget the plastic one and use the photo-etched one.
- Eduard provides photo-etched disks for the ends of the filter pump and fuel control levers whereas they should have thicker knobs (PE 14 & 17). Add plastic disks and/or CA glue on their faces.
- The seat shall ideally be replaced by a more accurate one. The kit part back upper edge is at least 2mm too large and it is also missing the edge of the embossed iron sheet of the full scale seat. Moreover, the seat adjustment parts are not correctly positioned and look too clumsy.
- Kit has photo-etched chains for the cooling and trim flaps mechanism. However, the cooler flap drive chain must be added (using twisted thin copper wire or an aftermarket part) as well as some other missing linkages and details under the IP. Moreover, the plastic tab for chain parts PE 34 & 40 (on the lower port cockpit side) is too short. So replace it with a longer section of rod.
- The oxygen bottle regulator holder cover is much too tall (a section corresponding to the two lower ranks of holes shall be removed). Moreover, the top of the part should be hollowed out as the holder is just a cover protecting the regulator. The map case on the port side is clunky and should be replaced by a scratch-built one or an aftermarket part. The primer pump and flare box also ask for improvements. Last, the kit is missing the two electrical boxes and wiring connections on the port side (under the IP).
- Angle inwards a little bit the rudder pedals (as they were not vertical in neutral position) and add the missing hydraulic lines and cylinders to the rudder pedal assembly.
- The rear deck door piano hinge is horrendous and shall be replaced.
NOTICEABLE CANOPY ISSUES
- The spring on the canopy mechanism is depicted by a flat photoetched section on part PE36. Replace it with a coiled copper wire section.
NOTICEABLE LANDING GEAR ISSUES
- The wheel hubs of the initial release are too shallow. This problem was solved in later releases with new hubs with separate deeper rib detail.
- The MLG strut oleos are at least 1.5mm too long. This explains why the wheel looks located too a little bit too low.
- The upper part of the gear doors is not fully correct. Moreover, the LG doors location is also wrong. They should be located higher as the gap between the top section of the gear door and the fuselage should be very small. So, separate the upper and lower doors and check as well the position of the lower gear door after having corrected the LG leg length. The missing link between the upper and lower sections of the LG door should be added. Add as well the red lubrication access plugs on the MLG doors. Finally, remove the partial flexible brake hose molded on the middle section of the main landing gear leg and add a full one between the wheel and the leg up to the well.
- The tail wheel well contour looks a little bit suspect (a little bit too small and too shallow) but this is not a very noticeable discrepancy. Moreover, most planes had a leather boot on the rear landing gear leg. Add one made with epoxy putty or lead foil to protect the tail wheel oleo. The rear wheel tire as an incorrect, too square cross-section (copied on a museum airframe?). At least sand both edges or replace it with a more accurate aftermarket one.
OTHER NOTICEABLE ISSUES & MISCELLANEOUS REMARKS
- The weekend edition has no photo-etched part. This is a major problem as some photo-etched parts have no plastic alternative.
- The E-1 kit also has a useless drop tank and its ETC rack.
- Eduard released a separate photoetched set to improve the detail of the kit. However, this set is far from being a mandatory addition as the two items that could have been the most useful items were really disappointing! Indeed, the supercharger intake part does not solve the way Eduard wrongly depicted the intake and the wheel well canvas dust covers are noticeably too short. Weird!
Four marking options are included in the Profipack edition whereas the Weekend edition only has the second scheme:
- Yellow 11, Fw. Arthur Beese, 9./JG 26, Caffiers, France, August 1940.
- Red 1, W.Nr. 4027, Hptm. Hannes Trautloft, Staffelkapitän 2./JG 77, Juliusburg, Germany, September 1939.
- Red 13, Fw. Kurt Ubben, 6.(J)/TrGr.186, Wangerooge, Germany, March 1940.
- Yellow 2, 6./JG 52, Husum, Germany, September 1940.
The list of references about the Messerschmitt 109 is an endless one. The list author focused on sources that are more oriented towards plane components rather than plane colors. Many excellent books have been printed about the later topic but this is out of the limited scope of such a list. As such, sources dedicated to Luftwaffe paints and camo, 109s colors or 109s used by Germany allies have not be used here.
Accordingly, the following sources were used to build this list:
- Andal & Sumichrast, Messerschmitt I Bf-109B, D & E, HT Model Special N°907, 2006.
- Beckwith & Plewka, I Bf-109 E-4, Topshots series 11007, Kagero, 2005.
- Cross, Ebert & Scarborough, I Messerschmitt Bf 109 versions B-E, Classic Aircraft n°2, Patrick Stephens Limited, 1972.
- Franks, I The Messerschmitt Bf 109 Early series (V1 to E-9 including the T-series), Airframe & Miniatures N°5, Valiant Wings Publishing, 2013.
- Nohara & Shiwaku, I Messerschmitt Bf 109 E, Aero Detail series, N°1; Dai-Nippon Kaiga Co., Ltd., 1989.
- Peczkowski, I Messerschmitt Bf-109E, Mushroom model magazine special, N° 6102, 2001.
- Ritger, I The Messerschmitt 109 Part 1: Prototype to ‘E‘ Variants, Modellers datafile 9, SAM Publications, 2005.
- Stapfer, Messerschmitt Bf 109E Walkaround, Number 5534, Squadron Signal Publications, 2004.
- ---, I Messerschmitt Bf 109B-E, Model Art Special Issue series N°375, Model Art, 1991.
- Beaman, I Messerschmitt Bf 109 in Action Part 1, Aircraft in Action series, N° 44, Squadron Signal Publications, 1980.
- Donald, Messerschmitt Bf 109 – Supermarine Spitfire – Supermarine Seafire, Air Combat Legends Vol.1, Airtime Publishing, 2005.
- Elbied & Jouineau, I Messerschmitt Me 109, Volume 1: From 1936 to 1942, Histoire & Collections, 2001.
- Fernandez-Sommerau, Messerschmitt Bf 109 Recognition Manual, Classic Publications, 2004.
- Green, I Modelling the Messerschmitt Bf 109B/C/D/E, Osprey Modelling 32, Osprey Publishing, 2006.
- Hitchcock, I Messerschmitt 'O-Nine' Gallery, Monogram Aviation Publications, 1973.
- Janowicz, Messerschmitt Bf-109E, Vol. 2, N°38, Kagero, 2008.
- Merrick, I German Aircraft Interiors 1935-1945: Vol. 1, German Aircraft Interiors series, No. 1, Monogram Aviation Publications, 1996.
- Michulec, I Messerschmitt Me 109 pt. 1, Aircraft Monograph series, N°17; AJ Press, 2001.
- Plewka, I Messerschmitt Bf-109E, Vol. 1, N°37, Kagero, 2008.
- ---, I Messerschmitt Bf 109 / Focke Wulf Fw 190, Maru Mechanic series N° 50, Maru, 1985.
- ---, Messerschmitt Bf109, Military Aircraft Special issue, Delta Publishing, 2001.
- Various magazines articles (more particularly from Replic)
- Various web pages (more particularly LSP, Hyperscale & 109 Lair)
© Thierry Laurent 2014
This article was published on Tuesday, November 22 2016; Last modified on Tuesday, November 22 2016