Hobby2000/Dragon 1/32 Bf 109E-4

By John Chance

This started life as Eduard's Adlerangriff boxing waaaay back in November 2021; I'd barely got started when life got in the way. By the time I got back to it, the Hobby2000 kits had landed, and when I finally got back to the bench, I decided to change horses.

My bird is 8/JG54 ‘Black 5,’ but the camouflage is based on a pic of 7/JG54 ‘White 2’ - so please view it as an interpretation, rather than a depiction.

The re-boxed Dragon kit is a great kit, hampered mainly by me - I've another -4 and a -3 in the stash; I'll definitely be coming back to them. It was built mainly out of the box, with Barracuda wheels, Yahu instrument panel, Uschi antenna line and HGW belts.

I added the aerial terminator to the fuselage with a squished Albion tube offcut; nav lights are small blobs of CA plus Tamiya clear colours.

The cowling went together OK, but if you use the entire engine, it won't fit. I butchered my engine to make it fit. The front part definitely was used, as it can be seen through the vents on top of the cowling. I can't remember if I used the longer part or not - I do remember there being an issue with the rocker covers fouling the cowling, so probably not. All the pipework and engine mounts went in the bin. Then I assembled per instructions.

The lower cowling parts were fiddly to line up but went together without much grief. The rear of the cowling when assembled doesn't match the profile of the fuselage everywhere. I matched the lower to the fuselage, and then more or less successfully played with the upper to try to get the gap that 109s exhibit. For my money, the MGs sit a tad too far back (or at least the "rear" one does; it disappears into the opening, and the kit doesn't include the blast tubes.

Here is a pic zoomed in a bit (so please forgive pixelation), which better shows the fit of the forward fuselage/cowling.

There was an issue with part A1 (the fuselage forward of the cockpit). I think I had to adjust it to get it to fit, but it doesn't seem to have been too much of a problem, because I didn't take a pic of it.

What was an issue, was that both the included wheel bay gaiters were for the same side. Fortunately, one of my other 109s had the same problem, but for the other side, so the crisis was averted. The other two kits in my stash have the correct parts. The grey one is from a Trumpy 109 and will fit in the wing of this kit.

Thinking of other issues...The rudder hinge plate (part MA10) wanted to fit one way better than the other, and I cut off the flat PE rudder actuator rods and attached the remaining linkage to Albion wire.

One goof, after the wheels had set up, I realized the wheels should be in line with the landing gear and not vertical, but by then it was too late to fix.

The paint is Vallejo, and it's my first go at what the kind-hearted might call weathering. I'm happy with the exhaust stains and I can live with the underside dirt, I'm much less happy with the gun staining. The phone's camera makes the wheel "tracks" look much more orange than they actually are, for some reason.

© John Chance 2023

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This article was published on Friday, July 14 2023; Last modified on Sunday, July 16 2023