Eduard has released a new mold of the Bf-109F-4, perhaps the most elegant and streamlined of all the 109s.
In the Profipack package you get 5 sprues (including a clear one), a color photo-etch fret, two decal sheets for 5 markings (all Luftwaffe) and a mask set for the canopy and the tail wheel. No flash anywhere and very sharp, recessed panel lines are a signature of those sprues.
While you get 5 sprues, you also get plenty of unused (spare) parts, like 3 different propellers, different wheels, some weapons, different rudders, air intakes, oil coolers and even extra canopies, so you should be able to get some “extras” for other 109s in your collection.
As expected, construction starts with the cockpit and it is a very straightforward and well-designed subcomponent. You make it look even better by adding photoetch belts plus a provided fuel line in clear plastic, which when masked and painted looks outstanding.
The next step is to “sandwich” the cockpit between the fuselage sides. Fit is excellent! You are instructed to add the engine exhaust at this point. I choose not to do it that way and to leave the plug for the opening in the front and the oil cooler out so I could mount the exhausts after painting. Do dry fit the exhaust parts beforehand as I found out the fit is tight.
Finally I started to assemble the tail, which is a multi-part affair, with upper and lower parts for the horizontal tail, separate rudder and separate control surfaces. I have to say I was worried about all those parts and how to keep them square. However the actual assembly of it was simpler than I thought and everything squared-up just right. Still, take your time and make sure you get things properly lined-up.
Construction was moving along and I tackled the wings next. You have to assemble the wheel wells first and each one has a total of 3 parts. The overall look of the final assembled part is really good. Be aware that some of those parts have very small alignment pins and they can be damaged easily.
At this point I assembled the underwing radiators. I choose not to use the photoetch pieces as it is very difficult to see them anyway. The fit of the plastic parts was again, outstanding. When the wings were assembled I presented them to the fuselage. I could not believe how good the fit it was. Actually, it was so good and I decided to paint the wing and fuselage as independent subassemblies.
Painting was accomplished by using enamels and my Badger 105 Patriot. After painting was done, I added the engine exhausts (by the fuselage front, which was left open) and then I glued the wing to the fuselage. As said before: fit was perfect!
I applied two thin coats of Future and let the coat cure for 72 hours before starting with the decals. They are printed by Eduard and have nothing to envy to the well-known aftermarket companies. Decals are thin, in register, with vivid colors, and strong enough to resist being moved around (gently) for final location. Just one word of caution: make sure you have plenty of water in the model to “float” the decals into place; otherwise they tend to stick to the first place where they land.
While all the decaling was happening I turned my attention to the final details, like landing gear, flaps and such. Not much to say there other than excellent engineering by having the tires and the wheel be separate parts as to make things easier when painting.
Another Future coat sealed the decals in place and an enamel (Tamiya) wash was applied to bring up surface detail.
Painting the canopy was a breeze, as you are provided with masks. A few final details were added at that point (flaps, landing gear, and drop tank) and a flat coat sealed all the work. Engine exhaust marks were kept to minimum by using some pastel chalk.
This is an excellent model from Eduard and you should need nothing to improve it. It took me about 30 hours over about 10 weeks to finish this model and I enjoyed every single minute of it.
Considering the photoetch pieces and the small size of some parts I will recommend this model to modeler with experience in photoetch.
I would like to thank Eduard Models and IPMS/USA for the review sample.