Two vintage 1/32nd scale Bf109E kits reviewed.

Discussion in 'Model Kit Reviews' started by Airframes, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    With this year seeing the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and the BoB Group Build only just over four months away, I thought it appropriate to review two old kits of the 'Emil', one of which is still readily available in its' latest issue from Hasegawa, the other, and the main subject of the review, being from Matchbox, and still to be found at some model shows, specialist outlets and on E-bay. I'm hoping that Revell, who acquired the Matchbox moulds and have released a number of that company's kits, will release the Bf109E at some time in the future, as it would make an economic alternative to the latest series from Eduard.
    The review is rather comprehensive, comparing the Matchbox kit against the Hasegawa offering, and is therefore in PDF form for convenience and ease of viewing. I hope you enjoy it!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Nicely done Terry!:D
     
  3. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great work Terry! :D

    Didn't read it completely (yet), but what I did read was really good!

    Would love to restore my old Matchbox kit back in NZ...
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Wayne and Evan.
     
  5. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Yep, great review there Terry. Thanks for posting. 8). I usually try to stick to 1/48, but it sure is tempting to put one of these together. Great update to the 109 by the way.

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks very much Peter.
     
  7. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Bl**dy nice review there old boy! Top racket!
     
  8. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Well done Terry!
     
  9. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Thanks Terry! I have a 1/24 Airfix and a 1/32 but I don't know what brand. Will have to check my stash. Still haven't decided which scale for the GB - 1/24, 1/32 or 1/48. I have all.
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks very much guys, I hope it was useful.
    Chris, if you do the 1/24th scale kit, I've got mine almost finished (belly landed) so can point out the areas to be aware of. If the 1/32nd scale is either Matchbox or Hasegawa, I'll probably be doing both for the BoB build, and have already sorted out what needs doing in the way of corrections etc , so that might help.
     
  11. fatboris

    fatboris Member

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    Wow, great review, Terry. Funny how some of the older kits or less expensive kits can hold their own against newer more spendy kits.

    Hey, there's an idea for some of you long-timers (very PC of me) to start a thread. It would be cool to see a post of the best kits under $25 for those just starting out or those who are just broke. :cry:
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good idea mate, and thanks for the compliments. Maybe I'm just a scrooge, or maybe I just like doing 'my own work' on models, but I often go for the older, or pehaps less detailed kit, given it's more or less accurate. Of course, these tend to be less expensive also, and there's a lot which can be done with them, rather than throwing a truck load of aftermarket parts at them. Some of these older kits, for example the ex- Matchbox 1/32nd scale Revell kits, are only around the £15 mark in the UK which, as you pointed out, is not much when they stand up against more modern kits which are three times the price.
     
  13. Mr. Ed

    Mr. Ed Member

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    Very interesting, as I'd like to do some single engine fighters in 1/32 scale one day. I can't believe you've repainted and "restored" that model so many times. I've never done this with a kit even once! I have an article in my beloved "Luftwaffe Special" of Aircraft Modeler about the very Matchbox kit you've reviewed (if I recall correctly). The model was "skinned" - that is, the outer skin was removed showing the complete interior, of which the cockpit is obviously only one small part. It was huge amount of work for that modeler. Have you ever done any cutaways of this sort?
     
  14. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks, and yes, I've done a couple for people in the past, and one for myself, many years ago. Did a 'sectioned' Lancaster and a (civilian) Dakota, a couple of tanks, plus, for myself, a C130K Hercules, in flying attitude, dropping British Paras. On the latter, only part of the starboard fuselage was 'cut away', so that the double 'sticks' of troops could be seen, and some of the complex internal structure. I very rarely do this sort of thing, prefering my models to be in a realistic ground pose, to show the aircraft itself, without the distraction of lots of opened panels, cowlings, hatches etc cluttering up the 'scene' and breaking-up the shape. The only time I would normally do all that nonsense is for a diorama subject.
     
  15. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    ...or to impress those Hippocroccofrogs of yours!
     
  16. Mr. Ed

    Mr. Ed Member

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    I sometimes think it's a shame to close up the fuselage halves and conceal all that nice interior detail, especially on the larger bombers. One day I'll have to do a cutaway, if nothing else just to say I'd attempted it. But you raise an interesting point: I agree that opening all sorts of compartments on an aircraft breaks up the shape of the thing (I also lack the skills and motivation to do that sort of work very well). So does opening up the landing gear, IMHO. This is why I'm a fan of in-flight builds. I often think that aircraft don't look right with their landing gear extended. Especially with tricyle gear, but all of them, really. Have you done any kits with retracted gear? If so, how did you handle the problems associated with it, like fitting the model to a stand, closing the gear doors, etc.?
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I've only ever done a very small number posed as 'in flight', and mostly jets. This is mainly due to the fact that I think the opposite - model aircraft don't look 'right' shown in flight, as there is no visible means of propulsion with a 'fixed' prop, and nylon lines etc, suspending it, infringe on the overall effect. That's why mine have been jets, mainly. Also, in most cases, the only way a person can see an actual aircraft overall, close up and in detail, is on the ground, and most pics of the real subject are earthbound. of course, there's also the fact that the detail of landing gear etc can add to the overall appeal and appearance of a model.
    But, to answer the quaestion re having gear doors closed, there shouldn't be a problem at all. Most kits make provison for this, with either a rim around the gear bay, or sometimes separate parts specifically for closed doors. If the gear is fully enclosed, then the gear legs and wheels can be omitted. If partially exposed, for example on the Bf109, then only the wheel, or the outer half, need be fitted. For mounting, it depends on the ultimate form of display, but it's normally a clear acrylic rod, or a polished steel or alloy rod, mounted onto a wooden display plinth, and securely fixed and or glued into a hole drilled in the underside. Unless, of course, suspended ina 'boxed' and cased dioram, where 'invisible' thread will be used, set into snmall holes on the wings or fuselage, to avoid the wrapped around thread being visible. I have done one where the wing furthest from the viewer was attached by wire to the rear wall of the display, being invisible to view.
     
  18. Mr. Ed

    Mr. Ed Member

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    Terry Airframes,

    As Beavis once said to Butthead, "yourz innaresting". Do you happen to have a website with photos of your work? One of my ambitions is to make a boxed diorama of aircraft in flight. I'd like to have a Gloster Meteor approaching a V1 rocket, getting into position to flip the thing over with its wingtip. Another idea a dogfight, perhaps between aircraft of different scales in order to make one seem farther away. There used to be a couple of boxed dioramas of dogfights at the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio. They're no longer on display but I took pictures of them when they were.

    They were World War I biplanes, which as you know have fixed landing gear - the kind of aircraft that even I wouldn't bother to mount on a stand as the landing gear is always down anyway. But they are shown in action and in flight, an aircraft's natural environment, which is exactly why I like the idea of aircraft in flight. However I agree that they spend far more time on the ground. On the other hand I've found that doing a good job of closing landing gear doors can be difficult. I'll soon be posting photos of my recently completed 1/72 Hasegawa B-26 Marauder. Closing the doors required a crash course in panel scribing, which I'd say I barely passed. I'd give myself a D.

    In addition you usually have to damage the model by creating a hole in the bottom to accept the stand, which is also inaccurate and can obscure some detail. But that stand can be very handy when working on the model and also makes looking at the underside of the thing much easier once it's finished. You've also pointed out that pilot figures are rarely made to have their hands on the joystick. Now I feel obligated to try to fix this problem on my latest project (the Revell P-61) by cutting off and repositioning the figure's arm. Wish me luck. I'll need it.

    One final observation: Pre-made aircraft models for display usually have their gear up and are mounted on stands. This is a whole different world from our plastic kit making hobby, isn't it? The U.S. Air Force Museum has an extensive collection of these one-piece, often wooden models. The pre-made model aircraft stands that I've found for sale on the web seem to made for this kind of model, and are too big for use with single engine 1/48th or smaller aircraft, but seem about right for 1/48th and larger twin or four engine aircraft.

    Any tips you'd like to share on making boxed dioramas of aircraft in flight? How did you make stands for the few models you've mounted?
     
  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Sorry, I don't have a website, and the few models on stands were made years ago, as 'models' for some of my paintings, and given to the client with he finished picture. This was before digital photography, and any pics I might have had have since been lost, or are on transparencies.
    As for tips for boxed dioramas, I'm afraid that would need a book! Basically, plan-out the 'story' being illustrated, and make some sketches of the basic idea, to show the three dimensions. Once happy with the concept, make a scale plan, and maybe a paper or card model of the elements, just as basic shapes, to check orientation etc., and set this in a 'skeleton' of the box. This can then be used to plan and build he full-sized item. using various scales is a good idea to create depth and distance, but needs careful planning, especially on viewing angles, in order to look convincing when built. remember the space required will be a lot larger than anticipated, and some elements may need to be 'compressed', although too much compression will make the whole lot look totally 'wrong'. Space is the biggest problem, as even in 1/72nd scale, lots of room may be needed. For example, an average engagement range, fighter to fighter, in WW2 might be around 100 yards, which is short range, and in 1/72nd scale this is over four feet!
    Someone once asked me how big a typical WW2 bomber airfield of the ETO would be, as he wanted to build one in 1/72nd scale. He shelved the idea when I told him he'd need around 2 feet x 55 feet just for a runway!!
     
  20. Mr. Ed

    Mr. Ed Member

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    Thanks for the advice - I need all of it I can get. I'm hoping that my Meteor vs. V1 idea might be workable because the two aircraft will be right next to each other. I'll get back to you in about 5 years when I get around to actually working on it. I also have some diorama ideas for aircraft on the ground, which I imagine would be a little more practical than boxed dioramas of aircraft in flight. One involves a Betty that's been destroyed on the ground by air attack. That one I'll probably never get around to because modeling that kind of damage is way beyond my ability, would be way too much work even if it wasn't, and would require me to destroy a kit that I'd rather just go and build - the Tamyia 1/48th Betty.

    One that I probably will get around to building one day is a scene featuring a C-47 being loaded for a trip over the "hump" to China. I'm planning on having an elephant carrying cargo to the aircraft and a shot down Japanese plane to the side of the tarmc. I don't know if any of this is historically accurate but I'll be using some artistic licence if it isn't. I bought a Monogram C-47 for this purpose years ago before Trumpeter made this kit obselete.
     
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