Thursday 29 May 2014

Eduard 1:48 Bf 109 G-6 Gustav - in-box build review plans comparison.

Spent my first day cutting plastic on the new Eduard Gustav in 48th. What to say ? ...the politest thing to say here is probably no comment! ..bluntly, I'm not a rivet-counter, but frankly this kit looks like it will be something of a disaster for Eduard. How could they let this happen after their brilliant Bf 110s (1:72nd) and Spitfires (1:48th). Beautiful detailing, fabulous in the box, but is the new G-6 accurate ?  nah, not really! When I first read/heard that there was a potential problem with this kit, I was kind of prepared to just accept it, put it down to one of those things even. I mean I tend to think that 'accuracy' when building a kit shouldn't necessarily be the be-all and end-all of modelling; but there are limits, the subject has to at least look 'right' as a scale replica. Now after having purchased two Eduard Bf 109 G-6s (total outlay with postage, 60 euros) and then received a third one for review and cast a critical eye over the parts, I'm not too sure that this one will..

Of course this is probably old news to most of you, but here's a look at the kit parts put up against the plans published in both the Kagero and the Aerodetail monographs. Firstly, the cockpit aperture is just far too big. The two photos immediately below show the Eduard fuselage parts taped and placed next to a partially completed Hasegawa 48th scale Gustav..

Aerodetail plan above, Kagero below. Note over-large cockpit aperture and overly long fuselage. While the nose outline forward of the cockpit appears to conform to the plans, it nonetheless appears to be overly bulbous. I notice that 'Andy' on Aeroscale is attempting a rather convoluted 'fix' that involves chopping the fuselage parts in two and dissecting the wings!  - simply put, the kit is over-scale and there's really nothing you can easily do to correct it..

Here you can see the wings are far too long towards the tips. The Bf 109 wing has considerable dihedral so a comparison with one-dimensional plans is, I agree, hardly an exact science, but even so, note how long they are. In the comparisons above and below they are minus the large rounded tip parts....but I can tell you they are a whopping 8mm longer than the Hasegawa wings. Trimming the wing-tips, good luck with that, given their nice aerofoil section!

...and that's not all of course. The undercarriage has been molded with no compression and the locating lugs mean the gear legs are too long and "up-right" making the stance of the model from the box totally wrong. Incidentally an attempt has been made to mold the brake lines on the gear legs - but  they are straight  sprue-like 'lines' standing proud of the leg and look rather unrealistic to me..

Below, well I made a start on attempting to correct some of the more 'obvious' errors; here's my first day's work on this kit; modifying the gear legs, the locating apertures for the gear and performing surgery on the wingtips...

..oh and while I'm here, why on earth has the join between the lower wing and the fuselage been designed as it has, with a 'V'-shape..? I recall the Fujimi kits way back getting slated because they introduced panel lines where none existed on the real machine- why break it down like this ?

I notice Brett Green has now "revised" his review to take into account all these various glitches he missed first time around and he writes,

"..there are a number of strange detail errors and probable misinterpretations, and it seems certain that the kit is oversized too. Having said that, there is no doubting that this model looks like a Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6, but those who want a 100% accurate kit will be disappointed by these issues..."

of course I suspect -and indeed I'm hoping - that once built up and displayed on its own a very nice model will result, in fact there have been a couple of nice examples already posted, especially on aeroscale by Ayhan Toplu below - it will though be a nice model like the Trumpeter 32nd scale Emil is a nice model ...

And here's a couple of finished examples from my own bench, also on this blog

Saturday 17 May 2014

Airfix EE Lightning F.2A in 1:72 scale, Wing Commander J.B. Mitchell, CO 92 Squadron

This is the new tool 72nd scale Airfix Lightning in the colours of Wing Commander J.B. Mitchell, CO 92 Squadron, circa 1972 - what a brilliant kit, especially compared to other representations of this type that have come before, especially the Trumpeter effort. Shape and detail of this Airfix kit are spot on and the finished model looks especially impressive on the shelf! Click on the images to view larger..

I was quite happy to build this OOB but then saw some neat images of this same machine on I've replaced the Wing Commander's pennant from the spares box, drilled out the cannon ports under the cockpit, added the spine whip aerials etc etc

One or two issues during the build of course; the canopy fit using those huge lugs wasn't good so they came off and I forgot about displaying the model with the canopy open and had to do a bit of a re-spray, the cannon ports didn't fit too well and unwisely I decided to fit them after painting the airframe, my chrome bits don't look particularly 'chromey' despite the Rub n' Buff and then there's the canopy moulding 'flaw', but I can hardly see it to be honest and it doesn't bother me at all. Finish is Halfords Aluminium and Humbrol 11 (brush applied). The burnished effect on the jet pipes is a light burnt umber oil wash. I still have a few stencils to put on, but I've had enough for today..

 Air Britain pic via Robin Walker of Airfix kit subject XN 793

Thursday 15 May 2014

new AZ Bf 109 G-6 Gustav in 1:72nd scale, 9./ JG 3 ace Ofw. Alfred Surau, September 1943

With a heat-wave on the way and a fortnight off looming, it is time to get out in the garden again....and get some modelling done.

I have just finished my first one of a series of the new AZ Bf 109 G-6 Gustavs in 1:72nd scale. Of course this is not the Fine Molds kit and, as a number of modellers have pointed out, the AZ kit looks a little weedy around the front end.  I can easily live with it though. Besides, the FM kit has its own problems - just look at that pathetic FM radiator for example. And if you can look past the outline shape  then the level of detail on the AZ kit, the good fit, the slew of spare and optional parts in the box which enable a host of variants to be built, along with the very much lower price.. all of these things make the AZ Model 109 a very attractive kit indeed. In fact I have just ordered my first AZ G-6 Joypack ..that's three AZ G-6s for less than a Fine Molds 109.

My first one finished in the markings of 9./ JG 3 ace Ofw. Alfred Surau, September 1943...this is from the "limited edition" JG 3 Udet boxing. Unfortunately there is no spinner spiral on the decal sheet and it would have been impossible to mask and paint. In the end I cut out some thin curved strips of black decal and applied..reasonably happy with the result. Now it just needs a port wing pitot from fuse wire and I'm calling this finished...

having posted this subsequently on britmodeller I was very very pleased with the nice comments this one garnered....thanks chaps!