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1/48 AK interactive Bf 109E1/E3


JeroenPeters
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1:48 Bf 109 E-1/E-3

“Over Spain”

 

AK Interactive

Catalogue # AK 148002

Available from AK Interactive for €33,95

 

 

Bf109_1.jpg

 

Introduction

AK Interactive ‘The Weathering Brand’ is  broadening it’s horizons and ventures into kitmaker land! With two 1/48 kits (The Spitfire Mk.IXc Late being the first) they have added a whole new section to their webshop: AK MODEL KITS. While 1/48 kits are not my area of expertise, I will do my best to provide you with a useful review.

 

Developing and producing kits is a very expensive and specialist operation. Even if you design all the parts in 3D (like is done with this kit). No wonder that AK joined forces with Eduard and uses their excellent Bf109E kit as a basis. So yes, the plastic is the same as the Bf109E-1 kit by Eduard. Except for the color. Where Eduard uses a beige color plastic (and their Weekend Edition) a medium grey plastic, this kit is produced in a dark grey plastic. Eduard released their kit as a Profipack Edition and Weekend Edition. The AK Interactive offering compares to the first. More on that later.

 

bf109_2.jpg

 

Over Spain

After WW1 Germany had to abandon all military activities, rendering their military experience to a minimum. The Spanish Civil War that started in July 1936 was the perfect opportunity to gain new military experience. Therefor ‘volunteers’ from the army and Luftwaffe branches participated in operations alongside Spanish Nationalists.

 

Another theory on Germany’s involvement is that Hitler used the operation to obscure it’s de-militarization and/or to obtain control over Spain, before picking a fight with the rest of Europe.

 

The Bf109V3 – V6 saw first action in Spain in January 1937, followed by the C and E versions. Many planes, armour and other material saw rapid development during the revolution.

 

 

The kit

AK Interactive has put the focus on the Condor Legion versions with this kit. Actually 4 versions depict Condor Legion planes and 2 version depict post war Spanish Airfare planes. 5x Bf109E-3 and 1x Bf109E-1:

 

• Bf 109 E-3, 6•91, 3. J/88, Barcience, Spain, March 1939.

• Bf 109 E-3, W.Nr. 715, 6•92, flown by Lt. Gustav Rödel, 1. J/88, León, Spain, May 1939.

• Bf 109 E-3, 6•111, flown by Lt. Werner Ursinus, 2. J/88, La Cenia, Spain, early 1939.

• Bf 109 E-1, 6•123, flown by Oblt. Hans Schmoller-Haldy, 3. J/88, León, Spain, May 1939.

• Bf 109 E-3, 6•104, flown by Lt. Carlos Maria Rey-Stolle, Grupo 25, Logroño-Agoncillo, Spain, November 1939.

• Bf 109 E-3, 6•126, Grupo 25, El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain, 1940.

 

bf109_30.jpg

 

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The kit consists of:

• 151 plastic parts (with 5 parts in clear plastic)

• 1 fret of photo etch

• Decals for 6 versions (including full stencilling)

 

So how does this kit compare to the Eduard Profipack or Weekend Edition? First of all: let’s disregard the Weekend edition, since this kit does not include photo-etch, nor full stencilling. In my opinion a kit in this scale needs stencilling! The Profipack however is a bit more complete than the AK offering. It also features a pre coloured photo etch instrument panel and window masking. On the other hand: the instrument decals included in this kit are seriously detailed and might result in a better option. The AK Interactive kit on the other hand focusses on a single subject and includes a 12 page booklet with great wartime photographs of the Bf109 in use by the Condor Legion.

 

If we look at the Eduard plastic I can only confirm that AK Interactive chose wisely in picking a partner! The Eduard kit is in fact in many ways (like part breakdown) a downscale of their excellent 1/32 kit without compromising on detail. The surface rivet detail on the wings an fuselage is amongst the finest around. The guns are delicate as resin and the 2 piece separate wheel hubs would look convincing even after being scaled up to 1/32. I especially love the hollow exhaust stubs. The only downside (for some modellers!) with the plastic could be the fabric control surfaces. The feature quite heavy sack and detail. A little Mr Surfacer and light sanding is an easy fix for he who cares!

 

Two complete wing sprues are included. One with the gun bulges on the underside and one without. The E-1 had MG 17 guns, whereas the E-3 was armed with MG FF 20mm cannons, so beware not to glue on the wrong wings ;)

 

 

bf109_3.jpg

 

Just look at that surface detail:

 

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Note the Eduard brand on the sprue:

 

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The two wing sprues:

 

bf109_7.jpg

 

Fuselage sprue:

 

bf109_8.jpg

 

More lovely surface detail:

 

bf109_9.jpg

 

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Cockpit sidewall detail on the inside fuselage:

 

bf109_11.jpg

 

Like the 1/32 Bf109E (released in 2009) there is the option in showing the engine. The basic elements are offered here. Engine, engine bearers, guns, oil cooler and Turbo. Since the engine is attached to the exhaust stubs, you can’t leave it out, even when modelling the nose closed. A series of engine detail parts however is not to be used in this case.

 

bf109_12.jpg

 

The engine:

 

bf109_13.jpg

 

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Headrest options and well detailed instrument panel:

 

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Clever engineered rudder controls:

 

bf109_17.jpg

 

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One piece wheel wells:

 

bf109_19.jpg

 

Bit heavy detail on the fabric controls:

 

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Superb wheel detail:

 

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The canopy is especially nice. Very clear and sharp detailed plastic with the low frame, which was later replaced by the more squared and known version on the E-4. The clear plastic also contains the gunsight and and armoured windshield glass. The latter is not to be used in this kit.

 

 

Are we clear?

 

bf109_24.jpg

 

Yes we are!

 

bf109_25.jpg

 

bf109_26.jpg

 

As said; the AK Interactive photo etched fret only features the pre coloured seat belts, whereas the Profipack version also includes a lot of cockpit detail, like the instrument panel. However: in this scale I myself am not a fan of pre coloured photo etch. The RLM66 will ALWAYS differ in colour from the rest of the cockpit anyway! With careful painting (in Spanish school style ;) ) and using the instrument panels decals (perhaps punching out the separate instrument with a punch and die?) will result in a more convincing pit in the end.

 

bf109_27.jpg

 

The instructions are clearly done by Eduard. Not surprisingly, since they are 3D drawn and for that you need the 3D files. The lay-out however is clearly done by AK Interactive, who care a lot about design and lay-out. The black and white drawings make the light blue areas where you need to apply glue very instructive. I have always loved Eduard’s instructions for this.

 

 

Decals by Cartograf. Nicely in register and well detailed: 

 

bf109_28.jpg

 

Full stenciling. Including the early VDW prop logo's (decals S47)! Probably the first time ever in a 48th scale kit...

 

bf109_29.jpg

 

Instruction booklet:

 

bf109_33.jpg

 

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Additional 12 page Condor legion booklet: 

 

bf109_31.jpg

 

bf109_32.jpg

 

Verdict

What can I say?? The Eduard Bf109E kit is just lovely, detailed and builds like a dream. The surface detail is superbly done and the amount of parts for a 48th scale kit is pretty high. This kit is complete right from the box. AK Interactive’s choosing a single subject (Condor Legion) is smart and hopefully the start of a long line of kits to come. I hope they will join forces with other kit makers, since we all know that Eduard gave up the fight for the large scale market. There already is co-operation with HK Models… so who knows what the future will bring?? I applaud this ballsy move. We’ve seen kit makers venture in the paint business (Tamiya, Revell) but not often do we see this the other way around.

 

I would rate this kit a 9 out of a 10.

The addition of the Condor Legion booklet, the dark grey plastic (which is easier on the eye) and the choice of 6 schemes make this a cool addition to the 48th scale 109-line up.

 

VERY highly recommended

 

My sincere thanks to AK Interactive for this review sample.

 

Jeroen Peters

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