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Messerschmitt Bf 108B

 

Eduard

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: EU8052
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 87 parts in khaki coloured styrene; two parts in clear injected styrene; one paper sheet of instruments; one sheet of masks for canopy and wheels; decals for two aircraft
Price: USD$19.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Perfect moulding and crisp, flawless engraved surface detail; nicely detailed cockpit including options for instruments and auxiliary fuel tanks; full engine and mounts supplied; parts for Bf 108D also included (but not mentioned in the instructions).
Disadvantages: One piece canopy; engine will be enclosed without serious surgery to fuselage; very few locating pins.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Eduard's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 108B is available online from Squadron.com

 

Background

 

The Messerschmitt Bf 108 was an light aircraft initially designed in 1934. The definitive four-seater version was the Bf 108B.

The Bf 108 had advanced features including an all-metal airframe, automatic leading edge slats, adjustable propeller and retracting undercarriage. The Luftwaffe adopted this aircraft in the communication and liaison role. An improved version, the Bf 108D, was introduced in 1941 and began rolling off French assembly lines from 1942 until the liberation of France.

The Messerschmitt Bf 108 was a popular aircraft in wartime due to its comfortable leather seats and pleasant flying characteristics. These features ensured that the Bf 108 retained its popularity in the post-war civil aviation market.

 

 

FirstLook

 

Eduard have expanded their range of Second World War subjects with their brand new Messerschmitt Bf 108B.

Eduard's Messerschmitt Bf 108B-2 comprises 87 parts in khaki coloured styrene; two parts in clear injected styrene; one paper sheet of instruments and decals for two aircraft. Masks for the glasshouse canopy are also included.

The plastic parts are first rate in every respect. Surface detail is crisply engraved, fabric texture is subtle, attachment points are narrow and I could not find any evidence of visible imperfections. Trailing edges of the flying surfaces are quite thin - a big improvement over the otherwise excellent P-39 kits. Locating pins are scarce, but the fuselage and wings have two each to assist in the alignment of these important components.

Clear parts are equally good, but it is surprising that there is no option for an open canopy.

Detail is excellent. The cockpit is made up of 24 parts. These parts include three choices for the instrument panel (painted instruments or decals on a solid panel; or paper instruments behind open holes in an alternate instrument panel) and the option of two auxiliary fuel drums in the rear cabin.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


A full engine is also included. Almost thirty parts are supplied to build this little gem, but unfortunately it will be almost totally hidden behind the cowling.

Other options include two styles of rudder (external mass-balance and integrated mass-balance), and an alternative boss and spinner for the Argus automatic adjustable propeller. Although the instructions do not mention these parts, they can be used to depict the later Bf 108D variant.

Flaps and slats are moulded shut, but it is only a matter of time until a resin manufacturer addresses these areas.

Instructions are called out over seven steps using exploded view drawings. A contrasting blue ink is used to highlight where glue should be applied. I am a little suspicious of the colour suggestions in the cockpit where a light grey is called for in addition to the RLM 02 Grey.

An errata sheet is included for Step 2, assembly of the engine. In summary, the engine block is shown in reverse on the main instruction sheet.

A separate guide is provided for the application of masks and for painting instructions.

 

 

Conclusion

 

The Messerschmitt Bf 108 is an interesting choice for a kit subject.

On the one hand, it is an aircraft operated by the Luftwaffe, so the kit has an automatic pool of potential buyers. On the other hand, small liaison aircraft in 1/48 scale is an almost untested market.

Eduard's Messerschmitt Bf 108 deserves success based on the merits of the plastic in the box. Every Eduard release seems to get better. The quality of plastic, surface detail and reliability of fit is equal to anything coming out of Japan. The level of detail is perhaps better than any of the mainstream manufacturers. If it wasn't for the scarcity of locating pins, there would be almost nothing to link this classy offering with the first limited-run Eduard kits of a decade ago.

 

 

It is very pleasing that modellers of WWII aircraft are now sharing the benefits that WWI aircraft modellers have known about for some years.

Highly Recommended.


Review and Images Copyright 2002 by Brett Green
Page Created 26 February, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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