The Bf (or Me) 109 needs no introduction. It is such an important aircraft in the history of aviation (and the world) that I am unable to think of a mainstream modelling company that has NOT offered a version of the 109. In 2014 Eduard unsurprisingly extended their product line with a G-6, the most numerous of the WWII versions.
There are just 4 sprues in the standard box (used for most 1/48 scale aircraft the company produces AND the Royal Class editions), so contents will rattle about as you’re taking it home. Thankfully all frames are tightly packed in sealing bags and there is little to no chance parts will be damaged.
First thing to do is to get rid of the molded-on tools. Considering the absurd ideas to make the hammer our of 3 layers of PE and the jack out of 9 layers – some tools were replaced with items from the Attack’s set “Implements and tools”, and I kept the jack almost stock. For the time being I glued on the retaining PE clasps and straps for them and the tow cables.
Aside from the molded-on tools and the symmetric turret there are few other issues with the Revell kit:
– directly sticking the spare tracks to the turret walls – there are brackets for this on the actual machine – I used PE items form the Part set.
– the gun that is very crudely molded in one piece together with the muzzle brake – replaced it with RB Models item 72B26 turned aluminum barrel with bronze muzzle brake. Since the barrel is turned there are visible traces from the lathe on its surface – I sanded down with 800 and 2000-grit sandpaper.
Years ago the Poles from Part have released 3 PE sets to improve the molded-on details of both Revell’s Braille scale Tigers. The three packs basically have the same main fret and mesh set, plus a third metal sheet that holds details specific to the version – P72-092 for the Ausf. H, P72-093 for the E, and P72-094 for the H1.
I got myself a set for the late variety, and here it is.
As you can notice there’s heaps of tiny detail, some so small really you will not even bother remove it from the metal sheet. There’s useful stuff like all the tool retaining straps and clasps, the side mud flaps, the exhaust heat shields, the ammo belt and can for the commander’s MG, as well as the mesh screens that are SO missing from the Revell kits.
A year after it’s done I am finally posting the gallery for this model.
Aside from the typical Dragon BS instructions that are supposedly there to keep you alert the only real problem to me is that insane idea of a gun shield. There is no simple way this is getting the proper shape and position the way people at DML HQ see it. And then there are those wingnuts…
The truth is the kit is a solid, high-value, good build that could turn to impressive completion by itself, in a vignette or a diorama. All it needs is a properly dressed gun crew and a few brass shell casings for you to scatter around.
Since I actually did build the thing about a year ago, I’ll post my thoughts about the construction sequence, and especially about the instructions and some peculiarities of the kit.
There are 23 construction steps and though they are logical I built my example in a bit different way. Also, I noted some errors I am discussing below.
Step 1: wheels – lots of them. Assembling the front wheels is no problem. The drive sprockets are handed (different) on the actual machine, but not in the kit. Dragon has issued you with 2 identical assemblies.
Sprue A – 90 parts for the suspension, engine covers and firewall, front lights, fenders, instrument panel, etc.
Dragon has put its favorite slide molding routine through its paces in this kit, and even without it the effort is still rather impressive. The cooling gills on the bonnet halves have been molded through – and most other kits will require a PE set for this. Also, the pattern on the radiator is discernible even if you look through the delicately molded guard grille.
The heat shield for the muffler also has its cooling gills molded as the real deal, so your weathering efforts here will be worthwhile. Delicate suspension parts and mirror supports, as well as lightbulbs molded in the bottom of the headlamp reflectors really contribute to the feeling you’re dealing with first-rate kit.
The last pic in the previous post shows I forgot to add the PE plate between the upper hull and add-on armor, so I had to add it and paint it separately. Hatches and and some small details were added next. I then proceeded to spray the brown spots using diluted Revell brown under very low pressure. MM Burnt Metal was used to detail paint the S-hooks, tank jack, etc.
The decals were fixed using Mr. Mark Softer.
The wheels were added next, then the right side track run was superglued on. To my horror it turned too short, so I had to stretch it with most of it already stuck on the model. It ain’t a particularly pretty sight.
Oh yes, you knew that was coming as it’s a patter of the way I’ve been publishing recently. I feel it’s only logical that the articles are presented in this sequence despite my modelling not following it exactly as there are always multiple projects on the bench.
This one is bit odd, as I started separating pieces from the sprues the moment I set the camera aside. I knew it should take me a minimal time to build the little tank and deliver a hopefully useful review to Armorama, who kindly supplied the kit.
Alright, so kits of various Pz Kpfw III “marks” have been around for quite some time, including several versions by Revell, whose releases were (and still are) regarded as the finest depictions of the tank in the scale.
As the Revell kits have gradually became less and less available, Dragon have stepped up with a new-tool Ausf. L (the subject here), M and the N infantry support tank with the 75mm gun, fitted to early marks of the Pz. IV. As you’d gather DML would milk the molds as much as it can, hence the commonality.