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Dora Wings Messerschmitt Bf 109A/B

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/48 scale aircraft kit
RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
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The Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter first saw service during the 1937 Spanish Civil War and was still in service, in one form or another, into the 1960s with the Spanish air force. Yet there were many small differences in the early versions of the fighter and that’s where this kit hits its mark.

Dora Wings’ 1/48 scale kit is of the A/B series, the first in the long line of Bf 109 fighters. The kit comprises eight plastic sprues — seven gray and one clear — plus resin, photo-etched (PE) metal, and a small sheet of film. The 8-page instruction manual comprises 19 steps, plus color drawings. Decals provide three marking options and there’s a set of masks for the canopy.

The kit is molded in slightly soft, gray plastic, which makes trimming parts from the sprues without breaking small parts easy. Look carefully though as part numbers on the sprues are small. I had to sand flash from some parts, but the overall level of detail is good and the fits are nice throughout. 

Figuring out the placement of some of the cockpit’s PE pieces took a bit of time as the instructions are vague. So I deviated from the instructions and glued the cockpit side panels to the fuselage sides first, then assembled the rest of the cockpit details. Sadly, there were no locator pins for the fuselage halves, so be careful when you meld the two together. Plus I found the clear parts were a bit thick.

Fit the cowl pieces one at a time before gluing; this will save you a lot of headaches and time. I appreciated that the engine was molded with the fuselage halves, engineering that speeds the build and avoids alignment problems. 

I test-fitted the exhausts (parts D15, G-2, and G-4) to the cowl, but left them off for painting. 

The wing-to-fuselage fit was nearly perfect and I used just a dab of filler on the wing leading edge. All the control surfaces are separate and posable. Optional nose sections and props account for differences between the A and B variants. Testing showed they all fit well.

A large hollow spot marred the resin wheels, but it was easy to repair with putty and super glue. Vague instructions and loose locators forced me to consult references to get the gear legs at the correct angles.

Ultimately, I built the Bf 109A because the top hat logo on the fuselage appealed to me. The scheme was painted with Testors Model Master enamels.

The decals here went on easily. 

I spent 27 hours building the Dora Wings Messerschmitt and the results were worth it — I think these early Bf 109 versions look particularly cool. If I were to make it again though, I’d add thinner seat belts and better guns.

Certainly any Bf 109 lover will want this early-version kit. However, I recommend it only to modelers with a good deal of experience fitting multiple parts. 


Note: A version of this review appeared in the January 2019 issue.

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