Last year, ICM have released a new Bf 109 F-2 kit and while it is fairly accurate, the overall level of detail is not to the standard of what can be achieved today in the plastic model industry. Fortunately Eduard are coming to rescue with a fantastic photo etched set which eliminates almost all the shortcomings of the kit.
ICM's Bf 109 F kit
If you want to know more about the donor kit from ICM, you can take a look here:
- Review kit n°48102 Bf 109F-2
- Review kit n°48103 Bf 109F-4
- On Display Bf 109F-2
Eduard's Bf 109 F-2 set
Eduard's photoetched update set for the F-2 kit is packed within the Czech manufacturer's standard small plastic bag. In it you will find three PE frets, a small acetate sheet and the instructions. The quality of the photo etched pieces, as one would have expected from Eduard, is very good. I think it is not necessary any more to praise the quality of their products and one can say without exaggerating that they have set new standards in the modelling industry. This set is no exception and the precision of the parts and the level of detail is simply outstanding!
The first fret is referenced FE 346 49 346 and is also available separately (7,95$) as it is a product of the "zoom" line. It is mainly dedicated to the cockpit area and features pre-painted parts for the dashboard and the seatbelts. You can therefore throw without regret the plastic parts of the kit such as the rudder pedals, the instrument panel, the levers etc... The seat however isn't provided in the Eduard set so you will have to keep the one of the kit. It will have to be thinned down though to better compare with with the delicate PE parts.
The second fret (part 1) has additional parts for the cockpit such as the sidewalls, the big trim and landing gear emergency wheels, the pilot's armor plate etc... Also present are the flaps for the underwing and oil radiators, as well as their respective grills. One problem of the ICM kit is also the lack of detail in the landing gear bays. Here also, Eduard have provided enhancement parts which will allow you to reproduce the typical side lacings found in the Messerschmitt wheel wells. Finally, thin replacements parts for the exhaust cover are also provided.
The last fret (part 2) supplements very advantageously the set. On it you will find some more pieces to detail the landing gear bays, replacement landing gear covers as well as various hinges (for the flaps in particular).
The small acetate sheet represents the small gunsight window which you will have to cut to shape.
The instructions are printed on both sides of a single A-4 sized sheet . They are precise and show you exactely what modifications you have to do on the kit (mainly cutting or sanding away relief detail) to adapt the new parts.
One thing I noticed is that the PE parts are numbered from 1 to 100 accross the three frets. This may be a detail but it means that two parts from different frets will never have the same number. Parts 1 to 41 are located on the Zoom fret, parts 42 to 75 on fret "part 1" and parts 76 to 100 on fret "part 2". This will make the searching of the parts, in relation to the instructions, much easier.
Kits do exist which have such a level of detail that aftermarket parts aren't necessary to obtain a fantastic result. For others it's the contrary and replacement parts are almost mandatory. ICM's Bf 109 F-2 is one of such kits so this Eduard set is very welcomed.
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