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Wingsy Kits 1/48 scale Bf 109E-3 plastic model kit review

Don't miss out on this new Messerschmitt
Kit:D5-08 // Scale:1/48 // Price:$40
Wingsy Kits (Sample courtesy mfr.)
Good overall detail and excellent fit
Control surfaces lack detail; vinyl masks are a personal dislike
Injection-molded plastic (gray and clear); 158 parts (43 photo-etched metal); decals
Famous as one of the most produced fighter aircraft of all time, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 (sometimes called Emil) is also one of the most often kitted aircraft — nearly every kit manufacturer has one in its catalog. Now, there’s a new catalog entry in the model world: a series of 1/48 scale Bf 109s from Wingsy Kits.

Wingsy’s Bf 109E-3 is a variant that hasn’t seen many kits. This new tool features beautiful surface details, except, oddly, on the plain control surfaces. The cockpit consists of injection-molded sidewalls, floor, and bulkheads detailed with numerous photo-etched metal (PE) items including a harness and belts. An optional armored headrest is also included in the PE, but one of the petite legs broke off while painting, so my 109 is unarmored. There are a handful of parts marked not-for-use in this kit, including no less than three additional spinners. Four decal options and vinyl paint masks round out the kit’s contents.

Construction is conventional, although there are numerous parts that reside in the nose to block sight through the numerous air intakes and vents. I did not bother painting them because they can’t be seen well enough to know what they are.

The fuselage can be glued together prior to installing any interior components except for the easily missed tail wheel strut pocket. I inserted the cockpit upper decking from underneath and it fit perfectly. The cockpit assembles easily, and the fit pressed in from underneath is wonderful as well. The holes in the upper cowling for the gun barrels must be opened slightly. The fit of all the various nose panels was pleasantly exact — no filler or sanding needed. The same is true for the wing assemblies, provided you open the alignment holes slightly.

I didn’t need to use filler or sanding when mating the fuselage to the wings; even the normally troublesome under-fuselage fit aft of the wing root needed no additional attention. The rest of the airframe is similar, exhibiting flawless fit. The separately molded control surfaces lack any details whatsoever (surprising, given the beautiful surface detail in the rest of the kit), but they fit well. The leading-edge slats are separate parts, too, and acceptably thin. I had to open the holes in the wing leading edge for the gun barrels to get them to fit properly.

Late in the build, I realized that the openings in the front of the exhaust shroud must be enlarged to fit the stacks. I missed this and had to trim nearly all the first exhaust stack away. The wheels must have ejection-pin “stubs” drilled out from the axle holes to fit the gear legs. I wish Wingsy had included a cross-sectional view of the mounting angle for the gear legs.

The fit of the clear parts was perfect, but the vinyl masks supplied don’t work well around corners (a common issue with vinyl). I replaced the top-most mask on the canopy and the eyebrow masks on the upper corners of the windscreen with tape.

Painting was done with Hataka Orange Line Black-Grey (No. C040) for the interior and Light Blue (No. C029), Grey (No. C023), and BS NATO Green (No. C215) for the exterior. The decals are densely packed on two sheets: one for the stencils and one with the other markings. The instructions feature a nice stencil diagram, but only include left-side profiles for the painting options. The decals look acceptable when applied with no visible carrier film. However, they are on the stiff side and stubbornly refused to settle into details.

I spent just under 20 hours on my 109, and I’m happy with the result. I wish the control surfaces and the seat were up to the level of detail as the rest of the kit, and I was disappointed by the decal stiffness. Overall, though, the Wingsy 109 ticks all the right boxes, and I’m betting decal options won’t be a problem for modelers for too long.
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