Eduard’s Bf 109E-3 Weekend Edition in 1:48 scale is a late 2019 reissue of their original 2012 new-tool release. This Weekend Edition features 150 parts on four blue-gray sprues, and five clear parts on one clear sprue. About 25 parts in the kit are not used in the construction of the E-3. The instructions guide the build over nine pages. The markings come on two Eduard-printed decal sheets for the following airplanes:
- Bf 109E-3 W.Nr. 1271, flown by Oblt. Helmut Hanz, CO of 4./JG 77, Mandal, Norway, September 1940
- Bf 109E-3 W.Nr. 1944, flown by Fw. Ernst Nischik, 6./JG 26, Dortmund, Germany, early 1940
Strengths: Much as is the case with all their 1:48 scale Bf 109s including the retooled Eduard Bf 109Gs that came on the scene in 2016, this kit is a superlative 109 by any standard. The kit has a range of construction options, including the positionable canopy, leading edge slats, flaps, ailerons, elevator, rudder, and radiator flaps. It contains a decent injection-molded DB 601 powerplant and nose guns. Surface details including the recessed panel lines, rivets, and fasteners are all simply sublime. For all those who have gazed upon this kit, the surface details are rather hypnotizing (see the photos below). I also test fit the fuselage and wings, and the fit appeared flawless. Flaps, leading edges, ailerons, and rudder are separate parts and can be positioned as desired.
The decals are printed by Eduard and look technically excellent, with great color, resolution, and thin restrained carrier film. The second, smaller sheet contains a complete set of maintenance stencils for a single 109. The markings options are both great choices, but the early war colors and camouflage of the second option is intriguing and a little bit unusual. Instrument panel details can be painted or represented by decals, and in the Weekend Edition of the kit, the seat’s shoulder harnesses and lap belts are only provided as decals. Ailerons, elevators, rudders, and radiator flaps are all separate parts and are positionable. Engine exhaust stacks are very slightly concave (but not quite hollowed out) at their ends.
Weaknesses: I cannot offer any substantive critiques of this Weekend Edition kit. The one shortcoming I can identify is that the upper engine cover and nose gun compartment cover are not really positionable. They are either on or they are off. The hinging mechanisms are not represented.