1/32 Bf 109E-4ProfiPack kit and Brassins

1/32 Bf 109E-4 ProfiPack + DB 601A/N engine (Brassin) + MG 17 mount (Brassin)

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The E-1 and E-4 saw the most heavy action during the Battle of Britain — most of the E-3s were already converted to E-4 standard. The fuel-injected DB601 engine of the Bf 109 proved most useful against the British Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane fighters, as the British fighters used gravity carburetor engines, which would cut out under negative g forces whereas the DB601 did not. The Bf 109s thus had the initial advantage in dives, either during attack or to escape it was able to get out of gun range. The Spitfire proved a formidable opponent, being approximately as fast and is claimed somewhat more maneuverable in turns at medium to high speeds than the Bf 109 (the latter due to the Bf 109's high wing loading). On the question of comparative turning circles in combat, Spitfires and Hurricanes benefited from their lower wing loading compared with the Bf109; 22 to 24 pounds per square foot on the RAF machines against 32 pounds per square foot for the Bf 109. Royal Aircraft Establishment tests with a captured Bf 109 showed the Spitfire's turning circle — without height loss — was 696 feet (212 m) in radius (the Hurricane's would be slightly tighter) while the 109's was 885 feet (270 m) radius according to British calculations using assumed values as basis. According to the German manuals however, the smallest turning circle was 170 m, and fighter pilots on both sides claim they would out-turn their opponents in combat. In roll rates the Bf 109 enjoyed an advantage at dogfight speeds, though at high speeds the maneuverability of all three fighters, especially the Spitfire was severely limited in this regard. The Bf 109 enjoyed good handling near stalling speeds as it was particularly forgiving then. Firepower between the antagonists was comparable, with the Spitfire and Hurricane having eight .303 inch machine guns versus the Bf 109's two 7.92 mm MG17 machine guns and two 20 mm MG FF cannon. However, the MG FF occasionally jammed and had a small (60-round) ammunition capacity. To be fair, when the Spitfires were later upgraded to two 20 mm Hispano-Suiza cannon, the British initially had serious jamming problems of their own with the new weapon. RAF pilots who tested captured Bf 109s liked the engine and throttle response but criticised the high speed handling characteristics, poorer turning circle, greater force required on the control column at speed and the thick framing of the cockpit glazing which they felt created blindspots in the pilot's field of vision.

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Part 1

This bird must be my nemesis,I can’t explain it a different way. I am always waiting for a new release for a later version (an F-4,G-6 or the beautyfull K-4,or at least any of the Focke Wulf familly,and all the time I have one of the early versions on my workbench !
First,was the E-1 version,in ProfiPack,together with an extra P.E.
Now,again in a ProfiPack,is coming the E-4 version and the next will be the...E-4 again,in the Balkans theatre colors off course,but still a E-4 !
I am overdosed with -E variants !But this time is coming with two friends : a perfect engine and a machine guns mount,brand new releases from the new range of Eduard’s products,the Brassin.
OK,I will do.Is enough for me,three state-of-the-art kits on my workbench cannot wait into boxes.
Let’s start the easy way,I open the Profi first.I am always impressed with the tight,nice decorated boxes and the difficulty to open them,and once again I am bowing to the kit contents.
Everything -almost- is here : accurate paneling-scribing,dimensions in scale,engine,front of the cockpit machine guns,separate control surfaces,clear casting,very clear canopy-windscreen,flush-free parts,four interest camo to choose,full stenciling.
Yes,is still the best E-4,I have only two things to ask for : the wing machine guns bay conspicuous by its absence and the main wheel well walls can be better,with more details on.
Any way,I will start and I will tell you about the kit on the road,we have enough to say and more for the companion of the Profi,the two Brassins.
Let’s talk about the engine first.This miniature is the epitome of detail and casting techniques but this is only the one side of the coin.
From the other side is one of the worse engineered  and designed mold !I explain : the detail as I say before,is just marvellous,is really state-of-the-art and this is evident in all the pieces,from the big main engine block,to the smallest P.E. hook point.
All -and I mean ALL- the parts are here,waiting a passioned modeler to put all together and gives you a ready-to-go small DB 601.
All the troubles starts when you try to cut the useles support blocks of resin,that remains after the molding,or are here to protect the parts from cracking.
Those parts are  in the majority in a wrong side and/or so thick and hard,that you can not remove them without doing damage to the main part.
The main part -engine’s block- have a big cube of resin in one end.When I try to handle the part, three of the spark plugs gone.Same with pipping,are very fragile and the supports are so thight on them,making the cutting proccedure very difficult without broke them.
Also,for a reason I can’t know,Eduard propose to us the use of wire for the spark plug cap and cable,once could provide a P.E. set of cables,or -beter for me- a set of mini caps with cables made from soft silicone -like MDC’s DB 605 engine-
I ask for those things,just because Eduard with this kit goes one step beyond and over all other model manufacturers and show us a new face of a highest quallity,so those mistakes spoil their image and not match with the final product.
Same troubles because of the amount of small parts,encountered with the brand new MG 17 machine guns mount.Fortunately, It nevertheless there was a major accident and all gone right,except a very small end of the left gun support arm.
So this is the first impression from the new “kid” of the Brassin familly,and with few words my opinion is : Well done Eduard ! Your detail level and molding techniques are now one level over all others.But please,think about the molds a smarter design,because is a pity such beautiful objects are destroyed because of difficulty in handling them, coming from poor design of the mold.
Next week you will see the beginning of the three parallel builds and the “mariage” of them in a step-by-step article.
Till then,some pictures :

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Left is the ProfiPack machine guns support frame and right the Brassin.
The difference in the level of detail is impressive obvious.Note the white end of the gun support arm.Is made it from polysterene because the original was missing (the only bad molded piece was that !)

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Three machine guns , three detail level.
Number 1,is the ProfiPack.Not bad for a polysterene,one piece gun.
Number 2,the Brassin.Three piece,high quality ressin.Note the details on the barrel.
Number 3 is a combination of L’Arsenal ressin gun with Master barrel.I have here only for comparison purposes.

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The engine cowling left is the ProfiPack.Nice detailed outter surfaces and nothing more.
Brassin gives full riveting and panel lines,together with full frame inside on a piece of ressin so thin as the wings of flies ! Unfortunatelly,the details in the front (white polysterene on the photo) remained on the piece of resin although the careful cutting...

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Same as above for the details and more lucky.The machine guns cowling survives in one piece.

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Engines ! ProfiPack vs Brassin = 0-1
Absolute details and a fantastic 3D result makes the piece on the right a model by its self.
Note the pipping on the back.Oh yes,on the bottom,is a complete fuell system !If you like to use the Brassin engine,you need the ProfiPack mounting arms.The Brassin arms  are very thin, flexible and fragile and will not withstand the weight of the heavy ressin engine !
If there were other wires...

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ProfiPack vs Brassin = 0-2
The other sides.No other comments than look at the really mesh on the turbo opening.
What do you think about a tube with holes for the cables (e.g. from Master) and soft cables ?


Part 2

As usual everything starts from the cockpit area,but in this case I choose to start from the engine.
So,all parts are brushed with a gloss black -for the engine this is the main color,for all other parts black will be a resin primer and preshading too - Everything fits good and with a carefully painting/wash with diluted oil color/drybrush with silver the engine is ready to go.
Next step is the machine guns compartement.Same as before,everything goes fine,don’t forget to use the engine struts from the ProfiPack kit,and finally the two Brassins are “maried” in one piece.
Not bad at all,the only point I have to mention here,is the massive component in the upper side of  the engine, between the arms is a quite biger than would,and the guns looks “cockeyed” because poking on the side from this component.
Pay a litle attention here,make some small modifications -shorten the ends of this think and “steal” some space from the guns bases- and all will fits right.

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With the Brassins 90% ready,is time to work with cockpit.Here,the ProfiPack shows their class :
All parts fits perfect,and all the necessary details are present.Of course,if you like to add some extra details the road is open and can take a marvelous result at the end,but here we have a review and the right way is to work out-of-the-box,so I will add extra details at my next 109.

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Finally,I finish the engine/guns covers.
Very easy and typical workout : Airbrushing with RLM02 by Gunze,dry brushing with silver,wash with oil and a hit with mat varnish at the end,gives a nice “dirty” look as needed for these parts.

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Before engine/machine guns/cockpit installation,I make a dry fit for the fuselage.For an unknown reason,my kit does no have fiting pins -mabe my kit is one of the pre-production kits,I can’t explain it other way- but  even without pins so the application is excellent.
I glue the upper halves of the wings to the fuselage halves for being sure about the final result and everything is ready for the finall assembly.

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Next week,”Emil” goes to paintshop and became the famous <-+- W.Nr. 5344, flown by Maj.Helmut Wick .


Part 3

The final assembly done well,and all fits perfect in position,cockpit,guns and engine.A small rung become visible between the central section and the main fuselage, just between the wing lip flaps.Another gap is on the nose,under the radiator.Both are easy repaired with filler and after a carefully sanding all are ready for painting.

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First color is the RLM 65 light blue by Gunze,applied in lower surfaces and sides of the fuselage and tail, followed by the RLM 02 gray,by Gunze too,on all the upper surfaces.These colors applied not only as base colors but also like surfacers for the next colors.

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The only thing here is the use of masking tape on the fuselage sides for a "hard" limit between blue and gray.
Using tape and papper,creates the limits for the next color,RLM 70 black green,finishing a typical for this period camo scheme.

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Same way for the yellow -RLM 04- on the nose and rudder,and now comes the time for something that makes the difference.Helmut Wick's airplane is well known for the unusual way that the sides are being "darkened" and "camuflaged" -a usual way for the period,because of the unclear orders
about this issue to the JG's commanders.

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The total of the sides of this airplane is covered with a green,allegedly is RLM 71 dark green,applied by the blur end of a hard brush by a mechanic or so.

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I choose to follow the same way for most reallistic result,and for the color I use a mixture of white oil color for artistic painting as a base,with a lot of olive green -oil too- and some of H 64 -RLM 71 dark green- by Gunze as usual.All together diluet with white spirit,gives an acceptable hue of "RLM 71 dark green".
For the application I use a short,hard brush with straight end -look at the photos- trying to simulates the reallity in scale. Taking small amount of color at the and of the brush and whipping the most on a soft papper,I apply the remaining color on the airplane with fast,small strikes without presure,leaving the brush to make all the job.
I think the result is close to the real thing , and I finish the main coloring brushing on -after two days because of the drying delay of the oil colors-a layer of Future -clear gloss varnish- to "seal" all.

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So,after all dryes  well,is time for the decals,final assembly and weathering.A little matter with Eduard decals is,are enough strong for easy handling and with good glue on but are a little bit hard and thick.
That means canot follow so easy the etched lines or the elevated rivets etc on the models surface.

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OK,the decals are not produced by Eduard but by Cartograph,but can “demands” something more quality than this.Any way,with a lot of Microscale decals softener -number 1 & 2- the nice printed and registered decals goes on.A second layer of gloss varnish seals them and everything is ready for “wash”.
With a number 0 or 1 brush,I apply a mixture of 9 parts white spirit and 1 of dark brown + black artistic oil in every line,rivet,panel etc.When the solvent dryes,I wipe the remaining color with a soft papper.

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A little trick here is,wipe to the “flying” direction.From nose to tail,and from wing’s leading edge to flaps etc.This style of wiping,gives to the whole airplane a “weathered hue” on all surfaces.

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After this,is time for the first coat of matt varnish.Having sealed and drying everything,is time for final assembly.Whearing surgical gloves,handling is easier and all the remaining parts goes in place.The most difficult parts are the canopy,because must glue them in position having already the “brake” cable on,and the exhausts,because I have keep those back for the final assembly and now must goes in place from outside of the nose,one by one.Off course you can have them on at the time of gluing the fuselage halves,the final decision is yours.

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All the other parts,like landing system with wheels,the small tail wheel,rudder,flaps,control surfaces and their balance wheights,pitot tube,antena etc goes straightforward and easy in their possitions.

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With a number 00 brush,I make some small color “scratches” with silver by Humbrol,and with dry pastel colours scrap and brushes depending on the case wide,I make the smoke trails from exhausts on the fuselage sides and from the guns on the wing.
Same method for some “oil” under the engine and for “liquid dirt” on other places like landing system,refueling points and enough dirt from the boots of the land crew and pilot.

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Finally,much “dust” on the wheels,main and tail and a hit of one more coat of matt varnish stabilizes everything in place.  
A nice project is done !One of the most famous warbirds,coming from the early ‘40’s -November of 1940- flying by the Luftwaffe’s ace of this time,Maj. Helmut Wick is in my collection,thanks to  generosity of Eduard.

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Some words as epilogue :
The kit,is still one of the best kits about the 109E series,providing a very rightly and detailed outfit Emil,with perfect scrabing lines,right panels,realistic fabric texture on the control surfaces,many options on decals and subversions -coming from headrests diferencies,special editions like
Galland’s airplane- detailed cockpit,nose machine guns,detailed engine and right landing system.
At the other side,for staying at this possition,needs some “upgrades”,like  more detailed wheel wells,some work in cockpit area,like the panel behind pilots headrest in separate part,a better gunsight or some extra details on the cockpit side walls.
One more add for this version,are the wing guns,something that really miss from all the kits of this airplane and I think will make the difference.
I believe is time for Eduard to think about a new “generation” of pilots harmess,with photo etched clips and fabric or papper and soft metal -in case of “leather”-  belts.
The people behind this kit,have all the knowhow and the technical capabilities for making the good -or even the best- better.
The Brassins at the other side,are a story like doctor Jeckyl and mr. Hide.The DB engine is the answer to a modelers prayer,being the best DB 601 engine of all times.Great and full of details and absolute right in dimensions is the first impression.
The second is,they need some modifications in the way of production this kit.Some parts are embraced very tight with the support blocks and the modeler canot take them,not in one piece at least.
Some other parts are not easy to use :are very small,very fragile and in some cases are into a ply of resin,very thin,but still resin.Maybe some P.E. parts must replace those resins.
The same for the MG 17 machine guns,but here the situation is more ballanced.Less parts are risky and more can used.
I believe,Eduard can be taught from this kit.Had found its way along the way but lost it with the DB kit.Just a little bit re-design of the molding and everything will goes fine.
I have not any other words to say,I hope you enjoy this model like me.
Thank you for your patience and we will say it again soon.


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