Airfix's recent Bf 109G impressed me when it was released last summer with its combination of good overall accuracy and low price. Perfect for youngsters and newcomers to our hobby, but for more experienced modellers there's no denying that it is a bit lacking on the detail front.
Eduard have stepped in stepped in with a new etched set that will transform the kit, with a super-detailed cockpit plus a number of items for the rest of the aircraft.
Set #73348 arrives spread across two frets, one of which is almost entirely pre-painted and comprises:
109 x etched parts
A printed film for the instruments and armoured glass
Much of the set is understandably devoted to the cockpit, because this is where Airfix's Gustav is weakest. Basically, Eduard have included everything that could reasonably be produced as photo-etch - there's a new floor and rear bulkhead, sidewalls, a seat with multi-part harnesses, instruments, rudder pedals, plus a mass of tiny brackets, levers and other controls. The level of detail is extraordinary for this scale - actually on a par with 1:32 and 1:48 sets. So it should go without saying that a fair degree of experience with photo-etched parts will be a huge asset in making the most of the intricate detail included.
Turning to the exterior, Eduard provide exhaust exhaust shrouds, radiator faces, details for the landing gear and liners for the wheel-wells, aerials and sway braces for the ETC rack.
Finally, there's a 3-part armoured glass with a film insert, but squeezing it into the kit's rather thick canopy could be a challenge. It's a shame that Eduard couldn't also include a vacuform canopy - that would be the icing on the cake, so that you could pose it open to display the super-detailed "office".
The instructions are clearly laid out with well drawn diagrams that break down the assembly into manageable chunks.
This is a great little set, provided you've got the skill to use it; at twice the price of the kit it's designed for, you'll definitely want to be sure you can use all the items. It does cry out for an open canopy though, because otherwise a lot of the excellent interior will be effectively hidden, but it is an excellent addition to basic Airfix Gustav.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Extremely well detailed with intricate pre-painting.Lows: Unless you source an alternative canopy to pose it open, much of the interior detail will be lost.Verdict: It's not cheap, and it's not for beginners, but Eduard's set will transform the Airfix kit, taking it from basic to super-detailed at a stroke.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...