Home > Valiant Wings Modelling > 'The Stash'

Messerschmitt Bf 108

Scale: 1/48th
Manufacturer: Eduard
Ref No: 8078
Material: IM

Kit Review
This particular kit (#8078) was released in 2016, although the kit itself dates back to 2002 and the artwork on this reissue was first used on #8052 back in 2002.
Have you ever built a model purely for the colour scheme, well I did with this one because as soon as I saw the blue version WL+IQBR from France in May 1940, I knew I had to build it. I say that, but I actually did not build this one from the kit, I had a set of over-trees (#8054X) made available by Eduard in 2016, so I used those combined with a set of etched they also had available from them website at that time. I love the Bf 108, having done the Heller one as a kid, so with 1/48th my chosen scale nowadays it was about time I added the Taifun to my collection. 

Building was really straightforward, although the age of the original tooling is such that the parts assemble does not have the finesse of their current offerings. The pre-painted photo-etched added details like the seat belts and instrument panel and I found that once the interior was painted (black base, then RLM 02 heavily in the centre of each panel, then lightly overall to create shadows), the etched parts set it off quite nicely. The complete engine is nice, although mainly unseen once inside the cowls, but I did not fit photo-etched part PE19. The photo-etched main instrument panel is excellent, just remember to add some plasticard tabs inside the upper fuselage decking region, otherwise you won't have anything to actually attach the photo-etched panel too! 
Once the interior and engine are done you will find assemble goes very quickly and before you know it, you have the bulk of the airframe in your hands. The undercarriage, oil cooler, tailwheel and propeller were all done as separate sub-assembles and only fitted right at the end. Take quite a bit of time ensuring that the one-piece canopy fits, it needs very little adjustment, but with care you can get it to be a really snug fit without the need to use any form of filler anywhere around its edge. The self-adhesive masks in the kit are great and make the masking of the canopy a real pleasure. The set also contained 'rings' to allow you to paint the wheel hubs. Initially I was going to use the kit propeller, but when Brassin released a resin version (#648 256) I went with that instead. The middle wood-effect was created with a dark yellow (Tamiya XF-60) base then burnt umber oil paint was dry-brushed on with an old brush to create the wood grain effect. The outer sections are standard RLM 70 and you get lovely little manufacturers logos as decals.
Colour & Markings
Ah, the overall scheme, easy! The instructions clearly state that the aircraft was RLM 65 on the fuselage sides and underneath the wings and tail, with RLM 24 for the rest. The snake motif down each fuselage side is supplied as a decal, as are all the other markings, so it was simple. I had assumed that as Eduard distribute Gunze-Sangyo paints, the snake decal would be colour-matched to the quoted RLM 24 equivalent H322. This is actually the blue used by the Blue Impulse display team and as I discovered to my horror at the decalling stage, is no-where near the colour of the decals! I should have followed my usual route and gone with RLM 24 from my stocks of Xtracolor or Aeromaster paints - you live and learn. The RLM 65 went on first and was darkened for some shading by adding a bit of dark blue, then the H322 went on, darkened still further with something like Midnight Blue. The demarcation along the top of the nose is hard-edged, as per the instructions, whilst the rear fuselage dorsal spine is soft-edged. Note the chunk of the snake's tail on the rear fuselage port side that is sprayed over with RLM 65.
Once happy with the overall scheme the model was sealed with Tamiya X22 thinned with Mr Levelling Thinners, then left to dry overnight. The next evening I set about applying the decals, the main ones went on first and this is where I found that not only were the snake decals in a totally different colour from the quoted H322, but they also were not a good fit around the front end, particularly in following the contour of the bulge over the exhausts (if you line them up with the bottom edge of the canopy sills, the snakes head along the lower edge is clear of the exhaust bulge, when the illustrations show it closely following the panel line). Work in sequence in applying the big codes, as its best to do the top set one day, leave them overnight to cure, then apply those on the underside the next day. There are just a few stencils to add at the very end, along with painting the trim tabs all red (sadly the stencils on each of these are not included).
Final Details
The main wheels had been first sprayed XF-85 Rubber Black, then the hubs were masked and sprayed Gloss Black. I should have then done an earth tone wash to bring out the tread pattern, but I think my enthusiasm had wained somewhat due to the decals. There are etched brake lines included in the kit, but I did not use them due to a combination of 'how small!' and my failing enthusiasm; copper wire would be a better option anyway. The completed undercarriage was installed (doesn't the 108s upright undercarriage look really odd!), then it was just the landing light, pitot and mass balance weights to add. I had done the canopy prior to the overall painting scheme, so just had to slide the new resin propeller into place and it was completed.

The kit is good, its sound and has good overall detail but it is now nearly 20 years old and Eduard have come a long way since first covering this type., so let's hope they will consider a new tooling in the future. The colour mix-up was annoying and did spoilt this one for me, but the model looks something completely different alongside all those Luftwaffe camouflaged types, so I am glad I built it.

BTW, if there is anyone reading this who wants the original kit, complete except the masks and the decal option used (see below image), let me know as I have it here and will sell it to anyone interested for £10 plus P&P.

Paints used
Gunze Mr Hobby Aqueous Hobby Color acrylic:
Mr Surfacer 1500 (Grey)
H34 Cream Yellow
H65 RLM 70 Dark Green
H67 RLM 65 Light Blue
H70 RLM 02 Grey-Green
H322 Phthalo Cyanine Blue

Tamiya Color acrylic:
X-1 Gloss Black
X-22 Gloss Clear
XF-85 Rubber Black