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In-Box Review
172
Japanese Bf 109 & Fw 190
Bf109E-7 & Fw190A-5 ''Japanese Army'' (2 kits) Limited Edition
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

Bf 109E-7 & Fw 190A-5 Japanese Army (2 kits)
Series: Limited Edition
Item: 02014


Background
Imperial Japan's Army Air Force evaluated several Luftwaffe aircraft during WWII and they received Allied code-names. The Focke-Wulf 190 was 'Fred' and the Messerschmitt 109 was tagged ‘Mike.’

in the box
The conventional lid and tray box is decorated with profiles of a Bf 109E and an Fw 190A-5 in IJAAF markings. Inside are two plastic bags containing each aircraft. A total of 8 sprues hold 70 parts:

    64 x light gray parts
    5 x clear pieces
    1 x metal seat
    1 x decal sheet for two aircraft
    2 x instruction sheets
Although these Hasegawa kits are a couple of decades old they were tooled during the ‘modern era.’ Parts are commendably molded with smooth exteriors on the airframes and no visible sink holes. While the Focke-Wulf does not have flash or other flaws, the Messerschmitt is showing its age: flash and plastic burrs; incompletely molded parts.

The airframes are detailed predominately with recessed panel lines. Each airframe is built with semi-conventional components: single bottom wing with left and right top parts; one-piece stabilizers; separate drop tank pylon; intakes, spinner and hub; fuselage halves. A separate cowling is molded for ‘Mike’ and a cowl ring is used for ‘Fred.’ Each fuselage half has the entire vertical stabilizer; Bf 109 wings have the bottom molded along the wingtips and control surfaces, which facilitates molding and allowed Hasegawa to make trailing edges more to-scale, avoiding seams.

Canopy parts consist of a windscreen, landing light, and hood for the Fw 190, and two types of one-piece canopies for ‘Mike.’ The parts are clear but the Bf 109 parts look slightly distorted.
Details
Main gear wells: good detail for the ‘Fred,’ none for ‘Mike.’ Gear doors have no interior detail. The main gear and tail wheels have fair detail. They are molded to a fine size.


Little detail for the cockpits floors and cockpit tubs. There are no seatbelts, molded or decal, yet Hasegawa includes a metal seat for the Bf 109. The instrument panels are without raised or recessed detail so the decals are essential. Cockpit sides are not detailed.

‘Fred’ has separate propellers.
decals, instructions, painting
Both instructions open accordion-style. Black and white line art illustrate several steps and sub steps to build the models.

Each aircraft has decals for a single aircraft:
    1. Bf109E-7: J.A.A.F. Experimental division Code: white-1 Kagamihara A.B. 1941
    2. Fw190A-5: J.A.A.F. Experimental division Tokorozawa A.B. Dec., 1943
These are the highlights of the kits: smooth, precisely registered, opaque, sharp decals that are very impressive. Lots of data stenciling!

Only two paint brands are referenced, not surprisingly, Mr. Color and GSI Creos Aqueous Hobby Color. Paint suggestions are keyed to most parts at each stage.

A good article about the Bf 109 can be found via Click here for additional images for this review, below.

Conclusion
I don’t know when these models were first tooled and released. They are good models although the Bf 109E is showing its age. If you want a better cockpit then you’ll need a resin aftermarket set. You may justly counter, 'But these are 1/72!' yet another 1/72 Fw 190 has an impressive cockpit. While the molding of the Focke-Wulf is good, I am disappointed with the Bf 109. I haven’t built any 1/72 Messerschmitts by Hasegawa’s rivals so I cannot directly compare them. I have built other 1/72 Fw 190A kits that are more detailed than this one. These models have bid farewell to their days as cutting edge.

The impressive decals are smooth, registered, opaque, and sharp and are the highlight of this Limited Edition. They are the purpose of this kit! Thus, all things considered, I like this limited edition kit.

Click here for additional images for this review.

SUMMARY
Highs: Extensive decals are smooth, registered, opaque, and sharp. Good molding of the Fw 190.
Lows: The Bf 109 is showing its age with flash and a partially formed part. Sparse interior detail.
Verdict: Great decals really make this set of Aryan aircraft in Asia.
  DECALS:95%
  FW 190:80%
  BF 109:55%
Percentage Rating
72%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 02014
  Suggested Retail: $44.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 27, 2013
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.04%

Our Thanks to Hobbico!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)
FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2017 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Very interesting release. I just read an identification document in which Allied pilots reported encountering what they thought were 109s and 190s, or modified Japanese copies, in the Pacific, particularly in the Solomons.
JUN 27, 2013 - 12:41 PM
I think I remember reading somewhere that the IJAAF received some 190 & 109 for evaluation, but I didn't think they used them in combat. It seems to me that the A6M Zero & the Ki-43 Oscar were better suited to the long-range combat of the Pacific Theater. This is a cool subject, though. Jim
JUN 28, 2013 - 07:21 AM
They may have received a 109 but I would be amazed if they received a 190. By the time the 190 was available it was very very difficult to get stuff from Germany to Japan. It was done by submarine, but most were sunk on the journey and only a couple got through with anything. A few drawings got through as once the sub was within in the Japanese flight area the important bods caught a plane back to Japan to seed up the trip and took some drawings with them. This is how some drawings of German jet and rocket technology got to Japan. The balance was all via a remarkable code system for describing 3 dimensional objects via radio. Can anyone refer to some evidence of the 190 getting to Japan?
JUN 30, 2013 - 05:06 AM
The Fw190A-1 entered service in August 1941, the A-5 in November 1942. Neither introduction was late enough for any significant shipping issues, it wasn't until mid 1943 that the USN really began to dominate in the Pacific. With production terminating in June 1943, the A-5 would have been ending production around the time that shipping became an issue.
JUN 30, 2013 - 07:26 PM
The IJAAF received one Fw 190A-5 in 1943 as part of a technical exchange program. The Germans were reluctant to share their technological achievements with japan which is why only one example was received. The fate of the Fw-190 is not fully known. It was examined by engineers from Kawasaki at Kagamigahara. According to some publications it flew comparison tests with Nakajima Ki 84 Hayate and proved superior. A Maj Katakura discovered that it was possible to land it at high speed without the use of flaps, when a wrench carelessly left in the mechanism prevented him using them. His final reports were not enthusiastic, the maneuverability described as poor. It finally ended its days as a wreck in early 1945 at the Akeno Air school experimental facility. Some sources say another, A-8, was sent to Japan by submarine in early 1944 but there is no proof of this in Japanese documents.
JUL 01, 2013 - 04:36 PM
A researcher I know is preparing a blog about the IJAAF Focke-Wulf and he was kind enough to share these details: It arrived in the late summer of 1943 via a blockade runner and the programme of testing and fighter evaluation began at Fussa in September 1943. The idea that it was tested in December comes from the fact that the 47th Sentai's 2nd Chutai moved to the airfield at Tokorozawa in December 1943 because Chofu was too crowded. ...it was demonstrated to and flown by some of the 47th's leading pilots...captioned 'December 1943' have created the belief that the testing occurred then and the recent Hasegawa double-kit also uses this date. I have photos showing the Fw 190 together with the 47th's Ki-44 aircraft and I can't see what better proof there would be that it existed...
JUL 02, 2013 - 07:41 AM
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