Eduard has just released their new 1/48th kit of the Bf 109E and one thing it had over its larger brother in 1/32 scale was improved wheels – Previously 1/32 scale kit wheels were criticised for being too shallow in depth – well having revised them in their latest 1/48th “Emil” Eduard have gone one better again, and improved these wheels in their “Brassin” line of top quality kit additions. Are these top shelf aftermarket wheels worth the extra expense now we have better wheels on the kit you ask? Well let’s have a look at them constructed.
Kit No: 648058
Kit Type: Resin (5 parts)
Available from: Eduard Store direct & all good hobby shops
Now let’s get this straight before we kick off – the wheels in the new Eduard Bf 109E in 1/48th scale are nice – very nice – an improvement in scale and depth to their original earlier larger scale cousins like we mentioned - but Eduard think they can go better so we thought we would make them up and show you a comparison so you needn’t go to the trouble of checking yourself - here is the contents of the Brassin set 648058:
Two main wheels, two main wheel spokes, and a fixed tailwheel – all made from two different shades of resin which I can tell you is of flawless casting – No air bubbles at all are present and the smallest detail is easy to see on these wheels – I can even make out the air tube “nipple” where the air goes in – you can see was well the stamped writing on the inside of the wheel well – a really careful job was done on these wheels – I think the people making them understood they had to step up a notch from where they had already left off. Hats off to what I see so far.
Instructions were clear and packaging is well executed - or is that the other way around?
Let’s have a look at the mainwheels and the tailwheel on the real thing and compare first before we compare kits..
The wheels: a description and comparison
Mainwheels: The “Emil’s” main wheels sat on tyres made by Continental - the wheels themselves were six spoked versions before the later smooth covered wheels were brought in to streamline production time.
They were spoked as you can see in the close up of the picture here - Note also the internal detail of wheel well cover. The wheels come in two parts - the internal spokes (darker resin) are simply cut from their casting block and super-glued straight into the wheels
Thought the tyres don't really have any tread so to speak they do have the lines across them – this is pretty refined in it’s application and I like the look of the overall effect.
Tailwheel – Bf 109E’s had a single fixed position tail wheel protruding from the tail of the aircraft at a slight rearward angle from the vertical (15 degrees) Often a leather sleeve was placed over the shock absorbing oleo strut.
The Brassin tailwheel is affixed to the oleo strut and you can clearly see the spokes there – the lined tyre tread isn’t too deep at all and you can see the leather.
Constructing and comparing them to the kit parts:
These parts went together very easily – me being a larger scale modeller usually I just took my time with them and made sure when I was doing something like cutting the outside of the spoked wheels from their casting block I just used a sharp knife and took my time to get it right – basic modelling skills can have these quickly together with no sweat really.
The main wheels are pretty good on the kit – I can see however that small details I mentioned like the air pipe and the stamped numbers on the wheel are easily seen on the Brassin wheels and the tyre “tread” detail is more subtle, and on a 48th scale kit I think surface detail and subtlety can make or break a model. The Brassin wheels sit on the oleo struts of the kit figure with no problem either – strongly fixed with no problems. The fastening nut on the outside of the spoked wheel is also of a much better detail - One nil to the Brassin wheels..
The Tailwheel comparison follows a similar pattern – the kit wheel is to be commended on its thinness and fine detail – it is a two part construction that goes together easily but the Brassin wheel – It is all of one piece and in shape - well it isn’t as “round” as the kit tailwheel – the tread is more flat and thinly detailed at the tread, and it already included the leather sleeve that most “Emails” had in the field – round two to the Brassin set.
As well as this the painting these wheels are aided by the addition by Eduard of some kabuki material masks.
These is the "Brassin" tailwheel installed into the tail section…. nice
Well you needn’t buy these wheels – That is unless you want a better Bf109E than your mates – and that is what we all want isn’t it? To be the best in show?
…Seriously these are an inexpensive addition to your kit that detailed carefully will improve the scale feel of the kit with the excellent detail they bring to the table.
Thanks to Eduard whose kit I have added to my own Bf 109E kit (they come as standard in the “Royal Class” kits so you know! But more on that kit later - starting with a mad up instrument panel in 1/4th scale!