Thursday, 14 January 2016

Antares 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf 109 TL

Here I am delving into the world of specialist resin kits once again in order to reproduce a very obscure subject. No, it is NOT an Me 262, although it looks very like one, but it was a backup project to the 262 that never actually resulted in any aircraft. It is basically a Bf109 with a new nose, undercarriage and jet engines.

Building these types of kit is always a strange combination of frustration and reward. A simple enough construction in theory, but removing the casting blocks and cleaning up took nearly as long as putting the model together. As is usual with these types of kit, the fit and moulding is far from perfect and much filling and fettling is required. Also I had to add a number of strengthening elements and pins and, in common with everyone else who has built this, it seems, I managed to snap the one piece moulded fuselage in half around the cockpit where the walls are super thin. This took some repairing as well.

The canopy is vac form and is shockingly badly made, all uneven and bubbly. I'm not a fan of vac canopies at the best of times but this one really underlined my prejudices. The metal landing gear is actually pretty good but that is the only stand out item in the whole box. The decals are atrocious, thick and glossy and would not conform (and only consist of the crosses and swastikas, despite what is shown on the box), so I threw them away and raided the spares drawer. Fortunately, since this aircraft was never actually built in the real world, I can get away with anything for the markings and nobody can question there.

Anyway, after all the grief, I'm actually rather pleased with the end result, but in no hurry to build another one. A nice crisply moulded injection plastic kit is now needed to take the taste away.

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