The introduction of Special Hobby Me-109E in 72 scale was surprising and also a bit disappointing because there are a lot of mainstream kits available and I still miss some more interesting subjects. Nevertheless, this Me-109 has a big potential because it is made with 3D technology (based on the Eduard´s 1/48 kit) and we can certainly look forward to more “E” subversions of that plane and perhaps also for the early C, D versions.
For my first build, I picked the E-1 subversion as it is missing in the real market. Tamiya offers only E-3,4 and 7. For comparison, I decided to build another Me-109E-4 made by Tamiya. I also would like to mention Me-109 E from AZ/KP available on the market. But honestly speaking, less quality kit based on a copy of Tamiya or other brands is really not relevant to deal with anymore.
The Special Hobby OOB build is straightforward but it is influenced by Eduard´s design heritage as every part has a very tight fitting and there is no allowance for modeller´s imperfections.
The Tamiya kit is really classic and can not disappoint. In the end, the build lasted 27 Hrs for Special Hobby and 20 Hrs for the Tamiya. The biggest difference was during the rough build. The effort for camouflage is equal as I selected for both 109s my favourite pattern from spring 1940 which consists of RLM65 on fuselage sides. In addition, there are Luftwaffe squadron emblems on the sides.
Special Hobby Me-109E-1 red 16 is the plane of 2/JG-26 by Obrlt. Fritz Losigkeit. The decals are out of the box and were the most disappointing part. It was my first experience with those decals (so-called peel-off decals) printed by Eduard’s new technology. In terms of its graphics, colour saturation and application, I generally consider them as really poor stuff. Nevertheless, due to the simple graphics motif, I eliminated most of the disadvantages. But due to the bad register which causes white-red lines, I replaced walkway stencils with another one.
Tamiya is the Me-109E-4 from III/JG-3 assigned to Lt. Egon Troha, the pilot with Austrian roots. The plane was named “Grace” according to a daughter of a general consul of Santa Domingo who worked in Vienna. Unfortunately, I didn’t find more detailed relationship information between Grace and Egon Troha. The decals and emblem are drawn by myself and printed on the laser printer. The rest are Tamiya decals.
I managed to distribute my own mistakes and imperfections to both kits equally, therefore I can compare and evaluate this duo as follows:
Well-proven Tamiya is suitable for modellers demanding straightforward, easy and enjoyable builds.
More detailed and riveted Special Hobby. In combination with aftermarket decals, it is the best 72 scale Me-109E especially due to the potential to have all accurate “E” subversions and also, especially due to the option of allowing retracted slats and flaps as it was the right configuration on the real subject.
For my future builds I plan to use both kits.