Zvezda's recent Bf 109F has quite rightly got Luftwaffe enthusiasts excited, not only for being arguably the most accurate quarterscale '109 of any mark yet kitted, but also on account of its excellent level of detail. But any injection moulded kit, no matter how good, must involve some compromises, and Sergey Kosachev has released a very neat resin upgrade set to correct some of the details that Zvezda have missed or simplified.
Set VDS48-39 arrives in a simple zip-lock bag and comprises 20 grey resin parts and 1 clear. No instructions are included, but each piece is a direct replacement for a corresponding kit part, so there's no need. The casting throughout is flawless on the review sample - not a bubble in sight, so preparing the parts for use will take only a few moments.
Starting with the interior, Vector provide a replacement instrument panel and gunsight. Both are distinct improvements over Zvezda's originals; the instruments are finer, with details on their faces and the rounds counter and undercarriage indicator are better defined, while the new Revi gunsight is beautifully detailed.
Moving on to the outside of the kit, beginning at the nose there's a new spinner. The shape is the same as the kit version (which I believe is very accurate), but Sergey has included the shaped cutouts for the propeller blades. Moving back, there is a new set of hollowed-out exhausts, deeper than would probably be practical even with slide-moulding, and with a more rounded profile. A nice touch is that a couple of spares are included in case any "go ballistic" during assembly. The supercharger intake is completely reshaped - more prominent and curved, which matches my references much better.
Turning to the wings, the set includes replacement ailerons. The top surfaces seem identical to the kit items, but the undersides now have a nice subtle fabric effect that Zvezda missed for some reason.
Lastly, there's a new canopy centre section. This is beautifully cast in clear resin and the big difference is that Sergey has got rid of the rather clumsy moulded indentations for attaching the head armour that mar the kit's canopy (they are so large, they are likely to show even when the frames are painted). Vector's new canopy is a little thinner than the original too, so will have a more true-to-scale appearance if posed open. In the accompanying photo there's a slight, but perceptible, difference between the clear styrene and the resin, but this is exaggerated by the casting block and I doubt that it will show once the frames are painted and the canopy fitted. My only real worry with the resin canopy is that it is packed in with the other parts and risks being scratched in transit - a little zip-lock bag of its own might be a good idea for safety's sake.
Zvezda's Friedrich is a beautiful kit in the first place and Sergey's correction set adds the icing on the cake. As usual with his work, the craftsmanship on the patterns is second to none, and the casting is basically perfect. Highly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Excellent detail and flawless casting.Lows:Verdict: Vector's correction set is a very worthwhile upgrade for the Zvezda kit.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...