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In-Box Review
Bf 109E-3/4 Cockpit Set
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by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Originally published on:

S.B.S Model have expanded their range of super-detailed WW2 fighter cockpits with the release of a complete replacement "office" for the Hasegawa and Tamiya Bf 109Es.

The set arrives in a nice, sturdy, top-opening cardboard box, with the resin and etched parts bagged separately and further protected by bubble-wrap. The set consists of:

10 x grey resin parts
29 x etched brass parts
A sheet of film for instrument faces

The parts are beautifully cast - perfectly, in fact, because there's not a blemish in sight. All the parts come on casting-plinths, so a bit of preparation is required - and the one for the seat will need particular care to remove in order not to spoil the integral lever. The main floor / tub is a pretty major chunk of resin, but thankfully it's intended to fit without surgery or thinning the part.

The detail throughout on the resin parts is excellent. The sidewalls are particularly nice, as is the seat, which features realistically draped lap belts.

What sets S.B.S Model apart from some other aftermarket producers is that they don't rely slavishly on just one medium. Instead, they work to its strengths and then switch where appropriate to another. So, in the case of the seat, the shoulder harness is etched brass. This means it can be draped over the side of the cockpit, as seen so often in photos.

Many of the other cockpit details are brass too, including new rudder pedals and their straps, trim wheels and small levers plus, of course, the multi-part main instrument panel, complete with a printed film for the instrument faces themselves.

The other interesting thing is that S.B.S Model have designed their set to fit both the Tamiya and Hasegawa kits - when what's obvious as soon as you examine the kits is that the contours of their fuselages is slightly different. So, how have S.B.S managed it? Easy - alternative parts t fit each kit; there are two different resin backing plates for the instrument panel, and a choice of etched panels to fit under the rear section of the canopy. Simple, yet very innovative.

What also sets this aftermarket upgrade apart from many of its rivals is the instructions. Along with clearly drawn assembly diagrams that outline the different modifications needed for the Tamiya and Hasegawa models, there's a superb painting guide with every lever and component keyed to a colour chart.

I really can't fault S.B,S Model's Bf 109E cockpit set. It combines the strengths of both the best resin and the best etched sets for really well-rounded package that thoroughly deserves to be a great success. It's not overly complex, yet packs in masses of detail, so it's ideal for intermediate modellers upwards. With a Battle of Britain campaign looming next year, I won't hesitate to use this, should I build a '109. Highly recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Excellent detail and perfect casting. Instructions feature a detailed painting guide.
Lows: None.
Verdict: Cleverly designed to complement both the most popular quarterscale Emils, whether you're building the Hasegawa or the Tamiya kit, S.B.S Model's set provides a real gem of an "office".
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 48013
  Suggested Retail: 14 Euros
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 10, 2009

Our Thanks to SBS Model !
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 Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

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...

Copyright ©2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. All rights reserved.


Hi Rowan Not trying to sabotage this review or thread! But if I am not wrong there are only separate dash boards and the PE. My comment is not aimed at accuracy (scale thickness!!!) but rather fit ... all the best Steffen P.S: Seems i have problems to (ex)press my thoughts into understandable sentences today: What I mean is, that I would prefer a specifical designed set for a kit over a generalized "suits all sizes" appoach.
NOV 12, 2009 - 05:35 AM
Hi Steffen I think we're coming from the same place - and I shared your concerns. I think S.B.S have found a good compromise to ensure a really nice "office" for both kits - of course, the acid test will be be to see just how well it fits in both instances. Now you've got me wanting two sets for a comparison build! All the best Rowan
NOV 12, 2009 - 09:50 AM
Hi there, I have some photos about the fit of SBS Bf-109E cockpit. (both in Tamiya, and Hasegawa kits) As it shown in the instruction sheet, the modeler has to reduce the thickness of the kit part. Yes, a bit work is neccessary, but it's not a big surgery. Both models (detail set as well) made by Hungarian modeler Gábor Fóth Tamiya kit: Hasegawa kit: Best regards Csaba
NOV 12, 2009 - 08:08 PM
Thank you Csaba! So you are going the early Aires approach, to be rather correct and letting the modeler adjust the kit (nowadays they tend to make the set fit the kit). Thats fine with me, but it is good to know in advance. BTW your painted cockpit looks excellent!! all the best Steffen
NOV 12, 2009 - 09:06 PM
Hi Steffen, It was just an accident In the future we will release sets as 'one set for one kit' Our next (Bf-109G-10) is for Hasegawa, not Hasegawa and Revell Cheers Csaba
NOV 12, 2009 - 09:21 PM
Hi Csaba Please pass on my compliments to Gábor - his work is superb! I'm really looking forward to seeing the 'G-10 set. All the best Rowan
NOV 12, 2009 - 09:42 PM
Thanks for the additional inf, Csaba! I must say, that especially with Aftermarket sets I can't really appreciate them without having these before myself. from photos it is always hard to tell and I should have trusted Rowans words ( ) still i stand to what I wrote above and I am glad you focus on specific kits Well, I have one of the monograms in the stash and honestly it deserves a good cockpit too ... despite being moulded in dark green styrene it is a nice kit, especially if you consider its age ... all the best Steffen
NOV 12, 2009 - 09:47 PM
Just a note, SBS Model is a Hungarian outfit, not German.
DEC 05, 2009 - 12:40 AM
Hi Gábor Quite true. Where have we said they're German? I'll correct it. I'm reviewing SBS Model's new Bf 109G-10 set at the moment - it's a real beauty! All the best Rowan
DEC 05, 2009 - 01:14 AM

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