The modelling world is littered with kit releases that are rubbish and those products simply hit the model shop shelves and stay there, never to be corrected.
You may well recall a while back that Eduard had decided to add to their range of 1:48 kits with the release of a sparkling new Messerschmitt Me109G-6. This kit was announced to a fanfare of “this will be the greatest kit ever of this aircraft” and “you’ll never have seen detail quite like it” – you get the picture. The rhetoric was a little overblown, but it was certainly nothing we haven’t heard from other companies. When you have great faith in your work, you trumpet that as much as possible – and trumpet it, they did. Well, the kit was released. Those that just like nice kits looked at it, admired the detail, cooed over surface features and then surfed Online, to discover the extraordinary number of additional parts available from Eduard to further enhance the basics. We were bowled over.
And then, as someone pointed out that the model was not actually 1:48, the sky fell in…
Eduard — honestly, I believe — had used what now appears to be an inaccurate set of plans to create their kit, meaning that the model not only exhibited some — shall we say — odd shapes, they also resulted in wings that were too wide in span and a model that was just, well, too big! Closer to 1:45/46, the results were nothing short of a disaster for Eduard. As time went by, it seemed as though there was nothing in the kit that was completely accurate; from the size and shape of the airframe to the smaller details that adorned it, everything started to unravel. With each passing day there was another mistake, another modeller keen to light the funeral pyre. It was a horrible mess.
The Online community were of course up in arms about all of this, slating the powers that be for their oversight and asking how in this day and age, such things could happen. Eduard made a fatal mistake: they had bragged about this new kit to an audience who knew what was what and who didn’t like such outward shows of arrogance and now, those to whom such things were particularly irksome, vented their anger. Eduard had been hoisted by their own petard.
I was more circumspect. Accidents and mistakes happen. Eduard had not gone out of their way to create an inaccurate model – why would they? These things cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to produce and the damage to their reputation from such a mistake can and did, cost them dearly. It was an honest mistake, but it was a mistake that they decided to rectify and rectify it they have.
Several weeks ago, Eduard released their ‘new’ Messerschmitt Me109G-6. And when I say ‘new’, I mean, new. This is no simple reworking of the original moulds, a wash and brush up that is designed to pacify the detractors, no, this is an all-new product that in my opinion does exactly what they set out to do with the previous release: it closes the book on this aircraft in this scale. It is, to all intents and purposes, magnificent. From the accuracy of the model’s shapes, through it’s surface detail that has to be seen to believed and on to the smaller features that are so important to the look and feel of a replica, it is simply spell-binding. But more than that, it’s a fun project that’s easy to build and looks great once complete. I spent a week on mine and I’m already considering another – it really is that good.
What Eduard did, was completely rip up the original files and start again. Every part in their G-6 is new, from the airframe, through to the smaller details, it’s a testament to what Eduard can and do achieve on a regular basis. The engineering, levels of detail and precise fit have to be seen to be believed. Having now built this new kit I can honestly say that it is every bit the equal of their much vaunted Spitfire range – it might even be better.
What I applaud Eduard for though is not loosing sight of their initial vision. They wanted to create the ultimate ‘109 and they fluffed their lines, to produce anything but. Their first attempt was a dog’s dinner that generated what can only be described as a storm of protest. They went away, tail between their legs and started again. How many other companies would do the same? Hardly any. The modelling world is littered with kit releases that are rubbish (not too strong a word, as I am sure you can imagine…) and those products simply hit the model shop shelves and stay there, never to be corrected, never to be addressed, always to be sold to modellers who deserve better for the money that they spend.
Eduard’s ‘109G-6 is a fantastic kit that bears testament to their ability to replicate aircraft such as this in miniature. But more than that, it’s an example of how a company can admit a mistake and then take the time and money to rectify it. When their best was simply not good enough, Eduard went back to the drawing board and started over and that’s the real story of what will be seen by many, as one of this year’s best aircraft kit releases.