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Messerschmitt Bf 109G-3

by Floyd S. Werner Jr.


Messerschmitt Bf 109G-3


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The history of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 is legendary and will not be covered here.

What will be covered is a little known, and even lesser photographed, variant - the Bf 109G-3. In January 1943 a small block of 50 aircraft were built by Messerschmitt at Regensburg to be employed in the high altitude Staffeln of JG 2, JG 11 and JG 26. The G-3 was developed alongside the G-4, as a pressurized variant.

Actual construction of the G-3 happened after the G-4 was already in production. The G-3 incorporated all the changes of the G-4 including larger main (660x160) and tail wheel (350x135). The larger wheel size necessitated corresponding bumps on the wings to allow for retraction. The larger wheels retained the early style of wheel spoke set up. It would not be until the later G-5/6 that the flat covered wheels would be introduced. The larger tail wheel forced the wheel to become non-retractable. The silica gel tablets in the windscreen and the pressurization armor plate behind the pilots’ head were retained from the G-1, as was the most noticeable feature, an air scoop on the left engine cowling for the pressurization system. The armament was the same as the G-4with two MG17s over the engine and a 20mm cannon firing through the spinner.



Here is a summary of the Bf 109G-3 characteristics:

  • Larger main wheels

  • Larger tail wheel

  • Wing bumps

  • Pressurized cockpit, including silica gel pellets

  • Air scoop on left engine cowling, above the supercharger intake

  • Antenna lead-in for the FuG 16Z, between stations 7 and 8





This is often my favorite part of building a model, but not this time! The only book that really covers the G-3 in any kind of detail is the Prien/Rodieke book, “Messerschmitt Bf-109F, G, K” published by Schiffer. See the bibliography at the end of the article. This book offers four photos - two of JG2 and two of NAG3. Hardly the vast amount of information that is normally associated with the 109.

The book also has a line drawing that seems to be the best representation of the G-3. There are other sources that claim to be G-3s but they either miss the air scoop or the silica gel pellets. I welcome any further photos.

I decided to build one of the aircraft from the book. It is a long distance shot of “Blue 6” from 11/JG2 in January 1943. It also came to my attention that not much is written about JG2 on the Channel Front.



Building a Bf 109G-3


I had the special edition from Hasegawa for “Hartmann G-4”, Kit number 09303. This included a resin forward cowling plug and the larger wheel with the basic G-6 kit offering. This sounded good knowing the quality of the Hasegawa’s G-6 but it was not everything it could have been. The decals for Hartmann’s “White 2” machine and a JG53 G-4 were included.

Lots has been written about the G-6 kit, including myself, so I will refrain from laboring over the basic construction. Instead I will focus on the other things that made this kit unique.


As with most kits I started with a cockpit, but which one? MDC/Adeco’s is the best, Jaguar/Cooper Detail is a very close second, then there are countless others.

I have never used the True Details interior but seeing they offered a G-1/G-4 interior I thought I would try it. I’m always open to new ideas and products. The cockpit is a little gem, especially when you consider the price of under $4.00US. There are drawbacks however. The construction of the set is beautiful and when you build it up outside the aircraft it looks great. I thought the instruments were a little too deep but they were easy to paint and look convincing when done. I did use some Eduard trim wheels and mount but other than that it was built as True Details intended, with the exception of repositioning the stick forward. The drawback comes when you install the cockpit into the fuselage. The seatbelts are molded on the seatback, while this is nicely done it isn’t correct. The attachment points for the shoulder harness should be on the back deck area of the cockpit but with the True Details set they sit too low. Now to a 109 nut, such as myself, it will drive you crazy, but in the interest of reviewing the set I learned to live with it. For the average builder the set is fine and at the price it is a good investment. The interior is also nice for an inexperienced modeler to get his hands on resin and practice techniques.

I painted mine with Polly-S RLM 66, and then washed the area with black artist oils. I then dry brushed with RLM 02, then some Testor’s Metalizer Titanium and Aluminum. Finally I used some titanium white artist oils. The cockpit looked really good.


Now before I could put this cockpit in the fuselage I had to assemble it. No problems were encountered with the fuselage halves, but the resin plug was not the same story. The plug was way too much trouble for such an easy part. The plug was .050 too short front to back and .040 too tall top to bottom. It sounded so easy to just plug the back with styrene and sand down the bottom, but let me tell you it was no such easy matter. First off the sanding down made the insert too shallow and I had to fill in a lot on the side of the cowlings, of course all the detail was lost. The front to back seemed easy too with some plastic filling the gap in the back (.040) and a small one in the front (.010). Oh no, that would have been too easy. The superglue I used as filler chipped when I had to rescribe the panel lines and I eventually had to take it all out and replace it with epoxy putty. This scribed better finally after a week of working on the cowling alone I was happy with the results. Because I was making the G-3 I needed to add the air scoop to the left cowling. I drilled a hole through and bent a piece of metal tubing for this. I tried this method on my Hobbycraft G-1 and was very happy with it. The G-3 didn’t come out as good but it is passable.

Some other modifications that had to be made involved filling some panel lines. These included the square air vents on both sides of the cockpit and the oval panel on the left side by the tail wheel. The vents for the canopy had to be removed also.

The wings were pretty straightforward except that in the wheel well there are holes for the kidney shaped bumps. I glued these on the top wing and then I used my Dremel tool and started to hollow out the bumps very carefully. This is not for the faint of heart. I built up the internal structure with some styrene. Once I was happy with the shape of the bumps I very lightly added some liquid glue to the opening to smooth out any sanding imperfections. I also added Bare Metal Foil wheel well liners (wouldn’t the new Cutting Edge material make such great liners..HINT HINT) after I added some styrene to the wheel well openings on the bottom wing to bring the well closer to filling the gap. I used a Part photo etch part) to add the holes in the wheel well. Once they were glued in I hollowed out the holes. It looks good and I will do it again in the future. Some extra parts were added to make the up locks. I used parts from an Eduard K model set for the radiator and intakes. Some weighted fishing line and some True Detail Wheels rounded out (no pun intended) the landing gear and wings.



Painting and Markings



I used EZ Masks for the canopy as these make the task so much easier. I decided to try Model Master Acryl paints. I was happy with the colors themselves. I did have a problem of a sheet of paint pulling up on one wing. I fixed it by sanding it back to the panel line and then repainting. You can’t even tell with this technique but it could have been a pain if it wasn’t easy to get to.

Typical of mid war 109s I painted the model with RLM74/75/76. I must admit at first I was leery of the RLM 74 Grey-Green in the bottle, as it didn’t look anything like a green, but when applied and dried it looked accurate. There were also yellow tail and lower cowlings. A quick coat of Future and it was off to decal.


I wanted to represent an aircraft from 11./JG 2, which happen to be the only aircraft that I had a complete photo of. 11./JG 2 utilized the I/JG 2 emblem of the Bonzo dog when they were formed in March of 1943. This little emblem would add character to an otherwise “normal” mid war paint scheme.

I have a lot of decals and I went through most of them with this aircraft. The Bonzo dog emblem came from a Hasegawa E-3 kit, the Blue 6 and the “scale color” crosses came from Cutting Edge, the detail stencils came from Kommanduer, Eagle Editions and Aeromaster. They all reacted well with Mr. Mark Softener. There are a lot of stencils on this aircraft as it looks to be in a factory paint scheme, except for the yellow areas, with no field-applied markings other than the dog and aircraft number.

What caused me great distress was whether or not the wing crosses should be filled in.



I had some photos of some G-2s at the factory with simplified wing crosses and normal (black and white) fuselage crosses. Then I also had photos of G-4s with normal wing crosses and some simplified, most showed normal fuselage crosses. The only photo I had of a G-3 wing was a NAG machine with black centers. I thought it would be interesting to show the transition of the markings so I settled on normal fuselage markings as per the photo of my machine and the wings carried simplified. Prove me wrong, there I said it and I feel better. Besides it will be easier to fill in with black than to cover it if I’m wrong.





The Hasegawa Bf 109G-4 is not for the beginner because of the resin’s poor fit. However, the kit itself is superb. The casting of the parts, other than the undersized everything, was great.

I would like to see the aftermarket companies, such as MDC/Adeco, Verlinden or Squadron, do a resin insert allowing other G-3/4 aircraft to be built. They were lots of G-4s and there are plenty of paint schemes, including the wing drop tank versions that you can do with Verlinden’s underwing set. I would like to have a quality casting of this insert.

The kit was fun and looks real nice in the collection.



The Moskit exhausts look great but should have been installed early in the construction as opposed to the end like I did.

The decals from Cutting Edge were great and looked very convincing. I especially like the blue colored numbers. As for the “scale” color crosses, I’m neither hot nor cold on them. They look nice but I won’t go out of my way to use them again.

The True Details cockpit set is a good value for the money but I would use either Adeco or Jaguar/Cooper Details interior next time. The True Detail wheels are typical quality and add to the look. Modelers often overlook the pressurized aircraft, but they fit an essential part of the 109 mystique. It would be nice to see aftermarket conversions for these versions.

My advice to you is, buy a Hasegawa Bf-109 (any version) and build it, you won’t be sorry. Remember modeling is fun!





  • (The best book ever written on the 109, IMHO) Messerschmitt Bf-109 F, G, & K, Prien & Rodeike, Schiffer Publications, ISBN 0-88740-424-3, Copyright 1993

  • Model Art No 290, Messerschmitt Bf-109G/K Augsburg Eagle,

  • Lock on No 28 Messerschmitt Bf-109G-2, Verlinden, Copyright 1997

  • Monographie Lotnicze 43 Messerschmitt Me-109 cz.2 (now available in English), Robert Michulec, AJ Press, ISBN 83-86209-66-X

Summary of Aftermarket Items:

  • True Details Interior and Wheels

  • Moskit Exhausts

  • Eduard Photo-etch

  • Evergreen Styrene


Additional Images


Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2002 by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
Page Created 06 October, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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