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Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6

by Floyd S. Werner Jr.

 

Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6

 


Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 is available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

When Hasegawa announced that they were going to release a new 1/32nd scale 109 there were a lot of expectations. Would they do the aircraft justice? Would they just upscale their 1/48th scale offering? Would it be expensive?

Well I have to tell you that Hasegawa did the 109 great justice.

Instead of taking the easy route by up scaling the quarter scale offering they totally made a new offering, which I have to say is even better than the 1/48th scale stuff. That is saying a lot, as the small scale model is beautiful. Let me tell you this one is even nicer and really easy to build. Not only did they make a nice kit but it costs just a little more than the 1/48th scale kit. What can I say but, ďAbsolutely fantastic.Ē

 

 

Along with the Tamiya Zero (with a price tag nowhere close to zero) the release of the G-6, G-14 from Hasegawa and the anticipated G-4 from Revell/Monogram (cost is literally only a few dollars more than the quarter scale stuff, how do they do it?) Hasegawa has revitalized large scale aircraft market.

There is no need for a history of the Messerschmitt fighter as it is probably the most famous subject out there.

OK with that out of the way now we can get down to building the kit.

 

 

Construction



The Kit

Eight light gray sprues are included, as well as, one clear sprue. There are poly vinyl caps that seem to be the rage nowadays and decals for two aircraft, one for Erich Hartmann and the other for Gerhard Barkhorn. The detail can be seen upon opening the box. I donít know for sure but I would bet that Hasegawa used ďBlack 6Ē as a pattern. I say this because of the set up of the forward scoops. There was a lot of controversy over these scoops, but I have to tell you that the three examples that exist have staggered scoops. It doesnít appear that all aircraft are set up this way but the survivors are. The engineering of the kit indicates lots of room for additional models; unlike the Fujimi quarter scale offering it is not over engineered.


 

Model Design Construction Cockpit

I decided to try Model Design Constructionís interior instead of the kit cockpit. The kit offering is not too bad but in this scale you want a beautiful interior and MDC offers up a great cockpit.

The resin parts are bubble free and there was no warpage.

If I had to find fault with the MDC interior it is in the instrument panel. The panelís gauges are flat and offer no relief. The fit was impeccable and construction was very straight forward.

The whole cockpit area, including the cockpit sill, was painted Testorís Model Masters RLM 66 and dry brushed RLM 02. Certain areas were then worn with some silver pencils and silver paint. After the dry brush I moved to the instrument bezels and either painted them black or the appropriate color. Now that I had a nice interior I had to figure out a way to make the instrument faces.

 

 

I decided to punch out the kit decals with a Waldron Punch and Die set. Using Micro Sol to settle the instruments into the proper spot was all that I needed. After they were dried I simply applied some Kristal Kleer to the faces. It required a few applications to get the look I was after but when I was finished I really liked the results.

I glued the side walls on the fuselage halves and mated the instrument panel where it was suppose to be prior to sealing the area with the floor. I was very happy with the look of the ďofficeĒ. I left off the clear gas line part, gunsight and control stick until later in the construction.

The gunsight was nicely molded and just required scrap clear styrene to make it a beauty. I painted the one lens Tamiya Clear Green. The gunsight was attached with a small rod that I drilled into the back of the gunsight. The clear tube was a nice addition, but be careful as it will get lost quickly. The MDC cockpit is a gem and adds a lot to this kit.

I highly recommend it. I bought mine directly through the MDC website.


 

The Fuselage

The fit of the fuselage is near perfect. It probably was perfect, except for my gluing. The fuselage consists of four parts, the front halves and the tail halves. The breakdown occurs at a natural panel line in the tail boom so nothing is lost and if done carefully will require no filler. The tail assembly has a big, no make that huge, plug that almost snaps into the front halves giving you a strong bond. A note about the spine of the 109; there is a natural seam along the top and most of the bottom of the fuselage so donít fill it in. If you assemble this correctly there isnít any area that should require more than a couple of swipes with a sanding stick to get it right. I took this opportunity to drill a hole in the tail antenna mount.

A word of caution - the top of the engine area is a plug (this will allow early versions to be built) and there are two provided. You have to decide which one to use. Study your photos, I think I used the wrong one. Oh well, the fit is so good and after I glued it I couldnít get it off. You are given a choice in the cowl gun bulges, so a little research will help you out here. My aircraft had the extra ďpressurizationĒ bulge on the right side.

I didnít need a drop tank or rack under my aircraft but if you want to mount one donít forget to open up the holes on the belly panel before you put it on. I attached the wing stiffeners and sealed up the belly panel.


 

The Wings

One thing I was worried about was the way the wings were mounted. They go on to the stiffeners, which are attached to the belly panel and then run up the wing. What was I worried about? This is Hasegawa. The fit of the wings on these stiffeners was perfect. Let me say that again, perfect. The stiffeners ensure the dihedral of the wings is correct and they also add strength.

The wings themselves are a pretty straight forward. Open up the holes for the wing bulges, add the cooler front and backs put on the top of the wing and youíre done. Again there is no need to fill anything the fit is that good. I say that but you will have to fill in the wing bulges mounting points and these are a little bit of a pain because of the limited space.

The wings just slip onto the stiffeners and if you take your time the fit is perfect on the top and bottom. If for some reason your fit isnít perfect I suggest that you get the bottom perfect and work the top. I canít see how it wouldnít be but just in case. It would be easier to fix the top wing than the lower.

 



The flap arrangement is easy and straight forward, except for the mold release marks on the inside of each flap. This was easily filled though and the fit of the flaps was easy with large mounting tabs on them. This ensures that they are straight and at the same angle. I would recommend that you put some .005 plugs in the end of the outboard flaps as this seem is visible and difficult, if not impossible, to fill. Slats are perfect and fit, yes again, perfect.

You will need to fill the clear part under the wing for the antenna mount for a G-6 but this is very easy and it just snaps together. Are you getting the idea that I liked this kit?


 

Other Stuff

Iím just going to hit highlights for the rest of the kit.

The tail assembly is so slick and tight that I forgot to glue mine until I was done with the kit. Literally the horizontals donít require glue. They interlock and are perfectly straight right out of the box. The supercharger intake is easy and represented the hardest seam I had to fill on the whole kit.

The lower oil cooler and belly insert panel fit, dare I say it again, perfect. No glue on my belly panel.

The landing gear fits snugly into the mounts and the angle is, well you know. The nice thing about the struts is that they have the brake lines molded on and they look nice. I added the looped lower portion, but these arenít even seen and I wonít do it the next time. The angle of the wheels is the only big gripe I have with this kit. The angle is too vertical, but I was able to overlook it as once I test fit the wheel to the leg I couldnít remove it, again no glue. Iím sure that True Details has an offering that will fix this issue.


 

Eagle Parts Spinner

I decided to use Eagle Parts spinner because it looked more accurate and had better detail than the kit offering. I required some drilling, but Eagle provides a drilling jig to help you get the center of the spinner. When added to the kit the new spinner dramatically changes the look of the airplane. Hasegawa still canít get that elusive shape correct. There 1/48th scale offering is horribly bulbous. This kitís spinner isnít as bad, but not perfect. If you can, use the Eagle Parts. Highly recommended.


 

Cutting Edge Exterior

I used some parts from the Cutting Edge exterior set. This set addresses some items that are missing or could be done better in resin. I used the forward scoops, exhausts, cowl guns, and tail wheel assembly. There were a lot of other parts that I opted not to use, but everything was typical Cutting Edge quality and bubble free. You have to see these sand and dust filters - beautiful job Scott. By far the best improvement that the Cutting Edge offers is the tail wheel. Be careful though as the spokes are very fragile. It is nice that the tail wheel is slightly flattened.


 

Painting and Markings



As you can tell you get to this point rather rapidly. I decided to try Testorís Model Masters Acrylic paint range. After preshading, I started with the RLM 76, followed that up with RLM 75 Grey Violet and RLM 74 Grey Green. I found out a quick fact about myself. I am ďdialedĒ in 1/48th scale. It was very difficult for me to spray the mottling effect for 1/32nd. My pattern was very small and required me to think about the spray pattern. Iím happy with the results now. One thing unique about the airplane I was doing was that it had the zigzag pattern on the wings and tail. This was going to be a bear, however, Cutting Edge came to the rescue.


 

Cutting Edge Black Magic Masks

After studying the camo pattern I determined that the Black Magic would be too stark. What to do? Then the answer hit me, no wait that was my wife. Use Silly Putty to raise the masks off the surface slightly. The key is to make sure that it is even at all points and to spray at a 90 degree angle to the mask.

 

 

The Cutting Edge set definitely made my job quicker and easier than doing myself. I did have to touch up some areas but it was very easy after using the Cutting Edge Masks. Highly recommended.


 

Decals

I used EagleCals but you will have to wait until the IPMS Journal comes out for the review. I think that you can judge for yourself by the photos if I was happy or not.


 

Finishing

Barkhornís machine was kept very clean so weathering was kept to a minimum. I start out weathering with silver pencil followed with a wash of burnt umber. On top of the umber I used pastels for the exhaust stains, gun powder residue, and dirt on the landing gear. I was quite happy with the results.

MDC offers you the option of using the brass belts they have or for you to thread your own belts on a spare set of buckles that they provide. I like the look of masking tape buckles so I took this route. I think they can be posed more realistically. I draped mine along the back of the cockpit sill out of the way of the cockpit area. It would be a shame to cover all that beautiful interior. Now I added the gunsight and control stick. Attaching the cockpit glazing showed a slight fit problem, the first for the kit. Nothing drastic but I did have to sand the clear parts a little to get them to fit correctly. Next time I will attach the canopy prior to painting.

 



That is about it. Is this kit perfect? No, but it is well worth the money. I highly recommend the Eagle Parts, Cutting Edge exterior and masks, and the MDC cockpit. They all add something nice to the kit, but even without these parts the Hasegawa Bf-109G-6 is the standard by which other reasonably priced 1/32nd scale kits should be judged. I highly recommend it.


 

Accessory Summary

 

  • EagleCals  - Bf-109G-6s EC#42

  • Model Design Construction (MDC)  - Bf-109G-6 Cockpit Detail Set CV32003

  • Cutting Edge  - Bf-109F/G/K Detailing Exterior Set CEC32084

  • Cutting Edge  - Black Magic Bf-109G-6 Camouflage Masks CEBM32073

  • Model Car Garage - Throttle Return Springs MCG-706
     



 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2002 by Floyd S. Werner Jr.
Page Created 09 November, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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