1:32 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6, Late & Early Version from Revell

1:32 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6, Late & Early Version
Revell
Catalogue # 04665
Available from Creative Models for £19.99

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Introduction:

There's probably not much to say about the Bf 109 that hasn't been said already. Easily one of the most iconic and recognizable of all WW II fighters it was produced in greater numbers than any other fighter during the war. At the time of it's introduction in 1935 it was equipped with many modern features including all-metal monocoque construction, a closed canopy, retractable landing gear and was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted V-12 engine. Many of it's contemporaries were open cockpit biplanes with fixed landing gear. Making it's combat debut in the Spanish Civil War it would prove superior to it's opposition and it's pilots would develop tactics and gain experience that would serve the Luftwaffe well in the coming World War.

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The Jagdwaffe would prove to be master of the skies when Hitler unleashed his Blitzkrieg on Europe and the Bf 109 was usually in the forefront of the action. The RAF shattered any illusions of Luftwaffe invincibility but many pilots came away from the Battle of Britain as seasoned veterans and would put their experience to use when Hitler's eyes turned East. Here the Bf 109 would start to truly carve it's place in history. The USSR laid claim to the largest air force in the world in 1941 but it was truly a paper tiger. Hampered by lack of spare parts, inflexibility and poor pilot training the VVS lost aircraft in droves on the ground and in the air. Bf 109's sporting their unit heraldry, bright identification markings and Luftsieg on their rudders ruled the skies and pilots began to accumulate victory totals that were previously unheard of. This truly was the zenith of the Bf 109 and the Luftwaffe. It would remain the preferred mount of many of the Luftwaffe's legendary Experten until the end of the war.

Although it was constantly being updated the 109's mastery of the skies began to slip away. Called upon to do things it was never designed for, maneuverability began to suffer due to ever increasing demands for heavier armament and more speed. It continued to soldier on though, where the Wehrmacht went, so went the Bf 109, from the deserts of North Africa to the Arctic Circle and of course defending the skies of the Reich from ever increasing Allied bomber formations bent on bringing Germany's industrial complex to it's knees.

In February 1943, the Bf 109G-6 was introduced with the 13 mm MG 131s, replacing the smaller 7.92 mm MG 17, externally this resulted in two sizeable bumps (beule) on the cowl over the gun breeches, reducing speed by 9 km/h. Over 12,000 units were built well into 1944 making it the most produced variant of the Bf 109. During the course of it's production run it would also receive numerous upgrades such as the Erla canopy, tall tail and the 30 mm Mk. 108 cannon along with a dizzying array of other equipment and configurations.

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The 1/32 Bf 109G-6 in plastic:

In late 2001 Hasegawa released their 1/32 Bf 109G-6. Although not perfect it was a landmark kit, it went together well and looked very much the part. An avalanche of aftermarket soon followed to correct the kit's discrepancies and Hasegawa followed the G-6 up with later and earlier versions of the Gustav (as well as a "K" model), even giving us a Friedrich a few years back much to large scale enthusiast's delight. In 2011 Trumpeter entered the arena with their Bf 109G-6 (Early). Considered by most 109 enthusiasts as a disappointment the Trumpeter kit shared some of the same issues as the Hasegawa kit while introducing some new ones of it's own. So, the Trumpeter G-6 came up a little short, all is still well in 109 land, right? Well, not exactly. Although the Hasegawa kit is solid and generally well received it does suffer from an Achilles Heel, the price. While quite reasonable in it's home market of Japan, it seems to get expensive as it leaves the Land of the Rising Sun. Distributor mark up and foreign government import tariffs push the price in Europe (and in North America to a lesser extent) to a point that many people are unwilling to pay for a kit that doesn't have all the bells and whistles that a new Tamiya 1/32 aircraft has. Enter Revell. Coming off critically acclaimed releases of the Ju 88, Ar 196 and the He 111 in 1/32 all with very consumer friendly price tags, (particularly in Europe and the USA), Revell has decided to enter into the Bf 109 arena. Potentially very profitable, but check your thin skin at the door! So without further ado let's get to it. This review is a collaborative effort between myself and Matt Low. Matt is an acknowledged 109 "gearhead" and will be bringing to light the nuts and bolts accuracy issues of the kit. I'll primarily be focused on the modeling and "build-ability" issues, although we'll cross lines freely. There will be occasional comparisons against the Hasegawa kit since it's been "King of the Hill" for some time and I think many of us are familiar enough with that kit to use it as a benchmark.

The 1/32 Revell Bf 109G-6, what's the in box:

Box art is typical Revell, a nicely rendered late production bird from JG 5 engaged in a dogfight over the fjords of Norway. The pilot is apparently very brave or a little forgetful engaging in aerial combat with the drop tank still on though!

The first thing we note is the dreaded Revell side opening box. Most of us hate the damn things so first order of business is transferring it to the empty box from Hasegawa G-10 I just finished.

The sprues are molded in light gray plastic and appear to be mostly free of flash and ejector pins marks are located in inconspicuous areas. As with other Revell kits the plastic has an ever-so-slight pebbly texture, easily smoothed out with some fine sandpaper or steel wool. One of the first things that strikes me is the finely rendered panel lines and surface detail. The Japanese typically set the bar in this area but Revell has done an outstanding job here. Rivet enthusiasts will be disappointed, as with their other 1/32 offerings Revell has elected to forego the complete rivet treatment. I realize that the subject of whether rivets are appropriate remains the topic of much debate but personally I would love to see something like what Eduard has done on their 1/32 Emil, restrained, subtle rivet detail.

Cockpit:

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Matt: Instrument panel is nicely done, no instrument detail, allows the use of supplied decal, or you could punch out individual instruments, quite effective. Accuracy wise, great variation over 109G panels so has to be somewhat generic in nature but the relevant instruments are in the right locations.

Mike: I think skipping the raised instrument detail is the way to go, decals usually give a much more realistic appearance anyway. I think this will look the part after some paint and application of the decals.

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Matt: The cockpit floor has some decent detail around the rudder pedal supporting assembly, the fuel primer pump on left and radio control boxes on right. The last items are a little squat to my eye, however once in the depths of the 'pit they are fine.

Mike: The raised rivets help give a little visual pop, looks like an upgrade over Hasegawa.

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Mike: Cockpit sidewalls are nicely rendered, although inclusion of some wiring looms, particularly on the starboard side would have been appreciated. Oxygen gauges have been molded in place rather being provided as a separate part.

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Matt: One thing that was noted from early test shots was the location of the left side cockpit vent. Revell didn't manage to move it to the correct location. The images above show the real aircraft from inside (Australian preserved Bf 109G-6 aircraft) and outside (Bf109G-2 trop 'Black 6'). Immediately above you can see where the vent should be re-located to – this obviously needs filling and re-scribing on the outside as well.

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Mike: The KG-13A Control Stick is a little lacking, the small junction box on the forward portion of the stick is missing as well as some other details. Many will probably elect to replace it with the Quickboost part, shown above for comparison.

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Mike: The molded on seatbelts are a curious decision, especially in 1/32. Although with some work they can be made to look okay, HGW, Radu B. and Eduard all offer aftermarket parts that will look much more realistic. At least they opted for the flat rear seat rest that will make them easier to sand off, removing them from the lower bucket of the seat will be a little more challenging.

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Matt: Parts M4&5 are the MK108 breech cover, not MG151 as indicated by Revell. Parts I7 and M8 provide for two different foot boards. The more typical treaded metal unit (M8) can be replaced by a late war non-strategic wooden one – could be seen in late 109G-6s, especially rebuilt machines.

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Matt: MG151 cannon breech cover well shaped. Note Revell incorrectly label this as the MK108 cover – it isn't!

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Matt: Part M23 gives us the rear cockpit panel with a square bulge. This accommodated the re-located battery on aircraft fitted with MW50 powerboost. Bf109G-6 aircraft weren't fitted with this system and, therefore, this part should not be used – stick with part K22. Part M26 is a strange inclusion as it depicts a very late war demisting system developed by Erla and fitted to their and some other manufacturers' G-14s. G-10 etc... but not the G-6.

Fuselage:

Matt: The kit was engineered using original factory blueprints which, combined with modern CAD, should result in a very accurate representation. To look at the kit, I have used dimensioned drawings from factory drawings/blueprints, rather than comparisons to available drawings. This should be accurate and avoid issues of distortion produced by scaling up plans from smaller scales.

The generally accepted length of the Bf109F through K is 9020mm (this is quoted by both John R Beaman Jr. and Mansur Mustafin - read advisor to Zvezda on their Bf109F kits).

9020mm divided by 32 gives us 281.87mm. The Revell kit measures out at 281.15mm. This is pretty good, a mere 23mm in 1/1. Of course my ability to accurately measure such small differences isn't exactly state of the art, but I think we can safely say this kit is very good on length.

Within the overall length the panels break down well against factory measurements.

  Actual/actual divided by 32 (mm) Revell (mm)
Spinner 575 / 17.96 17.57
Gap between spinner and cowl 10 / 0.33 0.5
Nose to end of opening cowl panel 1980 / 61.87 61.85
End of opening cowl panel to main spar panel 558 / 17.44 17.39
Centre of main spar to end fuselage section at rudder 5301 / 165.6 164.87
Rudder (visible part) 595 / 18.6 19.17
     
Totals (note we lose a mm somewhere) 9019 / 281.80 281.85

Some of these numbers don't completely add up, due to rounding error and my ability to measure totally accurately (even with digital callipers).

There appears to be a discrepancy in the panels forming the rear fuselage. On the real aircraft these panels alternate between 413mm and 493mm. However the panel in which the radio access hatch sits and the one immediately behind it appear to break that pattern, one is slightly short and the other slightly long

References:

  1. Soviet Bf109G nose. Blue print, measurements taken from captured aircraft.
  2. Bf 109F/G fuselage Messerschmitt factory drawing 8-109.142 Rumpf
  3. Bf109F/G Wing Messerschmitt factory drawing Baumuster :109G, Blatt:13, Flugel
  4. Bf109F/G Tail/rudder factory drawing Seitenleitwerk 109F

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Matt: The left fuselage nose has two oil filler points moulded in place. As far as my references suggest, only the lower opening, indicating a 35 litre 'horseshoe' oil tank is suitable for the Bf109G-6. The upper filler which indicated a 50 litre tank was found on aircraft with the more powerful DB605AS or D engines (Bf109G 'AS' and G-10/K-4 aircraft).

Mike: Interesting, perhaps a G-6/AS or G-14/AS variant is planned using the same fuselage at some point in the future? Also note that the air intake scoops are molded solid and will require some hollowing out. Fastener detail is nicely done.

right-side-filler-hatches

Matt: The right hand fuselage has a series of moulded fill points (see annotations). Revell have covered all their bases here, which means you will need to fill one or more.

1 – This is the filler for the engine primer fuel. Applies to all but the earliest Bf109G-6.

2 – This is the filler used for either the GM1, nitrous Oxide power boost system or the MW50, Methanol/Water power boost system. MW50 was not slated for use on the Bf109G-6, in fact a Bf109G-6 with MW50 was a Bf109G-14. GM1 was used on some Bf109G-6 aircraft engaged in high altitude interception duties, though it is more usually associated with the pressurised versions of the G series.

3 – A cover for the inlet valve of the compressed air system for the MK108 cannon. So, for many Bf109G-6 aircraft this cover would not be present. Only those with the /U4 suffix (denoting the MK108 fit) had this. The filler is often easily visible due to the pressurised air warning symbol showing against the Balkankreuz.

4 – The standard oxygen (right) and electrical sockets, on all Bf109G-6 aircraft.

Mike: I'm thinking that we'll probably see a G-14 boxing of with the same fuselage at some point in the future. From a modeling perspective it's much easier to fill and sand unwanted detail rather than have to scribe it yourself.

spinners

Matt: Spinner looks pretty good accuracy wise, profile shape appears to improve on Hasegawa's. The openings for the props feature the correct 'teardrop' shape, but to achieve this Revell have split the spinner into front and rear, away from panel lines and in a place that'll be difficult to clean up as the props go into place before the spinner is joined.

Mike: "You spin me right round baby, like a record baby, right round, round...." Sorry, I have a soft spot for '80's new wave and just couldn't resist! Back to our normally scheduled programming. The spinner is indeed a mixed bag. On the positive side, the shape is much better than either the Hasegawa or the Trumpeter kits. The downside as you mentioned is that they've engineered it to go together where there is no natural "join" line. Note that Hasegawa and Trumpeter both supply the part as a spinner and a base plate, as it was on the real thing. This simplifies assembly and particularly painting. The spinner was often adorned with markings, from sometimes simply being painted 1/3 white and ranging from spirals to multi-colored segments. Masking and painting the fully assembled spinner and propeller assembly will present more of a challenge on this kit than the competition. Note that the overall length is still just a tad shorter than the EagleParts spinner. Jerry Crandall based his spinner on an actual 109 spinner in his possession. The Revell is devoid of any rivet detail also which was usually prominent, especially on lighter colored spinners.

propeller-blades

Mike: Lengthwise the Hasegawa (R) and the Revell (L) blades are nearly identical. Note that that the Hasegawa is a little beefier at the base and the contour a bit more pronounced.

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Matt: Here's the real thing. Propellers are notoriously difficult to get right, I would say the real shape is somewhere between Revell and Hasegawa's efforts? Be very careful cutting them from the sprue, as they tend to take a 'bite' out if carelessly removed.

Mike: After comparison with the genuine article I'd agree with your assessment. The Revell appears a bit too narrow at the base while the contour on the Hasegawa is bit overdone.

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Matt: Upper part of cowl, two parts to represent either single piece pressing or inserts for the gun troughs.

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Matt: Common aspect to take note of with this kit is care needed to remove parts from sprue. Gates are often fine, but placed on mating surfaces so need to be carefully removed and prepared.

Mike: Two starboard side cowl panels (part 42 here) are provided in the kit, with and without the compressor bulge, a nice touch. Note that the compressor bulge was not unique to the G-5 (pressurized cockpit) variant. Many Erla production G-6s displayed this feature as well.

Matt: Just noticed that Revell have missed the inertia starter crank hole (just behind the little hatch on the right front cowl). Missing on both alternate parts.

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Mike: The pre-release buzz about the Beule being under-sized appears to be true. They definitely appear to be anemic when viewed on the sprue. While I'm sure after-market fixes for this are already in the works, I'm kind of the opinion that I shouldn't have to buy an after-market part for something like this. Obviously resin has advantages when it comes to finely cast detail and under-cuts. It certainly lends itself it well to cockpits, exhausts, wheels, etc. and I'm fine with spending the extra money for those items. However when I'm forced to buy a replacement for part that could have been easily and accurately produced in plastic it's definitely money I part with grudgingly.

Matt: The Hasegawa Beule do not fit the Revell fuselage profile, if presented to the fuselage they are forced too far upward and leave a large gap between them and the turbo intake. Application of some judicious force may get them to fit, they certainly look fuller to my eye, but Revell may have caught some of the profile more accurately – jury's still out for me.

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Mike: The exhaust stacks are not particularly impressive, this is certainly not unique to this kit though. Due to the design of the kit, the exhaust stacks must be installed before the cowl panels are installed, complicating painting and weathering. Early reports from builders state that the Quickboost exhausts designed for the Hasegawa kit will not fit. I'm sure Quickboost will have something out in the not too distant future though.

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Matt: Revell have provided two types of 'tall' rudder. Parts M122/M123 are for the more common (on G-6s that is) rounded fabric covered rudder, whilst parts M125/M126 make a pointed wooden rudder more often seen on G-10/K-4 aircraft. There are, not unsurprisingly, several subtle variations of the tall tail and rudder. The rudder with rounded transition (above left) is a bit of a hybrid, incorporating features of the very earliest tall tail (essentially an extended standard tail and retaining the trim tab of the early tail) with features (twin trim tabs above and below the inset Flettner tab) of later versions. This kit should allow you to build about 5 og the six known Bf109 tails! If you are interested in the dfferent rudders, these are covered in some detail at the 109 Lair (http://109lair.hobbyvista.com/index1024.htm go to Technical reference-Structures-Empennage-Tall Tails).

Mike: Have to say that I'm really impressed at the lengths Revell has gone to cover every variation of the G-6 production. Hasegawa kits provide you with one style tail, one style canopy, etc., forcing you to swap parts between kits if you want to do a standard tail G-6 with an Erla canopy, no need for that with Revell.

Matt: There's also everything you need to make a G-14 in the box... just needs some markings.....

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Matt: The ETC 501 fuel tank rack fairing looks too wide and doesn't have the distinctive 'teardrop' shape of the originals I have seen.

Mike: Agreed, on the plus side the holes are actually holes rather than depressions in the plastic as observed on the competition.

Wings:

Matt: How do the wings measure up..? (Again, all measurements in millimetres)

Here's the drawing used for measurements.

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  Actual/actual divided by 32 Revell
Span (with dihedral) 9920 / 310.9 310 (according to box)
Span (flattened) 9976.8 / 311.77 312.5
Chord at wing to tip join 1175 / 36.7 37
Chord at wing root 2143 / 66.96 67
Slat width 1775 / 55.46 55.5
Slat chord at tip 149 / 4.65 4.6
Slat chord at fuselage end 204 / 6.37 7
Radiator flap width 854.4 / 26.7 26.7
Landing flap width 1400 / 43.75 43.75
Aileron width 1475 / 46.09 46

Measuring the wing has been difficult (for me). The factory drawings give both the 'flat' dimensions and those when the dihedral is taken into account. I couldn't measure the wings with dihedral as I've not built it that far yet. However if we take Revell's figure of 310mm we're within 1mm of the drawings. The 'flattened' measurements make the Revell kit a mere 0.73mm too wide. Everything else looks pretty good as you can see.

wing-tape-annotated

Matt: Wings have a rather overdone moulding of the tape used to seal join between main wing and removable tip. Could do with sanding down and the panel line removing as this was what the tape was there to cover...

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Mike: Revell has elected to mold the wheel bumps in place. This approach as two advantages, first it looks better when viewed from above. Hasegawa and Trumpeter provide this as a separate part and anyone who's ever been through the process knows that getting them to blend properly with the wing surface can be a pain. Secondly, when viewed from the wheel well underneath the bulge is much more realistically scaled. If Revell decides to a G-2 or G-10 variant this part can be replaced to correctly portray the wing bulge, or lack thereof.

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Matt: Second only kit I've seen to mould the lightening holes in gear well open.... well done Revell!

Mike: Agreed! This is really well done. With the other kits you're looking at a resin replacement or drilling them out yourself. The whole wheel well and strut bay are very nicely done and will look great right out of the box.

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Matt: Ailerons feature large disks that represent doped on patches of fabric (covering drainage holes?). These are, to my eye, overdone and need sanding/scraping down – you'll have to be careful not to erase the other details that are nicely rendered (if also a little overdone).

Mike: I've looked at a lot of pictures of 109's over the years and this a feature I never noticed. I'll definitely be hitting them with some sandpaper although this is a chore I could do without. On the plus side, separately molded ailerons are a nice feature.

Matt: The landing flaps are a clever design that can be assembled and carefully clipped into position after the wing is assembled. The radiator flaps can also be added at the end of the build if need be and though I haven't tried them properly feature a quite prototypical attachment method. The radiator baths are fully boxed in (make sure you look at the instruction sheet corrections to find the two parts missed off the instructions) and the faces are at least as good as those in the Hasegawa kit and will furnish a passable enough effect.

elevator-patches

Matt: Elevators, along with ailerons feature these disks that represent doped fabric. Need toning down without losing other details (even if that is a little out of scale). Take a magnifier and see the 'pinked' edges of the tapes!

Undercarriage:

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Matt: Undercarriage looks good on the sprue and features a considerably more prototypical attachment method; hopefully this isn't prototypically weak...

Mike: The attachment method is definitely more realistic than Hasegawa. My concern is will it be significantly more fiddly? Hasegawa uses a simple "peg in the hole" mounting point that typically gives you a solid joint and the correct angle and splay for the landing gear. Hopefully this works as well. Note that the fork for the tail wheel strut is actually molded as a fork. Nice!

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Mike: The gear door detail is adequate, a set is for portraying the gear in the retracted position is included as well. The ejector pin marks on the upper portion look a little nasty.

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Matt: Revell deserve kudos for the wheels and tyres. They are superb and probably represent about the best achievable without resorting to resin.

Mike: Absolutely, these are the nicest wheels I've ever seen on an injection molded kit.

Clear Parts:

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054

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Matt: Clear parts very well moulded, clear and on the whole distortion free. Parts for the early and 'Erla Haube' clear vision canopy. Note that the instructions appear to add the armourglass (O55) to the outside of the windscreen. This is wrong, it MUST be on inside. Also all Bf109Gs incorporated armourglass, so it isn't an optional part.

Gun sights are just passable – at least you can tell the difference between the ReVi C12 (early) and ReVi 16 (late). Moulding the fuel line in clear was a clever touch, makes replicating the sight glass a breeze – just be careful cutting the part from the sprue!

Mike: Once again Revell has done a great job here providing both the standard and Erla canopy options. The separately molded fuel line is another great idea, this should make painting and detailing much easier. NOTE: There is discrepancy between the Sprue P in my kit and Matt's. Matt reports that his has only one Erla hood and no windscreen while mine has a windscreen, head armour, FuG16 perspex, and two Erla style canopies on it. No idea why at this point.

Instructions:

Mike: Instructions are presented in a standard A4 sized 13 page booklet. I'm a little baffled as to why Revell did not include the alphabetic designator for the sprues in the assembly sequence. You're given the part number and forced to determine what sprue it's on by looking at the actual sprues or referring to the diagram in the instruction booklet. How hard is it put "M8" on the instructions rather than just "8"? Color call outs are given as standard paint colors, no specific paint brand references are given. Not really a problem for the experienced modeler but it does help someone who might be new to the hobby.

Matt:

Corrections to the instructions

Stage 1
Note alternative foot boards are provided. The one illustrated (M8) is the earlier more 'traditional' metal one, whilst the other (I7) is a later variant using non-strategic wood and fitted to G-6 through K-4s (though not exclusively).

Stage 2&3
All my refs tell me this is wrong way round. 2 (C2&3) is the MG151 cover, 3 (M4&5) is the MK108 cover. MG151 was standard fit. Apparently WNF delivered large numbers of G-6s equipped with MK108 this was designated by the modification identifier /U4.

Stage 12
Gives the flat (K22) or battery box (M23) rear cockpit hatches. My understanding is that the battery box cover only featured on G-14 and G-10 aircraft (battery moved due to the MW50 fit). However, never say never with Luftwaffe aircraft – sometimes parts used because they were to hand... but as a rule I would have thought both aircraft options would have the flat cover.

Stage 14
The instructions indicate using part K69 to cover the rear wheel well. This part will not allow you ti fit the tail wheel leg's oleo scissor link. Instead you need to use part M70.

Stage 30
At this stage you will need to fit 2 parts that are marked as 'not for use' on the sprue map. These parts form the sloping interior face of the radiator bath. The right underwing part (C84) should have part B84A attached and the left underwing (C92) should have part A26 attached.

Stage 20
Early (188) or late (42) right hand cowl side. These parts are differentiated by the small lump in front of the beule (has been moulded onto fuselage unlike Hasegawa's option of creating an optional beule). This was originally a Bf109G-5 feature, covering the compressor needed for cockpit pressurisation. So the part could be seen on G-5s – introduced in May/June 1943, G-6s (seen on the AWM G-6 in Australia and the G-6 in Finland – though removed at some point on that machine) and G-14s. So not a 'late' feature as such.

Image6

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Stage 22
As above.

Stage 30
Nice touch reversing part (95) for a non FuG 16 equipped aircraft.

Stage 59a/b 60a/b
These two stages deal with the wheels and tyres. The options are treaded or smooth tyre and plain or ribbed wheel. Whilst it is likely (I don't know when the smooth tyre was introduced) that treaded was early and smooth appeared later, I am certain that various combinations of tyre and hub could be seen. If possible, check the machine you are modelling and use the corresponding parts.

Stage 67
Part 26 was most probably not fitted to the Bf109G-6 (see early/late below).

Stage 68
The instructions, to my eye, are telling you to put armour glass on outside of windscreen. Also shown as an option – this isn't the case, as integral armoured windscreen was fitted to all G and K aircraft. No G or K carried external armour glass, this was a feature of E and F machines.

Stage 68
Only a small correction, all the aircraft I have found in my references show the canopy retaining wire attached at the mid way point along the tubular canopy hinge/locking bar (part M25), as opposed to the far left as Revell depict it.

Decals:

Revell 109G6 decals

Mike: The decals look a tad thick on the sheet but the printing is sharp and register is good. I've never used Revell decals so unfortunately I can't comment on how well they perform. (Decals are probably Cartograf: Editor)

Decals are provided for two aircraft. The first is a late production aircraft featured on the box art. Hauptmann Franz Dörr was the Gruppenkommandeur of III./JG 5 who was operating out of Norway at the time. A colorful and somewhat unique aircraft owing to the fact that it still bore a full array markings at this late stage of the war, including the JG 5 "Eismeer" badge,Gruppenkommandeur chevrons, and Luftsieg tallies on the rudder. By 1945, most units had dispensed with anything other than regulation mandated markings.

Bf-109G6-Stab-III

The second machine is the aircraft of Hauptmann Karl Rammelt, the Gruppenkommandeur of II./JG 51 operating out of Rumania in April of 1944. Another colorful aircraft featuring the buzzard head emblem of JG 51 on the port cowling and the emblem of II. Gruppe on the starboard. The Hauptmann's personal emblem, a morning star, is painted under the canopy. Gruppenkommandeurchevrons and Luftsieg tallies on the white rudder make for a striking aircraft. This aircraft is pictured in Luftwaffe Colours, Vol. 4, Section 4 "The Mediterranean 1943-45". In their color profile they portray this aircraft with the R-6 under-wing cannons installed (not included in this kit) and they suggest that the front half of the spinner was probably white.

rammelt 0002

Matt: Both machines' painting guides have you put a MW50 triangle (decal 50) on the rear right hand side filler port. This is in fact the primer fuel fill, which I don't think had a fuel type symbol. As both these machines are G-6s neither should have MW50 and therefore no filler (though there could be GM1 which used same filler just behind pit on right..?).

A little pickier is that the pair of decals 54 and 61. These allege to be compressed air filler points for the MG151 engine cannon. The MG151 didn't use compressed air to fire. It was all electric. This port was used for either any of the MG17 armed aircraft (109G-4 and earlier), early MG131 armed aircraft (apparently early MG 131 was air or electrically primed) and the MK108 cannon armed version (denoted by the /U4 suffix).

So you really need to know what aircraft you're modelling to know whether to retain the port and apply the decal. Either way, the text shouldn't say MG151.

Some comments on Early vs. Late production:

The two schemes in the kit are picked up at various points in the instructions using parts for either 'early' or 'late' aircraft. The optional parts offered do not however simply relate to an early or late machine.

Stage 2&3 The two types of cannon and their breech covers could be seen on various aircraft. The MG151 remained a standard weapon all the way through Bf109G-6 production. The MK108 was introduced some way into production and was limited to specific batches of aircraft.

Stage 12 The rear bulkhead (M23) is of the type fitted to Bf109G-14 (and G-10) aircraft with MW50 installations, whilst this is a late Bf109 feature it is not a feature of the Bf109G-6. Neither of these aircraft are G-14s. Dorr's a/c whilst looking much like a G-14 is, according to its Werk Nummer411960, an Erla built Bf109G-6.

Stage 20/22 See this stage in the corrections above. But to summarise on the right hand cowling, the extra bulged (J42&47) and standard beule (R188&189) could be seen on all but the earliest Bf109G-6 aircraft. So this is a feature of certain production blocks rather than early or late aircraft.

Stage 67 Part M26 looks like the canopy de-icing air blower found on several (Erla?) Bf109 G10 aircraft. It can be seen on the preserved machine at the Planes of Fame museum. This fitting is probably not relevant to the Bf109G-6 at all.

Conclusions:
Matt: My conclusion from an in the box and preliminary assembly and a bit of dry fitting is that the kit is superior to Hasegawa's in terms of detail and finesse (though not everywhere – solid nose air scoops being one retrograde feature). We know in the box reviews cannot tell us how the thing will build, but there is greater complexity in the way Revell have broken parts down compared to Hasegawa and Trumpeter and this could make it a more demanding build than the other two.

As it stands I like the kit, think it's certainly within the accuracy tolerances I work to and am champing at the bit to get on with building it.

Mike: For the most part it appears that the Revell Bf 109G-6 is an upgrade over the Hasegawa kit. It certainly raises the bar as far as flexibility to build specific configurations, although I would have liked to seen the W.Gr. 210 rocket launchers and the MG 151 wing gondolas included. Perhaps Revell will include these in a later release. My concern as well is that the engineering of the kit may cause some construction headaches, if you've built the Hasegawa kit you know that it goes together exceptionally well and this may help keep it relevant if the Revell kits turns out be a little fiddly to build.

We've pointed out some inaccuracies and things we didn't like in the kit. However we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that this kit should build up into a good looking model of the Bf 109G-6 at a very reasonable price that will satisfy most people who build it right out of the box. If you're a Bf 109 fanatic who's looking to take it to the next level the kit should provide a solid starting point as well.

I too am ready to quit writing about it and ready to get down to snipping some sprues. We hope you'll look in on the Group Review/Build that we'll be kicking at the Large Scale Modeller forums where we'll be joined by a few other members of the staff in a step by step build review of the kit.

Highly Recommended

Matt Low and Mike Offutt

Many thanks to Creative Models for the review sample used here. To buy this directly, click THIS link.

References:

  1. Soviet Bf109G nose. Blue print, measurements taken from captured aircraft.
  2. Bf 109F/G fuselage Messerschmitt factory drawing 8-109.142 Rumpf
  3. Bf109F/G Wing Messerschmitt factory drawing Baumuster :109G, Blatt:13, Flugel
  4. Bf109F/G Tail/rudder factory drawing Seitenleitwerk 109F
  5. Messerschmitt Bf109 Recognition Manual - A Guide to Variants, Weapons and Equipment, Marco Fernandez-Sommerau, Classic Publications
  6. Messerschmitt Bf109 F, G and K series, Jochen Prien & Peter Rodeike, Schiffer Military History
  7. Bf109G-6. Modeller's Eye Series, Koichiro Abe, Model Graphix
  8. Messerschmitt Bf109 G-1 through K-4, Engines and Fittings, Jean-Claude Mermet (self published)
  9. The Messerschmitt Bf 109, Part 2: "F" to "K" Variants, Lynn Ritger, SAM Publications
  10. Luftwaffe Colours, "Jagdwaffe" Vol. 4, Section 4 "The Mediterranean 1943-45" Jean-Louis Roba and Martin Pegg, Classic Publications

 

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