Luftwaffe benchmark fighter, 'Gustav' 6 variant with up-gunned MG 131 cowl MGs and characteristic 'Beule' blisters over the gun breeches.
The Bf 109G-6 is an example of how higher management's requirements can result in a worse product. As the war was progressing, the Bf 109F series was being more and more outclassed by the allied fighters it was fighting. The primary weakness lay in speed, as the new Allied planes (primarily American) were becoming more and faster. Rather than convert all fighter production to the Focke-Wulf 190, or to some other design, the Powers that Be basically told Messerschmitt to put a better engine in the Bf 109. This was done (the Daimler Benz DB 605), but the new engine was heavier, adding weight, reducing the maneuverability. This in turn required heavier struts for the landing gear to support the greater weight, further weighing down the plane, and further reducing its maneuverability as the wing loading went up. In addition, armor was added to help make the 109 a better bomber interceptor.
As the G series progressed, the need to increase firepower to deal with the American Daylight Bomber forces resulted in an increase in firepower, the main additions being replacing the 7.9mm MG 17 machine guns in the cowl with 13mm MG 131 machine guns. The space needed for the breech mechanism resulted in the need for the bulges seen just in front of the cockpit. The G series was known as the flying blister by some of her pilots due to all the changes done to her and new bulges on the fuselage.
Many people feel that the 109G series was a step *backwards* in Bf 109 design, as any maneuverability was thrown out in favor of so little benefit. Ironically enough, some of the world's leading aces, such as Erich Hartmann earned most of their kills in the G series 109s, but most of this was done on the East Front, fighting poorly trained Russian pilots flying mostly inferior equipment. The Bf109G is nowhere near an improved aircraft over the Bf109F like the Bf109F was over the E series 109.
The kit – What’s in the Box:
Kit consists of over 270 parts on 13 spurs and features engraved panel lines and rivets, well detailed cockpit and engine (with full cannon breech), cowl-mounted machine guns, separate control surfaces/slats, optional position flaps, segmented canopy, separate nose cowling panels, drop tank, optional under wing cannon pods, vinyl tires and photo-etch parts (including seatbelts, seat bucket, rudder pedals, flap wheel, canopy armor and oil cooler face). Decals and color painting reference for 3 German aircraft: WNr 20499 'Yellow 1' of 9./JG52, Russia, October 1943: 'White 11' of 1./JG27 in France during 1944 and 'Red 29' of 1./JG302 in Finland, 1944 - includes instrument faces and stencil data.
The kit starts with the cockpit and engine. The cockpit has some nice details and photo etch parts for the seat, seat belts, foot pedals and elevator trim wheel. The gauge panel has a really nice decal that lines up perfectly to the raised gauges if applied correctly.
The engine is also very detailed, the parts fit together with minimal effort or seam cleaning. I added some extra pipes and lines to the engine, based on some real photos.
As you move through the process of building, most of the parts have no issues with alignments until you get ready to marry the wings to the fuselage. There was a sizeable gap between where the wings meet up to the fuselage frame. Now I could have bent the wings up to make them come together, but the gap was too wide and it didn’t look right. So I chose to fill them in with gap filler. This also caused and issue with the alignment of the bottom-engine service panel.
The cockpit canopy also required a little adjusting to get a snug fit, so make sure you test fit the parts before you glue them in place.
The instructions tell you to mount the various antennas at different times during the build process, but I would suggest that you hold off and glue them on at the end. I can’t tell you how many times I broke them off trying to paint and place decals.
Painting and Decals:
I like to dip the canopy parts in future so they have a nice even clear surface.
I used ModelMasters RLM 02,75,74,76 for the basic camo colors and used AircraftColors-RLM04 Toned down Acrylic for the yellow. Since RLM76 is the lightest color I used it for the base coat over the entire aircraft. Then to seal it I sprayed a layer of Future before adding the next layers.
With 109s fancy paint schemes masking is the trick, once you get that all the layers done, then you can apply the random camo scheme across the middle over the RLM76-LightBlue.
I took RLM74 and RLM75 and thinned them down in a cup. Then took a paper napkin and twisted it at one end and dipped it in the paints, use a random dabbing action for each color to create the camo pattern. You might want to practice this on some scrap plastic to get a feel for it.
After all that’s done I sprayed another layer of Future to seal all the layers. Now you can put the Decals on.
There are a lot of decals you can put on, various panel and warning markings all around the aircraft.
The decals are nice and thin and go on really nice. I use MicroSAL so they melt into the seams and panel line. After the decals have dried I sealed them with a layer of ModelMasters Lacquer spray – Gloss over coat.
Other paints used on this build:
- Tamiya XF-22, TS6, TS30, XF10, XF-6, XF22
- Testers 1150, 1180
- Floquil – engine black
- ModelMasters – insignia white –FS17875
- Mr Surfacer 1000 spray
Weathering and Detailing:
Now that you have a nice Gloss coat you can start washing with Lamp black artist oils. I first use a very thin solution and wash the entire aircraft with it. Then let that dry (or to speed things up I use a hair blower). Next I make a darker solution and use it with a thin brush to touch and flow the solution in the panel lines. There are many ways to do this but this one seems to work for me.
To add some highlights I used some pastel white pigments and dry brushed all around the aircraft. This makes a lot of the details pop out.
This was a very nice kit despite some the seam issues on the wings. The details and panel lines are crisp and clean. The cockpit and engine details are topnotch.
Trumpeter has put together a winner with this kit.
I would recommend this kit to medium and advance builders.
I would like to thank Trumpeter and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to conduct this review.