Published on
December 24, 2022
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Brengun - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Hauler Brengun


The Messerschmitt Me 309 was a prototype German fighter, designed in the early years of World War II to replace the Bf 109. Although it had many advanced features, the Me 309's performance left much to be desired and it had so many problems that the project was canceled with only four prototypes built. The Me 309 was one of two failed Messerschmitt projects intended to replace the aging Bf 109, the other being the Me 209 of 1943.

The Me 309 project began in mid-1940, just as the Bf 109 was having its first encounters with the Spitfire in the Battle of Britain, the first aircraft to match the 109 in speed and performance. Already, Messerschmitt anticipated the need for an improved design to replace the Bf 109. The Reich Air Ministry, however, did not feel the same urgency, with the project given a low priority, resulting in the design not being finalized until the end of 1941.

The new fighter had many novel features, such as tricycle landing gear (with a nose gear strut that twisted through 90° during retraction, to a "flat" orientation under the engine) and a pressurized cockpit, which would have given it more comfortable and effective high-altitude performance. Each of the new features was first tested on a number of Bf 109F airframes, the V23 having a ventral radiator, the V31 with a radiator and tricycle landing gear, and the V30 having a pressurized cockpit.

Low government interest in the project delayed completion of the first prototype until spring 1942, and trouble with the nosewheel pushed back the 309's first flight to July. When it did fly, the Me 309's performance was satisfactory – about 50 km/h (30 mph) faster than a standard Bf 109G – but not exemplary. In fact, the Bf 109G could out-turn its intended replacement. With the addition of armament, the aircraft's speed decreased to an unacceptable level. In light of its poor performance and the much more promising development of the Focke-Wulf FW-190D, the Me 309 was canceled.

The Kit

Originally released in 2020 as an Me-309V-1/V-2, Brengun has re-released it as a V-4. The sprue has parts for two tail empennages, necessitating minor surgery. Consisting of 39 gray plastic parts and one clear part, there are no parts numbers molded to the runners. The builder must refer to the numbered diagram on the first page of the instruction sheet. The plastic is smooth with unrealistically deep panel lines, which is essentially unavoidable in this scale. No locator pins/holes are present, except for shallow dimples for the landing gear. The radiator intake is able to be posed open or closed. The cockpit has some tiny details molded into the fuselage sides and there is a floor, seat, control stick and instrument panel with tiny little dials molded in it. The one-piece canopy has heavy frames, which will allow for careful painting with a fine brush. The main landing gear are 2-part affairs, while the nose gear is one. Landing gear doors are too thick for scale, and will benefit from some thinning.


The rudimentary instructions are on one piece of paper. They are simple to follow, with logical sequencing. Color call outs are listed at the top of the parts diagram.


Construction starts with attaching the cockpit components to the port fuselage half, and attachment of the nose wheel well. If the modeler has chosen to pose the air cooler in the open position, an optional part is also attached at this point. As mentioned above, the instrument panel has tiny dials molded in, and a decal to complement them would’ve been nice. However, once the canopy is attached, you can’t really see anything anyway. The instructions indicate the need for the tail to be sawn off at this point, but I would suggest cementing the fuselage halves together first, then surgerizing it. That’s not a word. However, doing this will reduce the amount of sanding and filing to ensure an even fit of the new tail. Once this was complete, I airbrushed the interior with MRP RLM 66.

Step 2 cements the fuselage together, with a little cartoon kilogram reminding the modeler to install some nose weight. I found this reminder well after the fuselage was closed, hence the styrene base I made and cemented the completed model to.

Step 3 attaches the V4 tail empennage to the aft fuselage, and the butt-joint wing as well. The tail required some Vallejo Acrylic Putty to smooth everything out, while the fuselage-wing joints did not. There is also a cowling-gun panel which you are supposed to insert into the hole left from sawing the original cowling out. It seems to make more sense to me to do the sawing before the fuselage is cemented together, than after. Regardless, I skipped this option.

Step 4 is the attachment of the landing gear and gear doors. Easily the fiddliest part of the entire project, which I completed over several sessions. Always better to walk away, and come back later.

Step 5 has the modeler attach the wings’ slipper tanks, canopy, and tiny machine gun barrels to the wings. The canopy fit is poor at best. Some diluted PVA glue was applied along the resultant gaps.

Step 6 completes the model with assembly and application of the propeller and spinner.


The decal sheet provides markings for the only Me-309V-4 prototype built, RH+LH. No manufacturer markings are noted, so, presumably, they are printed in-house. They are in register, are very thin, and reacted well to Micro-Sol. The miniscule, 2-part swastikas are a challenge to line up correctly.

Paint & Finish

The model was painted in the standard Luftwaffe Daylight Scheme with MRP RLM 74/75/76 through an Iwata HP-C at 15 psi. The propeller and spinner received MRP RLM 70. Decals were sealed under MRP Super Gloss Semi-Matte. Weathering was omitted, as this prototype never saw combat. I attempted to mask the canopy for about 3 minutes, then decided to paint it by hand. The frames are raised enough that this was actually pretty easy to do with a 5/0 Marta Kolinsky brush. Two coats were necessary.


All in all, this is a decent little kit that, with a little effort, adds a nice Me-309V-4 to your 1/144 collection. The fit of the canopy could be improved, and the landing gear doors are far too thick, but I understand the limitations of plastic molding in this scale. A little effort corrects these issues anyways. Molding and fit reminded me of a limited-run kit. I can recommend this kit to anyone who is not a beginner. My thanks and gratitude to Hauler-Brengun and IPMS/USA for the review sample.


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