Revell 1/32 Bf 109G-6 Kit Build Review
By Kelly Jamison
|Date of Review||January 2023||Manufacturer||Revell|
|Kit Number||4665||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Can be built as an Erla or Gustav||Cons||A few shape errors and simple cockpit|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$39.99|
I am not going to write a history of the Messerschmitt Bf-109 aircraft or even the G series or even the Dash 6 series. To do so would be plagiarism no matter what you put on paper because so much has been written over the years. There is not a single thing I could add that hasn’t already been put to ink many times before. But I can tell you a bit about the markings I decided to use. I changed my mind a few times but as you will later read, the build took on a persona of its own and narrowed my decision making. The model eventually settled on Erich Hartmann’s Bf-109G-6 W. Nr. 166221 “Yellow 1” from 9./JG52, 24 August 1944, used during his 296 to 301 victories in Romania. I also thought I would explore some of the aftermarket goodies out there for the Revell kit. This is just a few of a plethora of choices available.
I started off in the usual fashion, with the cockpit. I chose the Aries set for the Revell kit. My normal ritual is to give the resin parts a little soapy bath to get any release agents or other oils off it and let air dry. It is a nice aftermarket addition, but it did cause complications throughout the build. It came together nicely and looks the part. One thing I didn’t realize was the pouring lug at the bottom of the cockpit floor was so thick that it interfered with the main wing spar later in the build. That main spar sets the dihedral on the wing. So that extra material had to be ground down thin without breaking through the floor. A Dremel tool was the only way to shave that down to make room for the main wing spar. I mark that one up to POOR planning and not knowing the kit very well.
Although I believe the kit instrument panel could be painted up to be perfectly fine, I wanted to try something new and replace it with a Quinta 3D decal set. They are amazing. I thought it a bit unusual being on decal paper, but you just wet it, slide it off the backing paper and use like a decal. I had sanded the kit instrument panel smooth and used some thinned white glue to get the new instrument panel snugged down. The white glue is for just a little extra strength and probably not needed. The panel is a bit wider which caused the fuselage halves to not close right. It also interfered with the yellow fuel line that has that glass tube to see fuel flow. Well, that broke right in the middle of the tube as I was trying to get it in place. I superglued, sanded, and coated it with Future Floor Wax to try to get it to something reasonable. The aftermarket instrument panel did throw off the front windscreen and made the Barracuda top cowl fit poorly. I ended up cutting out all the kit structure that would be hidden below the cowl to help in align everything.
I had already decided on which version of the aircraft I was going to do (not the one I ended up doing) and use the traditional birdcage canopy with matching upper engine cowl. So, I glued the front windscreen into place and somehow, I smeared it with liquid glue I had got on my fingers and had not noticed. I tried to polish it out, but it was too late. So “Plan B”, switch to the windscreen for Erla canopy. I was committed to the front cowl for the earlier standard canopy. I had already fitted up and glued into place, so I just stuck with that. And I had already put the shorter tail version of the rudder on. So that narrowed my choices of what version to do even more! Bad luck on that one, again.
A set of Master brass gun barrels were used but I did not have a way to affix them to the Barracuda resin cowl. So, I added two blocks of Evergreen plastic blocks with holes drilled in them right at the opening for the gun troughs, so that the barrels had something to glue into. These barrels are very well crafted and add a nice touch to the overall build aesthetic. Worth the expense to me. Using extra thin superglue, I mocked the pieces into place and glued the styrene blocks into place. I didn’t realize that superglue wicked up into the opening of the left barrel and glued it into place. I had planned to wait until after painting the fuselage to put the barrels into their little self-manufactured lugs. I didn’t notice the problem until after I glued the cowling on. After a few attempts of trying to get it out using tweezers, I was afraid of breaking the lug free and have no way of gluing it back into place, so I just left it alone. Finally, a smart move!
This turned out to be the better choice of how to do it anyway because at the end of the build, I was adding the right machine gun barrel and ended up dropping it into the engine area. I tried to get it back out through the gun trough but no way. It was like one of those twisted carney games you could never win! To solve the problem, I ended up breaking off the prop and spinner, drilling a hole off center of the prop shaft, that was big enough to get the barrel out by shaking it like a pepper shaker until the barrel fell out on the desk. Then after getting the barrel superglued into place, I reglued the spinner back to where it was to begin with. More self-induced bad luck on my part.
I was worried about those side panels at mid fuselage, but they fit perfect. A dab of Tamiya Extra Thin Liquid Glue, and they blended so well that you would think they are molded into the fuselage. The Quickboost gun bulges needed a bit of filling and sanding to blend them in. but not a big deal but just another step that needs to be done. The Barracuda exhaust stacks were drop-in replacements and were perfect. While you are there, the Barracuda supercharger intake could use a bit of blending along with the little replacement scoops from Barracuda. They came out very nice and I think are worth the effort also.
The upper wing panels fit at the wing root is great but poor at the outer wing panels. I superglued them to the fuselage prior to putting the wing bottom section in so that I could get the wing root just right. But I noticed when I put the upper wing panels on that there was a gap between the resin wing panels and the outer wing panels. I think this is because the instrument panel and cockpit changed the shape of the fuselage which in turned changed the geometry of the wing panels. I had to fill and sand that area a lot to get it smoothed and re-scribe it too.
You will notice putty on the wing in unusual places. The plastic that Revell used was strange. My clamps distorted the plastic with very little force. This ended up making “dents” at the clamping points that could only be repaired by filling in those areas and sanding smooth. Same thing happened on the right side of the fuselage when clamping the two halves of the fuselage together right at the cockpit area. More generated bad luck.
I used MIG Ammo colors for the RLM 74/75/76. The other colors were just fine but I found the RLM 75 to be too violet looking and went back with some old PolyS Acryl to tone it down. I think it looks much better. I spent a lot of time tweaking the splotchy camo on the fuselage sides until I was happy with the results. I always enjoy this part of building Luftwaffe aircraft. But this got me into looking at photos of the actual aircraft and eventually led me to the battery box conundrum I will address later.
The Brassin landing gear is superb but would not fit in the kit lugs without some filing the connection points down a bit until they fit into the wing mounting points. It was easier to use a flat file on the legs than trying to dig at a 90-degree angle on the kit lug mounts in the wings. Not a big deal and should be expected yet another problem to deal with on this build. I thought I would try using Def.Model bulged wheel sets since I have never seen them before. The texture of the resin was a little on the grainy side but quickly disappeared and looks great under a coat of paint. I really like the look of them now. I opted for the Barracuda tail wheel instead of the Def.Model one due to the center hub seemed more defined to me on the Barracuda one. The kit tail wheel yoke doesn’t come with a boot. I used the Eduard one but after getting it into place towards the end of the build, I broke the resin yoke into a few pieces trying to get the tail wheel in place. I used the kit yoke and the Eduard boot and tail wheel in the end. I make my own bad luck!
The chosen theme on this build was always Erich Hartmann and I solved that with decals from EagleCals EC#36 “The Blond Knight.” These decals are fantastic and very well researched by first person interviews and photos to back it up. The quality of the decals are very good and they reacted perfectly to Solva-Set. I liked them very much. It was a blow to our hobby when we lost Mr. Crandall but his decals can still be found online. Hey! Some good luck!!!
As mentioned earlier, my decal sheet came with a few different versions, so I was still safe there. I did not know it at the time, but I decided to do Erich Hartmann’s aircraft that he got his 297 to 301 kills. This aircraft, with the Erla canopy and like most Erla canopy 109’s I used the version of the area behind the headrest that has the battery box protruding out of it. So, I glued the kit part into place and blended it into both the fuselage and the Aries cockpit. Well, this aircraft did not have that feature. I didn’t know this until I was at the end of the build and was installing the canopy. I ended up sawing the battery case off and making a panel to cover the hole up and repainting that area. More bad luck that my dozens of research books could have helped me with had I only looked.
Since I used an aftermarket cockpit, the hinges for the canopy were no longer there. They are molded into the right-side cockpit panel of the kit part. I had to glue new tabs on to replicate the ones not there. I had not thought of that when I was building up the cockpit. It was just a matter of going back to the kit leftover parts and cutting off the canopy hinge tabs on the old cockpit side panel and white gluing them onto the canopy for installation at the end of the build. Some flexi-line with drops of white glue finished off the antenna. There were a few other things like the aileron counter balancers and lower wing antenna that I held off until the end for obvious reasons. Hey, I didn’t want to press my luck.
The plane is hard to handle since it has leading edge slats and ailerons on the outer wing and oil cooler/ flaps on the inner wing, so you must handle it by the fuselage. It gets worse with the open canopy and antenna/wire. You must grab it by the engine cowl near the wind screen in order to not break anything else off. Trust me on that one!
Another thing I should have done after getting the fuselage halves together is to put the base for the loop antenna on. The loop antenna should not be on this aircraft, but the base of the antenna should be. It fit very poorly and needs to be puttied and blended into the fuselage. Another item that I found out after finishing the paint.
I used the Barracuda Prop and Spinner resin set. They are just superb. Very well done. I also got the Spinner and Prop jig with it but found it to not be necessary to getting the blades in place. I found it better to just eyeball it. That was my experience. Others might have a different experience with it.
Overall, it looks fantastic on the shelf. I did have to fight on getting the rudder area to look good and lots of little things that were a bit off here and there. My advice is to plan ahead and know exactly what version of the Bf-109G-6 you want to do and maybe highlight those part numbers on the instruction sheet prior to starting assembly. Don’t go cutting things off the tree without knowing your plan. All the aftermarket adds to the overall aesthetics but isn’t really necessary to getting a nice-looking kit right out of the box. Few will know that the wing bulges are just a bit out of shape or the gun troughs on the upper cowl are not exactly correct. And even the decals straight out of the kit will make a nice version for your shelf.
List of research and aftermarket items:
- “German Fighter Ace Erich Hartmann: The Life Story of the World’s Highest Scoring Ace” - Manfred Jäger
- “The Blond Knight of Germany: A biography of Erich Hartmann” - Raymond Toliver & Trevor Constable
- “Messerschmitt Bf 109 Late Series (F to K): A Complete Guide” - Richard Franks
- “Messerschmitt Bf 109 G Yellow Edition Series” - Robert Peczkowskim
- “Messerschmitt Bf 109 F, G, and K Series: An Illustrated Study” - Jochen Prien & Peter Rodeike
- “Bf 109 Late Versions: Camouflage and Markings”- Krzysztof Wołowski
- “Messerschmitt Bf 109G - Aero Detail 5” - Shigeru Nohara & Masatsugu Shiwaku
- “Messerschmitt Bf 109: F to K Variants” Paperback - Lynn Ritger
- 2189 Bf-109G-6 Cockpit Set
- BR32171 Bf-109G/K Prop and Spinner Alignment Jig
- BR32157 Bf-109G-6 Upper Gun Cowling
- BR32155 Bf-109G-6 Intake and Exhausts set
- BR32470 Bf-109G Standard Tailwheel with Boot
- BR32169 Bf-109G Upper wings w small wheel bulges
- BR32159 Bf-109G-6 to G-14 Oil Cooler Fairing
- BR32448 Bf-109F/G Separate Control Surfaces
- DS32004 Bf-109G Wheel set (sagged)
- Eric Hartmann’s Yellow 1 W. Nr. 166221 24Aug44 Kills 296 thru 301 in this plane.
- Masks Bf-109G Masks for Revell kit
- Brassin Bronze undercarriage legs 632 021
- AM32062 Bf-109G5-14, K Armament Set (brass)
- QB 32172 Bf 109G-5/14 Correct Gun Bulges for Revell
- QD32029 Bf-109G-6 Interior 3D Decal