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Revell Germany 1/32 scale Bf 109G-8

Kit:04665 // Scale:1/32 // Price:$30.25
Manufacturer:
Revell Germany, 49-05-223-965-0
Pros:
More accurate than previous kits; great bang for the buck
Cons:
Complicated wing assembly can create finish problems
Comments:
Injection molded, 182 parts, decals
FSM-WB0214_600
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Scale-thin parts, such as the seat bucket, key the well-appointed cockpit.
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Revell Germany has loaded the kit with features, including exquisitely detailed landing gear.

The Luftwaffe made the most of Messerschmitt’s Bf 109 design. The G-6 was a testament to this, being adaptable and easily produced. It was not the most advanced fighter by the end of the war, but in the right hands it was still a deadly opponent.

While some modelers bemoan another Bf 109 kit, Revell Germany has made an effort to provide a more-accurate representation than previous offerings. Its all-new Bf 109G-6 is cleanly molded in light blue plastic with a well-detailed cockpit, drop tank, optional tail configuration, canopy options, cowling options, and movable flying and control surfaces. Studying the instructions, I could see Revell Germany included some subtle variations via optional parts.

I started construction with the cockpit. I was impressed with the thinness of parts, such as the seat bucket. The molded-on seat belts were a little less impressive. There is an instruction error here: steps 2 and 3 (gun cover) should be reversed. The assembled cockpit module is completed with a wing spar, a great feature that ensures the proper wing dihedral.

The fuselage built up easily. There are choices here to handle the cowl-gun opening, cowl side intake, and short/tall vertical tail. A dry run indicated these parts fit perfectly. Depending on the aircraft you’re modeling, you have a choice of the original two-part canopy or the later, one-piece Erla canopy. The clear parts are cleanly molded and very transparent.

Moving on to the wings, I found the kit had an interesting variation on assembly. The upper wing breaks down to two parts, most likely to handle the tire bulge for a future version. The top wing is installed to the fuselage, locking in place on the wing spar, while the wheel wells and radiator interior installs in the top wing. (I believe this is the first Bf 109 kit to accurately show the lightening holes in the gear bays.) The one-piece lower wing is added next. After that, the outer top wing panels are installed. I found the joint of the top wing panels needed filler to make it look presentable. This complicated assembly may make finishing more difficult for some modelers.

Note and follow the instructions concerning the ailerons and landing flaps. These should not be glued together and then attached. Rather, they are designed to move; add the top and bottom parts separately to trap the hinges.

I was surprised no underwing armament (cannons or rockets) was provided.

The landing-gear legs are multipart assemblies, but quite a study when completed. The gear covers are very thin and to scale.

The propeller and spinner assembly is a bit finicky. The blade profile is a bit off, but the spinner shape, a problem in other kits, looks good. 

I painted my Bf 109 “Gustav” with Gunze Sangyo Hobby Color Luftwaffe acrylic paint. Decals are given for two aircraft. These applied well over a gloss coat with a touch of decal solution. No swastika is included; I used an aftermarket decal. 

My primary reference was Aero Detail 5: Messerschmitt Bf 109G, by Shigeru Nohara and Masatsugu Shiwaku (Model Graphix, ISBN 4-499-20589-1). Also useful was Jagdwaffe: The Mediterranean 1943-1945; Luftwaffe Colours Volume 4, Section 4, by Jean-Louis Roba (Classic, ISBN 1-903223-37-7), as it had a photo and color drawing of the scheme I chose. 

I completed my Bf 109G-6 in 22 hours. I always enjoy building a 109, and Revell Germany’s attention to dimensional accuracy made this one a pleasure. I can recommend this kit to all 1/32 scale enthusiasts.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the February 2014 FineScale Modeler.

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