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ProModeler 1/72 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10

Kit: No. 5940
Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: ProModeler, Revell-Monogram, 8601 Waukegan Rd., Morton Grove, IL 60053-2295, phone 847-966-3500
Price: $13.50
Comments: Injection molded, 38 parts, decals.

During 1944, the Luftwaffe kept increasing the performance of its Messerschmitt Bf 109. The G model's DB605D engine increased the speed and changed the cowling, supercharger air scoop, and oil cooler. The engine needed wider propeller blades and two new bulges on either side of the lower cowling.

ProModeler's kit (designed in Germany and molded in Poland) provides all these field marks, along with the wider main-gear tires and larger top-surface wing bulges seen on later G-10s. An optional underbelly fuel tank is provided.

The 12 pages of easy-to-follow instructions include 17 detail photos of the 109 in the Planes of Fame Museum in Grand Canyon Valle, Arizona. They are helpful if you don't have a lot of references.

The parts are molded in flash-free light gray plastic, plus a crystal-clear one-piece canopy. The plastic is soft and reacts swiftly to liquid cement, so be prepared. I was disappointed with the solid supercharger air scoop; I painted the "opening" black on this model, but next time I'll try to bore it open. Fine parts such as the antenna masts and loop antenna are too thick for the scale.

The cockpit has some sidewall detail, a separate seat, floor, instrument panel, and stick. The headrest is molded as part of the fuselage, but this should be on an armored glass panel behind the pilot. The canopy fit on my kit was a shade too narrow, so I filled along the bottom edges with tile grout after masking the canopy with Scotch Magic Mending tape.

The raised instruments and decal seat belts look OK through the closed canopy, but if you plan to cut the canopy open, you may want to look for an aftermarket interior detail set.

The kit goes together well, with only a little filler needed. Watch out when you add the wing fairings. You are supposed to open a pair of holes for the pins in the fairings, but the forward holes end up in the ceiling of the wheel wells. It's better to open only the rear holes, then shave off the forward pins.

Scale-Master decals provide markings for two aircraft and include swastikas. My sample was printed out of register, but the decals in a second kit were fine. They went on without problems over the airbrushed AeroMaster Warbird Colors camouflage. After weathering with thinned oil paints, I overcoated the 109 with Testor Dullcote.

The finished model looks accurate, except for the absence of trim tabs on the wings. The dimensions are correct compared with the information in Squadron/Signal's Messerschmitt Bf 109 In Action.

ProModeler's 109 was fun to build, taking about 20 hours to complete (including three hours of weathering). It is one of best 1/72 scale World War II fighters I've built.

Jim Terry

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