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Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6

Trumpeter

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 02407
Scale: 1/24
Contents and Media: 272 parts in light grey and clear injection molded plastic; metal shafts for ailerons and flaps; rubber tyres and ignition harness; photo-etched parts for control surface hinges; 2 x springs; markings for two aircraft
Price: USD$89.97 from Squadron.com
Review Type: QuickLook
Advantages: Accurate outline compared to respected drawings; two sets of fuselage halves supplied (option of clear or grey styrene); constant and crisply engraved panel lines; restrained flush rivet detail; good quality mouldings; nice attention to detail; workable control surfaces; nicely detailed engine and cockpit parts; very thin, clear and accurate transparent parts; includes drop tank, gondola cannon and G-5 cowling bulge as options
Disadvantages: Galland Panzer armoured glass in grey plastic; some ejector pin marks in visible locations; scuffed clear parts; a few "early version" parts not included.
Recommendation: Recommended.

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


Trumpeter's 1/24 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 may be ordered online from Squadron.com

 

QuickLook

 

Trumpeter is simultaneously releasing two variants of the Messerschmitt Bf 109G in 1/24 scale - the Bf 109G-2 and the Bf 109G-6, early version.

The subject of this review, the Bf 109G-6 kit, comprises 272 injection molded parts in grey plastic and clear styrene (including a second set of fuselage halves in clear plastic), rubber tyres, a small bag of metal rods, a photo-etched fret with hinges for control surfaces and an acetate sheet with printed instruments and markings by Aeromaster Decals for two aircraft.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


The parts are perfectly moulded with crisply engraved panel lines, supplemented with subtle rows of recessed "flush rivets". Although surface detail is a very subjective issue, I think that this is Trumpeter's best representation of surface features to date.

Fabric surface detail on the control surfaces is represented by simple raised ridges. The texture is more restrained than earlier efforts but will still benefit from a few swipes of the sanding stick.

Two sets of canopies are supplied. The transparent parts are thin and clear, but the opening section of each canopy is scuffed on a section of the inside. This scuffing looks like some sort of mould flaw and will require a few minutes polishing to correct the problem. The clear instrument panel is also very thin, and should look good overlaying the acetate instruments after a coat of paint..

 

 

All control surfaces, including slats and flaps, are workable due to the inclusion of hinges made from etched metal and steel rod. The undercarriage gear is sprung, but (mercifully) does not retract. The small louvres at the front of the radiators are supplied as separate parts and may be positioned open or closed. Actuator struts are also included. Cowl scoops are moulded onto the kit nose and are open at the front.

The cockpit looks pretty good. Some detail is moulded onto the sidewalls, with separate parts added to this area. A harness is not included.

The engine appears to be a decent basis for additional detailing. I especially like the individual exhaust stacks; each pipe split down the centreline and hollow at the end. The cowl machine gun barrels are hollowed out, saving the modeller some extra work.

Optional parts include two 20mm underwing gondolas. Indeed, the kit even incorporates the circular ammunition drum for each gondola inside the wing. This level of detail extends to the lower fuselage shell ejection panel, which includes open holes for the chutes.

A 300 litre drop tank, alternate style wheel hubs, a DF loop and short antenna mast are also included. Although not mentioned in the instructions or parts list, a tall rudder is on Sprue H. A little plastic surgery would be required to the tip of the kit fin to fit this rudder, but it would not be hard to make this modification if desired.

The Galland Panzer pilot's armour is moulded as a single solid grey plastic part. This style of pilot's head armour is more common to later G-6 aircraft, and in any case should be fitted with armoured glass. You'll need to cut out the centre of the plastic part and insert some clear plastic if you want to use the Galland Panzer. Furthermore, the more common early-style solid steel canopy armour is not included in the kit. Fortunately, this will be simple enough to cut from plastic sheet. Similarly, the longer antenna mast more frequently seen on early G-6s is not included but can be easily cut from scrap plastic.

It is nice to see additional detail on the canopy parts including handgrips on the windscreen, canopy release lever and slide-window knobs.

 

 

The kit decals represent a vast improvement over earlier releases in Trumpeter 1/24 scale kits.

Decals are produced by Aeromaster and cover two interesting subjects. Both have appeared on Aeromaster sheets in other scales. The decals are thin and in perfect register.


 

Test Fitting

I have test-fitted the fuselage and wing parts. The fuselage halves fit together well, and the wings appear to mate with the fuselage without problems. Of course, this does not guarantee a perfect fit when the engine, cockpit and controls surfaces are installed, but so far, so good. Dihedral looks correct too.

 

 

The photo above demonstrates the size difference between the test-fitted Trumpeter kit and the Revell 1/72 scale Bf 109G-10.

 


 

Accuracy

I compared the fuselage of Trumpeter's 1/24 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 with plans in my book, "Augsburg's Last Eagles", published by Eagle Editions. The plans were scaled up from 1/48 to 1/24. Dimensions matched almost perfectly.

 

 

The depth and shape of the fuselage components looked excellent but there was a tiny discrepancy around the rear fuselage. Heading toward the tail, the fuselage is angled slightly upward compared to the drawings. At the mid-fuselage, the kit part is a little more than a millimetre deeper than indicated on the drawing. Minor dimensions look good, even in tricky areas like the space between the front of the windscreen and the back of the engine cowl.

The wings also compare very closely to plans, this time scaled up from the Aero Detail book on the Bf 109G.

 

 

Overall, accuracy looks very good compared to these drawings. In the box, the model certainly passes the eyeball test with flying colours too.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

 

 

Conclusion

 

Be still my beating heart!

Trumpeter's recent 1/24 scale Spitfire Vb was good, and this kit looks even better.

At first inspection, Trumpeter's 1/24 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 looks accurate, is well detailed, offers useful options, has excellent surface texture and includes high-quality decals. The model should look impressive straight from the box. With some extra effort it could be breathtaking.

The few minor nitpicks such as the opaque Galland Panzer and absence of tall aerial mast can be fixed with minimal effort. Some modellers won't like the workable features, but their inclusion seems to be a matter of philosophy as much as engineering.

Despite the large scale, the Bf 109 is quite petite so it will be possible to display your finished model without hijacking the dining table.

Looks like I might have to order that Bf 109G-2 as well. Now, where are all the aftermarket decal options for 1/24 scale Gustavs?

Recommended.

Review kit purchased with the Editor's funds


Text and Images Copyright 2003 by Brett Green
Page Created 26 August, 2003
Last updated 16 December, 2003

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