- Published on Sunday, 04 December 2011 00:01 Nick Gyte
Catalogue # 02296
Available from HobbyEasy for £18.06
The Bf 109G-6 was developed in response to pleas from front line units for greater firepower. The Bf 109G-6 began life as a modified G-4, with the rifle calibre MG 17s in the cowling replaced by the more powerful MG 131 13mm machine gun. These created the characteristic bulges seen on either side of the cowling.
The heavy hitting power however came at a cost. Increased weight and a resultant penalty drag from those cowl bulges decreased the overall performance of the G-6 as the power plant was still the DB 605A, which was originally introduced in the G-1/G-2 series. The Bf 109G-6 was destined to become the most produced of the Bf 109 variants with an estimated production number around the 12,000 mark. During its service life the G-6 went through a bewildering number of small variations including tall and short tails, tall and short antenna masts, early and late head armour, framed and clear canopy versions and so forth.
Trumpeter has recently added to their growing stable of Bf 109 kits with the addition of the Bf 109G-6 early. The kit is made up of 262 parts spread across 13 sprues of light grey plastic, 34 Photo metal parts spread across 2 etch frets, with a multi-part canopy, light covers and instrument panel on separate clear sprues. This is one of Trumpeters latest tools, and as such the panel lines are very thin and crisp, and not a hint of flash is present anywhere on any sprue, nor are there any sink marks. There are a few ejector pin marks on the inside of the cowling which could prove troublesome to remove without destroying the moulded internal detail, so care will have to be taken. Comparison to Lynn Ritger's Bf 109G-6 plans shows that the kits panel lines match up perfectly and comparison to Hasegawa's G-6 equally matches up. The Kit is covered with a peppering of fine rivets that match up well with Lynn Ritger's plan drawings also. However, depending on your own personal taste, these can be quickly removed with a coat of Mr Surfacer and the regular surface rubbed back to plastic.
The cockpit is made up of a mix of 26 highly detailed plastic and multimedia parts, with the option to construct the seat out of the provided photo etch. The seatbelts are also photo-etch parts, as are the rudder trim wheel and rudder pedals. Decals are provided for the instrument dials and some very fine detail is present on the separate cockpit sidewalls. The instrument panel is moulded in clear plastic, so a realistic glass dial face is achievable with care and attention. The Daimler Benz engine is also a very detailed replica, consisting of 46 parts with each exhaust stub being separately moulded and pre-hollowed out. Just add ignition wires! A great touch is the addition of the centrally mounted 20mm cannon which you have the option of constructing and adding to your model, despite this not readily seen on completion.
The undercarriage is a fair representation of the real thing and the oleos on the main landing gear legs are nicely rendered with what appears to be the correct ground stance angle. The addition of some brake lines are all that is needed. Unfortunately, the rubber tyres are un-weighted. Love them or hate them, the tyres have realistic tread on their surface and look set to be a real winner when painted. The main gear bays are nicely detailed with accurate looking raised detail, and that correctly squared off G-6 wheel well. A small amount of extra detailing wouldn't go amiss here depending on the modellers taste, but should suffice 'Out Of Box'.
Slats, flaps and radiators are all independent and as such can all be displayed in any configuration you desire. I particularly like the fact that I have the option to display the radiator flaps in the open configuration. The three-piece canopy is thin and very clear with adequate sized and well-defined canopy framing for this scale. With Trumpeter kits, there have been issues in that the canopy frames can be too thick, but not here. The addition of the included photo etch will add a new level of detail to the cockpit and internal portion of the canopy. This included etch parts for this area include the armoured head rest and canopy edging.
The load-out options provided give you the option of replicating a Bf 109/R3 configuration, with a 300litre centreline drop-tank, and a Bf 109/R6 equipped with two 20mm MG 151/20 beneath the wings. These are beautifully moulded with separate ammo feeds, independent guns and cases.
The instruction manual is printed in black and white, and the constructional sequences are line drawings and easy to follow. Paint references are included throughout construction. The colour schemes are printed on a glossy sheet, and in full colour and give a good representation of the final look of your model. Decal placement is easy to follow also.
Three options are provided for on the decal sheet:
· Bf 109G-6, W.Nr.20499, 'Yellow 1', 9/JG52, Russia, October 1943
· Bf 109G-6, ''White 11'', 1/JG 27, France 1944
· Bf 109G-6, 'Red 29', 1/JG 302, Finland 1944
Decals are finely printed over TWO sheets. One sheet contains all the available stencils and some swastikas also, but as is now common, these are split in half so as to conform to strict laws within some countries. The second sheet contains all of the national and personal markings. The decals are printed in perfect register, and the colour representation is good. Carrier film is minimal, and the decals are reasonably thin.
So what do we think?
A highly detailed kit of a very famous aircraft. The addition of possible slats, radiators and flaps is a real winner. The highly detailed cockpit and engine negates the need for any aftermarket. I can see this becoming a real winner as it is easily as accurate as Hasegawa's, if not more so, and readily available. If you have a G-6 shaped hole in your stash, then this really is the best way to go.
Our thanks to HobbyEasy for this review sample. To purchase it directly from them, click THIS link.