KIT: Hasegawa 1/32 Bf-109G-5
KIT #: St 17
PRICE: $39.95 MSRP
DECALS: See review
REVIEWER: Mark Gran
NOTES: Lots of aftermarket, mild conversion to G-5 specs

HISTORY

Since so much has been written on the Bf-109, I’ll focus here on the G-5. For the most part, the G-5 appears very similar to the G-6 but it was pressurized. Other structural differences (mainly bulges added to the cowling), as minor as they appeared, came as a result of the relocation of various components such as the pressurization compressor, etc. During construction, the G-5’s were not their own separate production but were built at the same time and intermixed amongst the G-6 airframes on the production line. With a little less than 500 G-5’s built they were the last of the 109’s to be pressurized.

THE KIT

The kit used is the lovely Hasegawa 32nd scale Bf109G-6. With this kit you get 6 gray parts sprues packed into one bag with 1 sprue for the clear parts packaged with the decal sheet. Hasegawa provides the major stencils/markings for a 109 with the personal markings for Erich Hartmann when he was assigned to 9 Gruppe/JG 52 as well as Gerhard Barkhorn’s well known “Christel.”

CONSTRUCTION

Where to start with this build (which took place about 3 years ago)? Well, I guess it all started with my pension for different paint schemes and the introduction of the Hasegawa 32nd Bf-109G-6 a few years back. As soon as I heard that Hasegawa was coming out with a new Bf–109 in 32nd, oh boy I knew I had to have one. Following the kit came the usual flood of resin and decal aftermarket goodies from various manufacturers …Oh boy, -109 fans were in Utopia.

 Concerning the aftermarket scene, I was not immune. I ended up purchasing the Cutting Edge cockpit and exterior update set for the kit (tail wheel looked funky and I wanted to do something with the elevators and rudder). After reading the issues with the shape of the spinner, I ended up buying the Eagle Editions corrected spinner, corrected drop tank and decal sheet with a nice interesting paint scheme of a G-5. After getting all of these aftermarket goodies lined up for the build, I realized that I had spent way more on the goodies than I had for the original kit. I had satisfied my sickness for resin. One could really call this the “Various Aftermarket Goodies Kit build…Oh and toss in the Hasegawa Bf109G-6.”

 The build started with the usual researching of what it was going to take to modify the kit to a G-5. A great book to start with was Prien and Rodeike’s “Messerschmidtt Bf109F, G & K Series.”  The nice part about research is I found out that Hasegawa gives you pretty much all of the parts to do a G-5, especially the starboard MG 131 fairing with the compressor intake scoop and compressor fairing (part J2). After researching what needed to be added/deleted, etc. I fell into the ever-infamous mind set many of us fall into… “Instructions! We don’t need no stinking instructions!” This would come to haunt me later.

 Starting with the cockpit it was just a matter of shaving off of the internal kit detail, prepping the CE cockpit parts and going to town painting. I used Testors Model Master enamels primarily when painting. Once the base RLM 66 was laid down it was off to dry brush, detail painting and wash. When this was completed, I had a real nice rendition of a 109 cockpit. I did some minor modifications to represent a G-5, since she was pressurized she would not have the side vents that the pilot could open to help cool the cockpit, these were filled in on the outside of the fuselage (forgot to remove them from the interior parts). Also I scratch built the main canopy armor plate and pressurization/high pressure relief valves that mounted to the armor plate. I then added the radiator isolation handles in the appropriate locations. Other than this, the cockpit was built as is.

 Next were the tail feathers. I removed the elevators and rudder from their respective stabs and replaced them with the resin aftermarket pieces from CE. On the kit horizontal stab, I had to sand/file a concave surface so the elevators would fit in appropriate. Similarly, I had to remove some of the interior plastic from the trailing edge of the vertical stab so the rudder would fit nicely. All of this work took about an hour, nothing major but it adds a nice bit of character to the kit. I didn’t mount either the rudder or elevators until it was time to paint. On the front end of things, I prepped the Eagle Editions spinner by cutting it from its casting plug, smoothing down the back and drilling out the base where the kit blades would fit. I added a brass tube to the spinner and brass rod to the front of the engine (part A22) so the prop could be removed when transporting. Before I glued the blades to the spinner, I used a kit blade mounted to the kit rear spinner plate, pressed the blade into a piece of clay. This was done so I could get the proper incidence established when they were glued into the new resin spinner. A little slow setting super glue and this was all taken care of.

 The only other real modification I did for the kit was replace the brake lines molded on the main gear. I sanded these off and replaced them with .010 lead fishing line as well as thin lead straps. I added the mounting points of the main gear doors to the gear legs and doors. I also cut out a small notch on the leading edge of the port wing and filled it in with clear styrene since this G-5 was equipped with a gun camera. Replaced the antenna loop with a strip of .005 styrene since the kit part is molded round and if I recall correctly, the actual antenna is flat in shape. Time to start painting and masking.

COLORS & MARKINGS

I started off by applying a pre-shade of Flat Black to the panel lines. I know some people don’t like this technique and others do. I will admit it can be over done, me, I like to keep things subtle. Once pre-shading was completed, I painted all of the appropriate areas RLM 04 (Yellow) and the RLM 24 (Blue) RVD band and masked these off. After reading the information I could from the Eagle Editions sheet, I painted my G-5 up in your standard RLM 74/75/76 paint scheme. Now came the fun part, painting the over lying RLM 76 pattern over the camouflage. The only picture that was known about this aircraft (given as part of the Eagle Editions sheet and shown on Pg. 138 of the Prien and Rodeike book) clearly shows the pattern on the forward fuselage but for the wings, aft fuselage and horizontal stabs; it was open for individual interpretation. Painting the overlying camo pattern took the better part of two hours for me to be happy. With all of this done, it was time to add all of the stenciling and markings. I prefer to use Testors gloss coat cut with acetone when prepping for the decals. At about the “75% completed model” stage, I was looking at the wings, something looked odd to me but I couldn’t quite place it. I stared and stared, couldn’t put my finger on it and then “Poof!” there it was. In the very start of the build, I had put one of the upper wing tire bulges on backwards! (Can you hear it? “Instructions, I don’t need no stinking instructions!) Oh the humanity, pop it off, glue it back, mud it in, sand, repaint, etc. Sometimes it pays to read the instructions and pay attention. Every thing was happy back in Messerschmitt land after about 5 hours. The remaining markings were applied at this point. Weathering consisted of some light washes and exhaust staining. I like to use Tamiya clear smoke followed up with some brown/black pastels.

 Time to add all of the fiddly bits, main gear, tail wheel, antenna posts, rudder, main canopy, pitot tube, etc. For the antenna wire, I like using 7x fly fishing tippet (about the equivalent to 1.5 pound test fishing line). This stuff is very forgiving, stays nice and tight over time and is easy to work with. On the lower windscreen panels, I applied Mr. Surfacer 500 with a paint brush to simulate the putty that was applied to seal up the cockpit. Everything added, cleaned up and “ta-da” she was done.

CONCLUSIONS

Oh I was a happy man when she was done. In looking at her sitting on the shelf, I think she turned out OK. Now the ironic part, I started thinking “I now have my 32nd Bf-109 sitting on the shelf. I don’t need anymore.” Somehow I’ve ended up with another G-6 a G-10, G-14 and K-4 in 32nd, and that’s a good thing!

 Thanks for letting me stop by, the Kings are running up in Alaska and the Reds and Silvers aren’t that far behind them. I hope you like her but it’s time to spend some time fishing.

June 2005

REFERENCES

 Prien and Rodeike/Messerschmidtt Bf109F, G & K Series  

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