Heller 1/72 Bf-109K






One aircraft


Scott Van Aken


First molding


I'll beg off repeating the history of the Bf-109K and have you visit another review of a real 109K.



This would be a good time to talk about the problems of using books as references when doing models. You see, this isn't a new kit. It is an old 'yellow box' Heller kit and was undoubtedly first issued in the late 1960s. Back then there wasn't really that much information on German aircraft and William Green was considered to be the foremost expert on all things aviation. However, Bill was human and the research material for him just wasn't around. He made several glitches in aircraft information, especially concerning the Bf-109D and K. He fell for the propaganda that the Germans spread when they used a couple of Bf-109E-0s (which were preproduction 109Es) and took a number of photos claiming them to be Bf-109Ds (which they weren't). That info was published in at least three major works of Mr.Green.

The other was the 109K. Not that much was known about the type and rather than do primary research (or maybe he did as much as he could and couldn't find much), he went with what he thought was correct. Look at his well known books of the period: German Aircraft of WWII; his great little pocket books, Warplanes of the Second World War, and his 109 book, Ausburg Eagles, and you'll find this kit listed as a Bf-109K. Pictures too!

Unfortunately, what he really was showing was either a very late Bf-109G-6 or a Bf-109G-14 and I'm leaning to the -14. The late G-6s had the tall wooden tail, but many also had a taller tail wheel. This one doesn't. It has the small wing bumps that the K doesn't have, the cowl gun bulges that the K doesn't have and the short tail wheel that the K doesn't have. It also doesn't have the outer wheel well doors that the K did have, but many Ks had them removed.

OK, now we know it isn't a K. What kind of kit is it? Actually, for being 30 plus years old, not bad. The prop is a bit too thin, the wheels have no detail and are like toys, and it has no drop tank, a bomb being supplanted instead. Detail is raised and there are the usual rivets. Since I'm doing a bit of kit bashing, I'll also say that the instrument panel is the wrong type for a K, the gear doors shaped funny, and that the nose radiator isn't deep enough. But seriously, those last things are not fair. Heller did the best they could with the information and technology of the time to produce what was really a very nice kit for the period.

The instruction sheet is also typical of the time with a single exploded view showing parts locations. And since this kit doesn't have 100 parts, it is more than good enough. Decals, yellowed over time, are for a single aircraft, White 1 of JG 77. Though the color guide doesn't do RLM colors, it appears to be in the standard RLM 74/75/76.


If you want to do a 109K, then Heller's later version of this kit is the one to get. It has all the goofs fixed and really is a K. However, if you have picked this kit up at a swap meet for a buck and want to do a Bf-109G-14, then all you really need are a set of replacement wheels as the kit ones are really not acceptable.


Review kit courtesy of my kit collection

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