Hasegawa 1/48 Bf-109K-4


JT 63 (9063)




Two aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The final Bf-109 variant to be built was the K model. It took all of the improvements of the G series and combined them into a single airframe. Gone were the bulged cannon feed covers; replaced by a smoother cowling. Also incorporated into this variant was a fully retractable tail wheel and the inclusion of outer gear doors, a modification that was planned for the G series but never incorporated. The K also had the taller tail wheel and the taller fin and rudder that had been applied to later versions. Also standard was the Erla Haube canopy that was standard on the G-10 and later G-14 versions. Similar to the G-10 and some G-14s, the K-4 had the wider wheels that required wide fairings on the upper wing.

All K models were new built airframes and production commenced in late summer of 1944. Actually the planned start-up of the K model was mid 1943, but events (such as a lack of engines and work on the Me-209 and 309) were such that this never occurred. The DB 605D engine was more powerful and as such, consumed more fuel than the earlier versions so range was actually less than the earlier G models. This wasn't really a problem by this time in the war as the Reich was slowly shrinking. Thanks to the relocation of some systems, such as the MW 50 injection system, the balance of the plane was improved to similar to the F models, an aircraft that most 109 pilots have said was the best flying of the lot. A number of aircraft had the outer gear doors removed and the tail wheel fixed in the lowered position.


This is very similar to other Hasegawa 109s in that there are several common sprues and a few that are specific to this kit. In fact, there are only two sprues that are not the same as what is with the G-10 kit. Those are the windscreen and the small one with the gear doors, side panel and instrument panel. The other sprues with the wings and such can be seen in the 109G-6 preview, as they are the same in all 109F/G/K kits.

The same options offered in the other 109s regarding the positions of the radiator exhaust flaps, the slats and the flaps also pertain to the K. You can also display the canopy open, should you desire. One glitch in the Hasegawa kit regards the tail wheel doors. As you can see from the image, the doors are molded open. Not sure just where they got this bit of info from, but the doors were fully closed except when undergoing maintenance or while cycling through the retraction sequence. You'll have to cut them off and reposition them fully closed.

As a late note on the tail wheel doors; I've been contacted by a number of readers who state that these doors were operated by a simple mechanical latch that opened them when the tail wheel extended and closed them when it retracted. This means that they should be open when on the ground. However, looking through a rather large number of period photos of 109Ks, I found very few images of these doors open. That leads me to believe that the retraction mechanism for the tail wheel was disabled and the doors simply triggered to stay in the closed position. The end result is basically the same in that you'll probably have to cut the doors on the kit and reinstall them in the closed position. The key is to check your references for the aircraft that you are modeling.

The decal sheet contains markings for two aircraft. One is the box art aircraft from II./JG 3 in March 1945. The other is from II./JG 27 around the same time and is in RLM 81/83/76 with a green Reich Defense band around the rear fuselage. The decals are typical of Hasegawa and would best be replaced by an aftermarket sheet of some sort. Fortunately, there are a lot of 109K options out there. If you are really wanting more info that you can handle on Bf-109K camouflage, I can highly recommend the JaPo book "Messerschmitt Bf-109K Camouflage and Markings". It is a real wealth of information and will help a great deal when it comes to painting this kit.



You really can't fail with this kit. It is the one recommended by hundreds of contest modelers as the most accurate out there. If you like 109s you'll undoubtedly like this one.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly by a site that has well over 150,000 visitors a month, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to Main Page