|KIT:||Kiwi Resins 1/48 Bf-109G-12 Conversion|
|PRICE:||NZ $55.00 direct from Kiwi Resins|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run resin conversion set.|
With the lower levels of training provided to Luftwaffe pilots in the latter years of the war, it was decided to provide conversion trainers to keep these tyros from killing themselves before getting into combat. As there was a booming business is converting airframes from older to newer variants, the work of building a two seat 109G trainer wasn't that big of a deal and the G-12 was born.
All G-12's were rebuilt from various G models from -1 thru -6, except the pressurized -5. There were even those modified from the high powered G-6/AS with the revised cowling of the later G-10 and K models. A little over 100 aircraft were known to have been converted to G-12 standard. Those based on the G-4 and earlier versions of the 109 have no gun cowl covers. All carried the attachment for the under fuselage tank as the removal of the fuselage tank drastically shortened the range of the aircraft. Two types of canopy were used by the G-12; a flat topped version and one a bit more rounded over the instructor.
Few of these planes, if any survived the war, though a similar plane was built by Aero in Czechoslovakia in concert with the S-99 and S-199s. They were designated CS-99 and CS-199. An example of the latter is still extant in a museum.
Kiwi Resins is one of those small cadre of true garage kit manufacturers in the world. These are folks who often have normal jobs and do resin kits and conversion sets in their spare time. They don't have an army of folks working for them and produce their pieces one at a time the old fashioned way. This is quite time consuming as is making the masters, but the end result is something that we want which cannot be obtained elsewhere.
This is, to my knowledge, Kiwi Resins' first foray into WWII Luftwaffe thingies and he has picked an excellent item for his first go, the two seat Bf-109G-12. This variant was rebuilt from other types of 109s, though most were from G-4/G-6 airframes. As this is a true garage kit, one has to be prepared to do more work than with a mass marketed resin set from someone else who puts out hundreds or thousands of sets. There will be air bubbles to fill, resin balls to be removed from corners and crevices and a goodly amount of sanding and grinding to get things to fit perfectly. The box says 'Suitable for experienced modellers' and they mean it. However this means that if you've done some of the more difficult resin kits, then this one should be a pleasant challenge, resulting in a most unusual and different model from the norm.
So, what's in the box, as is often asked. Well, it starts with a full resin fuselage. One has to remove the reinforcement between the cockpits and do the usual clean-up before starting. The instructions tell you just what needs to be done so that you won't have any surprises. Many of the smaller parts are on resin wafers and it is a great idea to fill holes while they are still so attached. Most of us use super glue or you can use epoxy filler on the larger ones. Another option is to glue in bits of stretched sprue to fill gaps or holes. A full front and rear cockpit are provided as well as an additional control stick, rudder pedals and trim wheels for the back seat. The unique rear seat instrument panel with glare shield is included. You'll also find a pair of nose cannon housings, though I'm really not sure if these housings were still in the aircraft when the cannon was removed. I'm also thinking that the G-12 only had one cowl gun, for they certainly were not expected to go into combat. For those who want to do a G-4 based kit, a new upper cowl is provided. A new spinner is also part of the deal, as it is the proper shape and fits the nose of the conversion. Two crystal clear Falcon canopies are provided.
This kit is based on the Hasegawa 1/48 Bf-109G-6 as the donor kit for the wings and tail planes as well as some of the cockpit pieces. This will allow you to have a bunch of spares to add to your box. Instructions list the parts and give some recommendations on preparation and attachment of some of the parts. Markings are up to your own research, but basically were national insignia and an aircraft number. General color schemes were RLM 74/75/76 for the outside and RLM 66 for the cockpit with the wheel wells and inner gear doors in either RLM 02 or the underside color of RLM 76.
With the only other conversion in this scale, the one by Falcon, long out of production (and not really that super anyway), this looks very much like the best way to get things done in this scale. I know that this is going on the bench almost immediately so I can start prepping the parts. Look for it in the near future.
As a closing note, I've been informed that Kiwi Resins is getting new equipment for doing the resin casting. It is hoped that this will eliminate or drastically reduce the air bubbles.
You can get yours by visiting Kiwi Resins at their website. Delivery is quite prompt as my kit arrived in about a week from being sent from NZ.
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