AZ Models 1/72 Bf-109G-6/AS
|KIT #:||AZ 7509|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Short run kit|
The Bf-109G-6/AS was a upgrade of the standard G-6 for high altitude operation. This required the use of the DB605AS-engine which was fitted to some G-5s and G-14s and later versions. This required a modified engine cowling. The formerly separate, added-on Beule blisters which had earlier covered the spent shell-casing chutes of the synchronized fuselage-mount MG 131s were completely integrated into the upper cowling panels, vastly improving their streamlining and allowing them to be lengthened and enlarged to cover both the weapons and the engine bearers. Initial prototype versions were symmetrical, but as larger superchargers were fitted, the engines required modified upper engine bearers to clear the supercharger housing, and as a result the final shape of the new cowling was asymmetrical, being enlarged on the port side where the supercharger was mounted on the DB engine. There were also special streamlined panels fitted to the forward fuselage. These so-called agglomerations could be seen in several different patterns. Because of their aerodynamically more efficient form in a side-view of DB 605AS and D -powered Bf 109 Gs and Ks, the agglomerations were barely discernible compared with the conspicuous fairings they replaced.
Some versions of the G-6 and later Gs had a taller, wood-structure tail unit and redesigned rudder which improved stability at high speeds. Some also had the 30 mm (1.18 in) MK 108 cannon increased firepower. Certain production batches of the Bf 109G were fitted with aileron Flettner tabs to decrease stick forces at high speeds. A radio-navigational method, the Y-Verführung (Y-Guidance) was introduced with the FuG 16ZY.
Subsequent Bf 109G versions were essentially modified versions of the basic G-6 airframe. Early in 1944, new engines with larger superchargers for improved high-altitude performance (DB 605AS), or with MW-50 water injection for improved low/medium-altitude performance (DB 605AM), or these two features combined (DB 605ASM) were introduced into the Bf 109 G-6. Maximum speed of the G-5/G-6 was 530 km/h (320 mph) at sea level, 640 km/h (391 mph) at 6,600 m (21,650 ft)-rated altitude at 1.42 atm boost.
Such was the modification of the G-6 airframe that it is often difficult to differentiate the G-6AS from the G-14AS or even the G-10 without knowing the serial number of the aircraft in question.
A few years back I built an AZ Models Bf-109 in this scale and thought it was overly fiddly. Well, this does not appear to be the same mold. It is apparent from the parts sprues that there are several different 109s than can be built from what is provided, including a wide wheel G-10 as the wider wheels and wheel bumps are provided. One could also do a standard fin plane as again, that and the horizontal stabs without the additional reinforcement on the leading edge is also included. Different radiator housings are also included as is another prop and several different tail wheels and upper cowling designs, though I think those are for the earlier G-6/14. In terms of the modified cowling, this is NOT the 'type 110' that can be found on some G-10s.
There is no photo etch, which I like and the kit does come with a fairly nicely done interior. This includes sidewalls, separate rudder pedals, the canon breech housing (there are two and it looks like you use the one for the 30mm), trim wheels, seat stick and an instrument panel on which you can put a decal if you desire. A gun sight is also included. You also get decals for the belts.
The engine exhaust are shown as being inserted from the rear prior to closing the fuselage halves. It seems they just sort of sit in the opening and depend on glue to keep them in place. I'd think about backing these openings with card and inserting the exhaust later. A note is that the shields are molded with the exhaust so this may cause some issues regarding painting.
There are separate radiator pieces that fit into the lower wing and judging by the three drawings, the aft ones need to be sanded down to fit. There are separate lower radiator exhaust doors so it is up to you as to how they are positioned. They are shown closed. Landing gear and wheels are nicely done. You get two drop tank options, one having a flat spot on the underside and the other without it. The instructions state you have to fill a hole or panel line and it also shows the head armor glued to the back of the interior and not to the inside of the canopy. Since the clear bit has the windscreen and canopy as one piece, this shouldn't be an issue. The only thing you can put under the fuselage is a drop tank. There is a small drawing in the instructions that shows that this is to be set slightly off the centerline, which is correct. Fin/rudder and horizontal stabs are butt joins and for small bits you have the under wing morane antenna, aileron balances, pitot tube and the DF loop. The short antenna mast fits on the canopy.
Instructions are nicely done and in color, which is nice. Usually AZ Models' instructions are for multiple variants, but not this time. Colors are provided in Humbrol and generic/RLM shades. A separate sheet is provided for stencils should you wish to add them all. There are a LOT and there is a separate decal sheet just for stencils, a pretty smart move if doing a lot of 109 versions. Three markings options are provided. One is an all black plahe with 2./Erg JG2 in December 1944. Next is the box art plane from 1./NJGr.10 in August 1944. This is in standard RLM 75/75/76 except the underside which is in black. The red fuselage band will need to be painted. Finally, another standard scheme plane from Stab.1/JG3 in July 1944 with lots of thin line squiggles for mottling. The decal sheet is very nicely done and will be quite thin.
I bought this as I wanted to build the type specified on the box. To my knowledge, this is the only G-6/AS produced in any scale straight from the kit. Since it is a relatively new kit (and I wish I knew when as apparently it is not required to put the date on the box anymore), it should be a pretty standard build. We'll see now, shan't we.
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