|KIT:||Fine Molds 1/72 Bf-109G-6|
|PRICE:||$33.95 MSRP ($25.00 from www.wingsntreads.com )|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Brass cannon barrels|
The most widely produced version of the famous Bf-109 was the G-6. It was this aircraft that bore the brunt of the air combat in 1943/44 and the version that was pretty much as far as the airframe could go. Though it was faster than previous versions, it was also heavier and less maneuverable, thanks to all the equipment added on. While the later G-10s and K-4s were speedier, they were no more maneuverable and were as much built just to get planes out to the Luftwaffe as anything else.
The G-6 version was not only used on all the fronts, but was exported to Finland, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Hungary and a number of other countries. Post-war this version (though modified) was the basis for the Czech Avias and the Spanish Hispanos, aircraft which served into the 1950s.
If I were to ask you to name the ten most popular aviation modeling subjects, you'd probably hit Bf-109 rather early in that listing. Along with the Zero, Mustang and Spitfire, it ranks right up there in the number of kits produced. Not only that, but like the predecessors, it is available in all of the major and many minor modeling scales.
Then why is it that in 1/72, despite a rather staggering number of kits, that there hasn't really been a totally accurate kit of the later versions? Just about all of the ones produced seem to have some sort of glitch in terms of basic shape or detail or something. Even the second reincarnation of the Hasegawa Bf-109s, fine as they are, seem to have a too skinny rear fuselage (amongst some of the complaints against it).
Well, Fine Molds (whose now control full production including the presses) has recently come out with a series of 109s, starting with the F. Though these are not quite as easy a build as the Hasegawa kit (no Fine Molds kits are), they do seem to convey the proper shape and form.
These kits are quite modular and so have a basic pair of sprues for the main airframe and then a myriad of smaller sprues to add on the various bits and pieces to make the version that is boxed. In this case it is new engine cowling, drop tank, prop, wheels, tail planes, supercharger intake, guns, tail wheel and radio antennas. In this boxing, there are even brass gun barrels for the under wing 20mm cannon pods.
The box top seems to hint at the camouflage decals offered in previous boxings, but I'm glad they are not included as my previous experience with these was not totally satisfactory. I'll stick to paint, thank you. As with the earlier boxings, there is some basic engine detail and also some on the sidewall of the interior. This one has a bit of flash on the trailing edge of the lower wing.
Though the cockpit is fairly well detailed, you do not have the option to have the canopy open as only a closed version is provided. It is the properly heavy framework that is typical for a G-6. In fact, this is about as standard a kit as you can get. You'll have a considerable number of spare bits once you finish. Fine Molds also provides a nicely done pilot if you should be so inclined to use one.
The instructions are in Japanese aside from a few color references (in Gunze and RLM). The markings provided are for an aircaft from II./JG 51 in December 1943. This aircraft, of Gruppe Kommander Karl Rammelt in in the standard RLM 74/75/76 with a white rudder, white lower wing tips, yellow lower cowling, and white tip to the spinner. The scheme shown on the box is not provided. There are three decal sheets; two of them are generic 109 while the third provides the specific markings. Swastikas are included. The white on the decals does appear to be a proper white and not ivory. There are also an abundant number of aftermarket decals for this plane if you should desire something different.
I can tell you after building their Bf-109F-4 kit last year, that thanks to Fine Molds, we now have an accurate Bf-109G-6 to go along with their earlier 109F series and the G-4 recently done. These kits do take a bit of care in construction, but will reward you with a fine model that you cannot get anywhere else.
Thanks to http://www.wingsntreads.com for the review kit. Be sure to visit them for this and other exceptional kits and accessories, where you always pay discount prices.
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