Revell 1/32 Bf-109G-10 (Erla)
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
Referred to as the "bastard aircraft of the Erla factory" in the Luftwaffe's Aircraft Variants Book of December 1944, the G-10 was a Bf 109 G airframe combined with the new DB 605 D-2 engine, created to maintain production levels with minimal disruption of the assembly lines until production of K-series airframes would reach sufficient levels. Despite what the designation would suggest, it appeared in service after the G-14 in November 1944, largely replacing previous G-series aircraft on the production lines of Erla, WNF and Messerschmitt Regensburg factories. Contrary to popular belief the G-10 were not rebuilt older airframes but new production. Early production G-10 may have had two data plates (usually with G-14 stamped onto it) as these airframes were originally intended to be used for G-14 assembly but were diverted to G-10 assembly.
The most recognizable external change was the use of the "Erla-Haube" clear-view canopy. Internal changes included inheriting the new 2,000 W generator and the DB 605 D-2 engine of the 109K. Apart from the standardised streamlined engine cowlings, G-10s with the DB605 D-2 were equipped as standard with the MW-50 booster system (DB 605DM, later 605DB) and had a larger Fo 987 oil cooler housed in a deeper fairing. Also, because of the engine's enlarged crankcase and the oil return lines which ran in front of it, these G-10s had small blister fairings incorporated into the lower engine cowlings, forward of and below the exhaust stacks.
The following variants of the G-10 were produced:
Approximately 2,600 G-10s were produced from October 1944 until the war's end.
Any comments about the accuracy of this background piece need to contact Wiki about it. Ed
Thanks to short or no shipping most US hobby shops and the retention of those few that did arrive in the US by distributors for their own shops, this new Revell AG 109G-10 was delayed to many buyers by several months from its initial release. Fortunately for those who have been patiently waiting, it seems like Revell AG (apparently now owned by Hobbico), did another production run and the kit is widely available.
It has much in common with the earlier kit and adds two new sprues in addition to replacing the G-6 fuselage halves with that of the G-10. Let me start with the fuselage. This kit represents the Erla built G-10. This factory fitted what has been referred to by modern researchers as the 'type 110 cowling. This means it is a flat panel on the left side of the fuselage in place of the small curved triangle seen on other G-10s and the K-4. Previously this variant was only available in this scale by conversions or scratch-building. Here is a photo of a conversion I did ten years back using the Hasegawa 1/32 kit. This one did not have the MW-50 system installed.
I am pleased to see that the basically lattice-like framework forward fuselage of the G-6 is gone and replaced by a fully closed forward fuselage that only requires the upper cowling piece to be installed (such as on the Hasegawa kits).
The H sprue is new on this kit and contains the wider wheels/tires and paddle blade prop used with this version. The other new sprue is the N sprue. This sprue contains a new upper cowling piece, new oil cooler housing and mounting plate, new rudder, new supercharger intake, a new under-fuselage insert and, of course, the wider wheel clearance fairing used on some G-10s. I was hoping that they'd have included the standard one as well for many G-10s did not have the wider wheels, but perhaps that will be saved for a later boxing.
Added to the clear sprue is a second canopy for the version that doesn't have an antenna mast. The rest of the kit is identical to the earlier boxing with all its nice detail and fiddly construction.
Instructions are typical Revell AG with only Revell paint information during the build itself. RLM numbers are provided for the overall camouflage. If using Revell paints, several of the colors will need to be mixed. Two markings options are provided, both with RLM 66 canopy and windscreen frames. First is the box art plane of Erich Hartmann with JG 52 at the end of the war. It is in RLM 83/74uppers with the underside in RLM 76 with rather large mottles on the side. The nose and a small portion of the forward cowling is black so that the cowling section can blend in with the 'tulip' decals. The other is from JG 300 based in Prague at the end of the war. It has a mostly RLM 83 fuselage with the wings and tailplanes in RLM 83/74. Note that the wing color references are reversed in the instructions for this option. The underside of the fuselage, wing tips, flaps and ailerons is RLM 76 with the rest being unpainted metal. The spinner and a foot or two of the forward cowling are black. The engine cowling itself is in RLM 74/75 with mottles, obviously a replacement. The decals are nicely printed and include the fuselage band. No swastika is provided so you'll need to source that from somewhere else.
I fully expect this to build very much like their earlier G-6, though without the fit issues I had with the forward fuselage bits. I'm not sure how many extant photos there are of this sub-type of the G-10, but I'd hope there would be some aftermarket sheets available for it.
Thanks to me for picking up the preview kit.
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