AZ Model 1/72 Bf-109G-12
|PRICE:||$25.00 or so|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Bf 109 G-12 was a two-seat trainer version of the Bf 109. This was a conversion of "war-weary" or rebuilt G-4 and G-6 airframes; the space needed for the second cockpit was gained by reducing the internal fuel capacity to only 240 L (60 US gal) meaning that the 300 L (80 US gal) drop tank was employed as standard equipment. This version was rarely armed with anything more than one or two cowling machine guns. The rear cockpit canopy was bowed out to give the instructor, who sat behind the student pilot in an armoured seat, a clearer view. The rear cockpit was also equipped with a basic instrument panel and all flight controls.
This kit duplicates the planes modified from the G-4 variant. You are provided with a complete single seat 109G kit with the additional sprue for the two seater and the clear bits for the G-12. The fuselage has all the sidewall detail molded into each half. A rather odd thing is that there is another fuel line leading to the bottom of the plane in the back seat. This line is for the drop tank and should only be in the front seat. The rear seat sidewall should be a straight line if it is there at all. Both the front and rear seat have an instrument panel, but there is only a decal for the front seat. The kit also only provides one trim wheel for each seat. These should be paired. Perhaps RS felt they could not mold them thin enough.
Once the interior is built up, it is installed along with the exhaust. It would be nice to be able to install these latter items after painting, but that is apparently not possible. When I build this one, I'll do some test fitting to see if latter installation is possible though it seems that perhaps a backing plate will need to be installed.
Wings are single lower section with two upper halves. The radiator pieces need to be sanded to an angle before fittin and there is a diagram for that. You can also have the lower radiator exhaust door lowered as it is a separate piece. Main gear is nicely done and you are provided both spoked and unspoked wheels. Though early G-4s had spoked wheels, it would not be uncommon to see these planes with the solid wheel. Check photo references.
Two styles of drop tank are provided. The canopy assembly has the bulged sections as separate pieces so care will be needed installing them. I recommend locating a canopy mask set for this one as there are a lot of small panes.
Instructions are a single folded piece of paper. The cockpit assembly is difficult to read as it is duplicated in very dark grey. I also found several of the construction steps very small and somewhat difficult to follow what went where. Three markings options are provided, all in RLM 74/75/76 with varying depths of mottling. I have my doubts about the red lower cowling on the first option, but it could be correct. Most trainers did have a yellow lower cowling along with a yellow fuselage band and wing tips. Decals are very nicely done and come with a full stencil set that is not shown. Included on the sheet are belts. It would have been nicer to have these as a single decal per sheet instead of four very small and difficult to place ones.
I have built several AZ kits and while they are not particularly easy, they are also not all that difficult if you have experience with these types of kits. It has all the right bits and despite a few glitches, should make into a fairly accurate model for your shelf.
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