Hasegawa 1/32 Bf-109G-6

KIT #: 08087  (St 17)
PRICE: 4200 yen SRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Base boxing originally released in 2001

The Bf-109G-6 was probably the most widely built variant of the DB.605 powered series of aircraft. The addition of more equipment had made the fairly nimble 109F less competitive against Allied aircraft. Specifically, it needed more armor and upgraded armament. This meant more power was required from the previous DB.601. With that increased power came yet a bit more weight so while faster, the G versions were not as maneuverable. In addition, the aircraft was often tasked as a bomber destroyer which often meant carrying additional underwing canon or rockets, making it even less able to defend itself. Still, the type was viable and was further developed later in the war with even more power and was still coming off the assembly lines when the war ended. As most of you know, the airframe was even further developed in other countries and served some into the 1960s.
Producing kits of the 109 is often said to be like producing money. The aircraft is extremely popular with modelers and there are few who have not built one. In 1/32 scale, there had not really been a new 109G kit since the Revell offering of the late 1960s. One does wonder why it took so long for a new tool, but there it is. Revell since then did do a new tool kit in about 2013, and like Hasegawa, has done multiple variants. I chose to preview this some 20 years late as I realized there was not one in the archives.

Most modern kits are modular in order to spread out the cost of producing them and this one is no exception. In several steps, one has to open holes or trim areas to duplicate the variant you are building. This kit has a separate tail section to take into account the differences in later variations on the theme. The cockpit is nicely done with separate rudder pedals and there is nice sidewall detail with a number of separate pieces to give it depth. You have the option of painting the main instrument panel or using a decal. The kit also comes with a pilot figure.

You are provided with separate flaps and slats, but not elevator or rudder, which are molded in place. The radiator exhaust flaps are also separate items. One does need to open holes in the wings for the underwing canon if you want to use them and for the wheel bumps on the top. A lower center section to the fuselage has a hefty wing spar piece. The wings then slide in place after the fuselage is assembled.

Hasegawa goes the separate prop blade route for this kit and they are keyed for the correct angle. There is the usual polycap so you can press the prop assembly in place at the end. There are two different upper cowling pieces dependent on the markings option you choose. Same goes for the nose gun covers. I like that the exhaust can be installed from the outside after painting. Landing gear is nicely done a have a fairly positive alignment though I'm sure that you'll need to do final adjustments on it when you glue it in place.

There are already holes drilled for the centerline tank and mount. The canopy/windscreen is in three pieces so you can pose it open should you wish . You are also provided with an additional internal clear armored glass for the windscreen.

Instructions are well done and you are provided markings for two ace's aircraft. One is the box art plane of Erich Hartman  with 9./JG 52. It, along with the other option is in standard RLM 74/75/76 whough with slightly different patterns. The second option is Gerhard Barkhorn's aircraft with II./JG 52. Kit decals are nicely printed but are of the older style with off-white whites. If you use them, they will need hot water to quickly come off the backing sheet. There is no lack of 109G aftermarket sheets if you wish to go that route.

I have built both this and the newer Revell 109G-6. This one is the easier of the two, while the Revell kit has the benefit of being newer with a bit more internal detail. There really is not that much to choose between the two and all depends on which one you can more easily locate. Well worth picking up for a fairly hassle-free build.

July 2020

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