|KIT:||Mastercraft 1/72 Bf-109G-5 'Barkhorn'|
|KIT #:||031077 (C-107)|
|PRICE:||$3.94 from www.hobbyshop.cz|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
To go over the history of the 109 would take a heck of a lot of space! Suffice it to say that this kit is of the G-5 variant. That was the pressurized version of the 109G-6 and can be identified by a small bulge on the right side gun cover, as well as small desiccant capsules imbedded in the clear bits to help remove condensation from the between the two pieces of glass. This meant that the canopy framing was a bit heavier than the norm in order to contain the double glazing and for the additional seals. Many standard G-6s also had the additional bulge on the right cannon breech cover so this is not a definitive identifier alone. It must be in addition to the small desiccant capsules.
Though the box art implies that there is a G-5 variant in the box, this is not the case. There is no additional bulge to the starboard breech cover, though there is the proper intake on there. I'm sure that I'll get e-mails about this, but those are the facts as I know them.
Initial inspection of the kit shows that while it isn't Hasegawa quality, it isn't really that bad. I'd put the Academy kits just ahead of it in mold quality. Couple of reasons for this. One is that the plastic is generally a bit on the thick side by comparison. This also means that I found a number of sink areas; specifically the gear doors and the fuselage opposite the tabs for the interior mounts. Both are easy to fix. I also noted that on several parts, the mold seams were rather pronounced so careful clean-up will be needed.
Generally, detail is quite good, though a touch on the 'soft' side. This means that edges of engraved parts are more rounded than square. This is by no means a disqualifying feature, just something you need to be aware of.
It is obvious from looking at the kit that there are multiple variants kitted. For instance, there are the spoked wheels for an early G model and the upper wing wheel bulges are separate. The tail section is separate from the main fuselage half and is a butt join. I'd recommend gluing the tail half to the appropriate fuselage half before fuselage assembly to prevent any mis-alignment problems. Interior is basically a floor with seat, rudder pedals and gun cover molded as one. Into this goes a rather thick control stick. There is no instrument panel (only a paper one in the instructions) and though the instructions show detail on the sidewalls, there is none. The instructions also show a drop tank, but unless I'm missing a sprue, none is supplied. Two properly handed under wing 20mm cannon pods are provided as is a supercharger filter for a tropical aircraft. A one-piece canopy is included.
Instructions are well done and on the other side of the sheet are instructions for a P-51 Mustang! Obviously someone screwed up as it should have all the markings options on the back side of the sheet. It includes a parts layout, verifying the lack of a drop tank, and also showing more detail than is provided in the kit itself. Apparently this is used for both their 109F and 109G kits so you basically pick and choose the bits you are to use for your particular kit. The decal sheet seems to have markings for four different aircraft, but only one is provided in the addendum sheet that accompanies the kit. The decals are well printed and quite matte. The white background makes some of them quite difficult to see.
I have to be quite honest and say that while this isn't a 'bad' kit, there are better 109 kits on the market than this one. What this kit is really for are those of you who don't have a ton of money to spend on your hobby. Rare is it to find a decent kit for under $5 and this one is what I'd call a good value for your money. If you think that $10 or $18 is too much for a 1/72 Bf-109G, then this is a kit for you.
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