Tamiya 1/48 Bf-109G-6

KIT #: 61117
PRICE: 3700 yen SRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES:  2017 tooling


Those who know little about airplanes will often be able to recognize the Messerschmitt 109. It was one of the few aircraft that was in continuous production throughout WWII. However, by the end of the war, it was not as effective as it was earlier. This was mainly because the other side had caught up and surpassed it.

So why was it still being built? Well, I think the bottom line is that it was easy to build, the production facilities were already well established, and it was fairly inexpensive. That last reason was probably why it was put into production instead of the He-112, which was a generally better airframe, but more costly to produce.

The G-6 variant was the most built of all the 109 variations, first entering unit service in 1943. It was, like all wartime production aircraft, modified as time went on, and frequently rebuilt after damage. It was faster and less maneuverable than the 109F which most pilots felt was the best, but you would eventually find it all theaters where the Germans fought.

Many, including myself, often wonder why a manufacturer will produce a kit of something where there are lots of other people making the same thing. Well, there are several reasons. One is that it is new and new sells well. Another is that it is an improvement over what has come before and after looking this one over, I have to say that it is very much an improvement over the Eduard and even the older Hasegawa kits. Tamiya also concentrates on the home market and it has been over 20 years since Hasegawa did their 109s so perhaps it was felt the time was right.

Several notable items with this kit is that you can easily swap the engine cowlings  between open and closed. This is thanks to burying some magnets that hold these items securely in place. This means that for those who like to have open engine panels, you can have it. Those who like them closed can have that as well. This system was first used on their 1/32 kits and seems to have worked well so now the latest has this feature.

Each of the fuselage halves joins to provide a central core over which one will build the engine if so inclined. This includes the prop shaft. There is even quite a bit of internal detail, even in places you won't see it when done, such as the rear fuselage. The cockpit is very nicely detailed and you are provided a pilot figure if you want it. A decal seat harness is also included. The cockpit installs from the underside so you can build up the fuselage before installing it.

Another neat feature is a separate fin and one-piece tailplane. This will enable upgrades to be done if Tamiya decides to do a series of aircraft. You are provided a pair of tail wheel assemblies, one without the canvan cover.

Wings have separate wheel well items to install and the tips are also separate. The radiator exhaust doors can be built in two ways and you are provided specific pieces depending on how you want to build them. The same goes for the flaps and the wing slats. One wonders why the elevators were not separate, but I'm sure aftermarket will deal with that. Actually, they are pretty easy to cut through a repose yourself.

Landing gear is well done and so designed that it will be pretty much impossible to get their angle wrong. Both the prop and fuel tank are held in place with polycaps. Interestingly, Tamiya has you cut them so apparently they were too tight. You can also install under wing canon pods. Canopy can be posed open or closed and you are given optional head armor sections. Many of these options are keyed to which of the markings options they are appropriate, so if using kit decals, you need to make a decision fairly early in the build.

Instructions are superb in Tamiya-only color references. Three markings options are all in RLM 74/75/76 and you are provided a huge full color markings guide. There is also a stencil guide. The options are the box art plane with 9./JG 54 on home defense duties, one based on Crete in 1943 with 7./JG 27 that has a white rudder and white tail band, and a 9./JG 52 plane in Russia during 1943 with the usual yellow eastern front markings. The decals look very good and Tamiya even provides a set of canopy masks.


I wasn't going to buy this kit but I like the 109 and figured, why not. I fully expect it to live up to all the hype and to be a very well thought out build. Fortunately, I have a ton of decals for the G-6 so nice as the kit options are, I'll probably do something else. For those wondering why no parts image, well, there are a ton of them on the net and since you found this site, you can find those as well.


April 2018

Copyright ModelingMadness.com. All rights reserved.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page   Back to the Previews Index Page   Back to the Previews Index Page