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Messerschmitt
Bf 109G-
4 Trop

Revell-Monogram

 

 


Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Bf 109G-4/Trop may be ordered online now from Squadron.com

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: RM5981
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 107 parts in grey styrene; 11 parts in clear styrene; 4 polythene caps
Price: USD$36.98 from Squadron.com
Review Type: Supplement (to Hasegawa Bf 109G-6 Review)
Advantages: Accurate dimensions and shape (majority of parts the same as Hasegawa's Bf 109G-6); excellent surface features; good detail; simple parts breakdown and construction; intelligent engineering; may be built as G-4 standard or G-4 Trop; four good decal options.
Disadvantages: Some scraping, trimming and filling of kit parts required; a few minor corrections and deviations from instructions required for an accurate G-4
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

FirstLook

 

It is only around ten months since Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 kit hit the hobby shop shelves. This model is accurate, eminently buildable and looks great when it finished. In my opinion, 1/32 scale suits the Bf 109 beautifully - it is big enough to add lots of visible detail, yet small enough to easily display. The tall-tail Bf 109G-14 was released in the middle of the year.

The new Revell 1/32 scale Bf 109G-4 Trop kit is the third variation on the basic Hasegawa sprues. For a detailed review of the Hasegawa Bf 109G-6 kit, including images of all the sprues, click here.

Revell's Bf 109G-4 is more than a simple change of box and decals, but not much more.

The only different parts are contained on two sprues. They comprise a new top cowl with the correct MG troughs, new machine gun barrels, a blanking plate for the lower fuselage (replacing the shell ejector panel on the G-6/G-14 kits) and a tropical filter. The new top cowl looks good.

 

 

The model still includes the gondola cannon. These are appropriate - the G-4 was the first Bf 109 "gunboat". It may also be built as a standard G-4 if the trop filter is omitted and the umbrella mounting pips are removed from the fuselage sides.

However, for purists, this kit does not address several noticeable Bf 109G-4 issues. The instructions are also a little misleading in a few areas:

  • Revell supply the same rear fuselage/fin as in the G-6 kit. The Bf 109G-4 should have an open tail wheel well, not faired over as in the G-6. A little cutting will be required here, and some thought about how to mount the tail wheel strut. Also, the style of cover for the tail wheel strut was different to the G-6. And just to complicate matters more, this cover was not always fitted.

  • The tail wheel supplied is the large style appropriate for later G-4s. This wheel was fixed in the "down" position as it was too big to fit in the tail wheel well. Earlier G-4s were fitted with a smaller, retractable tailwheel.

  • The oval inspection hatch between fuselage stations 8 and 9 (behind the jacking hole) on the port side should be filled and sanded.

  • The join line between the top cowl and the cowl sides is not a panel line. This will need to be carefully filled and sanded smooth.

  • The Morane mast was not fitted to the G-4. Glue the isolator/base (part R3) in place under the wing, then fill and sand smooth.

  • Don't use the Galland Panzer pilot's armour (parts A26, R5 and R6). This was not fitted to the G-4. Use the solid plate armour (part B16) either by itself or with the curved top extension (part B15). Check your references to see which style is appropriate for your subject.

  • The kit-supplied main wheels are the correct width for most G-4s, but the plain hub style was not typical. The "spoked" style is on virtually every photo of a G-4 that I have seen. Also, early G-4s did not have the wing Beule (bump) and were fitted with the same narrow wheels as the G-2. If you are building an early G-4 you are in luck - True Details produce a resin set of narrow spoked wheels.

Fortunately, most of these issues are very easily addressed, but forewarned is forearmed! There may be some other minor differences that will surface after this review is posted. If so, I will update the list for future reference.

Instructions are typical Revell style -

 

 

Markings are supplied for four tropicalised G-4s from JG 53 in 1943. The decals are well printed and in perfect register. They are satin in texture, which looks more encouraging than the dead-flat silvering traps usually included with Revell kits. Although all four aircraft are variations on the same theme of tropical blue, brown and green colours, the markings themselves add plenty of interest. My sample decals did not include swastika markings because they were sourced from Germany.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Revell's 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4 Trop is welcomed as warmly as the two Hasegawa Bf 109 releases to date. This model brings the same quality and even more potential for alternate markings to 109 fans.

As discussed above, a few minor corrections and deviations from instructions are required for an accurate Bf 109G-4, but they are well within the scope of most modellers.

Buy one. Build one.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Andreas Beck for supplying the new sprues, decals and instructions


Review and Images Copyright 2002 by Brett Green
Page Created 16 October, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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