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Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6

Hasegawa

 

 


Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Bf 109G-6 may be ordered online from Squadron.com

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: ST17
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 107 parts in grey styrene; 11 parts in clear styrene; 4 polythene caps
Price: USD$33.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Accurate dimensions and shape; excellent surface features; good detail; simple parts breakdown and construction; intelligent engineering; parts for G-5 included; plenty of options; many minor improvements over 1/48 scale kits.
Disadvantages: Some scraping, trimming and filling of kit parts required.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

FirstLook

 

Hasegawa has confirmed its re-entry to the 1/32 scale market with their all-new Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6.

Early rumours suggested that this model may be a scaled-up version of Hasegawa's 1/48 Bf 109G-6. This is not the case - the 1/32 scale kit is totally new. In fact, with this release, Hasegawa has addressed many of the criticisms of the smaller kit.

 

What's In The Box?

Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 is packed in a large sturdy box. The sprues contain 107 parts in grey styrene, 11 parts in clear and 4 polythene caps. Hasegawa persist in packaging all the grey sprues in a single bag. As a result, some of the larger parts were scuffed on arrival. Clear parts are packed separately with the decals. Nine parts are marked "not for use", but the resourceful modeller may find a use for some of these options.

 

 

Although the model is labelled a Bf 109G-6, most of the parts required to build a G-5 variant are also present. Options include two styles of upper cowl panel (pressed metal gun troughs and insert gun troughs); starboard side gun bulge with compressor housing for the G-5 variant; windscreen with air scoop or flare port; Galland Panzer or standard steel head armour; 2 x 20mm cannon gondola; 300 litre drop tank; plus positionable slats and flaps. A pilot figure is also included.

Surface detail is simply superb. Panel lines are crisply engraved, hinges are beautifully depicted and the fabric surfaces are worthy of special mention. The subtle fabric tape is topped with delicate stitching detail - really first-rate! Rivet detail is restrained, but adds an air of authenticity where it is present on the lower wing, radiator housing and tailplanes.

 

Fuselage and Cockpit

The fuselage is supplied in four main parts. The tail is separate aft of fuselage panel 7. This will simplify tooling for the tall-tail versions of the Gustav. A stout rectangular tongue moulded onto the fuselage section of the tail will ensure a positive join with the main fuselage halves.

The scoops on the forward cowl are moulded open. This is an impressive piece of work. The two scoops on each cowl side are moulded staggered. There seem to be a number of possible configurations for these scoops on the full-size Bf 109G-6, ranging from a noticeable horizontal stagger to perfectly in line.

The port fuselage side includes two "pips" below the cockpit. These are the mounts for an umbrella that was sometimes used in tropical environs. Although these were not installed on most non-tropical Gustavs, check your references carefully because they may have occasionally been present (BTW, a tropical filter is not included in this kit, but I reckon we'll see one in a later release).

Also, in common with the 1/48 scale kit, two small hatches must be filled and sanded on the starboard side fuselage. These were filler hatches for the GM1 and MW50 injection system employed on later variants (although they will be applicable for an early G-14 with framed hood and standard tail).

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images

Note the hollow-moulded scoops, and their staggered configuration

Port-Side main fuselage part

Port-side tail. Note the stout locating tongue. This slots into two square holes to form a solid join.

Alternate top cowls and starboard-side bulges for the G-5 (top) and G-6.


 

The interior of the supercharger intake is free of locator pins, giving a clear view through to the moulded supercharger fan detail on the fuselage side. Nice touch!

The exhaust manifolds and deflectors assemble in the same way as the 1/48 scale kit. The exhaust stacks are not hollow - neither are the machine gun barrels. Drilling these out in 1/32 scale should not present any great challenges.

A simple horseshoe oil cooler is provided for the front of the fuselage. This locks in place with a twist.

The cockpit is quite conventional. The seat pan is supplied as a separate part. The seat back was not usually installed in these later 109s, and the kit reflects this configuration. Some detail is moulded onto the sidewalls, and other features including the quadrants are separate parts. The instrument panel is a single plastic part with raised detail. A decal is supplied as an alternative to painting. One very nice touch is the inclusion of a door for the small stowage hatch behind the pilot's head. Not only does this depict an oft-ignored feature, but it also helps to hide a tricky join line!

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images

The instrument panel

The lower centre wing panel. This will house the wing spar.

The wing spar. The wings will slot onto the arms, ensuring perfect dihedral and a tight fit at the wing root.


Perhaps the most significant engineering feature in this kit is the mid-lower fuselage panel. The panel represents the centre section of the wing, and it includes a stout, "H" section wing spar. This should ensure perfect dihedral and a good fit at the wing root.

 

Wings and Tailplanes

The wings feature positionable flaps and slats. The flaps and slats have locating tabs to improve strength and ensure even alignment. This is another improvement over the 1/48 scale kit.

The wheel wells display some nice rivet and structural detail. They even have the appropriate "dent" to correspond with the bump on top of the wing. The bump is still a separate part though, and two locating holes protrude into the wheel well. These should be filled and sanded before the wing halves are joined.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images

Fabric surfaces feature subtle tape and stitching detail

Upper wing

The wheel well features nice strutural and rivet detail.

The round wheel well must be trimmed to the correct profile. The round well is appropriate for the Bf 109F.

Minor parts including the upper wing bulges.


The glass insulator for the Morane mast is provided as a clear part. This is nice attention to detail. The perspex covers for the navigation lights are clear parts too.

 

Bits and Pieces

The centre section of the canopy has a ridge on the starboard lower edge. This is to help locate the canopy in the open position - another difficult task on the 1/48 scale kit.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images


The landing gear is nicely detailed, even including moulded-on brake lines.

Hasegawa have got the profile of the drop-tank rack correct. This shape has eluded kit manufacturers for decades! The drop tank and gondolas look good too.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images

Nicely-shaped drop-tank mount. The circles are not ejector pin marks - they are accurate surface details!

The landing gear legs have brake lines moulded on.

Propeller blade profile

300 litre dop tank

Main wheels feature delicate detail


 

The oil cooler housing on the real aircraft had a small supporting strut in the centre of the forward air intake. The kit oil cooler housing has a locating hole in the correct spot, but the strut itself is nowhere to be found. Stretched sprue or fine rod will do the job.

Instructions are typical of Hasegawa. Construction is called out in 14 steps by the use of exploded view diagrams. Gunze paints are quoted throughout the instructions.

 

 

Markings are supplied for two machines in RLM 74, 75 and 76 - Erich Hartmann and Gerhard Barkhorn.

 

Dimensions and Profile

Comparison with Tom Seay's and John Beaman's drawings suggest that the fuselage is the correct length to within 1 millimetre. The miniscule discrepancy seems to be directly in front of the windscreen. As far as I am concerned, that is well within acceptable parameters!

Wing dimensions are spot on.

One other area of concern with the 1/48 scale kit was the shape of the spinner. The spinner in this 1/32 scale kit looks quite accurate.

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Conclusion

 

It is interesting to note Hasegawa's and Tamiya's different approaches to their latest WWII 1/32 scale aircraft models. 

Tamiya has taken the hi-tech path. Their recent A6M5 Zero bristles with springs, screws, struts, operating metal hinges, wire, vinyl masks and much more. The cockpit is complete. The undercarriage retracts using a specially supplied tool. The Tamiya 1/32 scale Zero is an astounding kit. However, this level of detail comes at a price - both in dollar terms and also requiring a reasonable degree of confidence. 

Hasegawa has taken a more modest approach. Their 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 is 100% styrene plastic. There are plenty of options offered in the kit, but nothing too fancy. No special tools or skills are required. Detail is more than adequate, but those who want to superdetail the kit will not have to wait long for the inevitable flood of aftermarket accessories. 

 

Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Bf 109G-6 in Progress. Full construction article will follow in the coming weeks

 

The relative simplicity and reasonable price of Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Bf 109G-6 makes it appropriate for beginner modellers, but its accuracy and potential for extra detail will ensure its popularity with plastic connoisseurs too.

Furthermore, Hasegawa has made a genuine effort to correct some of the shortcomings of their 1/48 scale Bf 109s with their new 1/32 scale Gustav. 

In my opinion, Hasegawa's 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 looks terrific, should be fun to build and represents great value for money.

Highly Recommended.


Thanks to Jerry Crandall for feedback on accuracy and comments on construction of the kit.


Review and Images Copyright 2001 by Brett Green
Page Created 20 December, 2001
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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