Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/AS Conversion
Reviewed by Brett Green
In the never-ending effort to squeeze better performance out of Germany's most numerous fighter aircraft, the large supercharger of the DB 603 engine was combined with the standard powerplant of the Bf 109G, the DB 605 A. The resulting engine was designated the DB 605 AS.
The installation of the more powerful engine required a redesigned engine cowling. The broad-chord VDM 9-12159 propeller blades were also fitted. In other respects, however, the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/AS resembled a late-production Bf 109G-6. These distinguishing features include Erla Haube clear vision hood; short strut tailwheel; and narrow main wheels with small upper wing bulges. Including conversions, nearly 700 Bf 109G-6/AS aircraft were delivered to the Luftwaffe.
The Bf 109G-14/AS was built in greater numbers than the G-6/AS. The later aircraft was sometimes fitted with a deeper oil cooler cover, but many were externally identical to the G-6/AS. Approximately 1,000 Bf 109G-14/AS aircraft were produced.
Prior to the delivery of the improved DB 605 D engine, the DB 605 AS engine was also fitted to the Messerschmitt Bf 109G-10. The Bf 109G-10 was frequently, if not always, fitted with a flat fairing panel on the port fuselage side behind the engine cowling. This replaced the more familiar curved fairing seen on the earlier /AS aircraft and later Bf 109G-10 and K-4 aircraft. The oil filler cap on the forward cowl ring was also sometimes in a slightly higher position. Although some variation existed in the G-10/AS series due to the hybrid nature of G-10 production, the most common configuration comprised small wing bulges and narrow mainwheels, long tailwheel, Erla Haube canopy and shallow oil cooler housing.
Hasegawa produce a good range of late-war Messerschmitt Bf 109s. We have seen beautiful renderings of the Bf 109G-6, G-14, G-10 and K-4. Even the G-4 is possible with a recent limited edition release.
Adeco have now plugged an important gap in Hasegawa's range of Gustavs.
Adeco have established a high standard for research, accuracy, high quality mastering and state-of-the-art casting. Regular customers will not be disappointed in their latest release.
The Adeco Bf 109G-6/AS conversion comprises nine parts in grey resin. The resin is easy to work with - neither brittle nor too soft. The biggest part is the one-piece solid forward fuselage / engine cowl.
The additional parts supply three broad VDM 9-12159 propeller blades, narrow main wheels, small upper-wing bulges and the shallow oil cooler. The propeller blades include locating pins to ensure perfect alignment.
Cleanup of these parts will be very straightforward. Thin casting blocks can be removed with a sharp knife.
This conversion is designed for the Hasegawa Bf 109G-10 kit which includes the option of the short tailwheel but not the narrow main wheels and small wing bulges.
One advantage of the solid cast nose is that there is no centre line to clean up along the bottom of the engine cowling. This is one of my least-favourite jobs on Hasegawa's 109 family. Hasegawa's upper cowl also fits the resin nose without the slight step that has been noted when using the kit nose. Small scoops are moulded onto the nose. They are cast hollow - very clever and convincing
The remaining parts are produced to an equally high standard. The mainwheels are significantly better detailed than the parts in the Hasegawa G-6/14 kits. In particular, the wheel hubs feature some very fine detail. The shallow oil cooler includes the face of the cooler grill cast inside the cover. The mesh texture is very impressive for this medium.
My early review sample did not include instructions, but there is not much potential for error. The Hasegawa fuselage must be cut along the engine cowl panel line, but it is important to leave the forward wingroot section of the fuselage halves intact.
I have already chopped up the Hasegawa kit and test-fitted the nose. The fit is very good and, after a little trimming at the top, the resin casting plug will help achieve a very secure bond with the fuselage. Before fitting the cockpit, however, take care to decide if you want to install a forward firewall. Note that, without significant trimming, the casting block will foul with the kit firewall and forward fuselage floor. The most pragmatic solution is to delete the firewall and trim the cockpit floor.
The small bulges have also been fitted. These sit comfortably without gaps over the curved upper wing.
I have decided to build my aircraft as a Bf 109G-10/AS in service with the Italian ANR. I have therefore modified the port fuselage of the kit by grinding off the curved panel and building a new flat fairing using Milliput.
This rectangular panel was masked-off then sanded once and, after an application of Mr Surfacer, sanded again. It should be emphasised that this surgery is only necessary if you are building a G-10/AS.
This excellent conversion provides all the parts required to convert Hasegawa's Bf 109G-10 kit to any Bf 109G-6/AS and most Bf 109G-14/AS. A Bf 109G-10/AS can also be produced with a minimum of extra effort.
The conversion parts live up to the exacting standards of earlier Adeco releases, and will make a fitting companion to Hasegawa's high-quality kit.
Highly Recommended to all Bf 109 fans.
Thanks to Vincent of Adeco for the review sample.
Adeco Accessories and Conversions may be purchased from MDC's website
Review and Images Copyright © 2000 by Brett