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Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6

Zvezda, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Zvezda Kit No. 4816 - Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: 244 parts in medium grey plastic plus eight parts in clear. Markings for three aircraft.
Price: TBA - will be available from Metro Hobbies
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Accurate in outline and dimensions; high level of detail; very restrained surface features including recessed panel lines; full engine detail; useful alternate parts for different sub-variants of the G-6 / G-14 including canopies, ordnance, drop tanks tail assemblies and more; thin, distortion free clear parts; specific parts for building a wheels-up or wheels-down version; control surfaces and flaps all separate and poseable.
Disadvantages: Some surface detail is restrained to the point of being hard to see; a few surprising option omissions - no battery box behind the pilot, no small compressor bulge option for all Erla built G-5, G-6 and G-14s; some flash present; decals.
Conclusion: Zvezda's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 is a highly detailed and accurate kit. The multi-part fuselage and relatively high parts count will demand your close attention during assembly, but if you want to build your Gustav straight from the box with the cowlings open and the engine on display, you will love this model. Highly Recommended.


Reviewed by Brett Green


Zvezda's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 will be available online from Squadron.com
 

Background

 

The Messerchmitt Bf 109 F represented a major transformation compared to the squared-off lines of the Emil. This sleek hunter now featured a new large aerodynamic spinner, streamlined cowling and rounded wingtips.

The installation of the Daimler-Benz DB 605 A engine in the Messerschmitt Bf 109 G increased power, but an upgrade in armament, armour and options resulted in a corresponding increase in weight. The once nimble fighter was becoming overloaded as more missions were demanded of it. Even so, the Gustav remained the workhorse of the Luftwaffe, with more than 12,000 of the G-6 variant alone being produced.

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 was immediately recognisable thanks to the two prominent bulges on the engine cowling. These were required to clear the ammunition feeds of the larger 13mm MG 131 machine guns with 300 rounds per gun.

During the course of production, a number of significant changes and improvements were made to the Bf 109 G-6. These included the fitting of a simplified clear-vision canopy, pilot’s head armour from armoured glass to improve rear vision, a new tall tail fitted with several styles of rudder, and more. Armament could vary widely too, with fighter-bomber versions, “gunboats” equipped with 20mm cannon gondolas under each wing and photo-reconnaissance aircraft just to name a few.

 

 

FirstLook

 

It's been a long time between drinks, but Zvezda has now added a 1/48 scale G-6 to their Messerschmitt Bf 109 family.

Zvezda released their 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 F-2 and F-4 in 2010 and 2012 respectively. The high level of detail was ambitious and impressive at the time, and the kits were accurate.

They have now followed up with the most produced of all Bf 109 variants - the G-6.

Zvezda’s 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 comprises 244 parts in medium grey plastic plus eight parts in clear. Although the parts count sounds very high for a single-seater fighter in 1/48 scale, there are quite a number of pieces left over from the F-2 and F-4 kits that are not required for this version.

 

  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
  • Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green  (Zvezda 1/48): Image
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Surface features are remarkably restrained. In fact, looking through the plastic bags I thought that the upper wings and fuselage were smooth, but it turned out that panel lines were present - they were just extremely fine.

 

 

Moulding quality is generally very good but there is some flash present on a number of smaller parts that wil need to be cleaned up prior to assembly.

Zvezda has chosen to pack complete engine and cowl gun detail into the plastic fuselage. Assembly of two different versions is called out throughout the instructions. Version 1 is wheels down and engine on display; while Version 2 is wheels up and cowl closed.  Alternate parts are included for these versions. For example, the engine cowl for the closed engine features a smooth interior, while the open cowl version has structural detail on the inside.

 

 

The engine itself is well detailed, and parts for the cowl guns and ammo boxes are also included. Although the instructions suggest that the basic engine must be installed even if the cowling is closed, some modellers have found that the cowl parts may be carefully assembled without the engine. If you choose this course, however, you’ll have to find a different way to mount the individual exhaust stubs. Once again, plenty of after-market options are available.

The cockpit is generously equipped with separate parts for the throttle quadrant, switch and instrument panels, map case, fuel line, rudder and mount, and more. The seat is the common pan style, although a full seat with backrest is also included. I think the full seat would be a rarity on a G-6 though.

An excellent pilot figure is supplied, complete with moulded-in harness straps.

Two alternate windscreens are provided, plus the choice of three-piece canopy or the clear vision Erla hood with Gallan Panzer pilot's armoured glass.

 

 

All movable surfaces – elevators, rudder, ailerons, flaps, radiator flaps, leading edge slats and even the front radiator ramps – are moulded as separate parts and may be posed to the modeller’s taste. Wheel wells are nicely done with the stitching and zippers moulded to the lining.

 

 

As well as the wheel bulge, Zvezda has even moulded structural detail inside the wing and has provided separate inspection panels on the bottom of the wings.

 

 

The opening for the wheel wells has been correctly squared off.

 

 

The wheels are well detailed with the correct style of plain hub.

The wing tip panels are separate parts. The navigation light bulbs are moulded to the grey plastic part with separate clear covers provided.

The top of the fin is moulded with the rudder. Both the standard fin and the tall tail are included. The tall tail rudder is depicted as fabric covered with a single Flettner tab. Check your references as there were quite a few variations - metal clad, wooden rudders, squared-off or rounded bottom corner, ground adjustable trim tabs and Flettner tab. Of all the variations, the fabric covering is probably the most challenging. Any other versions could fairly easily be modified with a sanding stick and some scrap plastic.

 

 

The cowl bulges are typical of MTT (Regensburg) and WNF (Wiener Neustadt) factories. The small compressor bulge on the starboard side, which was fitted to all Erla-produced Bf 109 G-5, G-6 and G-14, is not included in this kit. This somewhat limits subjects choices, especially G-5s and G-14s. There is no battery box cover behind the pilot's head either (the battery was relocated to this position when the MW 50 methanol and water injection system was fitted). Check your references carefully.

If you want to build an Erla produced example, however, you are in luck. Vector has released a resin conversion / correction cowling set for Erla machines. The resin cowls will avoid the need to build the engine. Vector also offers an MTT/WNF cowling and a general exterior upgrade set. The exterior set includes the battery box cover, two rows of exhaust stacks and more.

Zvezda upplies a good selection of optional stores - a 300 litre drop tank, four 50 kg bombs or a 250 kg bomb on centreline racks, and 20 mm "gunboat" gondolas for the wings.

Marking options are provided for two German and one Swiss machine, all finished in mid-war greys.

 

 

Decals are flat and in register. However, the yellow appears to be translucent.

The decals look to have been printed by Begemot. I have to say that I'm not a big fan, having used these decals in the past. It would be nice to see Zvezda move to the industry-standard Cartograf so the decals matched the quality of the rest of the kit.



 

Conclusion

 

Zvezda's 1/48 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 is a highly detailed and accurate kit.

The multi-part fuselage and relatively high parts count will demand your close attention during assembly, but if you want to build your Gustav straight from the box with the cowlings open and the engine on display, you will love this model!

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Metro Hobbies for the sample


Review Text and Images Copyright 2017 by Brett Green
Page Created 4 July, 2017
Last updated 5 July, 2017

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