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Border Model's 1/35 scale
Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Border Model Kit No. BF-001 - Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6
Scale: 1/35
Contents and Media: 272 parts in grey injection moulded styrene; 16 parts in clear; 19 pieces in brass plated photo-etch; four resin parts (seated pilot figure); markings for three aircraft plus a bonus.
Price: £69.95 UK Price (£58.29 Export Price) plus postage available online from Hannants
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Multi-part canopy may be posed open or closed; well detailed; a number of optional parts including weapons and canopy styles; hollowed out guns and exhausts; includes full engine detail (if you like that kind of thing); high quality seated pilot figure; no inserts; decals feature good colour and register; 1/35 scale will permit crossover with many military vehicle and figure subjects.
Disadvantages: Very heavy recessed surface textures on engine cowls and overdone elsewhere, partcularly the fuselage and upper wings; gimmicky aspects such as the hinged control surfaces and lucky-dip pilot and accessory choices; moulded-on compressor bulge limits the variants that can be built (to Erla production); rudder profile not quite right; decals have a flat finish.
Recommendation:

Border Model's 1/35 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 is the classic Curate's Egg - it is good in parts.

The heavy surface textures really jump out of you as soon as you open the box. The mad riveter has been at work here, especially on the upper engine cowlings and the fuselage.

Detail is pretty good though, and if you are the type of modeller who likes full engine detail then you are going to love this one.

I am a bit mystified by the lucky-dip inclusions of the resin pilot figure, additional marking option and accessory, making this more like a $100 Kinder Surprise. I'm not sure how welcome or useful these random allocations are to experienced modellers, who would probably prefer to make the choice themselves.

Having had the chance to compare Border Model's 1/35 scale Stuka and Bf 109 G-6 kits side-by-side, I would have to say that the Stuka looks to be the clear winner in terms of surface textures and lack of gimmicks.

I am tempted to build the Stuka, but I think I will put the lid back on the box of the Border Bf 109 G-6 and walk away very slowly...

It will be interesting to see if the series continues to improve with its next 1/35 scale aircraft release.

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

 

1/35 has long been the default scale for military vehicle kits and figures.

The closest common aircraft scale is 1/32. You'd think that these two scales would be close enough to work together, but the difference really is noticeable.

Border Model has now closed this gap with two recent 1/35 scale aircraft model releases - a Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 and a Junkers Ju 87 G-1/G-2 Stuka. These offer a legitimate crossover between air and ground military subjects, allowing modellers to take advantage of an almost limitless number of vehicle and figure subjects to display with these new 1/35 scale aircraft kits. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Tonight I will focus on Border's Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6.

Border Model's 1/35 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 comprises 272 parts in grey injection moulded styrene, 16 parts in clear plastic, 19 pieces in brass plated photo-etch, four resin parts for a seated pilot figure and markings for three aircraft (plus one randon bonus).

The model has the small compressor bulge moulded to the starboard side engine cowling. This means thay the aircraft was built in the Erla factory. Also note that there is no battery box cover option behind the pilot's head, so MW 50 methanol and water injection is not installed. Check your references to confirm that your chosen subject matches these charcteristics.

 

  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
  • Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 Review by Brett Green (Border Models 1/35): Image
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The first striking impression upon opening the box is the surface texture. The mad riveter has been at work here, especially on the engine cowlings, fuselage and upper wing halves.

 

 

The plastic also has a slightly pebbled satin finish that is both visible and noticeable to the touch. I would recommend light sanding and polishing prior to painting.

The cockpit is okay. All the elements are there but there are a couple of big ejector pin circles on the inside of the fuselage that will be visible after assembly. These will need to be dealt with.

 

 

Harness straps are not included.

The instrument panel could also be better, with simple raised circles for bezels and no attempt at dial detail.

 

 

No decal overlay is supplied in this kit but, strangely, there are four instrument panel overlays for the Bf 109 on the Border Model Stuka decal sheet. Red Fox Studios has already released a 3D printed instrument panel and cockpit detail upgrade for this Bf 109 G-6, and I am sure we will see more from Eduard and others soon.

The Border Model kit offers a well detailed Daimler-Benz DB605A engine which may be displayed gluing the separate cowls open.

 

 

The exhaust stubs are separate parts and the ends are hollowed out.

 

 

The propeller blades and spinner look fine.

 

 

Kit breakdown is conventional with fuselage halves and separate engine cowl parts.

The wings are designed with a full span lower wing have and separate upper wing halves. There is no wing spar.

A nice touch is that the wheel bulges are moulded into the upper wing, delivering a recess on the inside of the upper wing. Border also offers the choice of flattened or non-flattened main wheels.

 

 

The photo-etched fret supplies the zippered canvas cover for the main undercarriage bays. You'll want to anneal the metal to soften it before folding it into the appropriate curve.

 

 

The shape of the rudder is not quite right. Close, but not quite. The diagonal trailing edge is too straight. It should feature a very subtle and slight curve.

 

 

Border also offers a late-style rudder but the fin extension is not included so it can't be used on this kit without modification.

Elevators, outboard flaps, ailerons and the rudder are designed to be workable using plastic hinges. To me, this just seems like a gimmick. The plastic hinges will also be very delicate. I'd recommend that the control surfaces should be glued in place.

Similarly gimmicky are the separate and workable oleo struts. Considering there are no springs or other tensioning devices inside the upper gear legs I'm not sure how this is supposed to work. The oleo scissors are supposed to be clicked together too. Once again, I'd be gluing these in place. Just make sure you set the oleo struts to the correct height for a laden aircraft.

 

 

A number of weapons are offered, including gunboat cannon pods and W.Gr.21 rockets.

Clear parts are thin and free from distortion. Both the framed canopy and clear vision Erla hood are included.

 

 

The Galland Panzer head armour with the armoured glass panel is supplied for the Erla hood. Border has also included a solid Galland Panzer without the clear panel . The instructions advice to use this for the framed canopy. This is not correct. A simpler metal plate was usually installed in the opening section of the framed canopy. This is not included in the kit but it will be simple enough to cut out of plastic card..

 

 

Border supplies optional clear engine cowlings and gondola covers.

 

 


 

Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket

Border Model has included a sealed foil package in the box that contains a resin figure, multimedia accessory and an additional marking option picked and packed randomly from a number of options.

 

 

My Golden Ticket got me a seated high-altitude pilot, markings for White 17 and a pair of turned metal W.Gr. 21 rockets.

 

 

The seated resin pilot figure is very well done. He is wearing an oxygen mask and goggles too, so he will be ideal for modellers who don't like to paint faces!

 

 

The big metal mortars look good but I am not sure if the extra weight would be helpful considering the fairly delicate under wing mounts. Plastic rockets are included on the sprues and you won't see much of them when they are fitted anyway.

 

 

I would have preferred to have the standing figure and the Finnish decal option, but there is no way to make your own choice.


 

Markings

Markings are supplied for three aircraft.

The colours and registration are good.

 

 

The decals themselves are flat in finish, which always makes me a bit nervous. Make sure you have a nice glossy finish on the model before you apply the decals.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Border Model's 1/35 scale Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 is the classic Curate's Egg - it is good in parts.

The heavy surface textures really jump out of you as soon as you open the box. The mad riveter has been at work here, especially on the upper engine cowlings and the fuselage.

Detail is pretty good though, and if you are the type of modeller who likes full engine detail then you are going to love this one.

I am a bit mystified by the lucky-dip inclusions of the resin pilot figure, additional marking option and accessory, making this more like a $100 Kinder Surprise. I'm not sure how welcome or useful these random allocations are to experienced modellers, who would probably prefer to make the choice themselves.

Having had the chance to compare Border Model's 1/35 scale Stuka and Bf 109 G-6 kits side-by-side, I would have to say that the Stuka looks to be the clear winner in terms of surface textures and lack of gimmicks. I am tempted to build the Stuka, but I think I will put the lid back on the box of the Border Bf 109 G-6 and walk away very slowly...

It will be interesting to see if the series continues to improve with its next 1/35 scale aircraft release.

Review kit purchased by the Editor

*Historical text adapted from Wikipedia


Review and Images Copyright 2022 by Brett Green
Page Created 11 July, 2022
Last updated 11 July, 2022

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