Academy 1/48 Messerschmitt Bf109G-6/G-2 "JG 27"
The Messerschmitt Bf109G-6 had upgraded cowling armament and it was equipped with a pair of 13mm MG 131 machine guns, instead of the 7.9mm MG 17 guns of earlier variants. The new guns had larger breech blocks and cocking mechanisms. In order to fit them under the cowling two bulges (the so-called "Beules," or bumps) were added to the cowling, just in front of the windscreen. Another visual difference was the cowling's gun troughs: these were an insert on the cowlings of earlier Gustavs and a straight press fit, mounted further back along the cowling, on the G-6.
The G-6 used the G-3's machined wheels, larger tires and tail wheel, with the associated upper wing bulges. Early planes had a long antenna mast and solid metal canopy armor, while late G-6s had a short antenna mast, armored glass canopy armor, and FuG 16ZY D/F loop. Both early and late variants had the lower fuselage antenna for the FuG 25A IFF (Identification Friend/Foe) equipment.
Some G-6s used tall wooden tails and the Erla Haube clear vision hood, with "Galland Panzer" armored glass canopy armor. G-6 variants included the R-3 with 300 liter drop tank, the R-6 with MG 151/20mm cannons in under wing pods (the so called "Kanonenboote"), and the R-2 reconnaissance fighter with the Rb 50/30 camera installation. A small number of G-6 aircraft were fitted with the DB 605AS engine. The G-6/AS had an enlarged supercharger with a larger port side engine bearer mount that required a redesigned, larger cowling with asymmetrical bulges. This cowling eliminated the need for the "Beules" (bumps) of non 605AS equipped aircraft.
It comes in Academy's customary stout box with a nice painting of a G-6/Trop flying "somewhere over the Mediterranean." The kit consists of 89 parts on 6 sprues, one of which is clear. My initial impressions of the kit are positive. The G-2/6 was previously available from Hobbycraft, although Academy provided the tooling. The clear parts are very well molded. The parts are free of both flash and sink marks, and very well molded.
Surface detail consists of fine recessed panel lines. The Bf109G cockpit was a busy office and the kit's interior is rather simplified. I would replace the entire cockpit with an aftermarket resin one. The spoked wheels applicable to the G-2 variant are fair but the G-6 wheels are poor, so once again the aftermarket is your friend. Detail parts like the landing gear, landing gear doors, bomb racks, etc. are well executed.
The under wing stores are fairly extensive, and they include a drop tank and rack, 2 different bomb racks and 6 bombs, the "Gondola" under wing cannon pods, and rocket launchers.
Academy's instructions are very well illustrated, with parts map, a logical build sequence, and color call outs for popular model paint brands Humbrol (enamels and acrylics), GSI Creos (Acqeous Hobbycolor and Mr. Color), Lifecolor, Testors/Modelmaster (enamels and acrylics), Revell (enamels and acrylics), and Vallejo (Model Color and Model Air).
The decal sheet is printed by Cartograph of Italy. It is very well printed, in-register, and it features bright, crisp color. It includes marking options for SEVEN Bf109s:
"Red 13," Bf109G-6/R3/R6/Trop, OfFw. Heinrich Bartels, 11./JG27, Kalamaki, Greece, November 1943. This plane was painted in the standard mid War Luftwaffe camouflage of RLM 74/75/76 with a white fuselage band, lower wing tips and rudder. The lower cowl was painted RLM 04 yellow and the spinner was black with a tight white spiral. This plane also had the "saw tooth" upper wing color demarcation normally associated with the G-8 reconnaissance variant.
"Black Double Chevron," Bf109G-6/R3/R6/Trop, Werknummer 18410, Oblt. Gerhard Michalski, II./JG 53, Comiso, Sicily, Italy, July 1943. RLM 74/75/76 with a white fuselage band. The lower cowl was painted RLM 04 yellow and the spinner was black with a tight white spiral. This plane also had a very dense mottle of the upper surface colors.
"Yellow 7," Bf109G-6/R3/R6/Trop, Werknummer 18068, Fw. Hans Roerig, 6./JG 53, Comiso, Sicily, Italy, July 1943. Standard RLM 74/75/76 with a white fuselage band. The lower cowl was painted RLM 04 yellow and the spinner was black.
"Yellow 14," Bf109G-6/R3/R6/Trop, 6./JG 53, Comiso, Sicily, Italy, July 1943. RLM 74/75/76 with a white fuselage band. The lower cowl was painted RLM 04 yellow and the spinner was black with a tight white spiral. This plane also had the "saw tooth" upper wing demarcations normally associated with the G-8 reconnaissance variant.
"Yellow 14," Bf109G-2/Trop, Hptm. Hans-Joachim Marseille, 3./JG 27, North Africa, September 1942. This plane was painted in the African theatre colors of RLM 79 over RLM 78 with a white fuselage band, lower cowl, wing tips and spinner.
"Black Chevron," Bf109G-2/Trop, Hptm. Heinz-Edgar Berres, I./JG 77, North Africa, 1942. This plane was painted in the African theatre colors of RLM 79/80 over RLM 78 with a white fuselage band and lower cowl. The spinner was 2/3rds black and 1/3rd white.
"Yellow 3," Bf109G-2, 9./JG 54, Ofw. Wilhelm Schilling, Dubrovka, Russia, September 1942. This plane was painted in colors more suitable for the Eastern Front, namely RLM 02 Gray and RLM 71 Dark Green over RLM 76 with an RLM 04 yellow fuselage band and lower cowl. The spinner was 2/3rds black and 1/3rd white.
"Yellow 1," Bf109G-6/R3, 6./JG 53, Werknummer 440141, (now) Oblt. Wilhelm Schilling, Staffelkapitan 9./JG 54, Ludwigslust, Germany, February 1944. Another plane in RLM 74/75/76 with a blue fuselage band. The lower cowl was painted RLM 04 yellow, the rudder was RLM 75 and the spinner was black with a white spiral.
This is a decent kit. It has been superseded by newer kits by Eduard, Hasegawa, UM and Zvezda, but it can still give a good account of itself in the hands of a skilled modeler. The selection of color options is exciting and the decals are top notch. I would recommend some aftermarket items, such as a resin cockpit and wheels, and turned brass gun barrels and pitot tube.
The Bf109 is an iconic World War Two fighter jet that served the Luftwaffe from the War's beginning to the bitter end. Academy's kit strikes a good compromise between complexity, detail, and ease of construction. I recommend this kit and I would like to thank Model Rectifier Corporation for the review sample.
Messerschmitt Bf109 in action Part 2, by John Beaman, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1983
The Last of the Eagles, A Scale Modeler's Guide To The Messerschmitt Bf109G And K, by John Beaman, 1976
Messerschmitt Bf109G/K Vol.1, by Jakub Plewka, Kagero Publications, 2005