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Tamiya Bf 109G-6

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/48 scale plastic model aircraft kit
Tamiya’s new Bf 109G-6 adds another choice for modelers looking to build the most numerous version of this Messerschmitt fighter. Tamiya has taken 1/48 scale Bf 109G kits to another level with its innovations.

Crisply molded in gray plastic, the kit offers a bounty of features: a pilot figure; canopy masks; alternate windscreens; underwing cannon pods; and a drop tank. The highlight is an engine with removable cowling to display the engine.

The cockpit has adequate detail and, with careful painting, it will look good if you pose the canopy open.

Tamiya has taken great care to provide solutions to areas that have been troublesome in achieving a properly aligned 109. The horizontal tail plane is molded in a single piece — very nice, as it eliminates alignment issues such as drooping. And while the landing gear on 109s is always a challenge to get right, Tamiya has cleverly molded the legs with attachment extensions that lock the legs at the correct angles. And the wheels have positive locking pegs that set the toe-in.

Both the fuselage and wings assembled cleanly. The wing-to-fuselage attachment was beautifully precise, with no gaps needing filler.  The wheel wells have some nice detailing to represent liners and vent holes.

Wing slats, landing flaps, and radiator flaps can be posed up or down. They do require some modification, such as cutting or alternate parts to modify the position.

Tamiya has designed the kit to have the cowling closed up or changed to be open, displaying the engine and oil cooler. Borrowing a page from its 1/32 scale kits, Tamiya provides magnets in key points to hold parts in place while keeping them removable. Separate parts are provided for a closed cowling, along with parts for open cowlings. The oil-cooler housing also is given as two assemblies for either closed or open cowlings. Magnets installed in the core engine assembly are attracted to washers installed in the cowling front and the radiators.

Instructions note that you should not fill the top and bottom fuselage seams, as the real aircraft had panel lines there — good to know!

The drop tank can be attached and removed at will through the use of a vinyl keeper.

The multipart vertical tail construction, along with some unused parts, makes it look as though Tamiya is positioning for other versions in the future.

I painted my Messerschmitt with a combination of GSI Creos Hobby Color and Tamiya acrylics. Decals are given for two aircraft; these went down well on a gloss undercoat with some decal solution.

My primary reference was Messerschmitt Bf 109G, by Shigeru Nohara and Masatsugu Shiwaku (Model Graphix/Dainippon Kaig, ISBN 978-4-499-20589-4). Also useful was Jagdwaffe: The Mediterranean 1943-1945, by Jean Louis Roba and Martin Pegg (Classic, ISBN 978-1-903223-37-6), as it contained photos of the very aircraft I chose to model.

I completed the kit in 27 hours. The build was most enjoyable, and I like the look of the finished model. While it’s not for beginners, Tamiya’s model will be no problem for modelers with experience of more-complex kits. I highly recommend it to Luftwaffe modelers, especially those who love building a Bf 109.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the May 2018 issue.


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