Building Hasegawa's 1/32 Bf 109G-6
While a complete and accurate tally is likely never to appear, over 12,000 Bf 109G-6s were built during the Second World War. So what is the G-6 version? The G-6 was basically the same as earlier Bf 109Gs but with bigger armament in the cowling. It's this change that created the very distinct characteristic cowl bulges. But wait, there's more! The gun troughs were slightly redesigned as well, and an oval inspection hatch was added to the left rear fuselage. The G-6 didn't have a pressurized cockpit, this distinction being assigned to the G-5 production line. As the war progressed differences in radio equipment resulted in different antenna arrangements, including short masts and no masts. For more information on the Bf 109 family I strongly recommend the Prien/Rodeike Bf 109F/G/K book.
Is this kit just another 109? NO! It is the one that we have been waiting a long time. Back in the sixties, Revell came out with their 1/32 Bf 109. Back then it was the best thing on the block. I think I got about 12 of them as they were only $2 and you could get a lot of them. The kit looked like a 109 but there were some BIG problems with it. If you were lucky enough to have some Karl Reis books and some good reference materials for the 109 you could see some of the things that you would have to do to the kit to make it look like a G. But Revell used the 109 at Chino for all the resource. The kit was to be an F but the one at Chino was a G-10. So you would have a one half a G-10 and the rest it could be a G-6. A lot of other things were wrong. But to Revell it was a 109. I made one as a 109G and one as a 109E. Yes, an E but that is another story for another day.
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There are a number of reviews or first builds on the kit. A good one is by Brett Green over at Hyper Scale. He did a very good job with the kit. Rather than just repeat what's been said elsewhere, this article will cover how to tweak the kit and add some things that Hasegawa left out and make some other minor changes.
When I first heard that they were going to do it, I had my fingers crossed, hoping that they would do better then their 1/48 scale kit and have this one be more like the K. But seeing the first pictures of the fuselage you could see that they did not change the nose regarding the intakes. I know that I will get some people saying that I am wrong as to the intakes. But I have looked and looked at pictures of the 109Gs and I have only found one the way the kit is done. The only one I found is Black 6 that is at the museum in UK. The pictures of the nose shows the two intakes and they are not in line but like the kit, staggered. The one on the nose is lower than the back one. But if you look at the pictures of Black 6 when the Brits captured it you can see that they are in line. So I think in the process of getting it restored they made a new intake and did not get it back where it should have been. That said, if anyone has a picture of a 109 that is staggered like the kit I sure would like to see it.
When I got the kit I did not know if I was going to change the intakes or not. But I looked at it and said that it would not be that hard. I did it on the1/ 48-scale kit. The first thing is to make a dam around the intakes. Do both of them this way and you only have to make one cast. The mold came out good; it had all the detail of the kit. I then made a cast and WOW… it turned out really nice. It looks just like the kit. It had the open end on the front of the intake and all the details. One thing that you will have to do is make sure of is to take off all the resin on the mold when you pour it. If you do not, you will make the part a little thicker and will sit too high on the kit. You want it to be like the back ones that are on the kit. Next I filed the front one off of the nose. I then drilled a hole where the intake would go, and then I rescribed the round door just above the intake. After that I glued the resin scoop on the nose and the simple modification was done.
Next is interior. The kit parts are very good and I can see that it will look good just out of the box. I did have the new Cutting Edge detailed cockpit that was reviewed in last month's issue. This is a very nice set and I highly recommend it. There is not too much that you have to do to the kit to put the detailed set in. Just follow the directions and that is all you have to do. Just file down the side of the fuselage for the sidewalls to fit. But one thing is you will have a good laugh when you see the graffiti written on the sides and the bottom of the castings. Someone had some fun in saying HI.
With the cockpit done, you now can glue the fuselage together. But you should do some dry fitting with the detailed set. This will make sure that it will fit when you put Part A 6, the bottom of the fuselage, on.
Hasagawa gives you two different gun cowls and two different right side bulges for the fuselage. So find a good picture of the 109G that you want to do and use the right parts for the one that you are doing. I also made some new parts to replace A14 and A15. I made some new ones out of 10-thou plastic, as they look more to scale. The rest of the fuselage is as per the instructions. Make note to fill in the panels on the right side of the fuselage, as shown in the instructions.
Next is putting the wing together. Again DRY FIT all parts. This will help when you put the wing to the fuselage. Put the radiator parts in the right place so that the wings will fit when you put them together. If you don't, you will pop the wing when you put the spar in. But if the spar does not want to go in, do not force it. If you do you will pop the wing apart at the wheel wells. So take some off the spar until it will slide in. With the detail set you have to take some off top part A 5 where it fits to the bottom of the resin tub. This will help out when you put the wing on the fuselage. You want the top and bottom of the wing to match up with the fuselage. This way you will not have to use any putty.
On to the main gear, all that is needed is to add some new hydraulic lines. The kit did not take the line down to the wheel so you will have to add that. Also the part A17, the wheel door. You will have to cut off the upper part of the door, and make a new one. I made it out 10-thou plastic and glued it back to the top portion of the door.
Next you can put the wing on the fuselage; you should have no trouble if you did a good dry fit.
Then you can add the slats and flaps. First off as to the slats, yes they are to be in the down position. But you will have cut off the tabs on the slat. There is a about a 2" hole there (picture) so just cut them off and glue the slat to the wing using the remaining part of the tabs. This will give you the right look as to the hole.
Now it is time to decide what paint job and markings you want on your model. The one that I wanted to do was out of JG 300. I used Polly Scale paints (74, 75, and 76). With that all done, I then put a coat of Polly Satin Gloss on, or you can use Future Floor Wax if you want. Next up is adding the decals. I had a friend make me the decal for the No 2 and the bar. All the rest of the markings were out of the kit.
I did make the corkscrew out of a decal, with the use of the computer. I had a decal sheet from 109 in 48 scale; I then scanned it in and made a copy at 150%. Then take a white decal sheet and tape it to a sheet of paper with the back of the decal up and make a print. You will want to make sure you have the spiral going the right way. Then make a print and cut it out. Paint the spinner black and put the decal on. Use a lot of water when you do it. You will have to float it on and work it around the spinner. Take your time and work the decal with a 1/4" flat sable brush. When you get it all down then you can put some decal set on but do it very light. Take your time. I then painted another coat of gloss. With that done now you can start on the weathering.
I use an oil wash for weathering; you can use what ever you want. I mixed the artist oils with Turpenoid, an odorless turpentine. I use black and burnt umber for the wash. I use a 000 brush to put the wash into the panel lines, it will flow along the lines and you can wipe off the excess wash with the Turpenoid when you are done. When you have the wash done and you like how it looks…STOP. You do not want to put too much on but you should have some. The aircraft did not look like it just came out of the paint shop when they were in combat units. Finally you put on a coat of Polly Scale Flat.
Next you can add the wheels and other stuff to the kit. I made the 20mm gun barrels out of surgical tubing just to make it look more realistic. I did the same with the pitot tube. . I drilled out the antennae mast and tail mast and used fine fishing line for the antenna. I made a new loop antenna out of some 5-thou wide by 10-thou flat stock. It is not like the kit part that is round. You can put on the wing lights, but work over a box. You know if you do not, it will fly off and disappear. And that is it. Now you have a nice looking G-6.