Trumpeter 1/32 Messerschmitt Bf109G-6 (early)
By Thierry Laurent
- TYPE: Messerschmitt Bf109-G-6/R2/R6
- SCALE: 1/32
- COMPANY: Trumpeter
- KIT NUMBER: 04665 for the original release.
- MOLD CREATION DATE:
- 2012 for the G6 parts.
- 2010 for the early G parts.
KIT DATABASE ENTRY:
TWEAK LIST VERSION 1.1 (publication date: September 2013, update in August 2016)
The following list is intended to help modelers in improving scale accuracy of an airplane model replica. In no way is it intended to support or be offensive towards a scale model company. As such, it is only the result of a progressive process and is in no way intended to be absolute or even comprehensive. Hence, it is intended to focus on commonly admitted discrepancies and will probably not cover some errors. It is up to the modeler to decide whether correcting the listed issues is worth the time and money he will have to invest in the quest for accuracy process.
No aftermarket correction or detail set is mentioned in this document as the availability of such items may be very variable. Hence, refer to other LSP sections to find relevant information. Moreover, aftermarket sets do not necessarily correct all listed issues. Please refer accordingly to relevant documentation.
- The kit is essentially made of light grey parts. The molding is generally crisp with engraved panel lines, rivets and details. General kit dimensions are nearly perfect except regarding the spinner, nose and rudder. Overall fit is excellent. Some details have been incorrectly depicted.
- All panel lines and prominent rivets are recessed. This includes lines of fine rivets where they were flushed on the full scale plane (on the upper wings, the stabilizers and the fuselage). The location of some rivet lines is not fully correct but except on the wings this is not very noticeable.
- DB605A engine bay is reasonably detailed with thin separate cowling parts. Bulkhead between the engine area and cockpit is detailed with its MG131 machine guns. The kit interior parts also include the fuel tank behind the cockpit and the wing ammunition drums for the optional MG151/20 gun pods.
- Fabric texture on movable surfaces is not the most convincing one.
- Clear parts are very thin and transparent. They include wing lights, gun-sight glasses and the front instrument panel.
- Two photo-etched frets are included. They cover the following items: seat belts, pedals, alternate seat pan, luggage door lock belt, one trim wheel, canopy edge detail and armor, radiator face, drop tank release belt, main landing gear leg brake line collars and oil cooler face.
- Vinyl tires are included for the three kit wheels.
- A full part for the belly and wings undersides ensures a correct dihedral.
- All movable surfaces are separate (slats, flaps, ailerons, elevators, rudder, radiators and oil cooler flaps). Note that on the ground actual wing flaps were generally retracted.
- As such, the kit has not many optional parts. It has the common type of upper cowling, the starboard nose side with the gun bulge with the compressor housing seen on the G-5, the standard steel head armour, M.L.G. ribbed tire and wheel hub, windscreen with two small scoops, standard canopy, flat luggage compartment door, MG151/20 breech case in cockpit, standard ribbed cockpit floor and REVI 12 gun-sight.
- In the “not for use” parts, there are some early G parts (mainly streamlined nose engine cowlings and spoke wheel rims).
NOTICEABLE FUSELAGE ISSUES (from front to rear)
- The kit is the only Gustav with good hub detail on the propeller axis and blade root shank. However, the spinner is incorrectly shaped. It is noticeably too short and too blunt to have the correct tapered profile. Moreover, the three propeller blade openings do not taper correctly as they have no cropped teardrop shape. Last, the small raised data plates on the spinner and backing plate are missing. A time saving option: replace the spinner with an aftermarket one.
- Profile of supplied propeller blades supplied is acceptable but not totally correct for a VDM9-12087A propeller. Fortunately, this is not as noticeable as the spinner shape discrepancy.
- The front nose section (between the cowling parts and the spinner base plate) looks a little bit too long (more or less 1mm) but this is not too noticeable. However, correcting this is easy, this just ask for a little bit of sanding after assembly of the fuselage halves. Note that the oil tank parts are similarly too thick.
- Kit has good hollowed cooling scoops on the nose and above the exhaust stacks. Their lip should be simply thinned a little bit with a half-moon shaped file.
- Engine cowling parts are reasonably thin. However, the gun troughs are far too short (more or less 7mm: 5mm at the front and two at the rear). It is possible to correct this but this will not be very easy. Another option if you do not want to open the cowling: replicate the type with the separately pressed troughs. In this case, the solution asks for cutting them from a useless Hasegawa or Revell part and put them in the Trumpeter cowling part. Not easy but possible. This problem also implies that the small round bulge behind the port through is located too far forward. As it is too large, replacing it was nonetheless mandatory. Moreover, the piano hinge linking both halves and some structural details are also missing on the internal side (such as the spark plug cooling funnel). Last, there are six large injection marks on the internal side of each cowling half. Filling and sanding this is not an easy job.
- The front end of the small intake on the compressor bulge must be opened if the intake is present. Note that if the bulged fairing was common on various batches of the G-6 (applicable at least to most if not all Erla ones), it was not present on all of them. Unfortunately, removing it will not be easy as this will first ask for filling the recess on the internal side of the cowling. Drill a smaller diameter hole in the starter crank hole located on the starboard side (in front of the “beule”) if you do not open the cowling. Otherwise, drill to open the hole.
- Engine exhausts are nicely hollowed out and don’t need aftermarket ones. However, they are not correctly located. If you do not open the engine cowling, simply re-create new stack support strips or replace them with aftermarket ones. If you want to open the cowlings, the engine problem shall be solved beforehand.
- DB605A engine is nicely detailed. Leaving it out of the plane will ask for work to support the exhausts, oil tank and spinner. There are three disk-shaped plates on the engine top cover which do not exist on most pictures of the standard engine. This anomaly has been copied on the engine of the G6 airframe Wnr 167271 stored in the Tikkakoski museum in Finland. It is unknown if this corresponds to a specific engine batch or a different variant of the DB engine. If you want to show the engine, remove them. After comparison with scale plans as well as the MDC and Aires engines, it is unfortunately clear that some dimensions of the engine are off. This creates the aforementioned exhaust problem. To solve this easily if you want to open the cowling parts, replace the engine with an aftermarket one. The Aires DB605 is a drop fit part and do not ask for engine bearers modifications. Note that the bay will ask for a lot of additional details: fuel, oil and cooling hoses, gun fire control electrical wires, etc.
- Some details are missing on the supercharger intake (parts H5-H7): weld seams and eight screw heads around the forward lip. Moreover this lip is too thin. Adding a thin strip of plastic and sanding a little bit the front edge to get a thicker look would improve noticeably the situation. Using an aftermarket part is another possibility. According to the chosen airframe and theatre of operations, using a tropical filter is yet another possibility to hide the lip issue. Note that the intake parts should show no seam with the fuselage as part of the intake has been molded with the fuselage.
- The fastener of each panel covering the MG131 breeches is not correctly located. It shall be right in the middle of the panel length (move it 1.5mm backwards).
- MG 131 nose barrel parts M13 have drilled sleeves and hollowed muzzles. However, they seem far too long (4mm). Correct them or replace them with more accurate aftermarket alternatives.
- The kit lacks full MG131 feed chutes on F19 bulkhead. If you want to open the cowlings, they shall be added. It is also recommended to add plastic card-made boxes to add depth to the chutes of the MG131s.
- There are seven ejection marks to fill in the lower cowling part. The shape of the part is a little bit too round at the front. Accordingly, the nose section up to the spinner lacks the shape change from the flat door to the round spinner base. Leaving it closed is probably the best option. Moreover, this solves the lack of detail under this area of the DB605.
- Underbelly oil cooler housing is not perfect but currently the best in any 1/32nd Gustav kit. The flap door linkage is missing even if the hole used by this device is present in part H4. The rear section of this missing part is the too thick end of part E26. Note that the kit had the FO 870 type with the rod in front of intake mesh (part H11) whereas FO 827 that was externally identical had none. The oil cooler front face is not fully accurate. The part shall be replaced by an aftermarket one or one from another kit with the correct mesh pattern.
- Check if the plane you want to depict had the two air scoops in front of the windscreen sides.
- The wing fillet shape is not fully correct. There should be a smoothly raised bulge in the middle of the wing root fairing. This is intended to cover the big bolt intended to secure the wing on the fuselage. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to correct this.
- The kit has the two drop-shaped mounts for the sun-shield in spite it has no Trop. engine intake filter part. The upper one seems to be located a little bit too high. Check if the airframe you choose had them.
- DF FuG 16ZY loop antenna has the correct flat cross-section but it is a little bit too thick. Note that some planes had the drop-shaped support but not the antenna.
- The fuel fill ventilation outlet hole under the fuselage section 3 should protrude from the belly. Replace the plastic FuG25 IFF antenna (part E29 under the same section 3) by a thinner one.
- Check position of trim tabs elevators as they were normally offset on the ground.
- Do not forget adding GM1/MW50 filler hatch if the use of such systems does not apply to the chosen airframe (starboard side of the spine behind the loop antenna between frames 3 & 4). For a GM1-equiped plane, add the missing GM-1 decompression valve hatch (under the filler hatch).
- Fill the starting system fuel filler hatch (starboard side of the spine between frames 5 & 6 near the tail) for an early G-6.
- Fill the round hatch located near the rear bottom edge of the starboard fuselage side (between frames 5 & 6) unless you choose an early G6. This hatch was used to get access to the compressed air bottles used for the MG131 machine guns from the G1 to the early G-6 batches. The hatch disappeared later when the MG131 mechanism was modified. The handle located near the rear starboard edge of the canopy disappeared simultaneously.
- The fuselage bottom behind the wings is a little bit too flat. This is not very noticeable but may be noticeably improved with a little bit of sanding of each side edge.
- Do not forget to leave a seam on the top and bottom and rear fuselage sections.
- Add antenna between the mast (part H17) and the tail mast (do not forget to add insulators). Note that from end of 1944, the mast disappeared.
- The fabric surface of the elevators and rudder parts is not accurately reproduced. The parts have an engraved line that should be filled in. Moreover, the frames edge shall be sanded as they are protruding too much. Last the rudder contour shape is incorrect and its width is noticeably too short. replacing the rudder with an aftermarket one is recommended.
NOTICEABLE WING/WEAPONS ISSUES
- Even if this is far less noticeable than on some kits, the model has a small step in the leading edges of the wing into which the slat retracts. On real airframe, the step is not thicker than the wing's aluminum covering. There are two solutions to fix this. The most accurate but also most complicated option asks for carefully cutting a thin piece of sheet styrene to fit into the slat well, with the sheet stock's thickness chosen to leave a very small step; cementing the filling piece into the slat well, being careful to keep the new step height constant; and then filing down the leading edge of the filling piece where it disappears under the slat. Second option is simpler: since the real aircraft's step is so small, an adequate and much easier fix would be simply to fill the step with putty and then file it to shape. Add one big bolt head (e.g. Grandt line) under the end of each arm of the opened leading edge slat.
- The rivet lines are not fully correct. This is obvious on the G6 wing. Indeed, the use of the larger 660x160 tires requested the typical G6 wing bulge. Accordingly, a round line of reinforcement rivets (corresponding to the bay diameter) was visible on the upper wing surface. Correcting this is annoying as this ask for filling partly some lines and adding the missing circle-shaped line of rivets.
- The fabric surface of the aileron parts is not accurately reproduced. The parts have an engraved line that should be filled in. Moreover, the frames edge shall be sanded as they are protruding too much.
- The wing radiators are well done with inserts providing the radiator faces for the front and rear as well as the flap actuating arm (part E24).
- The wing flaps actuators are missing.
- To be correctly located, the typical G6 bulges use two pins which project into the main well. This means that such two holes will have to be filled in afterwards.
- The wings do not have the four elliptical holes in the landing gear leg well. Look for the faintly visible recessed ovals, drill them and thin their edges. Add the missing oleo actuator behind them. Some details are also missing on the external side of this leg well.
- The canvas dust covers are absent and shall be added in each main LG well.
- MG151/20 gondolas are too short. Cut them in the middle and add 3mm. The easier way to do this is to cut the center section of gondolas from another kit and add it where the cut was made. The MG151 breech is too simplified. However, this is not visible in the assembled pods.
- The drop tank has a correct shape. It has also reasonably detailed hanging points and a photo-etched securing belt. However, they may be updated a little bit. Note the tank parts have too many weld seams. Fill the forward segment line. The weld seams are not accurately depicted and will ask for a little bit of work to improve them. Moreover, the drain plug under the tank is missing. Check correct connection of the fuel connectors. Possibly replace with aftermarket parts.
- The ETC rack part has a correct streamlined shape. The part is a little bit too thick (the actual part was made of an stamped sheet steel) and just asks for some more refined details: drilling larger holes and removing the recessed section where the fuel connectors are located (in this case the fuel connectors shall obviously be replaced).
NOTICEABLE COCKPIT ISSUES
- Kit only gives a correct but not terrific REVI C12/D (part F28). However, note that the REVI 16B was commonly used on many G-6s. The glasses are separate parts. They are quite good molded parts (not very thick) but for an accurate result, replacing them by thinner acetate copies is recommended. Check as well the gun-sight support type and position as, on a parked aircraft, it was commonly folded to the starboard side (90° turn). The Revi 12 mount was always fixed (i.e. never intended to fold to the right). The initial Revi 16 gun sight mount was also fixed but a tubular mount similar to that used on the Me 262 was introduced later. This allowed the Revi 16 gun sight to be rotated to the right and stowed away from the line of sight. Last, do not forget adding the REVI power cable between the gun-sight undersides and the front instrument panel.
- The kit instrument panel Y1 is reasonably accurate and detailed. However, the kit instructions are a little bit confusing regarding how the IP decal 63 shall be used. Either remove the dials from the decal and put them one per one on the painted IP, either sand the clear IP part rear side as much as possible, add the decal of part F7, glue the IP with Future/Klear/Pledge over them, mask the dials and paint the IP.
- The photo-etched pedals are noticeably too large and shall be replaced. The lines located behind the pedals are missing but they are not visible when the kit is assembled.
- The kit gives the MG151/20 breech and its case. Parts F23/F27 are correct but look a little bit too squared. Edges shall be rounded off as except for a brand new one, the case did not have this stiff look. Moreover the belt used to lock the breech lacks details and the side belts are missing.
- The KG13 control column (part 55) is not accurate. The proportions (mainly the thickness) and details are off. Replace it with an aftermarket one or with one from the Hasegawa kit.
- Kit has no clear section intended to control fuel flow from external tank to internal one. Remove the central section in part M4 by a section of clear plastic.
- Oxygen hose is correct but a little bit stiff. Some details such as the flow regulator are also missing on the oxygen device and the molded hoses are not accurately depicted. Last, move the oxygen panel gauge panel. It was part of the support panel supporting the full device. So, it shall be located further towards the back of the pit. Add two aftermarket gauge decals as Trumpeter forgot including them.
- Some boxes are missing on the front part of the starboard side (kit has only one: E47). Add missing wires and details on the cockpit sides and on the right side of the floor (throttle, oxygen system, fuse box wires, etc.). The kit has the best floor fuel pump (part F4) found in a Gustav 1/32nd kit.
- The external and internal locations of the cockpit side air vents should logically be aligned. So, internal/external ones shall be relocated. External ones are located too far backwards. Check correct position on scale plans and pictures, move them and check location of internal ones. Note that some planes did not have them.
- The trim hand wheels do not have the control chains, or their supports. Add aftermarket or scratch-built ones. Correctly, the kit has one thick wheel and one thin one (one plastic F43 and one photo-etched PE11) as the full scale airframe had not identical ones. However, they shall be reversed (the thinner, flat one PE11 shall be put on the external side). Some other small details on the port side are either incorrectly depicted (such as the tail wheel lock: part E37) or missing as well.
- The kit gives two seat pan options (a plastic one F46 and a photo-etched one PE4). None has a fully correct shape. At least, using the photo-etched one will give a closer replica as the real seat had squared corners. Moreover, the kit seat shall have no back plate. This was an earlier feature. So do not use the R6 part and remove the two locators from part F34. It seems there were variants of the rear bulkhead, some having an embossed triangle starting from its upper edge. If you want to reproduce this type, simply add a plastic triangle and bevel the two lower edges.
- The kit has photo-etched seat belts. They are reasonably accurate and surely better than nothing or the molded ones found in some other kits. However, for a more accurate result, it is recommended to replace them with multi-part ones.
- Some details located behind the upper belts fixture points are acceptable even if too simplified. (e.g. tubes of the rear canopy structure).
NOTICEABLE CANOPY ISSUES
- The canopy has a nice release lever. Add the missing clear knobs as well as the retainer spring lock (with spring-shaped copper wire). Detail internal side of canopy parts: add plastic strips with white glue or Future/Klear/Pledge to simulate sliding glass panes of the early type. This is particularly necessary for the moving central canopy part.
- Trumpeter gives a canopy perforated photo-etched frame that does not look like any full scale part. Indeed, the canopy front edge had small rivets, not holes. Possibly use the part as a template to recreate one in plastic.
NOTICEABLE LANDING GEAR ISSUES
- Kit rim is correct but not fully accurate. The big bolt head located offset (near the rim edge) is protruding whereas it shall be recessed. Replacing the full wheels with accurate aftermarket ones will correct this and avoid any problem with the vinyl tires.
- Add the missing loop section of the flexible brake hose on each main landing gear leg (behind the wheel).
- The main landing gear door kit part actually depicts two different parts on the actual airframe.
- The tail wheel looks undersized. If possible, replace it with a correctly sized one. The leather protection on the leg (parts K4 & 6) is not accurately reproduced. It has a too stiff look whereas the actual item had a softer and more rounded look. So either modify this section with a file or use the other leg parts (G3 & 6) and add the leather protection with epoxy putty.
The decal sheet has swastikas cut in halves.
The list of references about the Messerschmitt 109 is an endless one. The list author focused on sources that are more oriented towards plane components rather than plane colors. Many excellent books have been printed about the later topic but this is out of the limited scope of such a list. As such, sources dedicated to Luftwaffe paints and camouflage, 109s colors or 109s used by Germany allies have not be used here.
Accordingly, the following sources were used to build this list:
- Abe, Yokoyama & Kano, Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6, Modeler's Eye series N° 3, Dai Nippon Kaiga, 2002.
- Hladik, Sumichrast & Andal, Messerschmitt Bf-109G-6, HT Model Special N°909, no publishing date.
- Nohara & Shiwaku, Messerschmitt Bf 109 G, Aero Detail series, N°5; Dai-Nippon Kaiga Co., Ltd., 1992.
- Peczkowski, Messerschmitt Bf-109G, Mushroom model magazine special Vol.1, N° 6011, 2000.
- Peczkowski, Messerschmitt Bf-109G, Mushroom model magazine special Vol.1, N° 6112, 2004.
- Plewka & Zelechowski, Bf 109 G-6, N°11004, Kagero, 2005.
- Prien & Rodeike, Messerschmitt Bf 109 F, G, & K Series – An illustrated Study, Schiffer, 1993.
- Ritger, The Messerschmitt 109 Part 2: ‘F‘ to ‘K‘ Variants, Modellers Datafile 10, SAM Publications, 2007.
- Stapfer, Messerschmitt Bf 109G Walkaround, Number 43, Squadron Signal, 2006.
- ---, Messerschmitt Bf 109 G/K Augsburg Eagle, Model Art Special Issue series N°290, Model Art, 1987.
- ---, Messerchmitt Bf-109G in Detail, Militaria in Detail, Wydawnictwo Militaria, 2000.
- Beaman, Last of the Eagles, self-published, 1976.
- Beaman, Messerschmitt Bf 109 in Action, Part 2, Aircraft in Action series, N° 57, Squadron Signal Publications, 1983.
- Donald, Messerschmitt Bf 109 – Supermarine Spitfire – Supermarine Seafire, Air Combat Legends Vol.1, Airtime Publishing, 2005.
- Fernandez-Sommerau, Messerschmitt Bf 109 Recognition Manual, Classic Publications, 2004.
- Green, Augsburg's Last Eagles: Colors, Markings and Variants, Eagle Files series N° 3; Eagle Editions, 2000.
- Hitchcock, Messerschmitt 'O-Nine' Gallery, Monogram Aviation Publications, 1973.
- Hitchcock, Gustav: Messerschmitt 109G Part 1, Monogram Close-Up series N°6, Monogram Aviation Publications, 1976.
- Janowicz, Messerschmitt Bf-109G, Vol. 2, N°22, Kagero, 2005.
- Janowicz, Messerschmitt Bf-109G, Vol. 3, N°29, Kagero, 2006.
- Mermet, Les Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-1 a K-4 - Moteurs et Aménagements , self-published, no date.
- Mermet, Messerschmitt Bf 109 G & K, Aero Journal HS 1, Caraktere Editions, 2008.
- Merrick, German Aircraft Interiors 1935-1945: Vol. 1, German Aircraft Interiors series, No. 1, Monogram Aviation Publications, 1996.
- Michulec, Messerschmitt Me 109 pt. 2, Aircraft Monograph series, N°17; AJ Press, 2002.
- Michulec, Messerschmitt Me 109 pt. 3, Aircraft Monograph series, N°18; AJ Press, 2002.
- Plewka, Messerschmitt Bf-109G, Vol. 1, N°19, Kagero, 2005.
- Verlinden & Letterman, Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2, Lock On Aircraft Photo File series N° 28; Verlinden Publications, 1997.
- Wolowski, Bf 109 Late versions camouflage & markings, White Rainbow Series N°9110, MMP books, 2010.
- ---, Messerschmitt Bf 109 / Focke Wulf Fw 190, Maru Mechanic series N° 50, Maru, 1985.
- ---, Messerschmitt Bf109, Military Aircraft Special issue, Delta Publishing, 2001.
- Buffie’s Best Cd-ROM, Me-109 G-10, Restorations Illustrated Vol.1.
- Various magazines articles (more particularly from Replic).
- Various web pages (more particularly LSP, Hyperscale & 109 Lair).
© Thierry Laurent 2013
This article was published on Saturday, August 20 2016; Last modified on Saturday, August 20 2016