Revell 1/32 Bf 109G-2/4 Tweak List
By Thierry Laurent
- TYPE: Messerschmitt Bf109-G-2/4
- SCALE: 1/32
- COMPANY: Revell
- KIT NUMBER: 03829 for the original release
- MOLD CREATION DATE:
- 2013 for the original parts (G-6)
- 2022 (?) for the G2/4 ones.
TWEAKS LIST VERSION 1.1 (publication date: October 2022)
Compiled by Thierry Laurent
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 flat light grey parts. The molding is generally crisp with engraved panel lines, rivets and details. However, some fuselage parts engraved details are softer and there is flash here and there. General kit dimensions are nearly perfect and overall fit is excellent. Some details have been simplified or are incorrectly depicted.
- All panel lines and prominent rivets are recessed (more particularly on the belly and lower wings). However, there are no rivets where they were flushed (on the upper wings, the stabilators and the fuselage). Engine area has very well-done door fasteners. Fabric surfaces are smooth with tape strips topped with stitching detail.
- Clear parts are very thin and transparent. They include wing lights, gun sights, the cockpit fuel level check tube and the rear fuselage antenna base.
- Various optional parts for G2 and G4 versions. The kit has:
- MLG: two smooth tire options with plain or star wheel hub;
- open or closed LG doors;
- windscreen with two small intakes or with the pistol port on the starboard side;
- REVI 12 and 16 gunsights.
- The “not for use” parts are limited to the G10 lower radiator section and a small clear part intended for the FuG16 antenna.
- A wing spar part ensures perfect dihedral and a good fit at the wing root.
- 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.
- The instruction sheet is far better designed than the one of the G6. It is now made of colored gloss paper and the decoration schemes instructions are quite exhaustive.
FUSELAGE (from front to rear)
- The three parts spinner is correctly shaped with an accurately tapered profile. The assembly results in the fact that the three propeller blade openings taper correctly with the accurate cropped teardrop shape. However, this has a drawback: there is no indentation between the spinner and its base plate. Moreover, removing the seam between the two main spinner parts is really difficult and time-consuming. The prominent rivets are also missing as the small raised data plates on the spinner and backing plate. The spinner back plate should also have a small and shallow scallop behind each blade. This can be quickly done with a half-round file. Last, there is no hub detail on the propeller axis or blade root shank. A timesaving option: replace the spinner with an aftermarket one.
- The profile of supplied propeller blades supplied is not correct for a VDM9-12087A propeller. Modifying the blades is a pain. The discrepancy is really obvious at the base as the actual propeller blade had a more cranked profile on its rear edge whereas the kit part has a smooth curve. They also look too pointy because they are too narrow. Replacing them with aftermarket is recommended.
- The nose tip port side has two oil tank hatches located one above the other. Fill the top one.
- Above the exhaust stacks, Me 109G-2/4 have two small cowl cooling scoops. Oddly, they are not hollow whereas there is a recess in the nose and insert parts. Hollow their front face with a sharp blade and a half-moon shaped file or replace them with aftermarket ones.
- The plates located over and under the exhausts (on L36 &L38) need to be thinned. This is particularly obvious on the port side. Do that after having added the inserts on the fuselage halves.
- Hollow-out the engine exhausts or replace them with aftermarket F/G/K ones. Revel kit design asks for gluing them before closing the fuselage halves. This choice noticeably complicates the painting process. Even if this is not impossible, adding exhausts after fuselage assembly will ask for tedious modifications of the parts (such as making a box in each internal side of the nose to receive the line of exhausts and sand the exhausts support to get the minimum height to put them afterwards).
- There is a protruding round panel line to remove on the port cowl panel (part 38). This is intended for later marks using the MG131 “beule”.
- Note there is no panel line between the top cowl and the cowl sides, or at the front and rear of the parts 36 & 38 side inserts. Fill and sand smooth the seam between the nose inserts and the cowl and fuselage parts. Take your time checking the location of each part and dry-fit more than once as the fit is not absolutely perfect. To ease the process, glue first the rear of each insert, let it dry and then glue the front section.
- Positioning correctly the top cowl asks either for heavy sanding of the supporting structure under that part or for adding very fine strips along the lower edges of part 40. A more brutal option simply asks for removing that structure but this is not recommended as this will weaken that area of the model. It is important to get a very good mating of such parts because – as aforementioned- the actual engine top was made of only two parts (top left and top right).
- Some details are missing on the supercharger intake (parts 72-73): 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.
- MG17 nose barrel parts 41 are plain, too thick and their ends are not hollowed. Hopefully, there are more accurate aftermarket alternatives.
- Underbelly oil cooler housing is misshaped (part 64). Correcting this asks for a time-consuming job but the discrepancy is quite noticeable. Part should have a deeper cross section, wider and tapered sides and sharper front edges. The front intake shall have a 1mm smaller width and the rear ends are too straight. The flap door linkage is missing even if the hole used by this device is present in part 34. Correct the part or replace it with aftermarket parts.
- The starter crank hole shall be drilled on the starboard side (above the rear of the small round panel). Add a small tube deep inside the hole.
- Check if the plane you want to depict had an air scoop under the windscreen starboard side. If this was the case, open the aperture with the edge of a new scalpel blade. And deepen the flare pistol hole if it was present. So, check closely your references.
- The small rectangular cockpit ventilation panels located on each side of the fuselage are wrongly located as they were actually staggered. They should be moved closer to the front of the plane (at least 4.5mm on the port side and 1.5mm on the starboard one). Their shape is also incorrect. The upper and lower sides should be narrower to get a little bit more rectangular shape.
- Add and drill the fuel fill ventilation outlet hole under the fuselage section 3. This should protrude from the belly. Add FuG25 IFF antenna under the same section 3.
- Fill the two oval panels located on the starboard side, close to the fuselage spine. They were used for the starting system fuel filler hatch and GM-1 and/or MW50 systems used on some marks.
- Check position of trim tabs elevators as they were normally offset on the ground.
- Add antenna between the mast (part 169) and the tail mast (do not forget to add insulators).
- Do not forget to leave a seam on the top and bottom and rear fuselage sections.
- The fabric stitches on the rudder and elevators should be noticeably toned down with careful sanding.
- The moisture control round disks visible on the undersides of the elevators are far too thick. The real scale ones had just the thickness of fabric. So; careful sanding is required or replace the elevators by aftermarket ones.
- To avoid alignment issues, glue each tail top on each fuselage half.
- There is a riveted strip at the wing root that runs along the underside of the aircraft but does not continue to the top side. It should continue back to the vertical line on the wing root fairing.
- 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 different 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, a much easier fix would be to fill the step with putty and then file it to shape. However, a very slight step should normally remain. Third option: remove the section under the slat with a razor saw, add very thin plastic sheet over the cut edges and relocate it a little bit closer to the wing top edge. At last, add one big bolt head (e.g. Grandt line) under the end of each arm of the opened leading edge slat.
- The wing radiators are well done with inserts providing the radiator faces for both the front and rear. Add the missing flap actuating arm.
- The wing flaps actuators are missing.
- Use part 94 to fill the location recess of the Morane antenna that was used on later marks. Sand and polish cautiously to get a fully smooth section.
- The moisture control round disks visible on the undersides of the ailerons are far too thick. The real scale ones had just the thickness of fabric. So; careful sanding is required or replace them by aftermarket ones. The fabric stitches should also be noticeably toned down with careful sanding.
- The strip near the upper wing tip shall cover the panel line. Moreover, as the strip on the full scale airframe was made of tape it shall be far less thick. Fill the line and sand a little bit the strips.
- The landing gear well assembly will be far easier if you cut the two ends of the wing spar to assemble fully the wells before mating the wings with the fuselage. The remaining central section of that spar is more than sufficient to get a strong assembly.
- Take care while adding the internal section of the top of the wing. There are two options: the plain one for the G-2 and the one with a bump intended for planes with thicker tires such as the G-4. The aforementioned LG well change will also help in assembling the wing. When the wells are assembled, it is easier to glue together the two sections of the top wing while keeping a clean panel line between them. This is far more complicated when you do it later, as recommended by the instructions. Whatever option you are choosing, check closely the seam with the other top section of the wing as you can very easily get a too large seam.
- The wings have the four elliptical holes in the landing gear leg well. Their shape is not fully correct but this is linked to the molding limitations and is not very obvious. However, this may be corrected with a careful and lengthy sanding or an aftermarket set. Add the missing oleo actuator behind them. Moreover, as the canvas dust covers are absent, some missing hoses (radiator hydraulic lines) shall be added in each main LG well. Assembly is not straightforward because of the kit design and number of parts.
- The drop tank has very nice weld lines. However, the drain plug under the tank is missing, the shapes are not fully accurate and the seam line between the two halves is difficult to hide. There is an easy way to solve the major shape problem (the rear end of the tank): cut the pointy end to change the tank into the type with the blunt end. It is recommended replacing the drop tank hanging strap with a separate strip. Possibly replace with aftermarket parts. Update the drop tank anti-sway brace legs and add the fuel connectors.
- The ETC rack part has not a correct streamlined shape. Front is too blunt and the part is a little bit too thick (the actual part was made of an embossed iron sheet). Moreover, the recessed holes are not correctly located. Correcting this is time-consuming. Do not use the part as such or replace it with an aftermarket one.
- Take care when assembling the cockpit egg. Any error or misalignment will result in noticeable problems. The main drawback of this design is the seam to fill along the sill edge.
- Kit gives two gunsight options: the REVI C12/D (part 18) and the 16B (part 19). Revell uses clear plastic parts to have the gunsight glasses molded in situ. This is not a terrific idea as they are too thick. Moreover, the parts look anemic. Whatever gunsight you have to use, it is recommended to replace at least the glasses. A better option asks for full replacement. Check as well the gunsight support type and position as, on a parked aircraft, the REVI 16 was commonly folded to the starboard side (90° turn). Last, do not forget adding the REVI power cable between the gunsight undersides and the front instrument panel.
- Revell put the same IP in the three kits (G2/4-G6-G10) whereas the early Gustavs had a different configuration. The most obvious difference was the REVI plug socket. It should be where the top right bezel was located on the G6. It looks there is no available aftermarket early Gustav instrument panel. So, either correct that yourself but this is not easy or ignore that discrepancy.
- Kit pedals are correctly shaped but far too thick. Sand them and drill holes or replace them with photoetched ones and add their leather straps. The lines located behind them are also missing but they are not visible when the kit is assembled.
- The kit only gives the later plain type of floor foot rest part whereas the G-6 kit offered the same part and the earlier ribbed type (part P8). This is a very odd and quite unfortunate error as that type was used on all early Gustav marks. So, either retrieve an unused ribbed floor in another kit or rely on the aftermarket.
- The control column (part 11) is not fully accurate. The trigger seems too large; the upper knob is missing as well as other details along the stick (including the small box and electrical hose). Correct it or replace it with an aftermarket one.
- Kit has a clear tube to depict clear section intended to control fuel flow from external tank to internal ones. Unfortunately, a sprue attachment point is located on the line section that must be clear. Sand cautiously and use a little bit of liquid glue to restore the smooth and clear look.
- Oxygen hose is correct but a little bit stiff.
- Some boxes are missing on the front part of the starboard side. Add missing wires and details on the cockpit sides and on the right side of the floor (throttle, oxygen system, fuse box wires, etc.).
- Port side air vent is not correctly located. Moreover, the support frame of both vents is absent. So, sand both air vents and put scratchbuilt ones. Add the port one 2 mm nearer the front of the pit. By the way the external and internal locations should logically be aligned.
- The throttle handle is a little bit too thin.
- The trim hand wheels do not have the control chains. Add aftermarket or scratchbuilt ones.
- Note that on each side of the rear bulkhead, there are some very small drilled connectors. They shall be used to connect some of the missing electrical wires running on the floor and sides.
- The seat belts are molded on the seat back and pan. Even a cautious painting will not result in a realistic result. Remove the seat belts and replace them with aftermarket ones. Add the shoulder belts attachment points on the rear edge of the cockpit sill. Note that removing the belts from the pan is far from easy. An option to ease the job: remove both sides of the pan, clean the part and replace the removed sides with plastic sheet.
- Add the two missing handholds on the top of the internal side of the windscreen part.
- The use of thicker armored glass was one of the changes incorporated in the G series. So, the Gustav had no additional armored glass on the windscreen. To add the armored glass inside and not on the windscreen, it is safer to use gloss coat, Future/Klear or UV glue.
- The canopy hinge linked to the starboard cockpit side is far too large. This is a compromise between strength and accuracy.
- The canopy has the release lever but the knob is noticeably too small. 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 Klear to simulate sliding glass panes of the early type. This is particularly visible for the moving central canopy part. Check the correct position of the canopy retaining wire and lock as Revell oversimplified this.
- Decrease thickness of pilot head armor part.
- Kit gives two options for rims and tires. The star-shaped G2 rims are correct but could be finer. If not absolutely required, replacing them with aftermarket parts will result in a noticeably better in-scale look.
- Add the flexible brake hose on each main landing gear leg (between the wheel and the leg).
- The main landing gear door kit part actually depicts two different parts on the actual airframe. A large ejection mark is unfortunately located on the internal side of the rear section.
- The multipart landing gear legs are accurately detailed but tedious to assemble. Removing the seams is a lengthy job. Replacing the legs with aftermarket ones will be a time saver.
- The Revell decal sheet is correct and exhaustive but has no Swastika to comply with German legal rules.
- One scheme refers to Hannes Trauloft JG54 G-2 plane whereas the G-4 depicts Gordon Gollob’s JG52 airframe. Unfortunately, as usually, Revell only gives references to Revell paints and no reference to RLM or Farbton references. This results in the not very comfortable need to make at least five paint mixes to get the relevant color hues that are unavailable in the Revell range. Even if colors are typically left out of most of the tweak lists, I will do an exception.
- Colors of the JG54 planes on the Eastern front have created a gigantic number of discussions. Here’s my own hypothesis about the plane colors:
- RLM 70 black-green spinner/propeller with a section of RLM 21 white on the spinner.
- Considering the era, the undersides blue should have been RLM76 as the 70-71-65 combination was normally not used anymore when this plane was painted and the green camo was probably painted in the field out of stock of paints intended for transport or bomber planes.
- The upper splinter camouflage was probably based on a field variant of the RLM 70-71 scheme but limited to the RLM 70 color. A well-known color picture of Trauloft’s plane fuselage shows that the areas (that could have been painted with RLM 71 on a standard scheme) had been painted with a sand color that could be RLM 79 possibly mixed with a little bit of RLM 02. Another possibility is the creation of a similar mix made in the field. In that case, various options are possible such as RLM 26 brown with RLM 04 yellow or yellow RLM 04, red RLM 23 and a touch of green.
- Large spots of a medium green with an olive hue were added around the cockpit, on the fuselage and wing roots areas. It is difficult to assess the origin of the non-standard colors typically used by JG54. Without final evidence, I think the most logical option is again the simplest one as it was not uncommon for Luftwaffe ground crews to mix paint if required. Mixing of standard RLM 71 green with RLM 21 white and/or RLM 04 yellow results in a very similar tone. Some RLM 25 could also have been used to create the color.
- Gollob’s G4 is more conventionally based on the RLM 74-75-76 standard pattern. The center fuselage was possibly repainted with RLM 70 covered by squiggles of RLM04.
- Known pictures of Trauloft’s Gustav shows it without the drop tank. The plane had not the small air scoop under the windshield port side. As it had no cockpit bulkhead, this cannot be a G3. It looks some not pressured Gustavs had not the scoop and this probably applies to Gordon Gollob's plane as well. Theoretically, this could also be a G-3 but pictures do not give enough information to be sure as the canopy armor or bulkhead is not visible for that plane. Unfortunately, if externally very similar, there were quite visible differences in the cockpit and canopy of pressurized versions.
- As such the kit cannot be used to depict G-2 or G-4 “Trop” variants. It has no tropical specific feature such as the engine intake filter or the fuselage drop-shaped sunshade umbrella holder.
- With a little bit of work, the kit can be easily changed into a late F-4Z Friedrich. Correct the features as described above to get a correct G-2 and also add the minimum changes described hereunder:
- Remove the four small scoops on the engine cowling and nose tip.
- Remove the scoops molded on the windshield part.
- Replace the clear parts by earlier ones with thinner edges (very similar to E-4 ones).
- Add the fuel filling point on the fuselage (under the canopy port side).
- Fill the rear fuselage oval hatch under the front edge of the port side elevator.
According to the chosen Friedrich batch, other changes may be required such as the round shape of the MLG well perimeter, tail reinforcement strips, cowling details and so on. However, this goes far further than the scope of this list. Moreover, other changes will also need to be added for earlier Friedrich airframes: thinner propeller blades, smaller engine intake, shallower radiator, different oxygen regulator configuration, etc.
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 camo, 109s colors or 109s used by Germany allies have not been listed here.
Accordingly, the following sources were used to build this list:
- And’al, Sumichrast & Hochmuth, Messerschmitt Bf-109F, G-2 a G-4, HT Model Special N°903, htmodel.sk, 2002.
- And’al, Messerschmitt Bf-109F – G-4, HT Model Special N°914, htmodel.sk, no publishing date (2006?).
- Frank, Richard, The Messerschmitt Bf 109 Late series (F to K including the Z series), Airframe & Miniature n°11, Valiants Wing Publishing, 2017.
- Green, Revell’s 1:32 messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6, ADI publishing, 2013.
- 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.
- 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.
- Vogt, Messerschmitt Bf 109 Einsatzmaschinen – Das Nachschlagwerk, VDM, 2012.
- ---, 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.
Other Used References
- 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.
- Janowicz, Messerschmitt Bf-109G, Vol. 2, N°22, Kagero, 2005.
- Janowicz, Messerschmitt Bf-109G, Vol. 3, N°29, Kagero, 2006.
- 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.
- ---, Messerschmitt Bf 109 / Focke Wulf Fw 190, Maru Mechanic series N° 50, Maru, 1985.
- ---, Messerschmitt Bf109, Military Aircraft Special issue, Delta Publishing, 2001.
- some web pages (more particularly LSP, Hyperscale & 109 Lair).
© Thierry Laurent 2022
This article was published on Saturday, October 29 2022; Last modified on Saturday, October 29 2022