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Built Review
148
BF 109G-10 Erla
BF 109G-10 Erla
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by: Tim Hatton [ LITESPEED ]

Background

The development and manufacturing delays of the Bf 109K meant that there was a widening gap in the performance of the Bf109 G-6 and G-14 compared to the P-51D Mustang. The Bf 109G-10 was an interim development meant to bridge the gap temporarily until the Bf 109 K reached frontline service. The Bf 109 G-10 was built at three plants: Erla Leipzig, Messerschmitt Regensburg, and Wiener Neustädter Flugzeugwerke. There are certain nuances, basically sub variants to the G-10 due to different approaches to its manufacture at the three sites. Production started first at Erla in September 1944 and 1,709 aircraft were built in two production blocks.
The Bf 109G-10 was powered by various models of the DB 605D, the same engine slated for the Bf 109 K. The Bf 109G-10 came into service in the fall of 1944. A common feature of all Bf 109G-10s, besides the aforementioned installation of some version of the DB 605D and the associated wider engine cowl (‘Horse’s Ass’), was the installation of the larger oil cooler and the larger wing radiators as well as the larger supercharger air intakes and propeller. Also, common features were the simplified Erla haube canopy and tall fin.
The new Bf 109G-10 from Erla differed from the G-6/AS and G-14/AS and other G-10s visually in the aerodynamic bulging of an engine cowl panel on the left side. This was missing the standard (for the other versions of the G-10, G-14/AS and G-6/AS) wide cowling riveted to the rest of the fuselage. The oil cooler was of the FO.987 larger type, with the specific Erla cover which was not as deep as the other variations with this radiator. Visually, the size of this unit lay between the standard G-6 with an FO.870 cooler and the G-10 with the FO.987 produced at WNF/Diana. Aerodynamically, the entire bottom of the engine cowl was clean, with no bulges under the oil pumps in the nose, characteristic for the G-10s produced at Mtt. Regensburg and WNF. Typical for Erla was also the upper engine cowl with longer gun troughs. Production began with Production Block 49xxxx in September 1944 and was followed by Block 15xxxx. A large number of these aircraft, if not all outright, were equipped with the PKS 12 Autopilot and designated Bf 109G-10/R6. The first aircraft began to reach Luftwaffe units in the second half of October. Just to complicate things a little bit, approximately the first fifty G-10s coming out of Erla Leipzig were powered by the DB 605ASM. In older references, these aircraft were referred to as G-10/AS, but current research denies this designation. In all, there were 1,709 Bf 109G-10s produced in 49xxxx and 15xxxx production blocks.
Source: Eduard

The kit

This is the third iteration of the Bf 109 G-10 in 1/48 scale from Eduard. Rowan has previously reviewed the Bf 109G-10 Mtt Regensburg and the Bf 109G-10 WNF/Diana
The first thing that impresses on opening the box lid is the quality of the surface detail. The rivets and panel lines are so delicately realised.
This release features:
●4 x grey plastic sprues
●1 x clear plastic sprues
●1 x sheet of paint masks
●1 x pre-coloured photo etched fret
●1 x small non coloured photo etched fret
●2 x sheet of waterslide decals
●16 page instruction manual

Being a ProfiPACK edition the cockpit is a mix of plastic and photo etched parts and decals. There are around sixteen plastic parts detailing the cockpit. The detail on the plastic parts is first rate, but you have the opportunity to use around eighteen photo etched parts to further detail the cockpit. The bulk of the cockpit is made up from a floor that incorporates the rear bulkhead, the two-part bucket seat is placed onto it. There is a pre-painted photo etched seat harness too. The covered end of the central mounted cannon, control stick, and rudder pedals are added to the floor. There’s a choice of plastic or photo etched pedals, the latter incorporate straps. There are four pre-coloured photo etched parts for the instrument panel. If you don’t fancy highlighting the detail on the plastic parts or using the photo etched instruments then there are decals. The distinctive looking elevator and flap wheels by the pilot’s seat on the left wall are made up from two finely detailed plastic parts. The chains are photo etched, one is sandwiched between the two wheels and there is another chain to add to the fuselage wall once the unit is complete. In front of this is the plastic throttle and sidewall section. The clear plastic fuel hose to the right of the seat is a nice touch, you just mask the clear part and paint the rest yellow.
The Erla Haube clear view canopy can be displayed open, it’s hinged on the right side. There is even a PE part that represents the cable limiter to prevent the canopy from opening too far. The plastic is amazingly clear. There are paint masks included for the canopy and windscreen.

The fuselage is split traditionally with left and right halves. One thing worth noting is that there are no locating pins to aid positioning the two halves when joining. The distinctive bulge indicating the change in width of the nose around the DB 605D engine is nicely represented. The panel with the gun troughs and the rudder and fin are separate parts. There are four different styles of rudder and two separate vertical tail surfaces included so make sure you use the correct parts. The parts map at the beginning of the instructions is very useful. The upper nose guns nozzles on this G-10 kit are separate and can be fixed into position after the gun cover is fixed in place. The chin radiator is also separate and features either photo etched or detailed plastic radiator faces. The large supercharger intake is created from three parts. The exhausts are separate and there are two types with or without the flare shield. The impressive one-piece prop has separate spinner and back plate. The plastic forming the hatch for the radio compartment is much thinner than the rest of the fuselage walls, making it that much easier if you want to reveal the bay and the equipment inside.

The wings feature a one-piece lower wing and the upper halves feature upper and lower wing tips. There are locating pins included. The control surfaces: slats, ailerons and flaps are separate. The radiators are separate and you have the option of using PE or the detailed plastic radiator faces. The separate radiator flaps are a nice touch. There’s a small diagram in the instructions showing how to set the flaps of the radiator. The undercarriage bays are detailed and, each bay has four parts to create the walls. The surface of the walls features folds replicating the leather that was used on the real thing. There even paint masks for the wing tip navigation lights. The tail wings are both made from two parts and the elevators are each one piece. The rear control surfaces feature raised detail. All the control surfaces have positive attachment points so a strong join can be achieved.
The undercarriage includes one piece treaded tyres with separate hubs. There are paint masks for hubs. The three-piece tail wheel includes a one-piece wheel. The unit is fitted before the fuselage halves are joined.

There are two styles of underbelly fuel tank included. There are numerous aerials to fit made from plastic or PE parts.

There are five marking options including:
[A] W. Nr. 491353, flown by Cap. Ugo Drago, CO of 4a Squadriglia, 2o Gruppo Caccia, Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, Aviano, Italy, February 1945
[B] Flown by Hptm. Erich Hartmann, CO of I./JG 52, Görlitz, Germany, April 1945
[C] Flown by Lt. Friedrich-Wilhelm Schenk, CO of 2./JG 300, Borkheide, Germany, February 1945
[D] Flown by Oblt. Alfred Seidl, CO of I./JG 3, Paderborn, Germany, late December 1944
[E] W. Nr. 490655, flown by Lt. Antonius Wöffen, CO of 6./JG 27, Rheine-Hopsten, Germany,
early March 1945
Decals are printed by Eduard. There are two sheets altogether, one of which is stencils. Markings for both aircraft are found on the larger sheet. Spinner spirals are included as are full swastikas. Colour and registration look very good and the carrier film is kept to a minimum.

The sixteen page build guide is easy enough to follow, but you need to pay attention to the detail as aircraft vary somewhat. The coloured paint guide provides useful additional information on the aircraft chosen and the pilots that flew them. The aircraft chosen basically have the same camouflage colours of RLM 70 and 82 on the upper surfaces and RLM 76-part way up the fuselage sides and on the lower surfaces. Options B, C and E feature unpainted natural metal under surfaces of the wing. Eduard use Gunze Sangyo and Mission Models paint brands as a guide to colours as well as using RLM colour references

Build

The cockpit has just about everything you need to make a busy and very presentable area. A mix of plastic, pre-coloured photo etched parts and decals. It all went together with no problems at all. I used Johnsons Klear to glue much of the PE parts and it also protects the paint work on the brass. Once painted the whole cockpit was sprayed with Windsor & Newton matting agent.
Just as a precaution I fitted small plastic tabs to the fuselage to aid with positioning when gluing. The tabs also stop the fuselage halves moving when clamping together. The fuselage halves were glued and the fit is very good. Nothing needed adjusting. The tail wheel needs to be assembled and glued in place before gluing the fuselage halves.
The walls of the undercarriage bays fit together very well. The wings go together really well, but there was a slight gap on part of the wing leading edge that’s difficult to close up. Perhaps the walls of the undercarriage are either slightly high or I’ve not set them correctly. The extra drawing in the instructions on how to set the radiator flaps is useful.
The canopy and windscreen fit together very well, which is good news if you want to display the canopy closed.
All in all, the parts fit together very well. The only areas that I would fill is the slight gap on the wing leading edge and two or three places where the removal of the attachment point to the sprues has left a mark. I was a little hampered by not having any extra thin glue, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the kit

Conclusions

The Bf 109 G-10 is an interesting development and Eduard has captured the look very well and managed to pack in lots of detail particularly in the cockpit. The level of detail on the plastic is superb and I would certainly be confident of producing a superb model when the Weekend versions are released. The fit of the components is very good indeed. The price of this superbly detailed kit is worth noting and presents really good value for money.

Its worth noting Eduard has a 15% discount or 20% if your a BFC member this VE Weekend, so the price of this kit is an astonishing £19.06 or £17.69 if your a BFC member. So a good time to grab one or two.
SUMMARY
Highs: Captures the look of the G-10, recessed detail and cockpit detail. Price considering there are photo etched parts and paint masks included
Lows: Nothing really
Verdict: This a superb release from Eduard who seem streets ahead in quality, accuracy and price with their recent of the ‘G’ series of Bf 109’s. Price is unbelievably good compared to many of the manufactures.
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 82164
  Suggested Retail: £22.12 from Eduard
  PUBLISHED: May 06, 2020
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.86%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.55%

Our Thanks to Eduard!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Tim Hatton (litespeed)
FROM: ENGLAND - NORTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

Aircraft are my primary interest from WWll to present day.

Copyright ©2020 text by Tim Hatton [ LITESPEED ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



   

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