by: Darren Baker [ ]
IntroductionThe following introduction is as supplied by RoG Revell of Germany on the instruction booklet.
The Bf 109 G-10 was introduced from mid 1944 as a transition programme from the G to the K Series. As the Bf 109 K was not yet ready for production the airframe of the G-6 was modified to take the DB-605 D in order to ensure continuous mass production during the ‘Fighter Emergency Program’. The leading role was undertaken by the Erla works Ltd in Leipzig which delivered this version from September 1944 onwards. All previous modifications to the G series were to be combined in the G-10 and in flight performance subsequently improved. The new DB-605D with larger turbo charger and the MG-131 machine guns were encased for the first time in an enlarged coaming without protrusions. Larger oil and water radiators were included in the installation. The anteena mast was excluded on most aircraft. Except for minor modifications the control surfaces and elevator remained unchanged.
To meet the increased maximum take off weight the aircraft received wider wheels and for the first time an elongated coaming on the upper wing. The long tail skid was retractable. An MW 50 container was installed behind the pilots seat. Methanol-water injection could be used for up to 10 minutes to the maximum pressure altitude (22,300 ft). When injected into the compressor the mixture gave a higher boost pressure. Fuel designated C3 with 96 octane had to be used. The MW-50’s 26 gallon tank could also be used as an additional fuel tank. The GM-1 system could be activated to increase power above 26,250ft altitude.
The G-10 was fitted with a larger tail fin made of wood. The aircraft were equipped to carry an additional 300 litre drop tank and to drop bombs. The Bf 109 G-10 from the Erla works differed in some details to aircraft off the production lines in Regensburg, Weiner, Neustadt and in the Diana factory Tisnov in Bohemia. These details were mainly the engine cowling, the transition to the hull side walls in the area of the cockpit and the shape of the oil cooler. All aircraft were equipped with the MG151/20, 20mm motor cannon. In the smaller numbers of the Bf 109 G-10/U4 produced at the Weiner Neustadt and the Dian factory’s the 30mm MK 108 motor cannon and the short wheel were installed. Additionally the Bf 109 G-10/R6 with two MG 151/20 in pods under the wings was still produced. The G-10 was the fastest version of the ‘Gustav’. Up to April 1945 around 2000 Bf 109 G-10’s of all versions were delivered to fighter units of the Luftwaffe.
ContentsInside the now typical and well known end opening box from RoG you will find;
An instruction booklet
A safety advice pamphlet
12 light green sprues
2 clear sprues
A decal sheet
ReviewFrom the start I will say that I went and read a few reviews on this kit before writing this as a bit of homework; my conclusion is that no 2 reviewers seem to agree on anything relating to this model as regards accuracy, and consensus varies from fantastic to poor; with poor being an opinion I do not share having looked at the plastic. As these contrasting reviews are written by far more knowledgeable people than I when it comes to the Bf 109, I have decided to look at this from a modeller’s perspective rather than experts because there are far more modellers than there are experts. One thing I discovered very quickly is that the colour of the plastic makes showing the detail in pictures near impossible, and so I have rubbed some dark green pigment over some of the larger pieces to give you as best a view as possible.
InstructionsThe first place every modeller should start is the instruction booklet which in this case is supplied as an A4 loose leafed booklet, and begins with an introduction in German and English. This is followed by the usual advice about following the instructions in an impressive 21 languages; before moving onto the icon guide used during the build. Next you are confronted by the paint guide; this only provides colours from the Revell paint range, but it does call out each of the specific colours in 18 languages. Lastly before reaching the construction stage you will find a sprue map.
The construction of the model is covered in 75 steps. Each step is well laid out using black and white line drawings to guide you along. None of stages appear to be overly complicated or busy, which is a big plus in my book. The instruction booklet comes to a close with 2 finishing options, which are;
Bf 109 G-10 Erla, W.Nr. 491446, Mj. E.Hartmann, JG52, April 1945
Bf 109 G-10 Erla, W.Nr. 152016, JG300, praha-Kbely AB, May 1945
Having looked through the mouldings for this model, I am impressed with the product. All of the moulding are free from flash and have a very nice level of imparted detail. There are a few flow/cooling lines on some of the parts, but these do not look or feel to have left any deformations requiring remedial work. All in all this looks promising so far.
The cockpit is very well detailed and suitably busy overall. RoG while not including photo etched parts in this product have done a very fair job of replicating detail such as the pilots harness as moulded detail on the seat, this detail is also very crisp and as good as anything I have seen from any other company. The dials on the instrument panel do worry me slightly due to the raised detail over which you are instructed to lay decals; while there are various decal setting solutions I am concerned that seating this decals perfectly may be overly bothersome. The sides of the cockpit have some very fine moulded detail present, which along with the additional parts supplied for these two areas should look good due to the crisp detail. What I believe is the armoured panel behind the pilots head is supplied as a clear part, which is a good idea as it appears to have a glazed panel which I was unaware of. Considering this area as a whole I believe most modellers will be happy with the overall look of the finished cockpit.
The fuselage of the aircraft is supplied in two halves, with just the top portion of the upright on the tail and a separate top of the engine cowling being needed. The detail on the fuselage is very good, with very finely engraved panel lines and screw or rivet detail where needed. One aspect of this area I do not like as a modeller are the engine exhausts which are solid, these would have looked far superior if even a shallow indent had been moulded on them; so be prepared for a fair amount of time using the Dremel. The top engine cowling is one of the areas that has come in for criticism; this is due to the channels for the machine guns, where it is being argued that they are correctly placed or too close together. My personal take on this is that 99.99 percent of people will never know, and for the other 0.01 percent if it is wrong I am sure an aftermarket replacement is or will be available.
The wings on this model are an area that impresses me due to the effort RoG has put into them. The very lightly recessed panel lines are excellent in my opinion as are again the rivet/screw detail. On a closer inspection the blisters on the upper inboard portion of the wings have shallow sink marks in them; this area is fixable with some filler, but I suspect will be a pain due to the contour of the blisters. The control surfaces of the wings are all supplied as separate parts but are not workable, you will however I believe be able to set them at which ever angle you prefer, or you feel is most accurate.
The front undercarriage is a game of two halves, literally. The struts are supplied as two halves and I cannot think for the life of me why RoG has done this. The struts are very well detailed in my opinion but that is just going to make it harder or near impossible to hide the joints, it is my intention to add a liberal application of liguid polly to both surfaces and hope that the softening will close these joints up. The wheel bays in the wings are an area where there is great detail in my opinion, and while I have not built many aircraft in recent years, I feel that these bays are some of the best detailed I have seen straight from the box.
You have two options when it comes to the rudder on this aircraft, with very subtle differences between them; there is a third option included but no guidance is offered in the instructions, the two options included for use are not identified to which finishing option they belong either. That out of the way the detail is very good with even the flat surfaces having a very subtle texture. The top of the upright causes me a little concern as I do not believe at this time that the joint is on a natural panel line, this will make it difficult to fill and sand without wrecking the very good detail in other areas.
The spinner and blades in this offering come in for a lot flack, with arguments about the spinners length and profile being a bone of contention. The blades are getting flack because it is argued they are the wrong shape at the tip. I unfortunately do not have adequate reference to enter into that argument, and for me it looks a good match for the reference I do have on all counts. So I have made you aware of a potential issue if 100% accuracy is your goal, and a lot of reading lays ahead of you.
The canopy of the aircraft has two options for you with the only difference being none that I can see. You do have the ability of depicting the canopy either open or closed. The clear parts are good as regards clarity and are not overly thick.
ConclusionThis kit with average modelling skills will build into a presentable model of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-10 Erla, Is it perfect? No and the reason it is not perfect is that no such model exists. However for the price of £22.99 I feel this is a fantastic model with some great detail present; I also feel that at that price if something is proved wrong you can afford to buy some upgrades for it. I am aware that this kit may not be as affordable in all countries, but it is still a very good model to get unless you know of another model of the same aircraft that is better and in this price range.
I do wish that RoG had tackled the landing gear legs differently and I was surprised to find the sink marks, on the other hand I am very impressed with the engraved panel lines and cockpit. I am impressed with the model overall and happily recommend it to anyone who wants a decent sized model of the Me 109 on their shelf at a reasonable price.
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