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Messerschmitt Me-109G-10. 1:32


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Messerschmitt Me109 G-10

Revell 1:32

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The history of the Me-109 is written large all over the web and also included in the earlier review of the Revell Me109G-6 release, HERE, so I won’t go repeating it. As it is, its relevant to post the differences between the two aircraft as far as I can ascertain. In the Reich Luft Ministerium (RLM) vision, the G6 was designed to be the last version of the Gustav to be ever produced. Consequently, as early as 1943, Messerschmitt started working on an improved 109, the K. The K was essentially a refined G6 with emphasis on improving the aerodynamics, flight controls and cockpit ergonomics. There was no engine limitation and as with the G, a wide selection of versions powered with the DB605A & D families were forecast.

Implementation differed from design, however, and in the spring 1944, the G6 was still the only 109 mass produced. It had evolved a bit from the first G6 produced, having seen the following changes:

• Erla Haube

• Glass head armour

• DB605AS

• DB605AM

• Tall metal tail & Rudder

• Tall wood tail & Rudder

• Tall tail wheel

• MW-50 Water-methanol over boost

• MK108 axial canon

Most of the above became standard as production continued.

Because of these delays and other new high performance fighters entering mass production (Ta152, Fw190D, Me262), the conversion of all existing factory lines to the K production was meaningless. Having developed the type for some time, Messerschmitt was however allowed to switch from the G6 to the K4 as soon as possible. Sometime during June 44, a new interim version of the G was planned. It was supposed to incorporate the latest equipments found on the G6 and K4 (Erla Haube, tall tail, tall tail wheel, Fug 16ZY & MW-50) and to be powered by the same DB605D. The version number was the first available for unpressurized planes: G10. The aim of this new version was to provide a K4-level fighter without retooling existing production lines and to use up the massive stock of G6 components. The plan was to have the 2 licensed factories (Erla and WNF) switch to the G10. However, the lack of DB605D prevented the G10 and the K4 from becoming a reality for months to come. Externally, the G10 airframe was identical to the G6-MW50. It had the Erla canopy, the tall tail wheel, the extra hatch on the right side to refill the MW50, the Morane antenna and the “battery box” behind the head armour.

As with many aircraft there is a lot of misidentification through the series due to different manufacturers adding their ideas. Erla manufactured G10s are one of these, and have been often referred as G10/AS in the past. A properly integrated flat panel replaced the previous faired panel on the port side, sometimes known as the “moon” fairing. The engine cowls were also different, in that they covered the nose without the requirement for chin bulges along with a different oil cooler which was slimmer yet larger than that used on the K4, and was probably designed for the H version. The Erla solution for covering the DB605D was much more elegant and streamlined. They were the only manufacturer to use this possibly due to the fact that the tooling had been pre deigned and built in preparation for building the H model. Since Erla started the G10 production quite early, the first a/c still used G6 wings with “small” wheels and the Erla canopy with antenna mast. Later, Erla used the same new wing with larger wheels as the other manufacturers.

The Model

Obviously based on the earlier release it comes with all the new parts to produce a G-10 such as the tall tail wheel, upper cowlings, aerial mast, taller fin and rudder. Instead of using the G6 fuselage and changing the side panels, they appear to have moulded a completely new one with the panel moulded integrally. The moulding of the fourteen sprues is, as you would expect of a modern release, really very nice. No sign of flash or moulding imperfections on any part and just a few moulding pips to remove and clean up. Details such as the engraved panel lines and rivets are very refined. The styrene appears quite soft and yet eminently workable so the modeller shouldn’t need to break a sweat when cleaning up the joins.

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Construction starts with the cockpit floor, onto which the rudder pedals and foot rests are fitted. Unlike the G6 there is only one choice of breech cover, and that is for the Mk108 30mm cannon with the two halves joined and fitted to the front of the cockpit floor, onto which the joystick is also attached. The cockpit is further built up with the attachment of the pilot’s seat to the rear bulkhead. The pilots harness is pre-moulded onto the seat pan and the bulkhead, with the bulkhead ones being slightly too short and will need to be lengthened or replaced completely with aftermarket items. Rather than having parts moulded onto the insides of the fuselage halves Revell have gone for separate panels for the cockpit sides onto which further parts are added. On the starboard side the clear part that represents the fuel feed pipe is to be masked off before painting so that the inspection tube is left clear, beneath the fuel pipe the fuel pump is fitted. On the port side there is a pair of trim wheels and control runs attached. The instruments dials for the panel are in decal form but with some softener/setting solutions they should settle down ok onto the individual bezels. The gunsight is then attached to the top of the instrument panel. The cockpits side panels and instrument panel are then attached together with the cockpit floor and rear bulkhead creating a sturdy and rather good looking tub. Underneath the tub the wing spar is attached, whilst on top the rear upper bulkhead is fitted, along with the battery box.

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With the cockpit complete several other assemblies need to be built up before the fuselage can be closed up. The long tail wheel strut is fitted into position along with the propeller shaft and oil cooler panel. The engine exhaust stacks also need to be fitted from the inside pre painted and masked of before full painting commences. The exhausts are a little bit disappointing in that they are solid and will need some very careful opening up due to their shape. There’s bound to be some aftermarket items released soon to replace these. Once the cockpit tub, propeller shaft, tailwheel and under nose radiator mount are fitted the fuselage can be closed up. The new upper nose panel is fitted with the machine gun barrels and affixed into position, followed by the two piece carburettor intake to the port side. Under the nose the two radiator grilles are fitted onto their mounting points before the radiator cover is fitted. The wing radiator grilles are attached to the upper inner wing panels which are then attached to the wing spar. Each main undercarriage bay is has the roof part moulded into the inner panels whilst the bay walls are made up of three separate parts. The one piece lower wing panel is then fitted to the upper inner wing panels and spar. While the model is upside down the two wing radiators have the forward intake lips added and two panels are fitted to the centre fuselage. With the model the right side up the upper outer wing panels are attached and the vertical tail unit is fitted along with the rudder. The rudder trim actuator is then attached to the starboard side of the fin and the horizontal tail assemblies are, with the optionally posed separate elevators, fitted.

The model comes with the option of having the flaps posed up or down with each section being made up of upper and lower halves as do the ailerons. The inner and outer flaps of each wing are attached as per the modellers’ wishes after which the ailerons can be fitted. The leading edge slats are also fitted at this point and can also be posed open or closed, but being spring loaded they would normally be deployed on the ground. The main undercarriage legs are each made up of an inner and outer oleo parts onto which the axle unit is attached along with the scissor links and a small link near the top of the inner oleo. The main door is then attached to the oleo. Each tyre is in two halves into which the inner and outer hubs are fitted. The details are quite nice, but these may get a little lost with having to sand the seam around the tyre unless fitted well. With the wheels assembled they can be fitted to the axles. The two part tail wheel is then fitted to its yoke.

Next in the build sequence is the assembly of the drop tank. Whilst he details on the tank are quite good it’s still a little pointy in the nose area and should be blunter. This may be rectified with a little surgery or sanding but most people will be able to live with it. The completed drop tank is then fitted to the adaptor plate and the four stays are fitted. The whole assembly is then fitted to the fuselage centreline. Unlike the previous release there is only one option of canopy, but Revell still provide two of them in case one gets damaged. The windscreen comes with separate armoured screen which would be best “glued” with a drop of Klear or similar. With the aerial masts fitted to the rear of the canopy the armoured plate can be fitted internally along with the locking handle. If the canopy is to be positioned open there are two blocks on the starboard cockpit side panel to provide a good strong joint. The propeller is now assembled out of the backplate, three individual blades, internal blade clamp and the boss. Unfortunately the join between the backplate and boss isn’t at a natural panel line on the real aircraft so will need to be carefully filled and sanded. The propeller assembly is then fitted onto the propeller shaft. With the addition of the pitot probe and underwing aerial for the late version, all that needs to be done is paint and adding a stretched sprue aerial wire for the model to be complete.

Decals

The decal sheet is printed in Italy for Revell, so presumably by Cartograph, although they don’t look up to the usual standard. They are well printed though, in good register and nicely opaque with very little carrier film except in each of the outline crosses. The decals are quite matt in appearance but should settle down well with the appropriate solutions. There two marking options provided:-

Bf-109G-10 Erla W.Nr. 491446, flown by Major E Hartmann April 1945

Bf-109G-10 W.Nr. 152016 JG-300, Praha-Kbely AB, May 1945

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Conclusion

Revell should be very proud of themselves with these latest releases. They are beautifully moulded, appear quite easy to put together and have enough detail out of the box to satisfy most modellers. There is enough different in this release to be noticeable should the modeller have both versions, which of course you could since they are so reasonably priced. With the amount of aftermarket items released for the G-6 I can see the same happening for the G-10, so those modellers who want to gild the lily they shouldn’t have to wait long. Very highly recommended

Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit logo-revell-2009.gif

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