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Basilisk

1/48 Bf 109 G-6 comparison build of the latest three Kits

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I have to make a confession first, I never finished a scale model of the Bf 109 :( So time to change this.

 

As I had the three new kits in my stash, why not to do a "comparative" build of them.

Bf-109G6-1.jpg

They are from largest to smallest box - Eduard, Tamiya and Zvezda.

 

Upon opening the boxes, the Eduard box looks rather empty.

Bf-109G6-3.jpg

 

The Tamiya box looks to have more in it.

Bf-109G6-4.jpg

 

And the Zvezda box is full up to the rim!

Bf-109G6-2.jpg

But this is a bit misleading as several frames are from the older F model.

 

There are plenty online reviews of the three kits and they are all reasonably favorable. According to them, the Zvezda kit which is based on their F model lacks in details and looks rushed.

 

Eduards Mk.II kit is now in 1/48 at last, but still has some shape issues. And Tamiya with the latest addition looks to be another shake the box kit to build it.

 

So lets start the comparison with the wings.

Bf-109G6-5.jpg

 

As can be seen, there is a slight variation in wing span.

Bf-109G6-6.jpg

 

The Zvezda wing is actually a bit shorter still as it isn't casted with the dihedral in place.

Bf-109G6-7.jpg

Here a close-up of the two bulges  and the difference in shapes

Bf-109G6-8.jpg

 

And here the a picture how these two bulges do look.

Bf-109G6-29.jpg

 

Lets move to the top of the wing.

Bf-109G6-9.jpg

Here the length diffrence is now more visible, with the Zvezda wing about 1mm too short.

 

And the comparison of the undercarriage bulge.

Bf-109G6-10.jpg

 

To compare the fuselage is a bit tricky due to the construction of the engine covers.

Bf-109G6-11.jpg

The Eduard fuselage is maybe placed a bit too forward.

 

Considering this, they are equal in length.

Bf-109G6-12.jpg

Also note the different shapes and sizes of the bulge under the horizontal stabilizers.

 

And these bulges on the real aircraft.

Bf-109G6-20.jpg

It looks there was a bit of variation on the real aircraft too.

 

But there are differences in the representation of maintenance panels.

Bf-109G6-13.jpg

The res circle show the missing panels. I believe Tamiya has one too many, Eduard is correct and Zvezda has some missing.

 

The Tamiya instructions have this to say about the panels above and the bulges below.

Bf-109G6-30.jpg

 

And here the other side.

Bf-109G6-14.jpg

The two bulges are very noticable on the Tamiya kit, very tiny on the Eduard kit and none existent on the Zvezda kit.

 

Here a close up.

Bf-109G6-15.jpg

 

One known issue with the Eduard kit is the fuselage height.

Bf-109G6-16.jpg

In comparison with the Zvezda kit, it is 0.6mm too high. Comparing the Zvezda and Tamiya fuselage results in a perfect match.

 

I am sure that all three kits will result in very nice models of the Bf 109 G-6. The Tamiya kit looks to be the easiest build. Eduard has some nice details and Zvezda needs a bit of work.

 

My goal is to have the three models built in similar finishes prior painting. That means that I will rivet the Zveda and Tamiya kit. I may use after market parts for the wheel and exhaust which would also correct the other problem on the Eduard kit, the too wide opening for the exhaust.

 

My next update will be a comparison of the cockpits ready for painting. I won't use the Eduard PE parts in the cockpit to have a fairer comparison.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

Cheers, Peter

Edited by Basilisk

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I really like your idea to do a comparison build. I am going to watch closely as im a fan of Eduards 109, and very curious about the Tamiya and Zvezda kits. 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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This WIP is very interesting...

I will follow you :popcorn:

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On 1/5/2018 at 08:20, Basilisk said:

The two bulges are very noticable on the Tamiya kit, very tiny on the Eduard kit and none existent on the Zvezda kit.

 

these bulges are only for the Trop versions, they were used to hold an umbrella to shade the cockpit!

 

as seen here

800f1f613a351760758ec0419188eb95.jpg

 

guess who was a teenage 109 nut....

Peter, if you have not seen it,  the 109 lair is full of oodles of info

http://109lair.hobbyvista.com/index1024.htm

many walkrounds with loads of pics.

 

very useful comparisons,  thanks for taking the time to do them.

FWIW the Zvezda F  (and G) are based on factory blueprints, and it's considered very accurate by the 'experten'  but looks like Tamiya have done an excellent job.

 

cheers

T

 

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Interesting with 3 different kits! Nice to see the differences! :)

 

Håkan

 

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On 5/2/2018 at 12:38 AM, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

I really like your idea to do a comparison build. I am going to watch closely as im a fan of Eduards 109, and very curious about the Tamiya and Zvezda kits. 

Glad you like the idea and I hope it will be a helpful comparison.

 

22 hours ago, Troy Smith said:

these bulges are only for the Trop versions, they were used to hold an umbrella to shade the cockpit!

Thanks Troy to clarify the use of the bulges. This explains why I could see them on some airframes, but not on others.

Great link by the way which I wasn't aware off. lots to see there.

 

To continue the comparison, I assembled the wheel wells and cockpits.

 

Bf-109G6-17.jpg

They do look similar but there are some issues.

 

The Zvezda kit has an earlier version with canvas all around, but on the G-6 canvas was apparently only used on the rear part of the wheel well. Eduard got the half round part wrong as it is flat in the centre and the oval openings are just an indent. Tamiya looks ok but is a bit simplified.

 

Vector made a replacement part for the Zvezda kit, correcting the canvas issue. I may purchase two and will use one to replace the Eduard parts as well.

 

Here is a picture of the real deal, but note that the canvas is missing.

Bf-109G6-21.jpg

 

Cockpit next.

Bf-109G6-18.jpg

Things get a bit more complicated here. All three look ok, but following differences are noteworthy:

 

Zvezda uses 22 parts in the cockpit, Eduard 16 and Tamiya 18. Of interest is the variation in shape of the bucket seat, the canon cover and the stick. Also the wheel (for flaps?) in the Edward cockpit is too small. The wheel in the Tamiya cockpit needs a spacer to separate the two wheels.

 

Bf-109G6-19.jpg

And here the comparison of the cockpit side walls. They share some similarities but are also are different in representing the details.

 

Here two pictures to assist how the seat and the wheel looks.

Bf-109G6-22.jpg

 

I also updated my firs post with some additional information. One thing this comparison shows clearly is that a model is ONLY an approximation and each kit manufacturer implemented it very differently.

 

For my eye, the Eduard kit is has the most inaccuracies when it comes to details and the Tamiya kit looks rather good with the Zvezda kit somewhere in the middle.

 

The next step will be detailing and painting the cockpits which may take a while as have some other builds going.

 

As the Bf 109G-6 has a lot of build variations, I also had to decide which aircraft I build so that I can choose the correct parts. And this is what I came up with.

 

I will build the Tamiya kit as a G-6/R6 trop as the kit contains the sand filter (which isn't shown on the profile below) and also I can keep the bulges in place for the sun shade umbrella :winkgrin: The aircraft was flown by Oberfeldwebel Heinrich Bartels from 11./JG 27, Kalamaki autumn 1943.

Bf-109G6-23.jpg

 

Bf-109G6-24.jpg

 

The Eduard kit will represent a G-6 late (or is it a G-14?)  flown by Hauptmann Franz Dörr, Gruppenkommandeur (CO) of III./JG 5, Gossen May 1945.

Bf-109G6-25.jpg

 

Bf-109G6-26.jpg

 

And the Zvezda kit will represent a G-6 with a "split personality" in more than one way. It is an aircraft from the Romanian Air Force Grupul 9 flown by Capitan Av. Alexandru Serbanescu, at Tecuci in summer of 1944. This aircraft has the old canopy, but a tall fin. Also the markings of the previous owner are still in place!

Bf-109G6-27.jpg

 

Bf-109G6-28.jpg

 

This will give a nice coverage of aircraft in use from 1943 to the last day of the war in 1945.

Cheers, Peter

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Thanks for in-depth review Basilisk. Very informative. Two things to note the umbrella mounts should only be there for the G-5 and not any of the ones your modelling.

Secondly as an aircraft engineer we do our best to mill down or cover up the rivets and even if they show after manufacture as soon as the paint is applied you loose majority of rivet definition and that is in real size let alone scaled down to 1/48.

 

Simon

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3 hours ago, sammy da fish said:

Thanks for in-depth review Basilisk. Very informative. Two things to note the umbrella mounts should only be there for the G-5 and not any of the ones your modelling.

Afaik the umbrella bulges are are for any Trop equipped version,  perhaps you mean G-5 from the markings available?  IIRC I have seen them on G-6s and G-8s , still be a good excuse to dig out some books later 😉

 

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Nice to see both the kits and pics of the real things! :)

 

Håkan

 

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On 5/10/2018 at 6:50 PM, Troy Smith said:

Hi Peter

 

as a couple have tall tails,. note this article

http://109lair.hobbyvista.com/techref/structures/tails/talltail.htm

 

great schemes

 

cheers

T

Thanks Troy. Like with everything related to the 109G, there are many variants and possibilities.

 

On 5/19/2018 at 3:32 PM, sammy da fish said:

Thanks for in-depth review Basilisk. Very informative. Two things to note the umbrella mounts should only be there for the G-5 and not any of the ones your modelling.

Secondly as an aircraft engineer we do our best to mill down or cover up the rivets and even if they show after manufacture as soon as the paint is applied you loose majority of rivet definition and that is in real size let alone scaled down to 1/48.

 

Simon

I am glad you like it Simon. I know little hen it comes to Bf 109s but learned a bit doing this comparison. One thing is that there are lots of variations on the 109Gs and I would be surprised that these umbrella holders are specific to the G-5 - a version with a pressurized cockpit. I think all Gs which started live as a Trop version had them fitted and they could stay in place long after.

Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-674-7774-25,_Flug

 

I myself do like rivet representation on a model, but I accept your point of view. I prefer kits without them as they are normally overdone and add them myself.

 

21 hours ago, Azgaron said:

Nice to see both the kits and pics of the real things! :)

 

Håkan

 

Thanks Håkan. I find it always interesting to see how a kit manufacturer scales down a model and here we have three very different approaches in doing so.

 

I am still waiting for some resin parts to arrive before I can continue.

Cheers, Peter

 

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HI Peter,

   Just game over from my build at LSP (I'm GazzaS there) to have a look-see at your comparison build.  Some interesting markings you've chosen and I'm looking forward to seeing them come to fruition.

 

It amazes how inexpensive the Zvezda kit is.

 

Gaz

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This will be worth following.

BTW, they are trim wheels in the cockpit.

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I also have several unfinished '109s but mostly in 1/32. 

An interesting project which I will watch with interest.

 

John

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This is a really interesting thread.

 

I am actually building the Eduard kit right now and I only wish I stumbled on this thread earlier.

 

I'm finding the kit a bit difficult but that's more due to my level of experience.

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On 5/27/2018 at 3:15 PM, Bungalow_Bill said:

HI Peter,

   Just game over from my build at LSP (I'm GazzaS there) to have a look-see at your comparison build.  Some interesting markings you've chosen and I'm looking forward to seeing them come to fruition.

 

It amazes how inexpensive the Zvezda kit is.

 

Gaz

Thanks for dropping in Gaz. Yes the Zvezda kit is good value, but so is the Eduard Weekend edition.

 

On 5/27/2018 at 5:17 PM, Pete in Lincs said:

This will be worth following.

BTW, they are trim wheels in the cockpit.

Thanks Pete for joining the jurney. I knew they are trim wheels, so should have named them properly.

 

On 5/31/2018 at 4:39 PM, Biggles87 said:

I also have several unfinished '109s but mostly in 1/32. 

An interesting project which I will watch with interest.

 

John

Thanks John. I to do still have my 1/32 Swiss Me 109E to finish and it will happen one day.

 

On 5/31/2018 at 8:04 PM, Oberleutnant said:

This is a really interesting thread.

 

I am actually building the Eduard kit right now and I only wish I stumbled on this thread earlier.

 

I'm finding the kit a bit difficult but that's more due to my level of experience.

Thanks Oberleutnant. A lot of the modern kits have very tight tolerances which can make assembly sometimes a bit tricky. As far as I can see, the Tamiya kit is the easiest in regards to assembly and the Zvezda kit the most challenging as it has lots of assemblies which have no purpose like the separate wing panels.

Bf-109G6-31.jpg

The fit isn't the best and some putty is needed.

 

Unfortunately progress was slow this week as I spent my time with some other builds. As my goal is to have the three kits look kind of the same, which means that the Tamiya and Zwezda kits have to be riveted.

Bf-109G6-32.jpg

Here is the Tamiya upper wing with the lines drawn in pencil where the rivets have to go. Now I just have to follow these lines with my "Rosie the riveter".

 

Also got some resin goodies which will help in adding some extra details and correcting some not so nice features in the kits.

 

Thanks for watching. Any comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Cheers, Peter

Edited by Basilisk

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I hope this pics will help you to make correct rivet patterns. I "riveted" Koichiro Abe's drawings using photo of real airframes. You can see the difference between Eduard plastic and real patterns. Unfortunately, the lower surface drawing is not ready yet.  

38132937374_b8c5b5700c_b.jpg109rivet_top_2000 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr

27070377429_bbef132f55_b.jpg109rivet_2000 by Alexey Matvienko, on Flickr

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Great. Thanks Alexey for sharing your work on the rivet pattern. :thumbsup: I will certainly make use of it.

Cheers, Peter

Edited by Basilisk

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Well that was a bit of a letdown- I re-found this a day or two ago, when I'd gotten my Zvezda F out for a look.  Then had to work a bit to re-re-find it this morning, and now that I read through it starts off great and then... well... what happened next?!

 

Sorry, that was meant to be playful, but I do hope that you follow up with this- love the idea and the presentation so far.

 

bob

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58 minutes ago, gingerbob said:

Well that was a bit of a letdown- I re-found this a day or two ago, when I'd gotten my Zvezda F out for a look.  Then had to work a bit to re-re-find it this morning, and now that I read through it starts off great and then... well... what happened next?!

 

Sorry, that was meant to be playful, but I do hope that you follow up with this- love the idea and the presentation so far.

 

bob

Basilisk made a 55 minute YT video where he builds the three kits, detailing his experiences with them. Just search "Bf 109G-6 Eduard," and it'll be the second result, Scale-a-ton is the channel's name.

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For the record, here's a link to the video. [Edit: as told below, this video is not actually done by Basilisk.]

Edited by gingerbob

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Sorry, no progress but some comments.

 

On 1/28/2019 at 3:22 AM, Sturmovik said:

Basilisk made a 55 minute YT video where he builds the three kits, detailing his experiences with them. Just search "Bf 109G-6 Eduard," and it'll be the second result, Scale-a-ton is the channel's name.

No I didn't as this video was done by someone else. It is a good watch but covers more the buildabilty of the kits than the accuracy.

 

8 hours ago, tk1608 said:

Any more progress ? :)

I am afraid not and there won't be any until next year.

 

But there is already a lot of information to assist in choosing a kit. My verdict is as following:

 

Tamiya

Very accurate with some nice features, making it the top choice.

 

Zvezda

Also very accurate but a bit over engineered. If the Tamiya kits are too easy for you and not challenging enough, this is the kit for you.

 

Eduard

The least accurate offering. Yes it is still a nice kit and lots of sub-variants on offer. And if having rivets implemented is a must, this is the kit to get - just a shame about the many little inaccuracies.

 

Cheers, Peter

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