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Messerschmitt Bf.109K-4 ‘The Last Chance’ (AZ7819) 1:72


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Messerschmitt Bf.109K-4 ‘The Last Chance’ (AZ7819)

1:72 AZ Model




With almost 34,000 examples constructed over a 10-year period, the Messerschmitt Bf.109 is one of the most widely produced aircraft in history and it saw active service in every theatre in which German armed forces were engaged. Designed in the mid-1930s, the Bf.109 shared a similar configuration to the Spitfire, deploying monocoque construction and V12 engine, albeit an inverted V with fuel injection rather than a carburettor used in the Spit. Initially designed as a lightweight interceptor, like many German types during WWII, the Bf.109 evolved beyond its original brief into a bomber escort, fighter bomber, night fighter, ground-attack and reconnaissance platform.


The Bf.109G series, colloquially known as the Gustav, was first produced in 1942. The airframe and wing were extensively modified to accommodate a more powerful engine, greater internal fuel capacity and additional armour. In contrast to early 109s, which were powered by engines delivering less than 700hp, some of the later Gustavs could output almost 2000hp with water injection and high-performance superchargers. The Gustav series accounted for a dizzying array of sub-variants, some of which featured a larger tail of wooden construction. Odd number suffixed aircraft had pressurised cockpits for high altitude operation, Erla Haube clear view canopy with clear rear head armour, underwing points for tanks, cannon or rockets and larger main wheels resulting in square fairings on the inner upper wings to accommodate them.  The K series or Kurt was an attempt by the RLM to standardise production after the myriad of Gustav sub-variants, adding large rectangular blisters on the upper wings to accommodate wider wheels, and a more powerful variant of the DB engine that could propel it to around 440mph on a good day with the right fueling.  Despite the difficulties experienced in manufacture at that late stage of the war, a few thousand of them were produced before the end, although the lack of well-trained pilots was more of an issue.



The Kit

This is a reboxing of AZ’s original tooling from 2014, with some new parts somewhere along the way.  It’s a well-detailed kit with moulded-in equipment in the cockpit sidewalls, details in the wheel wells, and subtle exterior detail too, especially on the new fuselage parts.  It arrives in a small end-opening box with an attractive painting of the subject matter on the front, and the decal option profiles on the rear.  Inside are three sprues in grey styrene, a tiny clear sprue in its own Ziploc bag, two decal sheets and the instruction booklet, which on my sample isn’t all that clearly printed, although it is legible.  You will need to pay attention to the sprues, as there are four fuselage halves in the box, due to the earlier G fuselage being on the same sprue as the wings, which will be needed.










Construction begins with the cockpit, which is well-detailed as previously mentioned, consisting of the floor with rear bulkhead, seat base, rudder pedals, control column, trim wheels, gunsight, a well-recessed instrument panel (sadly no decal, despite the instructions mentioning one), and the moulded-in side wall detail, plus the forward bulkhead, which has the cannon-breech cover inserted before it is added to the front of the assembly.  It is glued into the new starboard fuselage half when completed, and the exhaust stacks are slipped through the slots in the cowling on both sides ready to be closed up.  There is a top insert added later to complete the fuselage, which has the two nose machine gun troughs and C-shaped gun insert, a combined fin and rudder, while the fuselage has a nicely faired side to obviate the prominent Beule of the earlier G, and head armour that is moulded clear because it has a section of armoured glass in the centre.


The lower wing is full-width except for the tips, which are moulded into the upper surfaces for fidelity, and these have the radiators depicted by front and rear faces inserted into the fairings, reducing their size and shape as per a set of scrap diagrams.  The uppers are glued over and have the rectangular fairings laid over the previous half-moon blisters, and then you can paint the whole gear bays and insert the radiator flaps, which also get a coat of RLM66 on the inside, like the majority of the interior – I thought that the gear bays would still be RLM02, but what do I know?  The wings and the fuselage are mated, then the landing gear is prepped, although they’re best left off until later.  The struts have the scissor-links moulded-in, separate wheels and captive bay doors, using the wider tyres in preference to the earlier narrow ones that are left on the sprue.  The elevators are both moulded as a single part, and attach to the tail in the usual slot and tab manner, then the prop with the broader blades is made up with the appropriate front and back spinner parts, sliding into the hole in the flat front of the fuselage.  The correct retractable tail wheel and two doors for the bay are fixed under the rear, and the single-part Erla-Haube canopy with reduced framing covers over the cockpit with the relocated D/F fairing quite a way back down the spine.  Horn balance, chin intake, extra fuel tank and pylon, plus the outer bay doors are put on toward the end of the build, although many pilots would remove the outer doors in the field to save weight and reduce the number of things to maintain by two.  The two-part air intake on the port side of the cowling is last to be fixed on its raised mounting.




There are three options on the main decal sheet, while the separate sheet contains all the stencils, which is good to see at this scale.  Two of these aircraft were captured or reused after the war, so are wearing their new owner’s markings, sometimes painted straight over the crosses of the defunct Luftwaffe, and these markings are included on the decal sheet.  Where the old crosses and swastikas have been painted over however, you will be responsible for painting those, so be prepared for a little detail painting.  From the box you can build one of the following:








The decals are well-printed in good register, with a thin glossy carrier film close to the printed edges for the most part, but with a few a little larger.  This shouldn’t cause too much of an issue however, as the film is thin and has a relatively soft edge.  There are decal seatbelts on the sheet, which should add a little realism to your finished cockpit.




Some interesting markings and camouflage options that were in use before the end and just after WWII, and its final German variant of this aircraft into the bargain. 


Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of



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