Hasegawa 1/32 Messerschmitt Bf-109 G-10
Model, Text and Photos by: Tom "Mr.109" Norrbohm
It's been awhile since my last review of a 1/32nd ME-109 kit, the G-6. For my next review I debated on whether to build the newly released K-4 or the certainly to be released G-10. Both aircraft are nearly identical in appearance and what swayed me to the G-10 was the wider variety of color schemes. So I waited for the kit to be released and this summer I was rewarded with Hasegawa's newest 1/32nd scale release in the ME-109 family, following the releases of the G-6, G-14, K-4 and G-4. So, without further delay, let's get it on!
FIRST LOOK: Upon opening the box, I noticed that there are some extra trees of parts. These contain the added parts to make the G-10 variant. In the photos, you will see the two new parts trees included. One is the new rear fuselage section, and the other has the new forward fuselage section and other parts needed for this variant. Also included is a sheet of brass photo-etch as shown in the photo. This has stuff to replace kit parts such as the trim wheel, exhaust shrouds, rudder pedals, fuselage intake grills, Morane wing antenna. Also on this are new parts such as seat belts, Zu fasteners, belly tank strap, windscreen handholds, canopy release handle and DF loop. New clear parts in the form of the Erla-Haube canopy and windscreen top off the new parts. Kit decals give you markings for three aircraft. The instructions tell you what parts not to use, but you still have some choices to make before proceeding. With this kit, you can make a ME-109G-14AS or a standard 109G-10. Since you get both small and large wing bulges and tail wheels, as well as the standard and large main tires, you can do either of these variants. But, you must do an aircraft with the deep oil cooler intake as they omit the standard G-6 version. Research your aircraft before proceeding!
COCKPIT ASSEMBLY: Everything here is identical to the G-6. To avoid repetition here and elsewhere in this review, I will refer you to my review on the 109G-6 on this site, to cover matters in more detail on this assembly. I used Waldron Luftwaffe Rudder Pedals and a new product from Eduard (#32-507) for the seatbelts/harness. These are pre-painted photo-etched brass and are really cool! Care must be taken in handling these as you can damage the paint. I still had to do some touch up on them but they still came out fine. You can see the installed lap belts in the photo. Shoulder harnesses will come later on. The only drawback was the length of some of the straps. The anchor straps (#10) are too short. I cut some out of paper and painted them to match Eduard's.
FUSELAGE: All sidewall detail and components same as the G-6. Refer to G-6 review. The only problem is the mounting recess for part #M33 is wrong. They have it so when installed, the dials will face downward. Shave off the mounting recess and install #M33 facing at an upward angle. Now I had heard that there were some fit problems with the K-4 four piece fuselage. The G-6 had the join back by the tail, this one is right behind the cockpit (panel line #2). Some have attempted to glue each front and back half together making two complete fuselage halves and apparently that did not work well. I glued the two rear fuselage halves together and finished it off. I then dry fitted each fuselage half to see how they fit. With a little help and prodding, they fit very well and would need minor sanding for a flush fit. I placed the right fuselage half into the rear fuselage assembly and once I obtained a flush fit, applied my MEK glue. See photo. At this time, paint and detail the sidewalls and install the components. Remove the rear most locating pins on the left front fuselage half, so you can now slip it in place along side the existing installed right half. Adjust to fit and apply glue. You may have to do a little sanding but no big deal.
MAIN WING ASSEMBLY: This is the one constant for ALL the 109 kits. The wing remains the same throughout. Square off the wheel wells as instructed, and drill out the locating holes for the wing bulges. Also, both top wings will most likely have a slight mold defect that runs from the wing root out towards the wing tip. You can only see this at a certain angle and this can be corrected by lightly sanding until it disappears.
COCKPIT/FUSELAGE/WING ASSEMBLY: Assemble as instructed. You can install the instrument panel now or later, I chose later. See G-6 review for instrument panel painting and detailing. Now comes another fit problem. The wings go on fine, but on my kit, they did not line up well with the forward part of the wing fillet on the fuselage. Sand forward fillet until you get a good fit. Install wing bulges. The upper fuselage panel #C17 needed some tweaking to fit with the rest of the fuselage. I sanded the edges and dry fitted until I was happy with the fit and glued into place. It also helps to remove the forward locating tab on #C17 as well. Guns can be put in later as well as the exhausts, shrouds and supercharger intake.
PROPELLER ASSEMBLY: Again, the same as the G-6. See G-6 review for painting. The only difference is which propeller blades you decide to use, standard or paddle blade.
MISCELLANEOUS: Many of the subassemblies such as the landing gear, spinner/prop, belly tank, flaps and other details can be assembled and painted at anytime during this build. This allows you to concentrate on the airframe and not worry about all the other stuff hanging out in the open and risk breaking them off in the process. You can now proceed to paint and decal the main airframe.
PAINTING/DECALING: Model is primed and painted using ModelMaster II enamels. I choose to do an G-10 from KG (J) 6 as advertised in an upcoming Eagle Editions decal sheet. This aircraft was painted in RLM 76 undersurfaces and RLM 75 and RLM 83. Yellow 04 was painted on the nose and rudder after priming. These areas then masked, and the red/black checkerboard RD band painted and masked. After painting the model is flat coated and I applied my panel lines and rivet detail with a pencil and fine paint pen. When done, model is gloss coated and decals applied. Kit decals were used on most of the kit. The only other decals were the spiral on the spinner (left over from Eagle Cals G-6 sheet) and the chevron, which is a 1/48th scale decal. Hasegawa's decals are extremely nice and go down very well. I applied them with Micro Set (blue label) only. I applied Micro Set to the area the decal is to be applied, put the decal down, blot decal down with a wet rag and let sit. Any problem areas could be cure with a little Micro Sol (red label). My only complaint with Hasegawa's decals is that the white areas are not a 'white' white but rather a dirty white. Not a big deal, but you may find fault with this. Model is then flat coated and ready for final assembly.
FINAL ASSEMBLY: At this time, I choose to put in the shoulder harnesses. These were too long and had to be shortened accordingly. The end result is quite good (see photos). I also put in a scratchbuilt canopy release mechanism on the rear fuselage deck (see photos). This is up to you but I felt it was needed in this case. Made from plastic rod & sheet. Now we can install all the little things such as the landing gear, drop tank, flaps and the like. My center flaps had some fit problems that were very minor. Canopies were detailed and installed and a 'bungee' cord made from scratch and installed (see photos). Pastels used on fabric surfaces. The end result is a striking model.
CONCLUSIONS: I did not use any of the kit supplied photo-etched. I am not a photo-etch person and felt I could live with the plastic versions. I did use the photo-etched Morane wing antennae. The Waldron rudder pedals are already 'bent' and ready to install. The Eduard seatbelts/harnesses are an excellent product. I like them over the Waldron buckles. While the model itself did not go together as well as the G-6, it was nothing major. This is the kind of problem you will encounter when you design a fuselage to fit an existing wing. Until they do an Emil, this will be the case. This was a fun build and I recommend it to anyone interested in the 109 family of aircraft.
REFERENCES: Aero Detail #5 Messerschmitt BF-109G and German Aircraft Interiors 1935-1945 Vol. 1.
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