Saturday, 3 August 2013

Luftwaffe modelling - new tool Revell Bf 109 G-6 early and late versions in 1/32nd scale (04665) and new tool Airfix Fw 190 A-8 in 1:72nd scale

A little preview of what you get in the box for less than £20 (GBP) with this nice new tool Revell Bf  109 G-6 (early and late versions) in 1/32nd scale - the first thing that struck me on opening the box were all the rudders, both early and late, small and tall; there is even a Flettner-tabbed tall rudder that at first sight doesn't appear in the instructions as far as I can see - ah yes, probably Hauptmann Franz Dörr's machine, time to retrieve the Mombeeck JG 5 history from the shelf. By the way, see elsewhere on this blog my article "contending with torque" for a piece on tall-tailed Bf 109s.

Its a shame you can't do a G-6/AS straight from the box without a bit of work but no doubt this and other variants will be along soon enough or available with the help of the  after-market concerns..

Aside from a selection of 'poseable' rudder options, here's what is in the kit;

- alternative cockpit parts including different cannon breech covers and battery box option on the shelf behind the pilot's head
- both early framed and Erla Haube canopies with different windscreen versions
- long and short tail wheels and treaded and smooth tyres
- alternate starboard side engine cowls
- Morane mast and DF loop for late versions
- separate control surfaces
- two decal options, Kommandeur JG 5 Franz Dörr and Gkr. II./ JG 51 Karl Rammelt. BTW depicts Dörr's aircraft incorrectly as a G-14 and gives him 128 victories, instead of 122.

The cockpit comprises some 20 parts and includes the fuel line for the starboard cockpit wall as a transparent part so that the clear view cut-out - which the pilot used to detect the first air bubbles and thus the tank emptying - can simply be masked off for painting. Harness straps are moulded on the seat pan and rear bulkhead and look quite good.. 

Also noticeable are the upper wing bulges which are NOT stick-on parts but feature in situ on the inner wing panels. The forward fuselage is basically an empty frame into which various panels can be dropped - but I can't see how these will fall along 'natural' panel lines. The quality of the surface engraving is impressive. Various filler hatches NOT required for a G-6 will have to be filled, but at least these indicate that later variants are likely to follow eg  the filler hatch for the GM 1, nitrous oxide power boost system or the MW 50 methanol/water power boost system. MW 50 was not slated for use on the Bf 109 G-6 - in fact a Bf 109 G-6 with MW 50 was essentially a Bf 109 G-14.  GM 1 was used on some Bf 109 G-6 aircraft engaged in high altitude interception duties, though it is more usually associated with the pressurised versions of the G series.. The multi-part wheel wells will no doubt look very good too. Difficult to formulate any real criticisms without building the model, but I can see that the various cowl scoops are all solid and the split between the front and back of the spinner does not fall on a natural panel line so that will be a job to eliminate. The choice of decal subjects is not exactly stellar IMHO but that will hardly be a problem - there is a decal for the instrument panel too. Are the cowl bulges a little under-sized ? are the prop blades a little too 'fat' and not perfectly shaped? Possibly ...but difficult to tell really- certainly the Beulen certainly don't seem to be as 'bulbous' or bulge along the top of the fuselage as they should..

Given Revell's pricing policy this kit should do very well and no doubt we'll be taking a few weeks off here to build one or two - it certainly has the edge on the Hasegawa effort in this scale for detail in most areas, especially the cockpit, the undercarriage and general outline accuracy.

If you haven't seen it already then there is much more detail on this kit with an excellent write-up for modellers at the large scale planes forum

Lots of pictures here - plundered from a variety of sources...

Revell new tool G-6 in 1:32nd scale  - an unrivalled level of detail

Before we attack this kit, just time to put together the new-tool Airfix Fw 190 A-8 in 1:72nd scale - to be honest I have some difficulty raising much enthusiasm for a new-tool Fw 190 from Airfix (even though " FalkeEins -the Luftwaffe blog " was consulted by Airfix during the process of development and conception), after all their old one wasn't that bad even with its raised lines and lack of breech covers ( plus I have about 20 Revell, Hasegawa, Italeri and Academy Fw 190s on the shelf already in his scale ). This latest Airfix effort though appears to be very neatly done, is a bargain at £5.99 (GBP) and most importantly perhaps the canopy can be depicted open! And rudder pedals in an Airfix 1/72nd scale kit, must be a first. I've probably built my last Revell Fw 190 Anton in this scale then! There is a bulged canopy too but no late head armour to go with it. The one decal option is a JGr. 10 machine with snake or Schlange motif...
(click on the images to get in closer..)

more on Schlangenschwarm Fw 190s on this blog

Incidentally all (64) Luftwaffe-related modelling articles on this blog can be accessed together via this one link