Part I | Part II| Part III | Part IV
Over at Large Scale Modeller, several of us on the staff are planning to tackle Revell’s new 1/32 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 as part of a kind of “group build review”. It’s going to be awesome…multiple builders, multiple styles, multiple schemes, varying amounts of aftermarket and scratchwork involved…all around one kit.
In the leadup, I decided I’d tackle one of Hasegawa’s venerable G-6 kits as a refresher of sorts, so it would be fresh in my mind leading into the Revell build.
As I looked for markings, I became enamored with a Regia Aeronautica G-4 instead. And…I just happened to have a ProModeller G-4 in the stash. It’s a reboxing of the Hasegawa kit, and about 90% identical to the G-6, so what the hey?
The scheme I’ll be pursuing comes from Chris Busbridge’s excellent Regia Aeronautica decal sheet:
The profile’s color register is way off, but the camo is essentially correct. Though the actual aircraft sported the white wingtips common among Italian 109s.
This second view really shows off the interesting overspray performed on this aircraft. Many Italian 109s were overpainted with grigio azzurro chiaro (light gray blue), but this aircraft was also mottled, probably with verde olivia scuro (dark olive green).
In terms of aftermarket, I’d intended to keep things light. But Hasegawa’s aversion to detail did me in. So I’ll be packing the following into the build:
- Eduard interior photo etch
- Eduard/HGW microtextile belts
- Quickboost Revi gunsight
- Quickboost control stick
- Quickboost exhausts
- Quickboost gun barrels (wing gun pods only)
- North Star 109F-style wheels
Prepping the Cockpit
The last time I build a Hasegawa 109, the cockpit detail definitely left me less-than-impressed, so this time around I decided I’d give Eduard’s full interior PE set a go. This necessitated removing the kit’s sidewall detail. A tedious but not particularly difficult task.
Once I had the sidewall detail removed, some CA fixed the PE sidewalls into place.
Details came next. Some were transfers from the kit parts. Others PE. Others my own wiring work.
I recently picked up some lead wire from UMM-USA.com and was able to use it to great effect. I’m not sure now how I managed to survive wiring chores without such a perfect material to work with.
Additional bits were added with styrene rod. Still a very spartan cockpit, but better than the kit detail.
Painting the Cockpit
After priming the cockpit, I shot it with a base coat of gloss black, then a top coat of Tamiya XF-63 German Gray.
The German Gray was then gone-over with a light drybrushing of Model Master Dunkelgrau to accentuate the details. Since the 109 cockpit is so dark, I personally think it pays to overdo it a bit here, otherwise all the detail work will be hidden in the final thing.
The fuel line was painted Vallejo Yellow with Model Master Metalizer Magnesium for the metal bits. The real 109 has a clear section, I guess to verify that the fuel is flowing. Difficult to replicate on the Hasegawa kit, so I used Tamiya X-19 Smoke to at least provide an illusion. Far from perfect, but good enough.
Once that was done I painted the wiring loom and started added details.
Next came the Eduard instrument panel. Rather tedious with all the instrument bezels, but not terribly difficult.
Eduard’s rendition of RLM 66 was also rather too light to match the rest of the cockpit, so I brushed on some Vallejo Dark Gray wash. It did just the trick, and really helped with the “printed” look Eduard’s pre-painted PE can sometimes have.
The Little Things
Elsewhere in the cockpit, I began work on the Eduard/HGW harnesses. I’ve used textile belts on my past several 1/32 scale builds, and I’m totally hooked. These things look far and away more realistic than photo etch, and are basically a guaranteed mainstay on most of my future 1/32 projects.
Once the harnesses were together, they were toned down with a raw umber oil wash, and the cockpit received some additional weathering courtesy of washes and pigments.
Lastly, the Quickboost Revi gunsight was added, bringing the cockpit to completion.
Honestly, it feels silly at this point to go into much detail about building up a Hasegawa 109G. These things are simplicity in the extreme, and I didn’t really take anything beyond a straight out of the box approach. Uh, I guess be sure to pre-paint necessary areas in RLM 02 and be careful when you glue down the wings to ensure everything is aligned.
That’s really all there is to it. If you take the straightforward approach, the Hasegawa kit builds beautifully and quickly. In my opinion this will be its saving grace and the thing that keeps it relevant in the face of Revell’s new-tool competition.
And of course, being an R6 variant, we can’t neglect the wing-mounted gun gondolas! One snazzy/appreciated feature is that the gun barrels can be installed after painting.
That’s basically it for the main build-up. Stay tuned for priming and painting up next!